Self-confidence is an attitude that allows us to have positive yet realistic views of ourselves. When we are self-confident, we have a general sense of control over our lives. We believe we can accomplish what we want in life. When we are self-confident even when our expectations are not met, we continue to be positive and accept ourselves. Easier said than done right? A lot of the times we use self-defeating thought patterns without even realizing it. These thought patterns diminish our self-worth and chips away at our self-confidence. Practicing these may seem silly, but there are ways to improve your self-confidence on your own. We owe it to ourselves to give these a shot!
1. All or nothing thinking is a no go
Absolutes can be dangerous. It does not leave room for thinking through a situation or self-reflection. Having this type of thinking in your life will not help you develop self confidence whatsoever. For example, “I am a total failure because I failed this one test.” You may have failed a test, but it doesn’t mean you fail at everything you have done or will ever do. Sometimes we need to be reminded we are human and are not perfect. Therefore, thinking in absolutes will hinder us greatly.It
2. Magnification of negative/minimization of the positive: Switch that up
3. Don’t be so hard on yourself
“I feel ugly so it must be true.” Definitely can relate to these types of statements and I bet you can too. This comes from judging ourselves so harshly. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Our feelings come from our thoughts. Remember that even we do not feel our greatest does not mean we deserve to tell ourselves such mean things to ourselves. When these thoughts pop into our heads, let’s question them. “Is that REALLY true?” When we think again, and put some logic into it, then the thought is less likely to have that much power.
4. No more “should” statements
We cannot build our authentic selves on should statements. “Should” statements are often reflective of other people’s expectations rather than your own wants and desires. For example, “Everyone should have a career plan when they come to college. I don’t, so there must be something wrong with me.” These statements are detrimental to self confidence. Let’s do our best to remove them from our vocab!
5. Accept compliments
As a person with low self-esteem, it is very hard to accept compliments even from my loved ones. I try to tell myself that compliments are positive observations of my qualities from other people. It makes me feel better. ACCEPTING COMPLIENTNS HELPS BULID SELF CONFIDENCE. YOU ARE NOT BEING CONCEITED, I SWEAR. The way I started to see compliments is that it is a good quality I have that I am projecting into the world. That is awesome! Own these compliments!
6. Emphasize your strengths
GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT. By focusing on what you can do, you reward yourself for effort instead of focusing so much on the end product. Starting at what you CAN do instead of what you SHOULD do helps break down your limitations. This is a sure-fire way to developing self confidence!
7. Take calculated risks
Approach new experiences as opportunities to learn rather than occasions to win or lose. I feel like every time you try something new that will further your self-growth, it is will be a rewarding experience. Let’s try not to think about failing. Plan and make your dreams and goals happen. This will build self-confidence because it will show us we can do the thing, no matter what it is.
8. Use Self Talk
Use self-talk to combat harmful assumptions you make about yourself. Practice catching yourself as you make these assumptions. Tell yourself to “stop” and substitute more reasonable assumptions. For example, when you are catching yourself expecting perfection, remind yourself you can’t do everything perfectly, that is only possible to try things and do them well. This allows you to accept yourself but you are still striving to improve. Learn to evaluate yourself independently. Doing so allows you to focus internally on your behavior, work, performance etc. It will give you a stronger sense of self and will prevent you from relying exclusively on the opinions of others. Self-reflection grows into self confidence.
9. Ask for Feedback/Support
If we are feeling down or not like ourselves, it is so important to lean on the people we love! They are here to help us and support us through whatever we are going through. Also, as a person who has low self-esteem, getting feedback from my friends and family has shown me how my negative thoughts and feelings towards myself are very harsh. Their feedback showed me I needed to adjust the way I talked to myself and be nicer to myself. Building self-confidence takes teamwork!