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Caroline Bougie

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Increasing Your Self-Esteem- 6 Ways To Stand Up To Your Inner Critic & Become More Confident!!!

Updated: Jun 5, 2019


Years ago, I remember taking a Group Dynamics class in University. We had to take part in a lot of Group Activities which required me to speak up and contribute to the conversations and the planning of our Projects. Well, up to that point, I had had a difficult time speaking up and did not have the confidence to do it often. I just did the bare minimum and felt that this was all that I could give of myself. One day, everything changed when my Teacher asked to speak with me. He handed back one of my assignments and told me that I was an outstanding writer and had some unique and very insightful thoughts! He went on to say that I should try and participate in the class more and be part of those verbal exchanges, as I clearly had a lot to say!

My Teacher’s Suggestions were:

1) Raise your hand up at least 2x during In-Class Discussions

2) Try to respond once to other people’s contributions

*He shared that not everyone will agree with me and that was OK. He went on to say that weighing in on things to get varying perspectives is a way for Self-Growth.

This teacher was very encouraging and supportive. He saw that I just needed someone to believe that I could do it; I needed a mentor helping to guide me. That conversation changed my life! I was up to that challenge!!!

What I learned:

*I recognized that I did have a lot to say and that I didn’t have to hide be

hind assignments and my computer.

*I could speak up and speak out!

* I quickly learned that people listened when I spoke. I had found my voice. It had been silent for too long. This perception of myself was inaccurate and untrue. The way I saw myself is not how others saw me.

The example that I depicted above clearly shows that I had low Self-Esteem at the time.

The Definition of Self-Esteem in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is, “A feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities.”

Back then, I do not think that I believed in myself and my abilities enough to speak up and share my thoughts and beliefs. I was very passive and watched others lead and take over conversations. I am so proud of myself for all the work that I have done over the years to overcome the limiting beliefs that I used to have regarding my capabilities.

Over the years, I have been a Guest Speaker at McGill University speaking about Learning Disabilities, have run Groups on a variety of Parenting Topics and Self-Help topics, MC’d countless Events and School Functions, have been a Guest Speaker on a multitude of Topics and the list goes on and on and on…I am very proud of who I am now and I see the amazing journey and transformation that I have made over the years!

It takes Work, Awareness and Action to make a change.

It took a Teacher/Mentor to help shift my beliefs that “Nobody will care what I have to say” and that “What I have to say is not good enough or smart enough”, etc.…. My teacher gave me a Plan, Support and Strategies & Solutions to help me overcome those fears which helped me achieved my GOAL.

We all have a Critical Inner Voice. It is our Worse Enemy. It’s important to identify it, ignore it and not give that voice power.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?

You may have Low Self-Esteem if:

-You are overly critical of yourself. Sometimes, perfectionists fall in this category (Easily frustrated with mistakes)

-You’re obsessing or over-focused on the failures that occurred in the past (Fear of Failure)

-You are a people pleaser, sometimes doing things for others when you may not have time or don’t really want to

-You often compare yourself to others

-You take blame for something when it really isn’t your fault

-Have a hard time saying “No”

-You’re indecisive

-Put others down

-Always saying “I’m sorry”

-Often seeking reassurance, etc.…

Our Inner-Critic really undermines our Self-Esteem & Confidence. That negative Self-Talk influences the decisions we make in relation to our wishes and our abilities to carry out plans. It does interfere with our progress in our lives.

6 WAYS TO STAND UP TO YOUR INNER CRITIC & BECOME CONFIDENT-

1) AWARENESS OF YOUR THOUGHTS-

Remind yourself that these Self-Critical Thoughts are NOT FACTS. They are just THOUGHTS.

What triggers your Negative Self-Talk?

Maybe it’s a person’s tone of voice, the word(s) they’ve used or the feelings that are stirred up in you in a specific situation or when another person is not treating you right- i.e.- feeling ignored, if someone is making you feel like a failure, etc.…

Learn to identify the feeling that you feel when you start having these negative thoughts.

LOOK OUT FOR THE WORDS AND PHRASES YOU TELL YOURSELF- “Always,” “Never”, “Every Time”, “No One”, etc.…

Example: “I will never get a raise” and so forth.

