Self confidence is a skill. When you don’t have it, it is easy to feel like you never will. Not only that, but it is extremely isolating and limits almost every area of your life because you’re afraid to put yourself out there, you’re afraid to do what you need to do in order to realize your greatest potential. You deserve better than that. Using the ten hacks you’ll read below, you can get started on your journey to feeling comfortable in your own skin and realizing that you’re capable of reaching your goals.
Face Your Fears
You’re going to be uncomfortable in life, it is just part of what we go through. There are always going to be things that scare you, but until you can start to face that fear, you’re trapped. Fear and anxiety are like walls in between us and the things we could accomplish; when you start facing your fears and climbing those walls, you realize that it actually wasn’t so bad. When that happens, you will see that you are capable of confronting your problems, your anxiety, whatever it is, and recognizing you’re capable is going to make you feel more confident.
Recognize Everyone Else’s Humanity
Part of the reason that people struggle so much with confidence is that we’re constantly looking at other people and comparing ourselves to what we see. Someone might look more put together than you do, or maybe they seem like they do better at work, and that makes you feel bad. Having low self-esteem makes us think that everyone sees us the same way that we do, and that isn’t true. If you take a step back and think about it, you will start to understand that everyone has their problems (just like you) and that many people are scared the same way you are, no matter how good their life looks from where you’re standing.
Get Some Exercise
Every time you turn around, there is someone somewhere telling you to just try getting some exercise like it is some kind of panacea. It isn’t. But, getting some exercise is good for your body, helps you channel your stress into something productive, releases hormones that improve your mood, and it’s an important act of self-care. When you take better care of yourself, you feel better about yourself, and that is the foundation of building up your confidence.
Self-deprecating humor has become the norm. It is healthy to be able to laugh at yourself, but your self-deprecation shouldn’t spill over into other areas of your life. Denying compliments is something that people do to seem humble, or because they truly don’t believe what the other person is telling them. Instead of disagreeing, just say thank you. Accept that this is how others see you. When you start accepting the positive qualities other people admire in you, it will help you recognize and admire those qualities in yourself.
This seems counterintuitive, but it is one of the best things you can do to start to build your confidence. Open up. Open up about your thoughts, your feelings, your problems. Being more vulnerable is giving yourself permission to take up space, and it teaches you to recognize that the parts of you that you hold back and struggle with are perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed about. Remember: flaws are impermanent pieces of a flourishing soul. Having shortcomings doesn’t mean you’re not great, and acknowledging the bad makes more room for you to acknowledge the good as well.
Improve Your Posture
This is another one that has to do with taking up space. Poor posture happens all the time; sometimes, you might do it on purpose to shield yourself from other people, other times it could be because that’s just what you’re used to. Improving your posture by sitting and standing up straighter transforms the way that you carry yourself. You’re important, and if you carry yourself like you realize that, it will make you feel better about yourself. When you carry yourself the way that you see others doing so, it helps you feel more like you belong. Fitting in isn’t important but you should treat yourself like you belong here.
When you don’t feel good about yourself, or when you’re struggling with deeper issues like depression and anxiety, it is common to seek out negative things and sort of commiserate with yourself. You’re allowed to feel the things that you’re feeling, but consuming negative media isn’t helping. Stop wallowing in social media. Follow blogs or Instagram accounts that post positive messages, watch something uplifting every day, or you could even create a vision board of all the things you want to do. Inspire yourself to work towards your goals instead of reinforcing the idea that you’re not good enough.
Positive self-talk is something that has been proven time and time again to make a difference, and mantras are a great way to incorporate that into your life in a small way. Sometimes people call these affirmations. Write down a quick positive mantra in your daily planner, journal about the idea of a certain mantra, print something out and put it on your wall, make it your phone or computer wallpaper, write it on a sticky note on your mirror, or even say it out loud before bed. No matter how you add this to your day, telling yourself “I am good enough” or “I am smart” every day will shape the way you think about yourself.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
No matter how big or small an accomplishment is, it’s important. If you did one more push up than yesterday, or if you made eye contact with your barista even though you were feeling anxious, that is something that you accomplished. Regardless of what it looks like to other people, if you took one step towards something that you want, if you did one thing to overcome your anxiety today, that is one more than you did yesterday. Baby steps and long strides are both important pieces of progress that you are making towards a better you and you should be proud of them. Congratulate yourself, you did it, you can do it again. Knowing you can do it again is confidence.
Having compassion is important because a lack of compassion is where most people’s problems with their confidence come from. There are people in this world that could speak five languages before they were in junior high and there are people in this world that made enough money to retire at 25. When you look at other people and beat yourself up over not achieving the same things that you see them achieving, you’re not being compassionate with yourself. Understand that this is a process, you haven’t wasted your life, you aren’t a failure. You’re getting there. You’ll get there. And every day that you continue to work on yourself, you’re getting closer to it, and you should feel good about that instead of putting yourself down.