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How to Get Your Confidence Back After a Bump in the Road



With so many layoffs happening, I’ve been getting requests for advice on how to get back on one’s feet after a bump in the road. When my clients struggle to move forward, it’s usually because their confidence has been broken. It’s easy to forget how essential confidence is until it’s gone. Without it, failure can feel inevitable, especially if a failure caused your setback.


In moments like these, it’s important to remember that setbacks happen. We’ve all had a moment where work, or life, got the better of us. So, how do you get your confidence back and move forward?


Before you scramble to find a new job, ask for forgiveness, wallow, or simply give up, take a moment to assess what happened. Thoughtful reflection is essential to getting your confidence back.


1. Remember What Makes You Feel Confident


When you feel confident, you feel on top of the world. When it’s lost, you doubt every move.

Confidence comes from within, not from outside validation. Therefore, often I like to invite my clients to remember what makes them so valuable. It’s defining your strengths and worth and not being afraid to share those aspects of yourself. Now is the time to reflect on what makes you unique. You know what your strengths are and how you can use them in this particular situation.


2. Identify What Can be Controlled


After a big setback, many of us feel like nothing is in our control. These low moments can send us into a spiral of self-doubt, anger, and helplessness. But we aren’t truly helpless. Circumstances don’t control our emotions; we do.


Breathe deep a few times to clear your head. Start noticing your thought patterns. If you are observing negative self-talk, start exploring those words. Reframe what you are telling yourself. If you find yourself saying, “I’m terrible at everything”, start thinking about the things you are good at instead.


Work on identifying and understanding your emotions and practicing positive self-talk to become more confident.


3. Focus on Lessons Learned


It may not seem like it at the moment, but a lesson can be found in this experience. Don’t dwell on the past but realize there is an opportunity to move forward.

What did you learn if your setback came from a mistake you made? Mistakes happen to the best of us, but how we recover from them makes all the difference. Reflect on the experience and identify how to move forward.


4. Choose How to Respond


Choosing how to respond goes hand in hand with understanding what is outside of your control. You can choose to respond appropriately rather than being controlled by the circumstances.


When we let the situation dictate our emotions, we feel helpless. This in turn breaks our confidence. To counteract this, we must take control of our response. If the bump in the road was truly out of your control, acknowledge it and move forward. However, if the situation was due to something you did, own up to it and once again, move forward.


5. Set Goals


Goals will encourage you to move forward. They give you the power to improve your situation at a future date while keeping you from feeling overwhelmed in the moment. Be sure to set micro-goals, little steps to get you closer to the larger, more challenging goals.




Find Opportunities


As your confidence builds, it will be easier to recognize opportunities as they come your way. Before your setback, it was easy to seek out new opportunities or recognize the ones in front of you. Immediately after, it likely felt as though opportunities would never exist again.

Put in the work to get your confidence back by assessing the situation, recognizing lessons learned, and practicing confidence and it will be clear that the opportunities are still there. You can lean into everything you did before the bump in the road to move forward once again.


And of course, if you need assistance with any of these processes, I’d be more than happy to help. Schedule a call here or send me a message to learn more.

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