Lack of self confidence often stems from low self esteem and can have a detrimental effect on your happiness and success. Trust me, I know. I have struggled a lot with confidence in the past and still do, although I have come a long way. My life is much better now that I have more confidence. Confidence is linked to how you perceive yourself and can influence how others see you, making this is a really important area to work on. Here are five steps I used to help increase my self confidence. Take a read and see if they might help you.
What is self confidence?
Self confidence is having the ability, psychologically, to do the things we want to do. It is feeling self-assured and capable, being self-reliant and feeling in control of the situation. It encompasses the ability to stand up for yourself and feeling that you are equal to other people.
Your behavior will usually reflect how self confident you are feeling. You might display more self confidence in certain situations but less in others. Follow these 5 easy steps to gaining confidence in yourself to be able to tackle any situation.
- Make a list. Everyone has good qualities; make a list of the qualities you have that you admire. Ask close friends and relatives to tell you the qualities they see in you. Check over your list and see that you have many admirable qualities that you can be proud of. This exercise helps your self esteem by showing the positive side of your character.
- Be kind to yourself. This was and still is my arch nemesis. I have this bad habit of being really hard on myself. What I realized is that in order to increase your self esteem you need to give yourself a break. Don’t focus on the areas where you think you fall short. Remember your good points and work on your weaknesses; doing something positive towards increasing your confidence gives you a real boost. Watch your negative self-talk; you know, that endless chatter that goes on in your mind, usually telling you why you can’t do what you want to do. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, turn it around by saying to yourself, “I used to think like that but now I am …… (something more positive).”
- Fake it till you make it. This is a great strategy for increasing your self confidence. Act like you are confident; talk like you believe in what you are saying; dress the way confident people dress; stand tall, walk proud, head held high. No one knows the difference and by acting confident, you will feel more confident. Practice makes perfect; faking it is just a type of practice.
- Be grateful. Having an attitude of gratitude makes you realize just how much you have going for you. Mentally list 5 things you are grateful for before you get out of bed in the morning and do the same before you go to sleep at night. Be grateful and proud that you are now doing something positive towards increasing your self confidence. Acknowledge improvements in your level of confidence. By focusing on what you have, you lessen the negative effect of feeling the lack of confidence.
- Look after yourself. Take good care of your health so that you feel in peak condition. Eat a nutritional diet, limit processed foods which are just full of empty calories, and drink plenty of water every day. Be active for 20 to 30 minutes on most days as exercise makes you feel good by releasing extra serotonin and giving you more energy. Dress for success, have your hair styled and get regular dental check-ups. By making the most of yourself physically, you will feel more confident in those situations where you have felt uneasy in the past.
If you use these 5 steps to increase your self confidence and self esteem, you will gradually start to notice times when you are less nervous, less anxious and better able to cope in situations where you used to be uneasy or scared. Persevere and you will gain confidence in all areas of your life and feel good about yourself as well. It really does work; at least it did for me.
So, do you battle a lack of self confidence? What have you done to try to overcome it? What has worked and what hasn’t?