What is stopping you from living your best life?
If it is confidence, the good news is that confidence can be tapped into, built further, stimulated and used to help you take the next steps in your professional or private life. In this article we are going to answer the question… How to be more confident?
Even if you think you are not confident, I know you already are in many aspects of your life. However, you may just have lost sight of it and have focused on the parts of your life where your confidence doesn’t kick in just yet. There are many things you do on a daily basis that requires a level of confidence in yourself, even simple things like getting on the train, cooking or reading this article.
What I mean is that we are so full of resources we don’t know about: some of them we have simply had a glance of or we haven’t been able to connect with along our life path.
Confidence is a life-long learning process: some of it comes from our personality or upbringing, but it is also shaped by our experiences and events and how we cope with them. Over time and through repetition, you become better at dealing with different types of situations. This gives you more confidence in your abilities and your inner potential. Even situations you are unfamiliar with can become less daunting when you feel secure in yourself and in what you can do.
Fear is a strong emotion that often stops you from living your best life and that can cloud your judgement. It can stop you from even attempting to try something new and you may decide to avoid it altogether. You can learn to harness this emotion, dare to be yourself and even dare to fail. You can dare to open yourself up to new opportunities in your life.
How Sophrology improves your confidence
If you are not naturally confident, there are ways you can build confidence through Sophrology.
Sophrology is a dynamic relaxation technique to bring mind and body in balance and tune into our inner resources, one being our ability to be confident. Founded by Professor Alfonso Caycedo in 1960, Sophrology is the result of years of studies into Eastern wisdom and Western science including psychology, Buddhism and Japanese Zen. The aim of Sophrology is to bring awareness and improve quality of life through developing your consciousness. It is done through a simple practice for body and mind, where we learn to connect deeply through relaxation, breathing, visualisation, and simple movement.
There are many Sophrology exercises that can help us reach a new level of confidence. For example, we use specific relaxation and focus practices to calm the mind, allowing ourselves to let go of the tensions and negative beliefs we have about ourselves. Then through simple moves and breathing exercises, we learn to connect more with our body sensations and this is where a big part of our confidence can be stimulated. You can’t fight a lack of confidence by telling yourself to be confident. It won’t work especially in stressful situations or when interacting with people.
Confidence is part of our DNA as humans and it sits somewhere deep in our body and mind. During the practice, with the help of positive visualisations and our creative minds in a relaxed body, we can reconnect with what confidence feels like, step-by-step. Confidence feels good, confidence feels empowering, confidence allows us to dream big and set out intentions in line with our deepest values and aspirations. Confidence is within us and is dying to be rediscovered and emerge through our consciousness. Once you have felt it for long enough in the dynamic relaxation state, it will naturally kick in during your daily activities or for specific situations you have prepared for through your practice.
Quick confidence boost… on the spot
Once you have started reconnecting with your confidence through the practice, Sophrology has simple tools that act as a quick and efficient stimulator of your resources on the spot such as exercises like the Reflex Sign.
Through your Sophrology practice you can train your brain to associate a physical movement with a positive sensation like feeling calm and confident. Then because you created these links in the brain between a specific hand movement (reflex sign) and a specific state of mind (calm and confidence) you can activate your confidence on the spot through your gesture. More can be found in my book ‘The Life Changing Power of Sophrology’.
Confidence Building Exercises & Techniques
Abdominal breathing is a quick and easy way to become more centred. When you feel centred you become more self-assured and calmer.
Find a comfortable chair, sit and close your eyes. Place your hands on your belly button. Inhale and expand your tummy; exhale and let the tummy come back to position. After 10 repetitions, take pause and relax letting your breath unfold naturally. You can repeat this exercise again and maybe add a focus word for your in breath, for example, ‘confidence’. Breathe in a sense of confidence and let it permeate all through your body as you exhale.
You can work with your Sophrologist to help achieve your goals through a series of visualisation exercises. You can learn to anchor positive sensations from previous experiences to future scenarios or the present moment. During a Sophrology session, you get the opportunity to connect with your body and experience positive feelings that you can carry with you for the rest of the day.
In a relaxed sitting position, close your eyes and think of a successful event from your past. Relive it in your mind and body memory. Take in all the details: sensations, emotions, colours, smells, sounds. You can choose to anchor these feelings to a precise gesture, for example pressing your thumb and index finger together, so that, each time you do this gesture again you can summon the same pleasant sensations.
Your Daily Dose of Confidence using Sophrology
Think about your Sophrology practice as your daily ‘fix’ to get a boost of energy, a time for reflection and a moment of calm. Tap into the confident you when you need to ask for a pay rise, have a difficult conversation with a family member or give an important work presentation.
You can also find more inspiration in the book, ‘The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology’.