How to Improve Self-Confidence: A House Building Metaphor
Like many people, I suffered a marriage breakup. This was over 30 years ago, and I am happily remarried for the past 25 years. It was not the breakup that destroyed what little self-confidence I had though, the breakup was welcomed I can promise you that. It was the years of mental abuse that led up to the final split that made me feel worthless.
Rather than stay the shattered soul I felt I was, I chose to pick myself up and start to rebuild my self-confidence from the bottom upwards. When I think back now to the main steps I took to rebuild my self-confidence, it occurs to me that building a house is a great metaphor for the way I built up my self-confidence over the years. Let me explain what I mean.
Planning and Vision
The very first thing to do when building a house is, of course, to decide what materials are required and what our new home will look like. So, we have plans drawn up and approved. We are aware of the work that needs to be carried out and the resources we will need. Building a solid house to be proud of is not an overnight venture. We need to have a vision of the result we are aiming for and be prepared for any obstacles that may crop up.
Similarly, when we are working on improving self-confidence, we also need to take stock of what needs to be done. We need a plan. What are the things about our life that we need to change? Without a strong desire and vision, we won’t stay motivated. This is where the question ‘Why’ comes in. We need to stay clear on why we want to change, what is the benefit, and what will be different.
As with building a house, we must be willing to put in the hard graft. We should make plans and then follow them through, step by step.
Clearing the land
To build our house, we must first clear the land, removing all the rubbish, weeds, and rocks that are in the way. Our next job is to level the ground ready to dig out the foundations. Similarly, in our own healing and confidence building, we must strip away all our mental weeds; these are the toxic and negative thoughts that roll around in our heads every day. We need to eliminate those blocks and let go of our limiting beliefs – the things we tell ourselves that hold us back. The ‘I can’t do that’ and the ‘I’m not good enough’ type of mental chatter.
Build a strong foundation
Once we have cleared the ground, we can then lay the foundations so that we have a strong surface to build from. We need these firm foundations to hold our house in place, even during the stormiest of weather.
Self-love is our own strong foundation; it’s the key to building our self-confidence and the cement that holds us together. With this in place, we can get back up again after being knocked down. We need to learn to love ourselves, to be our own best friend, and to know that we are enough, have always been enough, and will always be enough.
Start the building work
Now we can start building our house, brick by brick.
The ‘bricks’ in my case were the things that really helped me to build my self-confidence, such as meditation, gratitude, kindness, and journaling. Really getting to know me as a person.
It is amazing how much we can help ourselves by doing what life coaches call ‘the inner work’. This too is part of our self-love and self-care. By learning to understand ourselves, we realize that we are just humans with nothing to prove, nothing to hide, and nothing to feel guilty over. We all have strengths, and we all have flaws, this is what makes us human.
Now you have a home
Once we have built our house, we can move in and live in it. But, of course, we will need to undertake ongoing maintenance.
Likewise, we need to keep working on our self-improvement so that we become stronger, more empowered, and ready to take on any challenge. As part of being human, we can continue to learn and grow until our dying breath.
Building your own home takes time and effort, the same is true for building your self-confidence. You begin with a clear vision of who and what that looks and feels like. Just as a great house can’t be built overnight, there is no quick fix to building self-confidence and self-love. It takes focus, determination, and persistence. Therefore, it can be a good idea to have someone to hold you accountable and support you as you work on your goals and actions, rather like a project manager in house building. This could be a life coach, friend, partner, or family member.
Always remember that each small step you take in the right direction can lead you to becoming a strong self-confident person.