If you read my health story, you know I wasn’t always a confident person. I’ve become a much happier person in the past few years by gaining self-confidence. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of reflection, challenging myself, and frankly, sometimes telling myself things I didn’t really believe in order to change my own mind. I never really thought much about the actions I took to become more confident until I sat down to write this blog post. I was just doing them. But here’s what I did, and I hope these actions can help you get your confidence back.
- Write down the most common self-critical things you say or think. These can be negative things about your appearance, personality, skills or ways you undermine your own accomplishments. Now cross them out and replace them with positive things about yourself.
- Practice thinking and speaking positively about yourself. Start by catching your negative thoughts and replacing them with one of the positive things on your list. The next step is to stop criticizing yourself when you talk to other people. When you tell people about yourself, share positive things. People believe what we tell them about ourselves. If others hear that we don’t think much of ourselves, it will be hard for them to value us.
- Surround yourself with positive influences. Spending time around people who are constantly negative or self-deprecating makes that the norm in your life and makes confidence seem like a negative thing. When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll start feeling more positive and realize that having confidence is cool.
- Speak positively about others. Complimenting others nurtures the positive environment you’re trying to build around yourself. It also will help you get in the habit of speaking positively about yourself.
- Be yourself. If other don’t like you when you’re being your true self, go ahead and cut them out of your life. You shouldn’t have to put on an act for people to like you. And you may be surprised that people actually like you just the way you are.
- Reach for low-hanging fruit. Get a jump start on feeling good about yourself by doing things that already work, whether that’s painting your nails or going for a walk.
- Set challenging goals. Doing something that’s difficult is one of the best ways to build your confidence, not only because you did the hard thing, but because you followed through on something and put in a lot of hard work to do it. If you don’t reach your goal, remember you may just need more time to keep pushing. Remind yourself that you’re able to do the hard work, which is an accomplishment all by itself.
- Trust your judgment. Asking for advice is fine, but be decisive and don’t seek approval for every decision you make. You may feel like you’re floundering at first, and that’s okay. Recognize that you’re a capable person who can make good choices.
- Get to know yourself. Take a moment to reflect on the negative things you think about yourself and the times you tell yourself you can’t do something. When and why did you start thinking this way? What can you do to overcome the reasons you think negatively about yourself? If you’ve lost yourself in trying to be everything for everyone else, learn about what you like to do, what makes you happy, and what makes you feel good.
- Develop skills and hobbies. If you’re lacking body confidence, work on physical skills like running or weightlifting so you learn to be proud of what your body can do. If you’re lacking confidence in your personality or skill sets, learn how to do something you’re passionate about and would love to share with others.
Which of these steps are you going to work on?