• Ellen Shilling

How can you increase your self confidence?

Conquer your fear with action.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.

When you dare to face the things that scare you,

you open the door to freedom.

Most of your obstacles will melt away, if,

instead of cowering before them

or procrastinating about dealing with them,

you make up your mind to walk boldly through them.

Don’t be afraid to take the steps you need to take

to make those positive changes in your life.

To fight fear, you must act.

Waiting, putting off, or postponing

only increases fear.

If you understood enough, you would never be afraid.


When was the last time that you were afraid of something? It could be as simple as being afraid to talk to someone new, speak up in a meeting, ringing an old friend or starting a new hobby. (Anxiety is also fear, just less intense).

How did you feel after you let fear make your decision? Not good I’d say. Did it diminish your belief in yourself and you self confidence? Did this lead to you avoiding other things, perhaps you thought that as you couldn’t do the last thing that you wouldn’t be able to do this one? I once worked with someone who had a huge fear of water, once she combatted this fear she felt on top of the world, she believed that she could do anything and indeed she went on to make many other positive changes in her life. She thought well if I can do this, I can do anything!

If we continually avoid things that we’re afraid of it can lead us, over time, to feeling inadequate, not good enough, unable to cope with a result that we could become isolated, have less self confidence we feel helpless to do anything about it, even if we wanted to.

Fear slowly chips away at you and it robs you of your choices.

However, can you remember a time when you did something that made you feel nervous or fearful? When you combated that emotion, felt afraid but did it anyway. Did you feel good about yourself? I’m sure you did! I’m sure you were feeling good about yourself for a while after and maybe that even gave you the confidence to go on and tackle other challenges in your life.

Fear does have some positives, of course it does. We need healthy fear as it stops you from walking down a laneway on your own late at night, or putting your hand on a hot iron. It also makes us prepare for meetings, presentations and interviews, etc. So we need to find a way of holding onto that healthy fear but to let go of the debilitating self-esteem robbing fear.

The solution: Feel it, acknowledge it, listen to it and then take action.


  1. Spend a couple of minutes with the fear and think about what it’s trying to tell you. Recognise it as an emotion, and all emotions pass. (for more information on the idea that thoughts and emotions pass, see my other Blog post entitled “Dealing with emotions”)

  2. Rate your fear out of 10 (10/10 being the worst). Now where in your body are you holding it? Perhaps its in your back, or your stomach, or head or everywhere? Spend a few moments observing it and write down your observations.

  3. Ask yourself if the worst happened, would I be ok? Would I survive? Ok if you joined a new group and no one spoke to you, it wouldn’t be pleasant or comfortable and you probably wouldn’t go back. But would you be ok? Yes, you’d live.

  4. Go back to where you#re feeling it in your body & ask yourself what you would like to replace it with (eg peace, freedom, a colour or happiness, etc) then tap approximately 25 times on each of the below points,starting with the “beginning of eyebrow”. Breath deeply while you tap and use two fingers on each tapping point. Concentrate on the colour or emotion or a pleasant scene in nature while you tap. Use both hands for the beginning of the eyebrow, outside edge, under eye, collar bones, under arms and one hand (either left or right) for under nose, centre chin, and the points on the hand (again it doesn’t matter whether you use left or right).

  5. Re-rate the emotion. If it’s more than a 1/10 repeat from step 1 until it goes down to this number.

Then take whatever action you need to take in order to deal with the situation in the best possible way. One small step at a time.

For example:

Mary** was looking to change job, but whenever she even thought about it she was overcome with fear. She felt trapped in her job and she knew that if she didn’t get out soon it would start affecting her health.

During our sessions we took some time with that feeling and once she started listening to it and asking it some questions, she realised that she was so afraid that if she got another job it would end up being exactly the same environment. A case of the “grass not always greener.”

She then stayed with the fear and imagined the worst possible outcome – that she’d have to move again. Once she saw that she realised that wouldn’t really be so bad, the area she worked in had plenty of opportunities in a lot of different companies. The feeling of fear lessened.

Next we looked at what her current circumstances were, what it was about her job that she didn’t like and what she did. She soon saw that she could market herself in a particular way that she would be in a position where she would be doing a lot more of what she enjoyed about her job and a lot less of what she didn’t. That feeling of fear was diminishing.

We worked through each layer of her fear (with Life coaching, Kinesiology and Reiki) and by the end of 3 sessions she’d learnt so much from it that she was excited to get her cv edited and sent off to recruitment agencies! She was grateful for the fear in the end.

Fear is our teacher, its there to tell us something. The next time you hear it, take some time with it and see what it has to say. Do this regularly and you will improve your self esteem and self confidence dramatically.

As the famous book by Susan Jeffers says – Feel the fear and do it anyway.



get in touch

7 Carysfort Avenue,


Dublin, Ireland 

Eircode - A94 K6Y5

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+ 353 86 682 4401