Being resilient plays an important part in maintaining good mental and emotional wellbeing. Recognising that we all have been resilient at some point in our lives and then remembering and using this key skill, can help us manage difficult times.
Confidence and resilience often go together. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the challenges and pressures that life throws at us and maintain a positive outlook. People who are resilient generally have confidence in themselves and their ability to overcome setbacks. So, what can you do to build your confidence and boost your resilience?
Building your confidence
Believe in yourself
Remind yourself of what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Don’t put yourself down – if you hear yourself saying negative things about yourself, you will believe them. For example, ‘I’m no good at…’ or, ‘I’m always doing it wrong…’ or, ‘It doesn’t matter what I think…’.
Instead, remind yourself of what you are good at and do some positive self-talk. Try positive reinforcement; ‘I’ve got skills in XYZ…’ or, ‘Other people can do this, so I can too…’ and, ‘My opinions matter as much as anyone else’s…’
Manage your mood
Be aware of how you are feeling – are you bored, anxious, angry or curious, relaxed, excited? Do whatever helps you to feel positive emotions so that you feel good about yourself.
Some sports people play their favourite music before competing in order to ‘get in the zone’. Mind and body are linked, so being aware of your body helps you manage your mood. If you feel butterflies in your stomach, this is a signal that you are nervous and need to take some action to soothe yourself.
Prime yourself for a confident state of mind
Do something that cheers you up; write down three positive things that have happened at the end of every day and see yourself behaving confidently. When you receive compliments from others let them sink in rather than brushing them aside. Hearing positive things about yourself builds your confidence.
Behave ‘as if’ you are confident
If you behave confidently, you will feel more confident. Manage your body language – breathe deeply to calm yourself, relax your jaw and shoulders, stand tall, make eye contact, smile and look interested in others. Be aware of your voice – slow down your speech, speak at a normal volume, not shouting or whispering, and lower the pitch of your voice – especially if you are female.
Boosting Your Resilience.
Look after your resources of energy
It’s much easier to cope with challenges when you have physical, mental and emotional energy – and much harder when you are tired, drained and anxious. Looking after your body, mind and spirit is a key foundation for being resilient.
Taking regular breaks from an activity helps boost your energy and maintain performance. There is evidence that spending time outside in the natural world has a positive impact on mental and emotional energy.
Develop resilient beliefs
Choose beliefs, feelings and actions that enable you to function at your best. If you’re going for an interview and believe that you are going to fail, then you will feel nervous. This will come out in your body and you will project yourself less confidently – with the result that you are less likely to succeed.
When you fail, attributing the failure to something in yourself can be unhelpful, while attributing it to something in the situation is a more helpful belief. Compare the impact of believing, ‘I am just not good enough,’ with, ‘There was a better person for this job.’
Put problems in perspective
Sometimes we over-react to problems; stop and ask yourself, on a scale of one to 10 – where 10 is life-threatening – how bad is this problem? Most day-to-day problems are probably around a five on this scale!
Connect with others
Everyone likes to spend some time with other people and this fulfils basic human needs to feel part of a group and to feel liked and respected. Even though you may feel you are too busy to spend time with your friends and family, doing so will help you realise that you matter to others and this builds your resilience.
It’s also true that a problem shared is a problem halved – things never seem so bad when you talk to other people about them!
(‘How to get on with anyone” C Stothart.