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How to be more confident Print

Building confidence by repeated efforts

 

Woman with her hair in a bun hiking in the mountains on a sunny dayI get to talk about confidence in my nutrition counselling sessions quite a bit, whether we are talking about confidence in the kitchen or confidence in our body. The Covid-19 pandemic has given me some time to slow down and read a little more. I have been reading and listening to a lot of different perspectives on confidence.

For most of my life, I would not have described myself as a confident person. Over time, I starting developing confidence in different areas of my life including sports, academics, and my skills in the kitchen. Then the weirdest thing happened… people started labelling me as a confident person. It felt awkward at first to be honest because I felt that there were still areas of my life where I was not confident and I wanting to see improvement. The difference was, I starting feeling more and more capable of taking on the challenges facing me and I guess that made me confident?

But what is it?

 

What makes a person confident or not?

 

Is confidence something you are born with? Is this a personality trait?

After some reading and reflection, I believe that confidence is something that we develop over time. Confidence comes from repeated efforts producing positive results.

For example, think of the first time you made a dish like soup or cookies. The first time we try, we are slow and steady, likely following a recipe, and maybe even have someone with us helping guide us along. Then each time after that, the process gets a little more comfortable and a little easier. We develop confidence in our abilities to successfully make that soup or those cookies because we have seen positive outcomes in our previous attempts. This is not to say that there won’t be a bad batch here and there, but (hopefully) by then, we have developed enough confidence to recognize the bad batch as a simple error and not let it scare us off from ever cooking again. A bad batch does not make us a bad cook.

This approach is the same as for many other skills such as soccer skills, math skills, learning a new language, learning a new relationship with food or learning to be confident in the body we have. It is scary at first! It feels awkward and hard. Sometimes too hard and we want to give up.

 

Overcoming fear and building confidence

 

To overcome that fear, and to achieve confidence, what do we need to do?

We need to try. That means developing a way to overcome the fear and try, knowing that we might fail. We have to be just 1% more willing/ curious/ courageous, than scared in order to take the leap and try something new. If we are successful that first time, we see a positive result and may be willing to keep trying. If we don’t see a positive result, then we might need to enlist some support and helpers to try again.

This mentality applies to changing behaviours too.

It is hard to change your relationship with food or with your body. In sports, we rely on a coach to help show us the way, and in school, we rely on the teacher. When it comes to changing our thoughts and behaviours, we still might need that role model or support system to show us what is possible. The fear is there because it is hard. You will mess it up and do things wrong or fall into old behaviours. And that is okay.

 

Where to start when you’re building confidence

 

Here is a short step-by-step process on how to be more confident:

 

1. Figure out what change you want or need to make.

2. Start small. Try focusing on small changes that feel achievable or at least possible.

3. Acknowledge the positive results. Remember, sometimes, simply trying to change a behaviour or the relationship with your body is a positive result.

4. Call in back-up. You may want to make change all on your own, but trust me, it is easier with support. They can be there to keep you feeling courageous when the going gets tough.

 

And pretty soon, you will be on your way to building confidence.

This may seem to simple, but confidence is not something you are born with. Confidence is something you earn by proving to yourself that you can achieve.

Can you think of one area that you have been able to develop confidence? Did that confidence comes easily or was it an exercise in resilience?

You’ve got this. Take the first step and commit to trying, learning and tweaking as you go.

 

Where can I find more information on how to be more confident with my relationship to food and my body?

 

You may want to check out these previous articles on our blog:
How to make friends with food even when you hate your body
Finding Food Freedom and Combating Unnecessary Diet Rules
Mindful Eating for Health and Meal Satisfaction

Reach out to our Registered Dietitian and Online Nutritionist team to book private one-on-one nutrition counselling here: Personal Nutrition Counseling Support .
We work with people who want food freedom. If you have struggled with a poor relationship with food, don’t love the body you live in and are overwhelmed with trying to figure out what to eat to keep healthy, YOU are OUR people. You don’t have to stress about food anymore. Let’s chat!

 

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Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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