Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could wave a magic wand and wake up feeling confident and at peace with who we are? That’s the wish for many because the truth is a lot of us struggle with low self-esteem. And while it’s not possible to magically wake up feeling confident, this article will teach you how to increase your confidence with the help of several effective tools and tips. With a bit of effort and practice, you’ll notice that you love who you are more and more each day.
What Is Self-Confidence & Why Does It Matter?
We’ve all heard the word before, but what exactly is self-confidence? It’s how you value yourself, including your abilities and ideas. Yet when you have low self-confidence, it can distort your perception of yourself and the world around you. For example, imagine replaying every mistake and painful experience and seeing yourself at the center. Your mind can’t help but draw self-blame and self-anger about every detail of your life. This scenario is the painful core of low self-confidence. When it strikes, it can disrupt every aspect of your life, including your relationships and how you treat and see yourself. And that’s why it’s so critical to build your self-confidence, unravel the causes, and begin healing.
13 Signs of Low Confidence in Women
Someone with high self-confidence thinks positively about themselves, their qualities, and their future. Yet, in contrast, someone with low self-confidence may not see themselves as worthy of love, a stable career, and supportive relationships, among other things. Here are a few additional signs to keep an eye out for…
- Overly critical about yourself
- Consistent negative self-talk
- Comparing yourself to others
- Problems asking for what you want
- Self-blame when things go wrong
- Focuses on negatives and ignores positives
- Poor outlook about the future
- Struggles to establish and maintain boundaries
- Fear of failure and often avoids challenges
- Doubt following decisions you’ve made
- Increased vulnerability to criticism and disapproval
- Struggles to accept compliments and positive feedback
- People pleasing and neglecting your needs
How to Increase Your Confidence: 8 Tips and Hacks
1. Seek internal validation
It’s tempting to ask everyone else’s opinion about your life, especially if you’re stuck. But it’s important to learn how to trust yourself and validate who you are without the help of others. Additionally, when you seek external validation, you’re setting yourself up for more potential pain and loss. Therefore, create an internal hype-up morning routine to boost your self-esteem. For example, wake up and say, “I got this” and then write everything you’re grateful for, including the traits you love about yourself and your successes.
2. Confront challenges
Failure can be scary, but it’s actually good for you. It’s a prerequisite for growth – and the more you experience it, the more confident and skilled you become. So, seek out challenges that cause you to struggle and take risks. When you do, you’ll learn how to get past the initial “I can’t do this” and instead develop trust in your abilities to overcome challenges and solve them. Also, when you hear those self-deprecating thoughts, identify them and follow the voice within you that empowers you to propel forward.
3. Build your emotional regulation
We’re human, and we experience a spectrum of emotions every day. But sometimes, our emotions become so overwhelming that we resort to negative behaviors that directly impact our confidence. So, instead of avoiding how you feel, spend time reflecting and allowing yourself to feel every emotion that arises. Here’s how..
- Identify and accept your emotions with compassion by labeling how you feel. For example, “I feel I’m not worthy of love” or “I feel angry and hurt”.
- How does the pain feel in your body? Tight chest, tense shoulders, or upset stomach?
- Next, investigate the emotion. Why do you feel this way? Where is the evidence? Learn about the emotion, and what it’s trying to tell you.
- Lastly, nurture yourself by repeating a positive affirmation, “I love you, keep going” or complete a self-care activity.
4. Investigate your thoughts
We all have an inner critic whose cruelty sometimes feels impossible to ignore. Thoughts like “You’re not good enough” and “You’re so stupid for making the same mistake…again” may seem harmless, but over time, they reinforce how we see ourselves. But challenging these cognitive distortions can help you shift your internal dialogue and empower your self-confidence. For example, instead of calling yourself stupid for making a mistake, say, “I made a mistake, and that’s okay. I’m human, and I am trying my best”. You can also reframe black-and-white thinking from “I always do this” to “I sometimes or never do this”.
5. Practice self-forgiveness
Do you have a habit of replaying past mistakes or failures? You’re not alone. But one significant aspect of learning how to increase your confidence is also learning how to practice self-forgiveness. It may seem daunting but letting go will do wonders for your life. To start, follow the four Rs;
- Responsibility: Accept the past by leading with self-compassion
- Remorse: Embrace the emotions you feel and learn from them
- Restoration: Forgive yourself and rebuild safety
- Renewal: Use the past as a step forward to grow
6. Reflect on your strengths
What are your strengths? Perhaps you’re an amazing listener, a gifted athlete, or talented at solving challenging problems. Whatever your strengths are, write them down and find ways to use them. When you understand what you excel at, you can intentionally seek out situations where you’ll flourish. And by consistently using your strengths, you’ll be reminded that you are skilled and have reasons to feel confident in who you are and what you offer.
7. Establish boundaries
While doing things for others can uplift you and lead to increased happiness, there is a fine line. For example, saying yes at the cost of your own needs can negatively affect your self-confidence and even cause burnout. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn how to establish and maintain boundaries that protect your mental and physical wellbeing. To start, create a list of your core values that drive who you are, who you want to be, and what is most valuable to you. Then begin communicating these within your personal and professional relationships to ensure the most important relationship in your life is at the top of your priority list, the one with yourself.
8. Prioritize self-care
A common side effect of low confidence is feeling like you don’t deserve to feel good emotionally or physically. Yet one way to combat this is to remind yourself you do by showing yourself acts of love and kindness. For example, call a friend, take a long mindful walk, buy yourself that dress you want, or take a soothing bubble bath. Any act of self-care, no matter how small, will give your mind and body the care and consideration it deserves.
Learning how to increase your self-confidence can feel like a challenging and overwhelming process. Indeed, it requires you to look within, peel back the layers of pain, and take consistent action to heal. But remember, building your self-love and self-esteem is possible. It may feel like an uphill battle, but you can do it. Believe in yourself.
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