How do psychologists boost their own self-esteem? 3 leading experts share their confidence tips that are guaranteed to make them feel better…
Method: Banish the confidence myth
Who uses it: Clinical psychologist and relationship expert, Dr Cecilia d’Felice
The problem: When I was younger, I didn’t feel confident enough to go to university, so I got married instead. I later regretted it, but still put it off.
The solution: Eventually I started with small steps, just doing a few short courses. Then in my early 30s, I finally went to university to study psychology.
I was anxious but thought- I’m just going to get on with it. Even though I was older than the other students and had children, I loved it. I spent the next 10 years studying while the children were at school and after they went to bed, until finally I got my PhD. Now I run a team of 17 people and love my job.
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Method: Be true to your feelings
Who uses it: Psychotherapist and writer, Susie Orbach
The problem: Sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed with work and battle to get anything done.
The solution: Instead of trying to deny the feelings of anxiety, I tell myself, “Okay, accept you’re feeling overwhelmed and just work your way through things step by step”. I try to have a harmonious relationship with whatever I’m feeling, and accept those feelings are legitimate rather than trying to cheat them.
I want to express my feelings, so whenever I have a major challenge, I accept that I might feel scared, but that’s part of what keeps life interesting.
Before going on stage to give a talk to thousands of people, I’ll tell myself, “This is a challenge, it’s scary, it’s exciting, but remember you have lots of things to share with those people.”
The truth is, you won’t build self-confidence if you keep pretending you’re feeling different from how you really are. Your self-esteem can only be high if it’s based on truth.
Method: Detach from yourself as a witness
Who uses it: Psychologist and counsellor, Lynda Field
The problem: In the past, if I didn’t hear back from someone about a work project, I’d be down-hearted.
The solution: Now I step back, look at the situation objectively as a witness and remind myself, “It doesn’t mean I’m no good.” Recently I submitted a proposal to a company about a major project.
I was invited to a meeting but three weeks later, I still hadn’t heard anything. So I detached myself from the situation and thought logically, “Perhaps they didn’t get the funding they needed or it just wasn’t meant to be.”