How To Rebuild Your Confidence

Apr 28, 2021

Of all the things I see in my practice, perhaps a loss of confidence is the most common issue. 

My specialty is working with burnout, fatigue and low mood, by working with both the mind and the body to help my clients re-energise, refocus and come back firing on all cylinders.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems, when people are in these anxious and confused states, is that they start to doubt their own abilities and question whether they will ever find their self-belief again. 

From my perspective, this happens because when our mind and body systems become overwhelmed and under pressure they are simply no longer equipped to deal with whatever the world is throwing at them.

So, for instance, when a client is pressured from an ongoing work situation, they become more tired, less motivated and start to notice that at work, and maybe at home, their performance is slipping.

Once they notice this, it’s inevitable that they feel a knock to their confidence and start questioning their own abilities. 

This quickly becomes a vicious circle as the self-doubt causes raised stress levels, which in turn triggers more anxiety and more inner turmoil. 

In these strange times in which we find ourselves living in, this is becoming more and more common.

Our nervous system reacts to situations that are unpredictable, uncontrollable and novel - all boxes that are ticked by the pandemic and other ongoing global events.

Once we find ourselves on the back foot, we start to feel slightly at sea, unsure of when and how the next wave will take us under. 

As the internal pressure ramps up, one of the most common ways we deal with the stress is to close down from others, isolating ourselves and making the situation worse.

 I have lost count of the number of times that a client will say to me “I haven’t even told my partner about this”.

They feel shame, fear and apprehension that anyone will find out their dirty little secret - that they’re struggling, unable to cope and falling to pieces.

Of course, this is the worst choice we can make, but it does make sense.

In a world where cracking on with it, putting on a brave face and manning up is what is expected of all of us (male or female), it takes a brave soul to break ranks and ask for help.

But that’s exactly what we need to rebuild our confidence.

In fact, recent research has shown that one of the hormones that most of us associate with relaxation, oxytocin, is actually also associated with the stress response. 

When in low-level stress situations oxytocin helps us bond with loved ones, connect with friends and family and generally makes us feel great.

So it was a surprise to scientists to see oxytocin being released in high-stress situations.

The overwhelming verdict is that this hormone is released to signify that we need to get help and support from those around us and going it alone isn’t the best choice.

And yet the ongoing cultural pressure forces many to deal with this in the opposite way that nature is intending for us - by closing down, clamming up and retreating from the world. 

Happily, once we begin to talk to others, recognise we aren’t losing our minds and that we aren’t alone, then we can break the shackles of anxiety, fatigue and loss of confidence. 

We can move through the brain fog and recognise any weed-like beliefs that are causing issues and pluck them out.

We can reconnect to our purpose and our passion and finally begin to get back to the person we once were. 

 And that is what builds confidence.

Feeling less overwhelmed, more supported and with our sense of purpose and identity fully restored.

The best way to do this is to reach out for help, either from professionals or from trusted friends. 

As always, I can’t highlight enough the importance of good sleep, regular low-level exercise and good nutrition.

I know we can bang the drum for all those things to a point where people may think they are overplayed, but I can promise you that the research backs this up. 

This isn’t lip service, this is a way of life.

Good sleep habits, great exercise, deep connection with others and healthy, nutritious food allow for a life well-lived. And a healthy mind and healthy body is a fertile breeding ground for unbreakable confidence.