Does talking to yourself sound like a weird idea? It’s really not. Talking to yourself is not only a common occurrence but is ubiquitous. Every human being talks to themselves all the time!
Surprised? It’s true. Most people just don’t notice it. You have a torrent of thoughts running through your head at all times, or at least while you’re awake. This cascade is called your self-talk. Almost all of it concerns yourself -who you are, what you are, what you want for lunch, the itch on the back of your right ankle.
It’s the former things that are important where self-confidence is concerned, of course. What you say to yourself matters. It can build your self-image up or tear it down. That’s why techniques such as affirmations work -they directly target what you say to yourself.
If you want to improve your self-confidence, you need to take charge of this stream of thoughts, at least as much as possible. Don’t depend on your unconscious to do it for you. Become your own cheerleader.
How do you do this? Start purposefully talking to yourself. It doesn’t need to be aloud; talking to yourself silently is often as effective. Tell yourself good things about yourself. You’re a good person. You’re competent and capable. You can do whatever you want. You’re a good parent/employee/spouse/etc.
Make these things as specific as possible. If you’re currently trying to master a new skill, talk about how well you can do it and how quickly you’re learning. If you’re studying for a test, tell yourself how good you’re going to do.
Emphasize the attributes you’re working to improve. Tell yourself you’re doing a good job, that you’re trying hard, that you’ll make it. When you fail, don’t berate yourself. Be understanding, kind, and gentle. Know that you tried your best, worked hard, and will get it next time.
If it helps, see yourself as the coach or the parent of someone you’re trying to help. Does putting someone down or being negative help them improve? Of course not. So why would it help you? It won’t, of course. It will just make things worse. Treat yourself as you would want someone else to treat you.
Do this all the time. You don’t have to wait until something difficult or stressful comes up. Talk to yourself daily. Become your own best friend and a cheerleader any football team would envy. Your self-confidence will soar.