Confidence is something that many people take for granted, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Some people have confidence in certain areas of life but lack it in others.
Building confidence can be especially difficult for people who have been bullied, discriminated against or experience anxiety.
Fortunately, confidence is something that we can work on and improve over time. Read on for some tips on building confidence and self-esteem.
What is confidence?
There are many different definitions of confidence but we like this one which comes from the Cambridge dictionary:
“The quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future.”
So ultimately, confidence is all about believing in yourself. It’s about having a strong sense of who you are and what you can do. That’s a pretty big ask for some of us with low self-esteem but following the suggestions below may help.
Tips for building confidence.
1. Spend time with people who lift you.
Being around family members and friends who understand, appreciate and accept you can boost positivity and confidence.
2. Celebrate your achievements.
Find a way to acknowledge small and large wins like learning a new skill or doing something you didn’t think you could.
3. Keep a ‘toot’ file.
A toot file is a collection of things you are proud of. It might include things like a card someone has sent you for doing something nice for them or an email from your boss saying you did a good job. If you’re lacking in confidence, open the file as a reminder of those successes.
4. Have a break from social media.
Comparing ourselves and our lives to others can harm our self-esteem. If you’re down or feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to take a break from social media.
5. Be yourself, unapologetically.
Remember that there is no one else in the world just like you. You are unique and that’s an incredible thing. It’s ok to be yourself. And it’s ok to have good days and bad days.
Remember the words from the Greatest Showman hit song, This is me:
“Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me!”
6. Try positive affirmations.
Use positive statements, such as saying things like, “I’ve got this” or “I can do this”. Find a positive affirmation for each day such as those from Louise Hay and repeat it throughout the day.
7. Don’t beat yourself up for making a mistake.
Making mistakes is one of life’s greatest teachers. If you’ve made a mistake, don’t let that set you back. Acknowledge the mistake, learn from it and move on.
8. Challenge yourself.
Practice makes perfect and building confidence is no exception. Set yourself a challenge or goal, no matter how small and make a plan to achieve it. Each time you succeed, celebrate it and add to your toot file.
“Show up in every single moment like you’re meant to be there,” says American businesswoman Marie Forleo. There’s a lot to be said for pretending to be confident, even if you are not feeling it!
10. Focus on what you can do.
Paralympian and television presenter Dylan Alcott says: “My all-time favourite saying is, “For every one thing I can’t do, there’s 10,000 more that I can.” Play to your strengths, rather than letting what you are unable to do get you down.
11. Get out of your own mind.
If you’re stuck in a mental loop of negativity and insecurity, try getting out of your head by being mindful. Get out in nature, practise meditation, spend time with your pet or do something else you enjoy.
12. Create good habits.
Have a daily routine, eat healthily, exercise and dress well. You might be surprised at how much your confidence improves through taking care of yourself!
Written by the Leap in! team, with input from the EAP Assist program story, Building Confidence.
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