Improving your Confidence and How to Rewire Your Brain To Think Differently
I have also produced this blog on my podcast called The Therapy Guy and you can find it here https://therapyguy.buzzsprout.com/
This was written by my colleague Mark Jeffery.
Are you suffering from anxiety and panic attacks these as we know can become deliberating and your confidence can be destroyed as a result of them, are you able to change this? The simple answer to this question is undoubtedly yes, anything you have learnt you can unlearn so here are 5 ways that might help you to rewire your brain and could rebuild your confidence once again.
So, Has Your Confidence Gone Missing?
In your brain you have a section called the amygdala and thanks to this we owe all our doubts to. So, what is this and what is its purpose.
This is the part of the brain and its sole purpose is to keep us safe. It is responsible for your fight or flight reaction. All it really wants to do is keep us safe and protect us, keeping us out of harm’s way and basically that is all it does.
It sometimes it is bang on.
Other times, it is way off base, which then has the ability to keep us locked inside of our so-called “comfort zone,” keeping us from our natural brilliance that under normal circumstances we naturally have, this will make us see the world differently and not how we would like to ideally see it.
Filling us full of self-doubt about our abilities and can stop us from expanding our careers, asking for that pay rise, climbing that mountain, asking that person out for a drink and missing out on our true calling in life because we are just afraid to do so.
It Is Responsible for Killing our Confidence.
It is that voice, you know the one, the one that whispers in your ear and the beliefs you have in yourself and can make us feel stuck and not able to move forward with greater clarity and confidence.
Left unchecked, (i.e. your fears) will run you ragged and leave you filled with regret, killing your confidence and negatively impacting your success.
Before we get into the list, you should know that there are plenty of books out on the market that can help in many different ways and teach you such fantastic techniques to help you with rebuilding your confidence to a level that you are then happy with.
Confidence Killer Number 5: Habit of Discontent.
Nothing is ever feeling quite right, something always seems to be going wrong, anybody recognise this I think we all do at some point. You end up being weighed down by what seems to be a constant state of dissatisfaction and discontent that leads us to complaining and moaning about how you can’t do XYZ and we end up believing it.
This habit of discontent can easily lead to a habit of trying to avoid it and looking for signs of it, creating a vicious cycle. These negative thoughts and habits keep your body in a constant state of stress which releases a chemical called (Cortisol) and sends it running through your veins. Over time, this constant state of dis-ease can lead to disease and illness in a host of different ways. Yes, it can make you ill.
What You Can Do
Look for the good things that are going on in your life right now and then focus your thoughts on them instead, we know that this isn’t easy, but believe me, they will be there, even if it’s just the smallest of things, this will help lift your mood. Why don’t you try adopting, An Attitude Of Gratitude as this is a far more powerful force moving forward, then us choosing to Live A Negative.
Our positive thoughts enable us to create a cascade of emotions, which creates a release of the happy chemicals in your brain (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins). All of these have been proved to have positive health benefits, boost your immune system and overall, they make you feel good again.
Confidence Killer Number 4 Caught in the ‘What If?’
This is when we tend to latch onto a negative idea and then you concentrate on a negative thought pattern, playing out all the worst case possible scenarios in our minds of what could go wrong and this has the effect of just Leaving us with the What If’s and Should Haves. These will never solve anything because unfortunately we cannot take time back and will only fuel our bad feelings and make us feel a whole lot worse.
What You Can Do
Instead of expecting the worst things to happen, try playing the What If UP Game with yourself, it sounds very stupid, but it is extremely effective.
Focus on the good things that can happen and then highlight what that goodness can lead to and then what that goodness can lead to as you focus your thoughts on them and upward in a positive direction from them while expanding your mind as to what IS possible and sparking the creativity that you always had.
Confidence Killer Number 3: Toxic Environments.
