The road to building self-confidence does not offer a simple, straight trip. Instead, it is a winding lifelong path that brings us to experience many emotions, beliefs about ourselves, and the complexities of relationships. This path requires that we be ready and willing to put in the work each day that isn’t always fun or even pleasant for that matter. Consider how delicate self-confidence is and how it can be truly vulnerable when life goes wrong. For example, do you remember how you reacted to any of the following?
- A relationship break-up.
- Professional setbacks or stress.
- Changes in our health or appearance.
- Societal pressures.
- The expectations of others.
Though these events can rock us to the core, they don’t have to define us or change our opinion of ourselves. On the contrary, if you are going through tough things, that means you are living your life and taking chances. Lack of self-confidence comes when we don’t believe that we are valuable or worthy of love after traumatic experiences. But, guess what? That shit comes from within not from without. Therefore, it’s imperative to find a way to consistently believe in our inner strength and ability to rise above doubt and fear. So, here are a few strategies to build greater self-confidence.
Learn to Love Your Reflection
Unfortunately, many women literally detest their appearance and the woman who stares back in the mirror. Know that your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are powerful at this vulnerable point of self-judgment. I know I have spent countless hours criticizing one thing or another in the mirror. “My thighs are too fat.” or “My nose is too big.” or “That wrinkle makes me look old,” have all been spewed from my mouth. Think about how your best friend would feel if you said these things to her. Yeah, you wouldn’t dream of it, right? So why the hell do we talk to ourselves like that?
Learning to love our appearance is not an easy task if we’ve been abusive in this area. I now practice mirror work that gives me a reason to adore what I see. I started small with short affirmations of self-love and respect. I also change what I can, all while accepting what I can’t. For example, I recently looked into getting dental services that would help me be more confident in my smile. That said, one of my prerequisites for changing myself is that I know I’m doing it for myself and not because I want to impress or earn someone else’s love or respect.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Comparing yourself to others, whether they be friends or celebrities, is one of the fastest ways to kill your self-confidence. And with social media being one of the places this happens the easiest, we can be bombarded with feelings of not being good enough. It’s important to remember that each and every person has flaws, challenges, and their own set of insecurities. Additionally, keep in mind that we are all beautiful, despite what negative impressions we can pick up from society. I am hopeful that the recent shift in marketing that is embracing women of all shapes, sizes, races, and looks will help girls and women know that they are beautiful and so valuable.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
Whether you are trying to boost your professional confidence or working on being more social, one of my favorite confidence builders is being my own biggest fan. This happens when you intentionally support yourself with affirming words, actions, and beliefs about yourself. Yes, this does take practice, but it does make a difference in your overall attitude and joy level.
When you celebrate your achieved goals and believe in your ability to move onward and upward, amazing things happen in your energy and focus. One thing that happens is that you no longer seek constant validation from others. This is important because we can’t control what people think about us. But we can intend to change how we think and feel about ourselves.
One trick that I do every morning is to have check-in time with myself. I ask simple questions about how I feel and what I would like to accomplish. If I feel down or tense about something, I witness these feelings, allowing them to just be. This acknowledgment helps me to feel at ease and safe. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to feel something different, it just helps me to love all of me and not just the pretty parts.
I also find that doing simple self-care practices is another way to build greater self-confidence. This is because regular self-care sets your own needs a priority instead of everyone else coming first.
Surround yourself with Positive People
One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your confidence is to surround yourself with loving, kind, and positive people that are on your side. These individuals are on this journey with you to connect and find how you can mutually support one another. If there are people who don’t do this or create negative feelings in you, consider why you have them in your life. You could be a victim of co-dependency or narcissism. You might need to remove toxic friends from your life in order to truly find peace and confidence in yourself.
Building self-confidence won’t happen overnight. It is a process that happens as we live our lives and reach for our highest potential. A big part of it is just cutting yourself some slack and giving an opportunity to grow and develop as a human being. Set a firm intention of treating yourself the best you can always. This in itself will help you develop a real love of who you are as you strive to become your best self.