You are probably wondering if it is even possible to boost your confidence when feeling depressed. But if you are reading this article, it is because you want to try. So I am going to share with you the keys I give to my coaching clients so that you can do this yourself at home.
Believe it or not, there is a science to confidence, and it is essential to understand it in order to boost your confidence when you are feeling low. But before we dive in, let’s just remind ourselves of the link between confidence and depression.
The link between confidence and depression
From my experience, depression comes with a nasty inner voice that is constantly criticizing you: “you are not good enough to progress in your career”, “you are too fat to be loved”, “you are such an idiot, how could you do this!” and so on. This is what my inner voice says, yours probably says something different but you get the gist. This inner voice attacks your confidence all day long.
The good news are:
- it isn’t you, it is the depression; and
- you can do something about it.
The more you work on your confidence, the quieter this nasty inner voice will become. It may take time, but if you are consistent, you will get results.
Now it is important to note that we all have a different story. Some of the negative beliefs we hold about ourselves are deeply rooted into our childhood. The keys I am offering work. I have used them, and I know many people who have too and got excellent results. However, if you are struggling to make progress on your own, you might want to consider some professional support (such as therapy or other alternative therapies that I explore for you on my YouTube Channel).
The pillars of confidence
Surface confidence is the way you portray yourself in front of others. This is all about how you hold yourself, the way to speak to others. Basically it’s your charisma.
Now if you haven’t already noticed this, observe the body language of someone who is confident versus someone who is feeling depressed.
The person who is feeling down will most likely hunch her back (closed body posture), touch her hands or cover them with her clothes. Ever seen a girl stretching her jumper sleeves to cover her fisted hands? That’s the look. You can see it on her face; her eyes are sad, and a mouth doesn’t smile. Her voice will be quieter than normal too. And she might fidget a lot.
Now for the person who is feeling confident and assured. This woman will stand tall, chest open. She will use her hands to talk and do large gestures. She won’t be fidgeting. Instead, she will firmly hold her space, feet on the ground. She isn’t scared of taking space; in case she enjoys being the centre of attention.
To see a few practical tips on how to improve your surface confidence through body language watch this video from Blush with me-Parmita, Photographer and Image Coach:
We have discussed biofeedback before. In a nutshell when you take a more confident posture, you will trick your brain in thinking that you are more confident. It is literally magic 😊 and this one is a very fast way to boost your confidence when feeling depressed.
Lifestyle confidence is the confidence you get from the things you do and love in your life.
For example, I love literature and even though I do not have any literature degree (I just went to Law School twice…), I read a fair amount (and read a lot when I was a teenager) so I am confident that I can hold my own in a discussion about literature. In fact, unless you are also a book lover, you probably do not want to start a conversation about the French writers of the 60s and 70s with me because it will last for hours!
- Fun exercise to increase your lifestyle confidence
Make a list of all of the things that you always want to try and never did. It could be salsa, singing, painting, mountain biking, you name it. Then you pick one thing that you could start within the next few days and you make time for it.
The first time you do it, whether it is in a class, a group or on your own, you might feel shy or awkward but the second time, you will feel a little more comfortable. If you are consistent, after a couple of months, you will feel a lot more comfortable. And this is how you build confidence in a specific area of your life 😊
The most efficient way long term, but also the hardest way, to boost your confidence when feeling depressed is to work on your core confidence. This topic is so vast we could write an entire book on it but for the purpose of today, let’s just discuss the basics.
One thing we are master at, especially when we feel down, is beating ourselves up for things we have done or not done in the past. This isn’t very helpful. The past is gone; we can’t go back and change it so if we don’t want our past to prevent us from living our present, we need to let it go.
The best way to do this is to forgive ourselves every day for our mistakes so we can move forward. I found the best way to do this is through journaling. Every evening before bed, spend some time thinking about your day and forgive yourself for anything that has gone wrong.
Most of us are great at keeping the promises we give to others but not so good at keeping the promises we make to ourselves. And this is how we slowly erode the trust we have in ourselves.
The way to turn this around is to make a conscious decision that going forward, we will keep the promises we make to ourselves. For example, when I decide that I will go to the gym 3 times I week, I make it a priority and I make it happen no matter what. This is how you re-build trust in yourself (and get fit 😉).
There are certain people in our life who can do no wrong. We love them no matter what they do. For me it is my niece and my nephews. I absolutely adore them, and I will always forgive them. They are loved un-conditionally.
When we are able to give ourselves this kind of love, this is when we achieve true core confidence. When you are able to see that you are just a human being doing your best, and that even if sometimes you get it wrong, you are still worthy of love, you know you are loving yourself unconditionally. I wish we all did by the way, because the world would be a better place if we could see it through this lens.
5 Unbeatable Ways To Boost Your Confidence When Feeling Depressed – key take aways
- Work on your body language to appear more confident and you will feel more confident through the magic of biofeedback
- Boot your lifestyle confidence by learning something new or starting an activity that you always wanted to try
- Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes
- Learn to trust yourself again
- Give yourself unconditional love (just because you are worth it)
Try these simple hacks and let me know how you get on
Have you noticed the impact of confidence on your anxiety or depression? What has worked well for you? I’d love to hear your stories. Let me know in the comments.
“This article is part of the “Self-Confidence” Blog carnival organised by The Coffee o’clock Blog I really like this blog; here is my favourite one “How to be happy for someone else’s success and shut out your negative thoughts“.
And remember, happiness is a choice, and you are in charge!