12 Sep 18

This blog article first appeared on Counsellor Sam and has been republished with full permission.

Confidence will help you reach your goals, but you can’t just switch on self-confidence , it needs to be built up over time. Here are some steps you can take to improve your confidence.

Step 1: Recognise and challenge negative thoughts

Do you believe your own thoughts, without question? Most of us do. After all, why would your own mind lie to you? The truth is thoughts are not facts. Sometimes your train of thought can get stuck in a negative loop that takes you nowhere. You need to stop that train and hop off.

Recognising and changing negative thoughts can help you improve your confidence. Practice speaking to yourself in encouraging ways. Talk to yourself in the same way you would talk to a friend to convince them to change if they were being negative about themselves. You should treat yourself just as kindly.

Do you often get bogged down in negative thinking? Ask yourself:

  • Can I think differently about my situation?
  • Do I hold myself to an unreasonable standard?
  • Am I only focusing on the negatives?

If so, work on challenging yourself to take a more optimistic outlook. There are resources online that can help, such as this TED talk.

Step 2: Practice positive self-care

Building your confidence will empower you in every aspect of your life. Here are some small changes you can make to help you feel more confident:

  • Make a list of accomplishments, no matter how small and reflect on each achievement. For example, if you spent the morning doing the gardening, spend some time admiring your work.
  • Add to your list of accomplishments regularly by setting small, achievable goals. For example, “Today I’ll read some information online about what options there are to get help. Tomorrow, I’ll read some stories about other people’s recovery on the forum.” Achieving small goals will help you prepare for the big ones, like reaching out for support from someone you trust, or a professional counsellor.
  • Practice self-care. You could take a few extra minutes to groom yourself before you go out. Dress a little smarter and walk a little taller. You deserve to have a good day.

Step 3: Reach out

You are on a challenging journey, but you don’t have to do it alone:

  • Surround yourself with caring people. If people around you are supportive, you are more likely to feel that you deserve to be supported. The people who love you want to help you. If there’s something they can do for you, tell them.
  • Seek support from professionals. It can be daunting to approach a professional gambling counsellor for the first time, but it is worth taking the chance. You can phone a free Gambling Help counsellor 24/7 on 1800 858 858.
  • Check out forums — they are a safe and supportive space to connect with others who understand what you’re going through.

If you’re ready to speak to a counsellor, call 1800 858 858 to speak to a Gambling Help counsellor. You’ll speak confidentially with a trained counsellor who can share techniques to help you take control of your gambling. Add making the call to your list of accomplishments!

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