Self confidence is one of those things that I think everyone wants to feel. We all want to be confident in our looks, and especially in our doings. Sometimes it can feel like a constant upward battle trying to build a solid foundation of confidence, to then have a simple thought of ours knock us right back down.
It is said to be true that the human mind thinks upwards of 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. Break that down even further and that’s about 35 thoughts per minute. That’s a lot of information passing through your brain in one day.
We think about what we need to do today, we get hung up on things we’ve done in the past. We think about tomorrow and the further future, we think about other people, we think about obligations, we think about fun things, we think about ideas. A constant loop of happy/sad/frustrating/fearful/angry/anxious/exciting thoughts. Take a second and think about the majority of your thoughts. Are they in support your self confidence? or do they neglect your self confidence? It could be one or the other, or an even mix of both. Ask yourself not to be judgemental, just to better understand where your thoughts are leading you.
Now in the event our thoughts are unsupportive, the one thing that keeps this struggle rolling is the idea that we are our thoughts. Our thoughts exist within us, but are in fact separate from us. Out of 70,000 thoughts in a day, not all of them are true, and through our awareness we can determine what is a true thought, vs what is an untrue thought. I’ll get to this in a bit.
The human brain is a very hard working tool. It likes to analyze, predict, construct, & create all from the information we take in from a variety of sources every second. This is interesting because if you think about it, what we allow into our awareness literally shapes our worldview. So if all you’re seeing is negative/unfortunate situations or interpretations, you’re probably going to view the world and everything in it as negative and unfortunate and you may contribute in that way. BUT on the flip side this means that if we can adjust what we’re giving, it will shape our situations and interpretations to be more positive. And let’s be real, things feel pretty peaceful & content when we can see the bright side of things.
To be fully aware of yourself, you have to be able to see your thoughts as a separate piece from you and journaling is one of the best ways to do so.
How can journaling build self confidence?
I was told this quote once and it has stuck with me since the first time I heard it, so I want to share it with you.
“I separate myself, from myself, so I can know myself”
If you’re more of a visual learner like myself, I had to try to picture an example to make sense of this – here’s what I came up with. Remember as a child, if you’ve ever had an imaginary friend – you always had the best friendship and you were so comfortable to tell them anything because there was never any judgements and you could see things a bit more clearly to be able to give the best advice? Be this person, be your own best friend. The BEST best friend you could have, the one that unconditionally loves you and is there for you no matter what. Now of course it’s also good to have support from good friends outside of yourself, but be your #1 always.
A journal is a great place to write out these thoughts for you to see, for you to observe and learn from. To get everything out to a place that exists outside of just yourself.
Realistically, you don’t even have to write in a journal. You can type in your notes app on your phone, you can send yourself text messages, you can speak it into Google docs or your voice memos. You can find another phone app that is suitable to keep track of things OR you can even shift your perspective to that of a bff when you’re simply thinking *(Although, sometimes it is better to get it out somewhere other than staying in your mind)*. It can be whatever you want it to be, just stay observing.
Remember earlier where I said that not all of our thoughts are true? Say, for example: you text your friend and they don’t answer you for quite a while and you start to become a little upset because you think that they’re ignoring you or don’t want to speak to you; when really they’re just spending time with their family or something. You got yourself all worked up over a thought that wasn’t even true! Banking on this thought in the first place sets us up for a whole cycle of worry as you’ll begin to think that about more than one person, or you’ll start acting out of worry or become a bit too overbearing because, well, you don’t want to be ignored right?
This can easily be worked through either internally in our mind, or outwardly into our journal or voice memo or wherever feels best.
If you start to become upset or disrupted by a thought; ask yourself:
- Is this true?
- Do I know this to be an absolute fact?
- What could be more true than this thought?
- Who am I without this thought?
& set it free.
I’ll use this on the example I used previously.
So, I send a text and I don’t hear back for a while. I think they’re ignoring me.
Is it true that I’m being ignored? I can’t say for sure.
Do I know for an absolute fact that I’m being ignored? Nope!
What could be more true? They’re busy, don’t have their phone on them, are taking some time to themselves, are working, doing chores, spending uninterrupted time with another person, at the gym, listening to music, etc.
Who am I without this thought? Worry free. I’m able to put my phone down without constantly checking for a reply, or worrying about what they’re doing. I am at peace. I trust they will get back to me when they can. I can move on.
This is just an example, but do you see how this can be applied to majority of our thoughts and how easily you can become at peace with them? How you can drop the fear and worry, and feel trusting & confident instead?
Our brain likes to make up or predict certain things to confirm our beliefs. So if waaaay deep down/subconsciously you feel like you aren’t worthy of time or attention from others, do you see how your brain can make up an idea that isn’t even true, just to try to confirm your belief. This is something called conformational bias; I’ve talked about that before in my post about developing self love.
So simply being aware of the behind the scenes works of the brain, it’s easier for us to work with ourselves, instead of against ourselves in order to find peace.
Below I’ve listed 10 journal prompts to help build your self awareness and find more peace with your thoughts. These are great for beginner journalists, but can be used by anyone 🙂
10 Journal Prompts to Build Self Confidence & Encourage Inner Peace
- What do I need more of in my life?
- What do I need to let go of?
- What does success mean to me?
- What do I love most about myself?
- What makes me feel truly alive?
- What do I need to forgive myself for?
- How can I show myself more love?
- What does my ideal day look like? How can I achieve this?
- Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like that this person has?
- What am I most afraid of? (then go through the cycle of truth questions from above)
The cool thing about these prompts is we don’t have to do them just once and forget about them. We can ask these weekly, monthly, or even daily if you really want to be in the know of yourself.
Do what feels best to you.
And as always, you got this.