Although we may not need to be able to write large texts after leaving education, and we don’t need to find a pen in order to communicate with our friends, there’s a lot to be said for taking up the older forms of writing.
One of the best reasons to improve your writing skills is because when you work on certain writing projects, it helps you work on your confidence.
Writing helps focus your mind on what you need in your life, and lets you work towards those goals every day. Here are some techniques to try, so you can improve your confidence and get ahead in both work and your home life.
1. Write down daily checklists, on paper
You’re probably used to writing to do lists, either in an app on your phone, or a program on your PC or laptop. You probably also ignore it whenever possible, as you find yourself doing unimportant tasks to ignore the important stuff that’s sitting on that list. They’re ok for getting things done, but there’s nothing quite like a handwritten to do list that you can physically cross off when you get things done.
Buy a notebook, and every day, sit and write down what needs to be done. Because you physically have to write it down, you’ll find that you’re thinking about what you need to do. This way, you’ll feel like you’ll be able to say no to unessential tasks, and save time for the things you really need to do.
2. Commit your goals and ideas to paper
In a related point, try using that notebook, or another, specially chosen notebook, to write down all of your goals. A good way of doing this is at the beginning of the year, as you start a new diary you can write them in at the beginning.
A lack of confidence can come from a lack of ideas about what you want from life, and ideas about how to go about it. Actually taking the time to think about your goals means that you’ll then go about your day with them in the back of your mind, and so everything you do will get you a little bit closer to them.
3. Stretch your imagination with fiction writing
Every morning, first thing, try writing some fiction to get your imaginative juices flowing. You can do this either by hand, or in a word processing program if you feel you’ll work better that way. You may have never written fiction before, but it is well worth trying.
Having to think creatively about your story means that you’re stretching your creative muscles, and so you’ll be better at thinking around problems that you’ll encounter in your everyday life. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to get started, think about your favourite genre of books or movies. What are your favourite stories from that genre? Work out what you liked the most about them, and use those plot points to build a brand new story.
4. Write in a diary
Now thinking about the end of your day, try writing in a diary or journal before you go to bed. It does seem as though diaries are something only children keep, but they do have a lot of benefits.
If you have a habit of worrying over the events of the day as you’re trying to sleep, writing them all down before bed means you’re dealing with those worries productively. You’ll then have the confidence the next day to confront any problems you come across, and you’ll find that you have less to worry about at night.
5. Send postcards to those you love
Postcards are fun when you’re on holiday, as they show off where you’ve gone on your travels and let your loved ones know you’re thinking of them. Why not try sending them when you’re at home? It may feel a little strange to be sending postcards from your home town, but there’s a good reason for it.
Gaining confidence means gaining ability in expressing yourself, and postcards are a safe place to start. As an added bonus, you’ll be helping improve your relationships, and even possibly making new ones. Nothing is better for boosting your ego than making new connections, and having more people by your side when you need them.
6. Improve your email writing skills
In both work and our personal lives, we spend an awful lot of time communicating via email. It’s a seriously useful tool, as it lets us reach a huge audience in one fell swoop, send files and information around the office faster than anything else, and of course, lets us stay in touch with loved ones no matter where they are in the world.
Part of being confident is being able to sell yourself to anyone, and knowing your worth. Email helps you practice that in a safe space, letting you work on that skill the more emails you send. Soon, you will find that you can project a confident and can do attitude in person, too.
7. Try your hand at jokes
Ever thought about becoming a comedian? The thought of standing on stage and telling jokes may fill you with utter terror, but that’s not what you need to do in order to try building your confidence. Writing jokes and funny stories means you’re thinking in different ways that you’re not used to, making you more comfortable with unusual situations. Plus, stretching your funny bone means you’ll have a great stash of stories you can pull out of the bag the next time you’re at a party, or need to impress someone at work.
8. Try writing essays
You may have left formal education a long time ago, and we’re glad that you’d never have to write an essay again. However, it’s actually a good idea to write them in your spare time to improve your confidence. This tip works because as you construct an academic essay, you have to construct credible, clear arguments for and against your chosen topic.
You also have to back them up effectively with evidence. Because of this, you’ll find that your confidence in putting yourself across both at home and at work will increase. Critically thinking through an issue, and looking at both sides of it, means that you’re much better equipped to deal with confrontation. If arguments fill you with dread, this could be a great tip to try for yourself.
Now, you have eight tips under your belt that can help you improve your confidence, and, as a bonus, your writing skills. Try them all out. Maybe not all of them will work for you, but that’s ok. Pick out the ones that are helping you, and stick to them. Building these habits means that every day, you’re building up your confidence bit by bit. Before long, you’ll notice just how much of a difference it’s making in your everyday life.