Confidence is important to a healthy mind. Low self-esteem is common in those who experience depression and anxiety. Although a lack of confidence can be related to issues that came up in childhood or relationship trauma, the effects can be reversed with a lot of time, effort, and self-exploration.
No matter the reason for low confidence, there are steps that you can take to raise your self-esteem a little at a time. Here are 5 things to start with when facing your lack of confidence.
1. Get a new hobby
Sometimes having low self esteem can keep us from trying new things, especially when those things could result in failure. Maybe you’ve always liked art but never tried out painting for yourself. The key to finding something you are good at is to not give up. You won’t be Picasso by your third painting and you won’t serve like Serena on your second tennis match. If you enjoy something, stick with it. You will start to see progress and that will build your confidence. Before you know it, your new hobby may become something you are good at.
2. Dress up
If dressing up is something that makes you feel good, do it more often. Even if you have no where to go, even if you feel overdressed, wear what makes you feel confident, without worrying about what other people are wearing. Not that make up is needed for you to be beautiful, but when you are feeling down, putting on make up can give you a confidence boost. The people you pass by on the streets, in the grocery store, or while dropping off your kids at school have no idea where you came from or where you are going. So what if your only plans for the day are to lay in bed and binge watch Netflix, doing so while looking your best can lift your mood. Who knows, you may even feel good enough to accomplish other tasks that you have been putting off.
3. List things you did well everyday
Journaling is important to remind yourself of the good things that happen, as the negative events tend to stay on our mind. In addition to writing down the good things that happen, it is also important to write down the things you did well. If you rocked a presentation, aced a test, or made a stranger smile, list that in a journal at the end of the night. Recalling our faults is easy so we must work hard to highlight our positive traits. Once you get into the habit of recalling the positive aspects of yourself, your view of yourself may begin to improve.
4. Only compare yourself to yourself
One easy way to get yourself down is to compare yourself to your perfect sister, well-put-together boss, or your model-type friends. Comparison is generally not recommended; however, putting that energy towards self-improvement can be beneficial. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to the old you. What progress have you made so far? Where have you surpassed your own expectations of yourself? There is likely several things that you can find that point out your positive changes. Noticing positive changes makes it easier to make more positive changes.
5. Fake it.
I know faking it is rarely good advice. But trust me on this one, when you need to do a task with confidence that you don’t actually have, faking it is better than doing the task with low confidence. For example, if you have an important meeting, a dinner party, or professional phone calls to make, try pretending that you are the confident person that you have always wanted to be. The best part is, the people in your presence likely can’t tell the difference between real confidence and when you are faking it. Once you get the hang of interacting as a confident person, doing so will come more naturally.
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Improving your confidence will take time. The goal is to retrain your brain to seek out the positive rather than always looking down on your faults. Forgive yourself for being human. View faults as areas that can be improved. If there is something that you can’t change, focus instead on what can be changed. It may not seem like it, but it takes effort to put yourself down daily. Use that effort to build yourself up. It won’t be easy but small steps each day will help to build high self-confidence.