Confidence is the key to life’s success – whether that success is in business or personal relationships. When you lack confidence, your success will be limited because it takes a certain amount of courage to go after what you really want in life. Sometimes, stress or anxiety may kick in and take away your confidence. Don’t let it. Here are some tips to keep you on the right track.
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Confidence and Success
It’s a widely known fact that confident people are often successful in whatever endeavor they strive to accomplish. When you have confidence, you have the self-assurance that you can take control of your situation or circumstances.
Without confidence, you won’t fare as well in anything that you attempt to do. This is because a lack of confidence can alter the way you make decisions. When you lack confidence, you can decide to handle your life in a way that will rob you of financial gains.
Without confidence, you cannot interact and connect in social situations and competitions. It’s a comparison thing. If you don’t have the confidence that you should have, then when you compare yourself to others or compete against others, you won’t make the kind of moves that you would make if you did have an abundance of confidence.
You won’t make those moves because you won’t truly believe that you can be a success in what you’re trying to do. Many people have found success beyond their wildest dreams because they made bold moves driven by nothing more than the confidence they had.
You’ll see those stories all the time – how people risked everything they owned or even their own safety because they believed that they could start a business or take a solo sailing trip around the world.
Rachel Hollis has written a best-selling book about confidence: Girl, Wash Your Face. It has over 1500 reviews on Amazon is a 4.9 out of 5 rating. Rachel shows you how to stop listening to the lies and to regain your confidence.
A lack of confidence keeps you at the starting line while confidence can have you taking the lead in any life race to win. Confidence gives you that something extra that makes you stand out in the crowd.
That makes the way that you communicate with others stronger or weaker. This is why some people can take charge in a crowd. People aren’t born leaders, they simply have the confidence to trust that they can handle what’s going on.
They believe they have the intelligence, the ability, and the means to accomplish what’s before them. While anyone can develop confidence, there are two things that can impact whether or not you can have this confidence – stress and anxiety.
Stress and Anxiety Are Two Different Things
Stress and anxiety are words that are often mixed up with one another, but they are different. This difference can help you succeed with what you want to do in life.
Stress is a strain that is triggered by a situation or by emotional upheaval. In many instances, stress is a helpful tool to help you get ahead, reach the goals you set, and get what you want out of life.
Whenever stress occurs, it needs to be handled in some way. But how you handle stress is what can either enhance your life or be a weight on your shoulders.
The point of view that a person has when handling stress will color their perception of life. Some people can be more apt to see the worst in people and in life. This is because they’ve conditioned themselves with these reactions and thought patterns.
It’s important that you learn how to condition your response to stress. Then you can make it work for you rather than against you. When you take control of stress, you can make it work for your benefit.
Gina Lake has written a book, From Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner Peace. She gives tips on how to get rid of the stress in your life.
Anxiety is worrying about something that might happen or fretting about the eventual outcome of an event. This is also known as nervousness.
Anxiety comes in different forms. Some types can be severe and require medication and require an individual be under a doctor’s care. These types of anxiety are not as common as trait anxiety. A person with trait anxiety has the kind of personality that causes an anxiety response.
It’s a pattern of actions and thoughts that make the person react to what happens, or what they think will happen. When someone with trait anxiety has to deal with a situation that’s stressful, he or she is going to respond with an increase of emotion.
That person would feel high anxiety, nervousness, fear, and worry, and their body would be tense. The level of anxiety can be different from one person to another. It all depends on how that person can deal with situations or stress that can cause the anxiety to flare.
If two people both have to deal with the same kind of stress, one person will react with anxiety, while the other person won’t. It just depends on the behavioral actions from past circumstances.
Dare: the New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks by Barry McDonagh helps you deal with your anxiety.
How Anxiety Levels Affect Your Ability to Handle Stress
You can experience low anxiety or high anxiety and sometimes, it might fluctuate. You can have periods of your life where your anxiety level is much higher than it normally would be.
Sometimes anxiety is called long-term stress, but this isn’t the case. Anxiety can be an emotional platform that stress lands on. The heavier the stress, the shakier the platform can become.
Since your emotional platform is how you go through life, you want to make sure that you can cope with whatever you have to deal with. If you have a higher anxiety level, it can cause you to have limited ability to cope.
In many cases, this can lead to an overreaction in dealing with situations. But it can also lead to a reaction that’s not strong enough. With this kind of reaction, people tend to close off and find ways to escape from the stress so that they don’t have to deal with whatever is going on.
If you have high anxiety, you’ll find that you often struggle to cope with things that someone with low anxiety can handle with ease.
For example, in someone with high anxiety, having a financial upheaval could cause a lot of fear and many sleepless nights. In someone with low anxiety, it doesn’t – because they have the self-assurance that they’re going to be able to take care of whatever needs to be done.
Another problem that you might find yourself facing when you have anxiety is a shift in the way that you think. This shift is critical to how you handle both your personal and professional life.
When you have high levels of anxiety, it can lead to negative thinking. This negative thinking is part of a cycle that also involves negative emotions.
The two are closely linked. If you’re wondering what negative thinking has to do with confidence and your ability to get ahead in life and reach your goals, the answer is that it has everything to do with it.