If you’re surrounding yourself with negative people as well as toxic environments in the various places in your life, it’s important that to understand that they are having a major impact on how you see yourself and the world around you this has an impact on what you feel what is or isn’t possible. The science behind this is called Epigenetics and has proven that a toxic environment of negative energy (whether that is mental, emotional or physical) can cause is a hugely detrimental impact on your actual physiology (how you feel), as well as having an impact on your attitude. Which in turn, can change how effectively your body functions or doesn’t function for that matter?
What You Can Do
First and foremost, notice and recognise who or what is bringing you down or lifting you up in your day-to-day life.
It might be time to purge some not-so-healthy people from your life or at least downgrade the amount of time you’re spending with them, so they don’t impact on your well-being, although this is difficult sometimes it is essential. You can also surround yourself with visual reminders of things that lift you and make you smile like fresh flowers or a picture of a favourite place that you have been. These visual cues can have a calming effect can help to bring your body back to a more relaxed and healthy state of being.
Confidence Killer Number 2: Focusing on Your Failures.
Failure is how we learn we all know that, but when you constantly focus on what you’re doing wrong, then it can pull you down tremendously fast, into a pit so deep and makes you feel like your wading through quicksand that can be hard to get out of. Leading to some deeply rooted self-doubt and a lack of belief in the abilities and talents that you have.
What You Can Do Learn what you need to learn too from your mistakes and then, more importantly, Move On from them.
Apply that learning, looking back on what went wrong and dwelling upon it will only serve to allow it to go wrong again, recognising what the fault was gives you the knowledge of What not to do again, and helps you discover how to do it differently, that way you can start to envisage your successful next steps in your mind’s eye. This is a way of setting up your success as you get your body and mind on board and continue to expand your learning and this can help to build on your confidence. And every time you can do this you gain a small win, and this makes a big difference, be sure that you take time to celebrate these. Celebrating releases, the happy chemicals Serotonin and Dopamine in your brain and makes you feel good, and encourages you to do it again, Creating all-new positively reinforced types of behaviour.
Confidence Killer Number 1: I Am Not Good Enough.
This highly popular but very limiting belief is probably the number one reason at the root of so many of our fears and dysfunctions. When you are telling yourself regularly that I am not something enough (not loveable enough, not smart enough, not capable enough, not talented enough, not good enough, etc), then you are creating and breading the environment for those negative pathways in your brain. And each time you think there is a threat, this familiar pathway in your brain will get activated, keeping you hiding inside your comfort zone, holding you back and in turn successfully crushing your confidence.
What You Can Do
Get a positive mantra phrase such as I Am Good Enough. Rinse and Repeat this and have variations of it but keep it positive and you will start to believe it.
The more you tell yourself you are good enough, the more you will start to believe it. The brain loves repetition and with this repetition, you’re starting to rewire a new positive pathway in your mind, which becomes the new Go-To pathway in times when you are feeling stressed. Ultimately helping you feel more confident in yourself and helping you to ultimately conquer your fears, take more calculated risks and expand what’s possible in your life both personally and professionally. In this process it raises your energy, your outlook, your mood, your perception, and your circumstance, then guess what else grows as a result, that’s right your confidence.
If you are finding that your confidence is being zapped from you and maybe even causing you symptoms and signs of chronic stress, sleepless nights and any other health issues like depression or anxiety and panic, then it’s time to rewire your brain to obtain more confidence in your life. Take that bull by the horns, don’t get me wrong it is not easy but in saying that it is easier than you might think, it’s only scary when you are afraid of it. The things that you are looking for are all there waiting for you, so success in what you do is available to you, love is available to you, and your health is available to you.
Whatever you want, you can create, whatever action you want to take, you can achieve it you just have to start believing in it.
If it gets too much don’t be afraid to go and talk to a professional who is trained to help guide you through this what can seem like a minefield at times, and you can tell these people whatever you’re struggling within a confidential and caring, nurturing environment.
Thank you for taking the time in reading these tips today and I hope that you can go forward, and they can be used to help you grow as a person.