Let’s face it. Most of us struggle in the area of self-confidence at one time or another. Possible contributors are negative relationships, overly competitive friends or coworkers, insensitive posts on social media, a difficult upbringing or even a great upbringing. Maybe you just don’t feel like enough sometimes, for whatever reason. Yes, most people have some faith in themselves, but we could all use some improvement from time to time.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Fake it till you make it.
Anyone who knows me, knows this is a favorite mantra of mine. Act as if you are a person full of self-confidence and very often you start to feel it. Dress the part, walk tall, and look people in the eye. Pretend you have unlimited faith in yourself even when you’re shaking in your boots. You’ll find that when you “fake it,” and later tell people how nervous you were, they often will say, “Wow, you didn’t appear nervous at all.” We can build from these experiences and feel proud of our efforts – one step at a time.
Use your voice.
If you lack confidence, you may speak softly or not at all. You may worry that others will make fun or reject you if they knew what you really thought or who you really are. This is a form of reacting to what you think people are thinking. In the end, does the opinion of other people matter all that much? Ask yourself this question: How much energy do you spend worrying about what strangers are thinking?
Be your own cheerleader and stay positive.
When you decide to improve your confidence, your tendency to be self-critical has to stop. (Yes, this is a hard habit to break!) Look for what you do right each and every day. Or focus on how hard you tried. Practice positive affirmations to keep reminding yourself that we are all works in progress. What was one thing you did well today? Did you smile at a stranger, did you show up on time to an appointment, did you put effort in getting ready for the day? Celebrate small successes.
Get to know your awesome self.
When you are trying to build self-confidence, your worst enemy is yourself. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Keep track of your accomplishments, large and small. Pay attention to what types of situations make you judge yourself harshly and what situations make you feel proud or happy. As Stuart Smalley used to say “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!”
Nothing builds self-confidence like helping someone in need. By thinking of the needs of others, you will stop dwelling on your own flaws. This is an easy thing to accomplish: most people can use some kind of help from a minor household chore to shoveling someone’s walk to just being a willing ear for someone that is lonely or stressed. It’s easy, rewarding, and will truly make someone’s day and make you feel worthy at the same time.
Learn something new.
Sign up for something you’ve always wanted to do – learn to play the guitar, learn sign language, take a yoga class, etc. Being able to accomplish a new skill will give your self-confidence a quick boost.
Choose who you let in.
If there are people in your life who spend their time telling you that you can’t do whatever you’re trying to do, you may want to limit your time with them. Seek out positive people, people who are encouraging, people who notice what you’re doing right.
Best wishes on your journey. It is important to work on having faith in yourself each day. Choose to believe in your own ability to face life. That may sound easier said than done, but every journey starts with a single step. If you lack self-worth, building it will take some time, but it can be done.
And remember you are worth it!
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