Self-confidence plays a huge role in the lives of each and every one of us. Having low self-confidence isn’t healthy and it can have a massive effect on our day to day lives, whether it be personal, professional or social. Low self-esteem may lead to a multitude of negative outcomes from removing yourself and staying away from certain situations, to anxiety and self-doubt. It is important to try and maintain a good level of self-esteem, it helps us to make positive decisions and to deal with obstacles as and when they crop up.
We’ve all at one time or another lacked self-confidence, unfortunately it’s a part of life and the only way to overcome it is to face it head on. We are all capable of becoming more confident, it’s just a case of working on it. They say we are what we do, so in order to change and become more confident, change what you do.
Now if you’re thinking that’s all well and good but ‘where do I start?’, here are five simple ways that you can practice every day that will inevitably boost your confidence…
1.Change the way you think!
Having negative thoughts is completely natural, but when they start to outweigh the neutral and positive ones, this is when it becomes a problem. It could be a sign that your ‘inner critic’ has become overactive and this will only lower your self-esteem. In order to deal with this try to change your perception of the things around you as well as yourself. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones, instead of beating yourself up about something, think about how you could do it differently next time, or look for the positives in the situation. Focusing on the perceived ‘bad things’ won’t help you, in fact it’ll only bring you down, so put your energy into changing this habit instead. Spend your time thinking about the things you like and what you’re good at and tell yourself kind things out loud -the more you say it the more you’ll believe it- positive affirmations can completely change the way you see and feel about yourself. Try to do this as often as possible, it will get easier and easier each time, and soon it will be second nature!
2. Take care of yourself!
Most people find it difficult to make time for themselves, but in a society where everything is go, go, go, it’s more important than ever! It’s difficult to feel good about yourself if your mental, physical or social health isn’t in the best shape. Make an effort to create good habits in your life that will have a long-term effect, that means getting enough sleep and eating well. Stress is a major player in chipping away at your self-esteem, allocate some time each day to relax, it doesn’t have to be meditation or yoga, just do whatever works for you! Self-care isn’t all about relaxation though, other great ways to pay attention to yourself include grooming. Even something as simple as having a shower can completely change your mind set for the day and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on any task or challenge that may arise. Taking care of yourself doesn’t always mean only focusing on the time you spend with yourself but also who you surround yourself with. The people around you can really affect the way you feel and think, we only have so much free time and it’s vital to your mental health to spend it with people that are kind and supportive, cut out negative energy from your life.
3. Exercise is key!
It may seem obvious but exercising regularly really does have a great impact on your confidence. Many people find the thought of exercising terrifying, but you don’t have to go to the gym five times a week in order to get a healthy workout in. Start small, going for a walk every day or swimming at the local pool are great ways to stay fit and good habits to integrate into your daily life. Exercising causes your body to release endorphins, naturally increasing your mood and as a result your self-esteem. Not only that, but putting yourself out there and doing something that challenges you (such as exercise) can help you to overcome a lack of self-confidence. Often, we stop ourselves doing certain things due to a fear of embarrassment or failure, but the only way to overcome these worries is to try it. You won’t get anywhere by doing nothing. Be proactive and tell yourself you CAN do it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! When you try things that scare you it’s extremely empowering and it will boost your confidence tenfold, and the next time you try something new it won’t seem so daunting.
4. Help other people!
Be kind to others! Every day we encounter endless people, those we know and others we don’t, and making a difference in someone else’s life can not only improve their day, but also your own confidence. Endeavour to help others whenever you get the chance, nothing is too little, simply being a shoulder to cry on can have a massive impact. Whether it’s smiling at a stranger or giving advice to a friend, these seemingly small acts all add up and make us feel better about ourselves. If you want to try doing something on a greater scale why not give volunteering a go. Find a cause you support and help out, it will give you a reality check and allow you to be grateful for what you have, while also improving someone else’s life. Not only are you helping others by carrying out selfless acts, but you are also raising your self-image, the more you practice these things the better you will feel.
5.Tick off your to-do list!
Set yourself daily goals you know you can attain, make a list and tick each one off as you complete it. It may seem pointless, but having something physical to look at will act as a reminder of everything you’ve done and stop you feeling like you’ve not achieved anything. Make sure your to-do lists are realistic, giving yourself unreachable goals or too much to do will only make you feel as though you’re failing. Once you’ve completed all of your tasks, you’ll feel like you can take on the world, and you can! Practice doing this again and again to build yourself up, the more you succeed the more confident you will feel. Keep a note of all of your accomplishments and look at them when you’re feeling negative, it’s important to remind yourself of everything that you’ve achieved, if you’ve done it before you can do it again! Even when problems come up – and they will – focus on how to solve them, don’t waste time, just get it done, putting things off only makes you feel worse. Remember success breeds success…
‘Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So, what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.’ – Mark Victor Hansen