For the most part, I think I'm a pretty snazzy person, but there are some days where I shuffle into the bathroom, glance in the mirror and think, "Ugh. You again." There are going to be days where you need to boost your self-confidence because you're just not feeling yourself, and it can be a hard task to pull off. All of a sudden minor flaws are repackaged as huge character failures, accomplishments are over-looked and everything that you've ever disliked about yourself gets focused on with laser-beam precision. And because of all those self-doubts and pointed-out shortcomings, you start to shrink and hide.
And who wants to wallow in that feeling more than they have to? So how do you pull yourself out of that rut, and make yourself see the truth? Sure, you can wait it out, but there's a more pro-active way to go about things. What you're going to have to do is prove to yourself that you've got a lot of potential and that you contribute something only you can bring forward in your own special way. And I'll show you exactly how to do that. Below are 11 tips on how to boost your self-confidence.
1. Look Forward To Things You're Excited About
You know that strength and excitement your voice gets when you talk about something you're passionate or excited about? It completely changes your appearance — your eyes light up, your body language becomes expressive, and you become magnetic. When you're having a slump of a week where you're just not feeling yourself, look to projects or ideas that you're excited about to pull you through. Business writer Peter Economy at entrepreneur site Inc offered, "Be positive, even if you're not feeling it quite yet. Put some positive enthusiasm into your interactions with others and hit the ground running, excited to begin your next project. Stop focusing on the problems in your life and instead begin to focus on solutions and making positive changes." Don't focus on the negative, rather focus on what gets you jazzed.
2. Realize You're The One Holding Yourself Back
What do you think happens when you look in the mirror and tell yourself you're not smart enough, talented enough, hot enough? You lead yourself towards a self-fulfilling prophecy. Economy pointed out, "If you are constantly bashing yourself and saying you're not good enough, aren't attractive enough, aren't smart enough or athletic enough, and on and on, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy." Instead, look at that mirror and for every negative, replace it with a positive. If you don't think you're talented enough, replace it with a "But I can practice everyday until I am, because I'm dedicated." Soon enough, you'll only see those positives.
3. Pad Your Life With What Matters
You'll notice a lot of the time people with low self-confidence aren't making moves to fill their lives with meaningful goals and activities. When you're spending day after day doing things you're passionate about and building your character, it's hard to think you're not worth space. So do just that. Lifestyle writer Steve Errey from Lifehack suggested, "Get crystal clear on the things that truly matter to you. If they’re not in your life, you need to bring them in." Whether that's art, reading, spending time with friends, travel, or building your career, pin point what is important in your life and then jump in with both feet. You'll notice the change.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself
Seriously though, when has anyone ever come out on top when comparing themselves to someone else? Life coach Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D. from Forbes recommended, "Shift the attention — that you’re wasting in comparisons —back to you and your goals and you will instantly see an increase in self-confidence." Instead, compare yourself to last-month-you when it comes to your goals — that's the only tracking that's important.
5. Set Specific Goals
What's that one thing that's making you feel down? To you feel boring? Like you don't have purpose? Pinpoint what it is and make plans on how to change it around. Lifestyle writer Alexandra Duron from self-improvement site Greatist offered, "Try setting a super specific goal — be as detailed as possible (one study suggests that the more detailed your vision of future success, the more confident you’ll feel ) — and imagine that you’ve achieved it." By imagining you already doing the steps and winning (like you kicking butt in a super hard workout, or finishing that amazing article,) then the more likely you'll jump right in and do it, proving to yourself you have the chops.
6. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Does your brain tell you that you suck at dancing and that's why you're boring and no one loves you? Shut it up and do just that: Go dancing. Build your self confidence by doing the things that scare you and proving to yourself that you've been selling yourself short. Kulaga advised, " This week, step out of your comfort zone 3 times. The more frequently you step outside your comfort zone, the quicker this type of behavior will become a habit." It'll help.
7. Reward Yourself
Often times we have a habit of cruising over our accomplishments in our hurry to focus on our failures or negatives. To combat that, look back during the week and pinpoint what you kicked butt in and celebrate it. Errey recommended, "Look at a great win or success you’ve experienced and give yourself credit for your part in it. Recognizing your achievements is not egotistical, it’s healthy." Whether that's skipping the extra TV show and going for a run instead, making a great point in the meeting, finishing an extra side project, or breaking free from your circle of friends and talking to a stranger at the party, it all counts as a win. Celebrate your efforts; you're already working to become better!
8. Make A List
This one is my favorite: When you're down on yourself, sit down and make a list about all the reasons why you're actually an amazing person to know. Economy advised, "Sit down right now and make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and another list of all the things you are proud of accomplishing." Then re-read that list, and tack it onto your mirror. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of reminding.
9. Be The Person That Believes In You
Often times we get down in the dumps because we feel like no one can see us. No one notices how much potential we have, how much we have to say, what we can contribute. It's hard. But instead of looking for others to notice, designate yourself your own cheerleader. It's enough if only you notice. Duron explained, "We mentioned that affirmations may help with visualizing successful outcomes, but they may also be powerful confidence-boosting tools on their own, especially during times of stress or struggle." Look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself you're kind, you're smart, you can kick butt, and you're powerful. Now don't quit until you're proud of yourself.
10. Start Building a Confidence File
You know all those sweet emails, thumbs-up messages, and sincere compliments you've received over the past couple of months? Start saving them and putting them in one file, so you can pull them up during slumps like these and remind yourself of your worth. Duron suggested, "So save those sincere birthday cards, performance reviews, and even emails from mom and read them back to yourself when you need a shot of confidence." It'll be a great reminder.
11. Survey That Self-Talk
The way we speak to ourselves has a lot to do with our self-confidence, so make sure you pay close attention to how you encourage or restrict yourself with your words. Errey offered, "Next time you come up against a risk or a challenge, listen to what you tell yourself and look for a way that that inner dialog can be improved. Ask yourself, 'What would make this easier?'" The great part of this advice? Even if you don't think you can do something, you're problem-solving with ideas on how to make it easier and doable, giving yourself permission to have confidence.
So the next time you feel in a slump and have a "meh" mentality towards yourself, try these tips out!
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