Our self confidence shapes the way we go through the world, influencing the choices we make, and determining the directions we take in life. When we build our confidence, we take control of our lives. Self-esteem tends to be built (or degraded) in a cumulative way, allowing us plenty of opportunities throughout the day to increase self-worth. So let’s get started!
1. Be true to yourself
We need to work on being true to our values, and not compromise them because of another person’s demands or expectations. This means learning to stand up for ourselves, knowing our boundaries, and defending them if necessary. If we feel we are being disrespected, we need to speak up. If we’re open and honest with people, we will respect ourselves more and so will others. Gaining a strong voice in our everyday lives can take time, but eventually it becomes habitual.
2. Let go of past mistakes
Berating ourselves for past actions gets us nowhere. We can’t change the past, so we must accept it. Carrying emotional baggage creates disharmony and regret, which chips away at our self-worth. It’s all a matter of keeping things in perspective. Life is full of challenges and adventures, and since we make decisions based on who we are at the time, it’s a waste of energy and serenity to carry ill feelings about ourselves. Let’s cut ourselves a break — we’re all human — and as long as we’ve learned from these mistakes, we’re better for the experiences.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others
It’s a fact that somewhere, someone is better at something than we are. If we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, we’re doomed to fall short. When we do this, we’re not honoring our own self-worth and strengths. Instead, we’re allowing others to control how we feel by constantly trying to ‘measure up.’ When we focus on our strengths, we shine — and whatever we choose to do, we do well.
4. Plan steps that move you toward your dreams and goals
When we’re achieving our goals, we have a sense of satisfaction and pride in our lives. We feel better about ourselves, empowered by our successes. Low self-esteem is augmented by a lack of focus and unrealized dreams. Once we know what makes us happy, we can focus on achieving that. If the goal seems too big at first, break it down to little steps. The sense of achievement every day toward something great is a huge confidence booster.
5. Surround yourself with supportive people
We need to be aware of the people we surround ourselves with. Are we learning valuable things from them? Do they stimulate and motivate us? Whatever our goals are, we need people on our team to cheer us on — not bring negativity, doubt or jealousy into our lives.
When we engage in physical exercise, our bodies release endorphins which make us feel good, strong, and alive. Regular exercise will trim our bodies and tone our muscles, giving us healthier body images.
7. Keep learning new skills
It’s self-empowering to feel useful — and knowledge is power. With each thing we teach ourselves, the more capable we feel. A great confidence builder is having others rely upon or admire us for our skills and abilities. Take classes, master a subject area, learn a new language, perhaps acquire higher computer skills — and reap the reward of increased self-worth.
8. Do not look down on yourself
Constant self-judgment mentally exhausts us and keeps our focus on our faults, making us feel inferior. Every thought we have creates an action. Too many negative ideas can make us feel so poorly about ourselves that we might continue making self-destructive choices. We need to give ourselves a break — we’re only human!
9. Body language
So often we are unconscious of how we’re carrying ourselves and what image we’re projecting to the world. When we hold our heads high and straighten our shoulders, we’re telling ourselves and the world that we’re a force to be reckoned with, that we are strong and confident. Even at first if we don’t believe it, the ‘fake it until you make it’ idea can work here. Watch how differently you speak and act once you’ve corrected your slouched posture!
10. Overcome Fears
‘Do something every day that scares you.’ This well-known quote is powerful because it’s simple, yet so impacting. Our greatest fears may overwhelm us taken head-on, but if we challenge ourselves bit by bit, growing ever-stronger, we will find those big fears diminish in the power they hold over us. It’s hard to look ourselves in the eye if we’re afraid all the time. So, take baby steps, and soon that mountain won’t seem so tall!