Working on your self-confidence takes time and a conscious effort, especially as a new amputee. The opposite—self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs—seems to come naturally to us as human beings. So, we came up with a few hacks that you can implement to gain confidence in yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
When you're harsh to yourself, you don't feel and act confidently. This is because your setbacks or mistakes are at the forefront of your thoughts. When this happens, you often don't trust yourself to do whatever needs to be done. This puts a severe dent in your self-confidence.
As a new amputee, you need to be more kind to yourself. The way you talk to yourself—whether aloud or in your head—needs to reflect that.
For example, you weren't able to walk down a slope with your prosthetic leg during your amputee training session. Instead of talking to yourself negatively and internalizing the failure, acknowledge what happened and understand that your body is going to heal at its own pace. Resolve to try your best in the next session. Be patient with yourself and your progress.
Think positive thoughts.
Thinking negative thoughts comes easily to us. Chalk it up to negativity bias. Although this disposition helped our ancestors survive in the wild, we need to learn that not every new or different thing is a threat.
Switching from negative to positive thoughts is understandably tricky. First, you need to acknowledge both bad and pleasant emotions. Do not try to suppress the negative ones. They are vital to understanding why you don't feel confident in yourself in the first place. Then, reframe your perspective by coming up with a positive thought.
Breakthrough self-limiting beliefs.
There was a time when we thought that we could conquer the world. For most of us, this period was during childhood. But somewhere along the way, society has imposed its limiting beliefs on us. We were taught, either by a parent or a teacher, what we can or can't do.
As a new amputee, it's easy to believe that there are more things that you can't do now. This is not true. Developments in prosthetic technology are making it possible for amputees to get into extreme sports. If this is possible, a lot of other things are also possible. Self-limiting beliefs are only valid when you believe them.
Breakthrough these beliefs, and know that there is always a way around something. More often than not, the only person that's stopping you is yourself.
Face your fears.
When we're uncomfortable, or when we don't feel in control, our emotional brain takes over. This is why fear seems irrational and random.
In this case, there is no way out, but to face your fears. Take someone afraid of speaking in public. The only way to get rid of this fear is to face it head-on and speak in public more often. The more the situation becomes familiar, the more it becomes comfortable. And when you're in a comfortable or familiar situation, fear vanishes.
Confident people often have a growth mindset. They are teachable and are always looking for ways to continue to improve. Cultivate your curiosity. Although the amputee journey can be challenging and even sometimes discouraging, being continually curious makes you open to new possibilities.
The fact that you are reading this article up to this point means that you have a growth mindset. You are looking for ways to improve yourself, which means you are on your way to developing self-confidence.
What do you think of these mental hacks? Which ones will you be implementing soon? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.