Has this ever happened to you? You're beginning a new project, or considering beginning a new project. It may be a trip you're planning to take, a purchase
you're considering, or a relationship that you'd like to embark upon. Just when you've nearly made up your mind to begin this new project, you hear a distinct,
and far too familiar little voice inside your head.

"What? You, do this? Are you serious? You can't do that! You're not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, popular enough, etc, etc."

Suddenly, that niggling doubt has shattered your hope, your dream, your idea, and you don't have enough self-confidence to reclaim your enthusiasm. So...
you give up.

It happens to all of us... there are plenty of situations where I simply can't find the self-confidence to follow through. This lack of follow-through,
in turn, often leads me down the road of anger, frustration, and even depression.

So what steps can we take to gain, restore, and / or enhance our self-confidence, and silence that nagging voice of doubt and derision? Here are five tips
that I use in my own life, that I hope will be helpful to you, as well.

1. Find a creative outlet. Is there a hobby you'd like to take up... perhaps a sport, a musical instrument, sewing, cooking, etc? Even if you aren't good
at it now, the more time and effort you invest in something you enjoy, the better you're likely to become at doing it well! And, the better you become
at doing the thing you love, the more your self-confidence grows! For instance, when I was a little girl, I desperately wanted to learn to whistle. It
was something I enjoyed doing, but I couldn't do it well at all, to begin with. But, with practice, I eventually mastered whistling, and became very confident
in doing it. It's a simple example, but the idea can be applied to many other situations, also.

2. Find a support group. It often helps to have a supportive group of friends and / or family members to talk to and confide in. There's nothing more special
than a kind or encouraging word to boost one's self-confidence. Another example from my childhood can apply here. Once, as a kid of about eight or nine,
I was asked to sing at a church gathering. There were several other singers scheduled to sing before me, and it was very late before my turn came. I was
sleepy and distracted, and... I forgot the words to one of the verses of my song. I felt very disappointed, but people told me afterwards that, despite
my memory slip, they still greatly enjoyed my song. This made me feel a little better, and served as an encouragement to me. The words of a kind and supportive
person can do wonders to lift one's spirits, and build one's confidence.

3. Fill your life with inspiration! Watching the news can be very grim, indeed, and reading the newspapers can be just as grim. Instead of devoting every
night to the news, why not bring a little inspiration into your evenings? Find a book that looks particularly inspiring, watch an inspiring movie like
"Field of Dreams" or "It's a Wonderful Life", or another one that warms your heart. Listen to some uplifting music, or find an inspiring documentary on
TV. I've devoured lots of inspiring material that made me want to reach for my dreams, and have found it a great way to build my confidence.

4. Smile. Yes, I'm serious. Studies have shown that the very act of putting a smile on your face brightens not only the moods of those with whom you come
into contact, but lifts your own spirit, as well. I've been faced with many situations, which scared me or made me nervous, and the very act of plastering
on a smile before facing my fear, has proven extremely helpful in making me more confident.

5. Prayer. Each morning before I start my day, and each evening before I drift off to sleep, I pray for God's loving assistance in helping me to be the
best person I can be. It is my personal belief that we are always watched, embraced and loved by a benevolent higher power, whether we call that power
God, Goddess, Spirit, etc. When I release my niggling doubts, fears and anxieties to God's care, I always fear that a great burden has been lifted from
my shoulders. This process of release helps to restore my confidence, and encourages me that I am never alone, and always loved and supported.

When we are bogged down by a lack of confidence in ourselves and our abilities, it is as if we've built a huge wall around ourselves, which keeps us feeling
scared, unworthy and embittered. In order to gain confidence in ourselves, we must first scale that wall we've built. Just the act of scaling the walls of doubt and despair is a huge step in proving to ourselves that we are, in fact, worthy, empowered, powerful, and lovable! I wish you much love and
joy as you scale your own wall, and continue upon your journey towards a more confident you!

Author's Bio: 

Kim Loftis is a spiritual and life coach, dedicated in assisting her clients to lead happier, healthier and more spiritually fulfilling lives. Visit Kim online:
where you can learn about her comprehensive coaching services, purchase her inspiring products, subscribe to her bi-weekly Heartsong newsletter, and much more. Kim would be honored to assist you.