Self-confidence is something a lot of people don’t struggle with; they’re determined to get through their day no matter what is in their way. But not everyone is fortunate to experience daily life without questions, concerns, and the ability to believe in our own self-worth.
Confidence issues can become debilitating over time to the point that many people struggle to even get out of bed in the morning. There is no miracle cure for regaining one’s self-esteem but there are steps you can take to improve your mood so that you can get through the daily tasks and maybe even overcome a hurdle you’ve been facing for a long time.
1. Don’t Undermine Your Success
Give yourself credit where credit is due. Stop looking at your achievements as negatives - you could have done better, where you screwed up, et cetera - and look at them as accomplishments. Accept that you’ve completed them to the best of your ability and put aside the self-criticism.
Start a routine of positive thinking each day until it becomes second nature. It will feel like you’re bragging at first but acknowledging to others will help you to foster a sense of pride and self-fulfillment that you can carry with you throughout the rest of your life. It will also inform other people that if they ever need a special set of skills, you should be the first person they consider. In the end, that develops an appreciation by other people for your talents, which will make your self-esteem grow even more.
2. Go Outside
Going outside, getting some fresh air, and going for a walk has been shown to actually improve one’s mood. Take a trip to a state-of-the-art fitness center and get some exercise into your daily routine. Take a walk through the park alone or with a friend. Visit an adoption center and play with some animals for a few hours. Just go out and do something, anything different in your day can improve your self-esteem and gets you out of the habit of sitting alone in your room, dwelling over things you can’t change.
3. Create Lists About Yourself
Just as you would create a to-do list to get everything done for the day, you should start creating lists about yourself. What are some of the features that you enjoy? What are you proud of? What are your strengths and what have you accomplished within your lifetime? You may be surprised by the lengthy list you end up with.
However, if you can’t come up with anything at all, don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help you. They can outline characters of your personality that they appreciate and help you realize that you actually have some positive qualities.
Once you have this list, read it at least once a day to remind yourself of the person you truly are. As you gain more and more self-confident, don’t be afraid to add more to this list as time goes by.
4. Speak Assertively
Take a more assertive approach when you’re speaking. Try and remove any filler language such as “um” and “ah”; this takes a lot of practice and mindfulness to get rid of. Speak slower and with more intention to help you get rid of these.
It also helps to speak in a lower, more even tone so that you sound more authoritative. People around you will take you more seriously and approach you with more respect, which can amount to a boost in your self-confidence. Keep in mind that assertiveness and aggressiveness are two sides of the same coin, so you don’t want to venture into the latter.
5. Focus on Better Posture
Similar to how the way you speak can make a difference in your self-confidence, the physical way you carry yourself can affect you as well. When you walk, square your shoulders back and left your head up. Strike a power pose (feet apart and your hands on your hips) in the middle of your bedroom before you get ready for work. Not only will this inspire you to feel more powerful, but better posture also opens up the airways of the lungs and increases blood flow throughout the body. You’re boosting your physical health as well as your mental health.
6. Be Prepared
Don’t be afraid to do some research beforehand if you’re entering a professional setting. No one likes being asked a question and not having an answer. It can be a blow to your self-confidence during those deer-in-the-headlights moments. Make sure to make small notes to yourself before your meeting and rehearse them in the back of your mind so that your mind knows them well. Reflecting your knowledge and being able to answer any question posed to you will definitely be a boost to your self-confidence.
7. Live By Your Values
It’s never a good idea to change yourself to please other people. It might make you feel good but that is temporary. Focus on your beliefs and values and ingrain them into everything that you do. This will give you integrity instead of a people-pleaser, bending yourself to the will of others to make them happy. Stay true to yourself will give you a solid foundation for all decisions that you make, and sticking to your guns will increase your self-esteem.
8. Avoid Social Media for a While
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family but it can sometimes be overwhelming to keep up with it all. Constantly seeing people’s posts, it can become easy or you to compare yourself to others, which can only kill your confidence.
Don’t fall for this, however. People tend to put their best faces forward and not share their struggles or bad moments. This can lead you to think that other people’s lives are perfect when they really aren’t. Equating your life to what is posted online is not a realistic comparison to make and can make you feel like you’re lagging behind everyone else.
Giving yourself a break from it all to focus on yourself and your self-image. You’ll have the time to develop your self-confidence on your own terms instead of trying to mold it to what other people are doing in their lives.
9. Smile More
Believe it or not, smiling more can actually make you feel better. When you smile, certain chemicals are released in the brain that promotes a better mood. Even if it’s just for a short while, just one moment where you’re not beating yourself down is better than enduring self-deprecation for hours on end. Without a break, your brain starts to mold itself into these patterns of self-criticism, which can be very difficult to break.
Exercise patience and give yourself time to boost your self-esteem on your own terms. Don’t get frustrated when you find that you’re not as positive as you want to be, as it does take a lot of time to undo these bad habits. Having a high sense of self-worth isn’t something that will take place overnight.