A bad review from a boss. An unexpected breakup. A “thanks, but …” text. Whatever the incident, you’re feeling a little bruised, a little hurt, and a little unsure of your next steps.
It’s a confidence crash, and it can hurt. You didn’t wake up expecting to have your heart bruised. And that unexpectedness can make you wonder what else may go wrong, catching you in a panicky, self-blame spiral.
So how do you get back on track and boost yourself up? These strategies for getting over a confidence crash will help you emerge even stronger than before.
1) Admit you’re hurt. It can be easy to suck up your pride and say being rejected for that particular job or being unmatched by a particular person was NBD, but if it was — and it’s hurting your soul — say something!
2) Take a break. Put your phone down. Stop updating your LinkedIn. You don’t need to do anything else right now. Everything will be waiting for you. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to stop pushing and just breathe.
3) Write a list of all your recent wins. From killing it at a spin class to throwing a party your friends loved, chronicling all the things that make you awesome in the notes section of your phone can remind you that your successes outweigh any failures.
4) Talk it out. Ask a mentor — either online or IRL — about a time they had a confidence crash. Everyone has a few stories, and often, the person will share how their confidence crash was exactly what they needed to grow and get where they were supposed to be.
5) Do something good. Whether it’s signing up to volunteer for a cause or donating $5 to a charity, doing something for someone else is a way to get you out of your head, and remind yourself of all the good you can do for others.
6) Pet a dog. Or a cat. Or a rabbit.
7) Play with a toddler. There’s nothing like ten minutes of coloring to remind you that there’s way more to life than performance reviews.
8) Delete the text thread or email that’s bothering you. Sure, it may feel like avoiding or ignoring the situation, but taking it far away from the front and center of your inbox can help you get it off your mind.
9) Bake a cake. Doing something productive with your hands, and following a recipe, can distract you from whatever’s going on in your mind. (Plus, you get to eat cake afterward!)
10) Invest in some new iMessage stickers and text the friends who always know how to cheer you up.
11) Add some affirmations to your day. Whenever the incident floats into your consciousness, use a phrase like “I am right where I need to be,” “don’t sweat the small stuff,” or “I will not compare myself to internet strangers” to get you back on track.
12) Get outside and feel the sun on your skin.
13) Give yourself the gift of an hour focused totally on you. Put off any commitments or to-do items and do precisely what you feel like doing, whether that’s taking a bath, making cookies, or listening to music. Whatever you feel in your heart will cheer you up.
14) Write a poem or a journal entry about how you’re feeling. The more emotional and weepy, the better!
15) Focus on a goal in a completely different area of your life. Romantic confidence crash? Focus on work. Career confidence crash? Focus on friends. You get the idea.
16) Go to a stand-up comedy night or improv night. Seeing people find humor in their slips can help you find the funny — or at least, the not completely horrible — in yours.
17) Have breakfast for dinner or cookies for breakfast. It’s not eating your feelings; it’s a small way to remind yourself that you’re in control of your life.