Life happens and we want to see an increase in self esteem and confidence. But we are adults, right? So, therefore, we should be in complete control of our self-esteem. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Major life events like a new job or a relationship break down can leave us questioning our personal worth.
- What is wrong with me?
- Why can’t I do anything right?
- Why can’t I do better?
Well, I wanted to provide you with 8 tips to increase self esteem and confidence that can help you be the best person you can be.
Feeling better about ourselves allows us to become more resilient and capable of dealing with what life throws our way. Those bumps in the road won’t bring us down as much and we learn how to cope with stress.
Be prepared for this journey to be an on-going process. Events occur that affect how we feel about ourselves, sometimes as much as on a daily basis. The day may begin with feelings of being able to tackle anything and conclude with wanting to curl up in a ball. It is how you deal with situations that will have the greatest impact.
So, how do we go about recognizing our self-worth? We’ve put together a list of 8 practical ways to increase self esteem and confidence.
#1. Use Positive Affirmations
How you talk to yourself shapes how you perceive yourself at your very core. Examine what you are saying to yourself, even though it may be subconscious. Thinking negatively like “I’m not good enough”, “there is no way I can do that”, or “I’m too fat” affects your self-esteem. If you are constantly thinking like this, eventually you begin to believe those statements are true. (BTW, they aren’t true – you are strong and worthwhile!)
Fortunately, these types of thoughts can be unlearned. That is where affirmations come into the picture. But what are affirmations? They are positive phrases that help you to overcome sabotaging yourself and begin to realize you are indeed a valued individual! I cannot stress how important it is to stay positive in negative situations as much as you can!
Begin by finding something positive that is easy for you to believe and compliment yourself about that thing. For example, saying to yourself “My eyes are really pretty today” or “I like the way I can do my hair” can affect you positively. Like with everything, start small and eventually you will begin to believe what you are saying to yourself. You will walk taller and exude more confidence.
Truly think about the things you say to yourself. Would you say them to a loved one or your best friend? If not, why are saying them to yourself? If it feels too awkward to be talking to yourself in the mirror, write down these positive affirmations. Seeing them written down can also be that boost you need!
#2. What are You Good at?
Hmmmmm what are you competent at? C’mon, everyone is good at something. Dig deep. Do not underestimate your abilities. For example, I took up painting years ago and in the past few years, I realized I actually have some talent in it. I have put in some dedicated time to develop this skill and it has grown! Guess what? I feel better about myself because of it. I get compliments from others and have even taught others how to paint as well!
Identifying what we are good at and then making a conscious decision to develop those skills works wonders for your self-image. If you are struggling to figure out what you are good at, think about what you enjoy doing.
- Do you like cooking and trying new recipes?
- Do you like playing basketball?
- Do you enjoy building things?
Find opportunities to improve those talents and you will begin to increase self esteem and confidence.
#3. Accept Compliments
When someone gives you a compliment, what do you immediately do? Personally, I tend to dismiss their compliment and undervalue what they are saying to me. Many people do this because we are not seeing the value in ourselves that others can obviously see.
Try responding with a simple, “Thank you” and realize that the words are sincere and genuine. Give others compliments as well and watch how your words impact them. Also, do not forget to be complimenting yourself! Be kind to yourself.
#4. Self Forgiveness – is Key
Nobody is perfect and we are all a work in progress. There is no doubt we have all made mistakes along the way. This doesn’t make you a horrible person. However, when you focus on those errors, your self-esteem drops even further.
It is important to FORGIVE YOURSELF. If a good friend made a mistake, would you continue to remind them of it every day? Of course not, because you know that will only hurt them. Treat yourself like that good friend. Learn from your mistakes and realize that you deserve to be forgiven. You are human and will make more mistakes. It is inevitable but you are not your mistakes. You are so much more!
#5. Limit Social Media
What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Do you reach for your phone and instantly log in to Facebook or Instagram to see what everyone else is doing? PLEASE STOP THIS! Checking social media is an addiction for many of us. What can be the harm in it, you ask?
There is a perpetual comparison of ourselves to others when we are viewing others’ lives. You might think they look happier, prettier, thinner, richer. Then you begin to feel unhappy and even perhaps self-destructive with your inner thoughts. It is these comparisons and negative thoughts that are damaging your self-esteem.
There is always going to be someone who is better at something than you. There is no getting around that. However, think about this – you must also be better than someone else at something too!
Also, remember the woman with the perfect hair and makeup probably had a professional do it for her and her gorgeous selfie? Yep, there were probably 47 selfies before the perfect one where she looked like a frog! (Smile, that was a bit funny, right?)
So tomorrow morning instead of checking social media, do something more constructive. Make a healthy breakfast, read a book to your child, admire the sunrise, or practice your positive self-affirmations!
#6. Practice Self-Care and Appreciation
I will reiterate – no one is perfect. Not you. Not me. Not the Queen. There is nothing more self-destructive than trying to live up to some perfect ideal. When you think you need to live up to some unrealistic standard, you often will avoid opportunities or situations that can help you to improve and progress. As a result, you remain stagnant in your life and nothing changes. Thus, your self-esteem plummets. Learn to practice taking care of yourself.
Perfection is not attainable for anyone. But progress and improvement always are! Set a realistic and attainable goal for yourself but do not only focus on the end result. The process is just as important and should be celebrated. It is impossible to expect to be at 100% every day, all day. Sometimes, you need to realize that is okay to dial it back a bit. The dishes will not walk out of the sink nor will the children’s toys explode if you don’t pick them up right away.
Find some time to take care of yourself. Self care is an essential habit of successful people. I, personally, wake up early on Saturday mornings, find my coziest pyjamas, a hot cup of coffee, and hunker down in my favourite chair with a good book for an entire hour. I do not do anything else and I find it gives me the opportunity to centre myself. I am then more prepared to deal with my day.
#7. Choose Your Company Wisely
Surrounding yourself with people and even things that bring you joy can increase self esteem and confidence. Think about a time that you were spending time with others who were negative and unsupportive. Did you feel amazing and determined to take on the world? I highly doubt it.
It is difficult to feel good about yourself when others around are constantly bringing you down or perhaps they are not even building themselves up. Find people and situations that make you feel good about yourself and what you are doing.
When I moved, I realized that I was not in a good headspace. I reached out to a local group of people who helped with newcomers to my city. They shared similar values and were positive about their own lives and the world as a whole. They brought up my spirits and are now part of my support system.
#8. Accept Mistakes Will Happen
Attempting anything, especially something new to you, runs the risks of mistakes and/or failure occurring. That cannot be avoided. (Pssst, with the risk of failure, there is always a risk of success too – change that mindset!) However, it is how you handle those mistakes that can make all the difference in terms of your self-esteem.
Instead of beating yourself up for making an error, look at it more positively. Say, “Hey, I just tried something new and I am going to get better at it with some more practice.” Ask yourself what will happen if you make a mistake? The answer is NOTHING. Nothing catastrophic will happen. Instead, focus on the new opportunity to learn and progress.
Remember that you are a valuable, amazing person. Make the choice to focus on the positive things surrounding you. Mistakes and bumps in the road do not need to be detrimental to your overall self-esteem.
Instead, they can help you realize your inner potential and worth. Be aware of all those opportunities to increase self esteem and confidence.