Things are not absolute or black and white. For example, if you don’t do the necessary work to earn a raise, you may not get a raise. But, if you start making small changes in your behavior/actions, then you may very well get a raise! You have the power to change things. Your thoughts and feelings have a direct impact on your actions. Our sub-conscious mind and the messages that we tell our conscious mind will have significant effects on what you end up doing.

2)POSITIVE SELF TALK-

Replace your Negative Thoughts and Beliefs with Positive Thoughts and Beliefs.

Limit your interaction with these limiting beliefs, instead standing up to them and ignoring what they are saying.

Examples of Positive Self-Talk- I am Smart, I am capable of doing this task, etc.…

****Use Positive Self Talk when your thoughts are nagging you & telling you that you cannot do it!

3)PRACTICE- Show Self-Compassion towards yourself. Use Positive Self-Talk. Take ACTION. By practicing, you can overcome your fears and progressively boost your Self-Esteem and Confidence! Just as I illustrated in my situation above, you can get passed your fears and limiting beliefs by Setting a Goal, having a Plan with Actionable Steps, Getting Support and getting someone to hold you accountable. Practicing with a mentor, a teacher, a friend, a Life Coach, etc.…can really help you re-align your beliefs and feelings to match your actions…They can make great Accountability Partners.

4)DO THE OPPOSITE-

If your “Inner Critical Voice” rears its head occasionally, do the Opposite!

If you want to go to the Gym and your inner voice tells you that you can stay home and watch TV, DO THE OPPOSITE. Go to the Gym.

If you want to speak to someone and you don’t think they’d want to talk to you, JUST DO IT!

You just may make a Best Friend. It’s not easy, but taking chances and overcoming these negative self-thoughts, leads us to growth and to a more positive sense of self!

5)SELF-CARE-

When you are feeling down on yourself and those Negative Self-Thoughts come through. Change it up…

*Go for a walk

*Go to the Gym or do at home exercises.

*Get yourself a Massage, Manicure or Pedicure.

*Get your Hair done.

Do something for YOU! Do something that makes you feel that you are worth the time and effort! Because You Are!! Be kind and compassionate towards yourself, just as you are towards others!

Self-Love is key!

6)SUPPORT SYSTEM-

Look for Support. Support can be found with your Friends, Family, Books, Articles, Blogs, Life Coach, Personal Development Courses, Podcasts, Therapists and more. Simply look for your TRIBE. People that make you feel better.

*You can make a change in your Lifestyle(i.e.-Gym) or choose a new Hobby (that will bring you a whole new set of friends and like-minded folks!)

IMPORANT NOTE: If you feel that you are too overwhelmed and are suffering from mental health difficulties, such as Depression, Anxiety or other Mental Health issues, please consult with your doctor and they can direct you to see the correct professional to help you.

In the end, we are all on Life’s Journey. Growth occurs with new found awareness and the willingness to make a change if something doesn’t make you happy. If you’ve noticed that you’d like to be more confident and have higher Self-Esteem, then invest in your Personal Development. You are worth it!

Just take the Challenge!

We are so kind and compassionate to others. Do yourself a favour….be kind and compassionate to yourself too! Treat yourself like you treat others! Remember, this is your story. Every single day, we are writing a New Page in a Chapter from Our Book! If you decide to pivot and change directions because Negative Self-Talk and Low Self-Esteem is no longer working for you, then Bravo…shift and soar in a new direction! Your life will change, and you will be moving towards the person that you were meant to be! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish if you get out of your own way! Your wellness matters!


Caroline Bougie is a Certified Empowerment Life Coach at Inspiration 2 Intention Life Coaching. She also has a background in Special Care Counselling and Early Childhood Education. Caroline works with Moms, Parents and Women in the areas of Self-Esteem, Stress Management, Parenting and Momtrapreneurship. You can contact Caroline at (514)833-6025 or via email at inspiration2intention@gmail.com for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call. Work with Caroline in one of the areas above in her Finding My Way Program. If you are feeling “Stuck” and not sure where to begin, work with Caroline in her Discovering Myself Program! Check out the Website for more details & her other Blogs at www.inspiration2intention.com. Follow on Instagram @https://www.instagram/inspiration2intention/?hl=en & FB @ https://www.facebook.com/Inspiration2IntentionLifeCoaching/?modal=admin_todo_tour

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