The cycle of negative thinking and negative emotions that stem from anxiety impacts your confidence. It affects it to the point that it starts to erode your beliefs, the self-assurance that you’re as smart as or as capable as the next person with handling a circumstance, a job project, having a great relationship, and so on.
When you have high anxiety, you’ll believe fewer positive things about yourself and your ability, because you’ll think less of yourself and your ability and be focused on all of the drawbacks of a situation.
Tips on Lowering Anxiety Levels
If you do have anxiety, it can be brought down to a level that works to your benefit rather than against you. There are two basic ways that you can lower your anxiety:
- Bring it down before you actually have to deal with anything.
- Learn how to lower it in the midst of a situation when your level is rising.
What can you do to lower anxiety levels?
Whatever is going on, when you feel your anxiety level starting to rise, take a timeout. Even if it’s for a few minutes, it will still help. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose.
Slowly let the breath go through your mouth. This will calm your thoughts. It has a physical effect on your body by calming your racing heart and releasing any jumpiness that you might feel.
You can also practice any form of meditation. Meditation, especially when it’s done at the height of feeling anxious, can calm the mind. Some people choose to play a few minutes of a meditation CD that offers positive or affirming thoughts.
Guided Meditation for Relaxation, Stress Relief, and Anxiety with Katrina Repman is a good choice. You can even listen for free if you have Amazon Prime.
You can also choose a saying that helps center you and gives you a sense of peace.
Aromatherapy has also been proven to be beneficial when it comes to releasing the tightness of anxiety within your body. There are specific scents that can have positive effects on someone who’s dealing with anxiety.
Having a diffuser is a great way to have essential oils. We use the InnoGear Diffuser, one in the den and one in our bedroom. I like using ylang ylang and a stress-relief blend (with bergamot, patchouli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and grapefruit) when I am experiencing anxiety.
Just like aromatherapy, music can relieve anxiety. Music can also help alter negative thinking when you use positive, upbeat music to help you lower your anxiety levels.
Exercise can also help. Whenever you exercise, your body releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can lift your mood and calm anxiety. Even just five minutes of exercise can restore calmness.
Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times, written by Judith Hanson Lasater, has tips for different positions that will help with stress. It includes instructions and pictures so you can follow along.
You may have heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. There’s a lot of truth behind that statement. Laughter is good for the body, and it’s especially good for dealing with anxiety.
When you need to lower your anxiety level, watch something funny on television or read a funny book. Get the anxiety out. You can release the anxiety by not holding onto the emotions that are causing your levels to go up or to stay up.
Another way that you can lower your anxiety is by journaling. You can write out what you’re feeling and why. Detail how it makes you feel and take note of any similar circumstances that you may have dealt with in the past.
It can help to look back over what you have gone through. then you can see that you were able to deal with it and move on. Avoid things that trigger a higher anxiety level in you.
For some people, this means avoiding things that are shocking or upsetting. This might be the evening news or people who always seem to have a doom and gloom outlook on life that ends up bringing you down.
How to Wield Stress as a Great Tool When You Encounter It
With all of the articles and books on combating stress, you might get the idea that any kind of stress is bad for you any time that you encounter it and that’s simply not true. Stress can actually help you in many areas of your life.
When everything is running smoothly, the brain tends to think along one particular path, and it will often return to the same way of thinking. But when you’re stressed, it can stimulate your brain to think in a different direction.
When this happens, you can end up discovering a better way to handle a situation or a new solution to a problem. If you’re someone who has a lower level of anxiety, stress can give you a boost in confidence.
You’ll feel more assured that you’re capable, and as a result, this will show up in your actions. Stress can cause you to act in ways that create opportunities for you that you may not normally have.
For example, if you’re stressed about needing to earn more money, and a job opens up, stress may be the tool that you can use to push yourself to try to land that job you want. Stress can override your inability to act if you struggle with wondering what you should or shouldn’t do.
Kelly McGonigal has written a book, The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good For You, and How to Get Good at It. She shows how to make stress work for you instead of against you.
Stress can be a great motivator. It can help keep you sharp and can keep your mind on what you want to accomplish. When your life is going along smoothly with minimal stress, you might not work as long or as hard to get what you want.
Stress can give you an enthusiasm that drives you to reach outside your normal limitations. You’ll find that you’ll put yourself out of your normal comfort zone and do more to achieve what you want than you do when you’re not dealing with stress.
You can use stress as a tool to see possibilities rather than impossibilities. It will cause you to concentrate and focus your energies on accomplishing tasks and handling things that you might not normally do.
Whenever you experience stress, instead of it being a negative thing, ask yourself how you can make it work for you. Look for the silver lining and grow your confidence that you’ll be able to handle it.
Stress doesn’t have to derail you. You can still achieve the confidence you need to get things done.
To learn more about some of the topics we discussed, check out the following posts:
7 Healthy Methods of Coping with Chronic Stress
11 Unhealthy Methods of Coping with Chronic Stress
4 Ways to Boost Focus and Concentration
What You Can Do to Limit Chronic Stress and Loss of Cognitive Abilities
Do You Have Anxiety? It Could Be Affecting Your Sleep
7 Rules to Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep