When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Is this the real you, or just another visual cue that will prompt your subconscious to deliver a pre-programmed perception of you, a product of past experiences and conditioning?

It is not so much what we see as how we see that commands our feelings of self-worth. If we have become habituated to seeing ourselves as bad or inadequate then we will perpetuate that perception of self and project it into the world with all the sorry consequences for our quality of life.

The inner image needs to be changed to one that is beneficial and cognisant of all that is good and positive, allowing us to project into the world a person who is confident and aware of their attributes, capabilities and capacities. Expecting that all will go wrong or that people will not like us appears through our demeanour as an invitation for those things to happen. Changing the way we speak to ourselves changes our brain chemistry and our emotional state. It is not easy. One day of self-compassion is not going to overturn a lifetime of practising self-criticism and self-attack. It is a life practice that needs constant work.

Confidence is like a home you build for yourself. When you go somewhere new, you must build a new one. But when we do, we're not starting from scratch. Every time we step into the unknown and try something new, experience that vulnerability, make mistakes, get through them and build some confidence, we move on to the next chapter with evidence that we can get through tough challenges. We bring with us the courage we need to take that leap of faith again and again.

One of the biggest misconceptions about becoming self-confident is that it means living fearlessly. The key to building confidence is quite the opposite. It means we are willing to let fear be present as we do things that matter to us. Being confident is not the same as being comfortable. When we establish some self-confidence in something, it feels good. We want to stay there and hold on to it. But if we only go where we feel confident, then confidence never expands beyond that. If we only do the things we know we can do well, fear of the new and unknown tends to grow.

The only way confidence can grow is when we are willing to be without it. When we can step into fear and sit with the unknown, it is the courage to do so that builds confidence from the ground up. Courage comes first, and confidence comes second. This doesn't mean that we need to overwhelm ourselves with worst-case scenarios. We have to develop a daily pattern of stepping out of our comfort zone and into fear, sitting with it, and stepping back out, giving ourselves time to recover and replenish ready for the next day. Start with small changes.

It might be beneficial to direct your attention towards the uplifting, supportive, and caring self-talk while gaining confidence. Act as your own coach rather than your worst critic.


As a hypnotherapist, I can assist clients in implanting and reiterating positive images deep into their subconscious, which will contribute to the creation of their final self-perception. This final self-perception is crucial to our capacity to successfully engage in positive and constructive interactions with the outside world.