In my previous post I discussed how our confidence fluctuates throughout our lives and even throughout each day. I explained how to figure out the core problem behind why we lack self esteem.
In this post, I will be helping you with ways you can increase your confidence and get over the core problem.
To work on your confidence, you need to treat it like a skill. And just like any skill, it’s something that can be learned and improved gradually. There are things you need to understand, and then there’s practical steps that you need to take. Now without further ado, let’s get into the steps that will cover all of this:
Go Easy On Yourself
Have you made mistakes which you’re embaressed about or regret? Bravo. It means you’re not an alien. You’re human, and the term ‘mistake’ is a fancy word for experience. I won’t tell you to let it go and forget about the mistakes you’ve made. Because you shouldn’t forget. You should remember. But not the mistake itself, you should remember the experience you gained from it. The way it changed you. The lessons it taught you. The new things it exposed you to, even if those things were tough, it made you wiser and stronger. So chin up, and go easy on yourself with a deliberate effort to take lessons from your mistakes.
Is the little voice in your head giving you a hard time? Tell it to shut up. Okay, I know its not as easy as that. It’s stubborn. But you can be too. Everytime it feels the need to bombard you with it’s pointless opinions, think of things about yourself which are the opposite of what it’s saying. I’m dumb. Apparently. Charming but I juggle housework, a 9-6 job and a new blog alone. Oh looky looky. The voice has shut up. You get the picture! Focus on your positives and learn from your shortcomings.
Remove toxic things from your life. Period. They dont need to be there. And you don’t need them there. Whether it’s things, or even people. Wave them bye bye forever. What is toxic for you? It is anything that drags you down and makes you feel limited and worthless. It could be your job…narcissistic boss anyone? It could be your unhealthy diet. It could be a ‘friend’ whose actually a terrible influence. Your life will forever be stagnant, dull yet overbearing if you let toxic things remain. Cut them out.
I have to put my hand up for this one. You know, working those extra hours at work to get that project properly done and finished. Or, adjusting the frame on the wall five times before feeling satisfaction. Well that’s a silly example (I’ve done this!) but you know where I’m going. Often times we’re too idealistic, or pressure ourselves to do something as perfectly as possible because we worry about what people will think and say if we ‘fail’ to hit the mark. Don’t be so over meticulous that you just tire yourself out.
Well, Hello There..
Make an effort to look good. Groom yourself and dress well. Now I don’t mean this to sound superficial. Rather, I mean this from a perspective of practicing self love where you make an effort for yourself. Not for the world, but for yourself. You will automatically feel more confident. A simple change like this will subconsciously make you display a confident vibe. If you look good, you feel good.
Go Out There
Expose yourself to social situations. Declining the invitation to a party because you rather stay at home with a book? Can’t blame you. I prefer that too. But at times, just go. Forcing yourself to be in a social situation can feel uncomfortable at first if you’ve accustomed yourself to avoid social gatherings. But slowly you will feel more relaxed around people. The apprehensions that you hold about showing your personality, sharing your opinions and not fitting in, are all different branches of the same tree whose roots is fear. And just like any form of fear, it can only be overcome when you force yourself to expose yourself to it. This is admittedly the hardest step. Yet if you can do it, it’s the most powerful one. This one will slowly but undoubtedly change your level of confidence. This step also goes back to my previous post, because that core problem you had behind all your fears will be tackled by following this step. If like me it was bad memories, then those memories will nonetheless still be there, however they will no longer hold any power to control you.
Learn to say no
The majority of people who lack confidence, find it very difficult to say no to requests and favours. They don’t want to lose friends. They don’t want to upset anyone or look selfish. They ultimately put other people’s needs and feelings before their own because other people’s opinions matter to them a great deal. So you see them doing so many things for others and by the end of it, they are always overworked, stressed, exhausted and fed up.
Saying no sometimes isn’t selfish. It’s absolutely fine and correct if you know that you’ve already got too much on your plate, or you’ve got other plans for yourself. It’s being assertive and respecting your needs and boundaries. Politely say no and explain why you can’t help them. Any decent person will understand and for anyone who doesn’t, it shows their ignorance and lack of understanding. For the latter kind, please refer back to my point about toxic people and things!
Building On Your Personality
Introduce more changes to your life gradually. If you don’t have a hobby already, then find one, and if you had a hobby which you stopped doing, start it again. Hobbies build character by teaching you skills in a enjoyable and productive way. If you’ve been procrastinating with things like exercising, then now is the time to introduce it into your life. Infact, set yourself a mini goal and then accomplish it. Keep it simple and fun so that you don’t burn yourself out with a unnecessary hard expectation. For example, if you’re interested in starting yoga, then set a goal of starting and perfecting one pose with perfect form. Once you’ve accomplished it, start another goal, but this time slightly more challenging.
Travelling and exploring new places, new sceneries and different cultures is fascinating and invigorating to your mind and soul. Not only is it a great excuse for a holiday, but observing and learning other cultures and languages is a sure fire way of increasing your confidence. You’re general knowledge about places and people will increase, and you’ll be communicating with a range of people.
Stay In The Middle
Balance is key. There are two ends to the spectrum here. One, which is lacking confidence, and on the other end there is over confidence. Always remain grounded throughout this transitional period by remaining in the middle of this spectrum. Never let yourself fly from one extreme only to land on the other. The key is to remember your abilities, but never forget your capabilities.
There you have it folks. Productive steps to gradually increase your self confidence and esteem.