Building confidence: tips for adults with intellectual disability

23 March 2021

My name is Kasane. K-A-S-A-N-E.

Confidence? Yes, I know that feeling. It’s a feeling I get here - in my heart. It’s a lovely voice in my heart. It tells me to believe in myself and try new things. I love that.

I’m ready to take on a whole new world! Yes, I do have a lot of confidence.

 

People like to talk about this word ‘confidence’ - but what does it mean?

Confidence can mean believing in yourself, being brave, feeling ready to try new things and feeling happy and proud about who you are.

Self-confidence is your belief in how good you are at something, but it’s not a measure of your actual skill.

Confidence is also something that can change. One day you might feel very confident and another day you might not feel very confident at all. This is ok because we have some good news: confidence is something you can build and work on. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog. We are going to give you some tips and ideas on how you can build your confidence.

High confidence feels like:

Low confidence feels like

Proud

Sad

Brave

Scared

Happy

Doubtful

Believing you can do things

Anxious

Positive

Trouble speaking up

Thinking nice things about yourself

Thinking badly about yourself

 

Our tips for building confidence:

1. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things

When it comes to confidence, a willingness to try new things is very important. Trying new things might seem quite scary before you do them, but the feeling after is often a very good feeling. This good feeling can make you feel more confident.

 

2. Adjust your posture and body language

Posture is the way you hold your body when you're sitting or standing. Good posture looks like standing or sitting up straight. Bad posture looks like slouching and hunched backs.

Body language is the movements we do to show how we feel. Positive body language can look like smiling and open palms. Negative body language can look like crossed arms and a frowny face.

Did you know that your posture and body language can have an effect on your confidence?

Changing your posture or body language is one of the easiest ways to give your confidence a boost.

If you are interested in this, you might want to look up a thing called ‘power poses’. It’s where you stand in a very confident pose for a minute or two to boost your confidence.

 

3. Be kind to yourself

It’s always a good idea to be kind to yourself.

That little voice in your head that tells you you’re doing a good or bad job has a lot of power.

Often we are harder on ourselves than we are to the people around us. A good way to think about this is to speak to yourself the way you would speak to your friends.

You can also do affirmations. Affirmations are when you say nice things about yourself out loud. It may feel a bit silly the first few times you do it, but researchers have proven that they can have a big impact.

 

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself to other people often makes us feel sad. If you are always comparing yourself to other people it can make you feel jealous, like you aren’t good enough or unhappy. All comparing yourself does is keep you focused on what you don’t like about your own life or what you don’t have.

It can be very hard to stop comparing yourself to other people. Everyone does it in some way so it’s a very difficult habit to break.

Social media can be very hard for this. People will almost always show only the good parts of their life. If you are finding that you are unhappy after going on social media, you might like to try taking a break from social media.

 

5. Try to stop dwelling on failure and what didn’t go well

Everyone in the world makes mistakes.

By thinking about these all the time it can make you feel sad. Sometimes it even feels like your failures keep playing in your mind. In these moments, one of the best things you can do is remember that everyone makes mistakes and try to focus on the positives.

 

6. Dream big about your future and goals

Goals are great. They give you a long-term vision and short term motivation. A lot of the most confident people are really good at setting goals.

Goals are good because they get us to think positively. When we are setting goals we are thinking about things that we would like to happen, and this can make us happy and excited for the future.

You also get a big boost of confidence when you achieve your goals which is a great thing.

For a little exercise in thinking about your goals and dreaming big, make sure to check out our Imagine What’s Possible Competition. In this competition we are making five people’s dreams come true. Entries close at the end of March, 2021.

A big thank you to our Endeavour Foundation Champion Kasane for being in the image and helping to write this blog.

Contact us to find out how we can support you

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