Confidence (noun): belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-reliance; assurance.
Having confidence is an admirable quality—one we all seek to have, but often struggle to achieve. Even when we’ve built up confidence within a particular area of our lives such as in a job or with a new group of friends—such confidence can be fleeting. Life events can transpire that throw us off course, and people can make careless, negative comments that puncture our psyches and drive us towards self-doubt, anxiety or fearful thinking.
Our confidence can also take a dive when we spend too much time comparing ourselves to others—developing jealousies as we admire how confident, beautiful or successful other people appear to be. This can also lead to a habit of self-deprecation— attempting to make light of our own flaws in hopes that others won’t think or say negative things about us first.
But when we allow our self-confidence to diminish and deflate in these ways, we are gradually becoming shells of our better selves. When our spirit is inflated and we are pumped with positivity and prideful thinking—we are much more apt to chase new opportunities, take risks and step outside our comfort zone (the place where real personal-growth takes shape).
There is no shame in admitting if you suffer from low self-esteem! HELL, even Yeezus made an anthem of it (“We’re all self-conscious I’m just the first to admit it!”)… But what is a shame is to allow yourself to believe—or even accept—that you will never be great, that you are less than best, or that you are in fact, “average.”
We must BANISH such thinking from our vocabulary!!!! We talk ourselves into negative thinking, so we can talk ourselves out of it too.
I know this isn’t always easy—especially if you are in a particularly dark place. I myself have grappled with self confidence A LOT since leaving my salaried job last summer—and it’s taken a lot of work to maintain a positive state of mind.
Here are 6 tips that I believe are incredibly helpful for pumping up your self-confidence and revealing your true uniqueness, beauty and shine!
1. Focus on pleasant memories and situations in which you have excelled.
Having a rough day? Write yourself a letter outlining accomplishments, relationships or skills you are proud of. Remind yourself how great you really are! (Practice self-compassion).
2. Develop your own “confidence routine.”
Whenever I have a big meeting or job interview, I make sure to leave plenty of time to primp and prepare myself. This means making time for a morning strength-training workout, turning on my favorite jams, picking out a bold outfit, and spending extra time on my hair and makeup (instead of running out the door with wet hair in a bun like most days). Create your own confidence routine– and stick to it!
3. Make decisions with good intentions.
Whenever you face tough decisions in your personal or professional life, make sure to keep your values top of mind. What outcome will maintain your integrity, while yielding the least amount of harm to others? If you know your decisions are grounded in good intentions—you can’t spend time worrying what other people think!
4. Prioritize social activities.
Even if you are an introvert, it’s important to flex your social skills and make time for people that add value to your life. Make time to call an old friend, or go out of your way to plan a movie, shopping, or work-out date with a GF or group of friends. It’s rewarding to spend time with people who not only build you up, but value your advice and input in their lives as well.
5. Journal regularly.
Writing is therapeutic, it’s like a personal gift to yourself. Find simple beauty in each day, and record every highlight. Poems, songs, mantras and drawings are great too! Focus on putting positive thoughts and images on paper and you will be better be able to commit these thoughts to mind.
6. Push yourself physically.
Run, hike, cycle, yoga..build up a SWEAT! Push yourself and explore your physical abilities. Stop saying “I can’t” and just DO IT. You’ll be amazed what the mind makes the body accomplish. It’s also important to challenge yourself! Sign up for a ½ marathon, a Warrior Dash, or a 30 day yoga challenge. Feeling strong physically is extremely helpful in developing a higher self-esteem.
Remember that everyone has insecurities. We have to accept our flaws, separate from negativity and focus on sharing our best version of ourselves with the world.
Know your worth, find your voice and spend time developing your strengths.