From lifetime movies to self-help books, it can sometimes seem and feel like everyone else in the world has their life figured out while you are still trying to figure out yours. One of the key messages being given in these movies and these books is to put a smile on your face and basically “fake it till you make it,” which is a good line for a movie but not sage advice for those of us who are struggling with our day to day decisions.
Self-confidence is the key to building a life that you can be proud of, being happy in your decisions and ultimately being happy with yourself, irrespective of what anybody has to say.
Merriam-Webster defines self-confidence as the trust you have in your abilities and power, but self-confidence is so much more. Self-confidence is the level of trust you have in yourself and your capabilities.
Saying you need to boost your self-confidence is easy, but developing habits that help you do this can seem like the hardest thing in the world. But having the ability to look at a bad situation and trust that you did all you could and that it doesn’t always work out is much harder in practice than in theory.
The downside to self-confidence is that no one else can build it or create it for you. To develop a sense of trust within yourself, you have to find the strength within yourself- with the help and support of those around you. However, the positive thing about taking steps to make a lasting sense of self-confidence is that no one can take that from you.
No matter the situation you find yourself in, trusting yourself can be the key to unlocking your true potential! Building and creating self-confidence is not a once-off process. It takes time and hard work but, it is worthwhile. The following tips can help you get started on your journey of self-confidence:
1. No More Comparisons
One of humanity’s most common and highly toxic habits is how everyone is compared to and pitted against one another. Comparing your journey and life to someone else’s does not make sense. You are uniquely different in that no one has had the life or experiences you have had. Just because your life looks different to someone else who has gone through similar or worse experiences than you have does not mean that you are on the wrong path. Your experiences and feelings are valid, and your life doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. When you compare your life or experiences to someone else’s life, what you are essentially doing is walking around with a mirror and holding your reflection against that of someone else, and then ridiculing yourself when the images don’t fit together.
The first and maybe most crucial step in building self-confidence is to stop comparing yourself to others.
2. Your Body is Equally as Important as Your Mind
Many people miss a step when building self-confidence is taking proper care of their bodies. While it’s not impossible, feeling good about yourself and your capabilities is more challenging when you don’t take care of your body. Adjusting the way you see yourself mentally and physically is vital towards creating a better sense of self-worth.
Now, this doesn’t mean that your body has to look a certain way or fit any criteria, for that matter. It simply means that you need to start viewing your mind and body as equally important. The science is simple, and when you look good, you will feel even better, so take the appropriate steps to make your body healthier. Your body carries you and all of your trauma, experiences, and feelings, be kinder to it.
Taking better care of your body can be as simple as doing any one of the following:
- Have an appropriate diet: Eat well, and you will live well. The food you eat becomes the fuel that keeps your body going throughout the day. Quick and easy fast food solutions will leave you tiredness you don’t need. Instead of only having fast or oily foods, mix it up.
- Create menus that are healthy and nutrient-dense. Healthy doesn’t mean tasteless. Likewise, eating healthier doesn’t mean that you will never have to take out again; it just means that when you do have to take out, your body will take less of a toll afterward.
- Exercise: Physical activity is essential; whether it means you take a Zumba class or you dance alone at home, keeping your body moving is necessary. The more physical activity your body participates in, the more your confidence will be boosted. A simple jam-out session to your favorite song could be just the thing you need to have you feeling more confident as you start your day.
- Sleep: getting a whole night’s rest is essential. Our bodies take on more strain to keep up with our daily lives as we get older. Getting a good night’s rest is imperative to ensure that our minds and bodies have the energy to get through the day.
3. Stop Letting Fear Rule You
Low self-confidence can have you putting things on the back burner for much longer than necessary, and this can become a habit that you take with you as you begin to gain more self-confidence. Nothing lowers self-confidence more than not doing what you want to do because of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of isolation, or even just fear of actually succeeding is significant to face. The most effective way to face anxiety is to do what you are afraid of. Ask that person out, join the team discussion, open yourself up to gaining new experiences. Use facing your fears as a guide that, while you might not get the outcome you were hoping for, it won’t kill you either. Facing your fears is a superb way to lose some of the anxiety and pressure you feel.
4. Self-Care is Crucial
Self-care is another essential step in gaining self-confidence. Self-care includes being kinder to yourself. So when you inevitably make mistakes, give yourself a break and learn from the experience. Learn where you went wrong and take steps to fix your errors, but first, stop being so tough on yourself.
Take steps, even small ones, to ensure that you have what you need and want to make yourself happy. If this means a long bath or a Netflix binge session on the weekends, self-care is a step you need to make yourself a priority.
There is nothing wrong with needing or wanting something for yourself, and there is nothing wrong with putting yourself first for once. However, the more value you place on your wants and needs, the more your self-confidence will be boosted.
5. Birds That Flock Together
Surround yourself with people who value self-confidence. This means that you need to put stock into how your friends make you feel and whether they impact how you see yourself. You can’t build a stronger sense of self-worth and have friends and family that are toxic to you; that is like building a life with Jenga blocks. So instead, find and surround yourself with optimistic people about life, and you will find yourself having a more positive outlook on life.
6. Be Open to Trying New Things
Part of facing your fears is doing what you are scared of, this goes hand in hand with becoming more open to trying new things. Beyond gaining new experiences and meeting new people, you open yourself up to the expectation and uncertainty of failure when you try new things. Trying new things and succeeding, or better yet, failing at some of the things you try, will help you develop new ways to deal with the stress and anxiety you feel. Learning a new skill or trying something unexpected is impressive, and what’s even better is that you have nothing to lose and happiness and experiences to gain.
You did not develop low self-confidence immediately, and it took time and the forming of harmful habits. So when you are on the journey of creating a better you by developing more self-confidence, you need to be more lenient and realize that it will take a while and numerous failures to get you where you want to be.
There is nothing wrong with taking a bit longer to appreciate and value who you are.