From Awkward to Awesome: 8 Tips for Building Self-Confidence
Mar 7, 2023   •   Edgardo Toledo
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Mar 7, 2023   •   Edgardo Toledo
Lots of people struggle with their self-confidence, it’s normal. But there are folks who let their low self-esteem get the better of them. If you have the same struggle, you’ll be glad to know there are actionable steps you can take to become more confident. While this list won’t turn you into the most confident person in the world overnight, it will help shape your perspective about yourself and help you embrace who you are.
Positive self-talk is a way of gently and compassionately connecting with your inner voice. It’s an effective way to feel motivated and more confident in yourself. It’s simple to do too! All you need is a quiet atmosphere where you can talk to yourself directly (either silently or speaking out loud) to express whatever’s on your mind. But be mindful about what you tell yourself because you might be crossing the gloomy avenue unconsciously.
You’re only as good as the company you keep. As you work on your self-confidence, it’s good to have supportive individuals who’ll help you become the best version of yourself. It’s also a way to welcome new friends into your social circle! Allow yourself to be open to meeting new people and getting to know them. If you click, awesome! But if you don’t, maybe they’re not the right people to associate yourself with.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can feel scary, right? You don’t know what lies ahead and the possibility of failure always lurks behind you. But therapist Alexis Bleich says that feeling nervous about doing something you’ve never done before is completely normal.
“Anticipating these feelings and the potential setbacks they might bring can help you recognize them when they show up, and feel more agency over how you proceed,” she said.
Bleich also suggests trying to shake up some parts of your life as you move out of your comfort zone, like cooking a new dish or reading a book you’ve never heard of. She reveals this will help emphasize the belief that you can take risks.
Let’s face it, no one likes to hear negative things about themselves, even if it’s true. However, a big part of self-confidence is acknowledging that you won’t always be the smartest person in the room.
Leadership coach Janine Schindler, MCC, explains you shouldn’t personalize the criticisms you receive because it only turns into a fight between who’s right and who’s wrong, which solves nothing. If you get called out for your mistake, take responsibility, stop making excuses, and create a learning opportunity out of it. Doing this sounds easier said than done, but not impossible.
Some people are scared to share their thoughts out loud due to fear of being ostracized or embarrassed. Though there’s nothing wrong with being a quiet person, if you let your anxieties keep you silent, you can end up holding yourself back from better relationships, opportunities, and more.
So, what’s the game plan? Speak up. Call out anything you feel is inappropriate or questionable, then let the conversation roll from there. Who knows? You’re probably not the only one in the room with those thoughts. The more you do this, the more you become comfortable sharing your opinions respectfully — whether people like them or not.
Humans tend to be harsh with themselves over everything they do. And this is where self-compassion comes in. According to clinical psychologist Steven Hickman, PsyD, self-compassion builds resilience. “It allows us to weather difficulty without sending us into a spiral of self-criticism or self-blame, or shame,” he explains.
Hickman also encourages everyone to treat themselves like how they would treat a good friend — with kindness. Stand up to your inner saboteur and adopt a growth mindset. After all, aren’t humans a bunch of works in progress?
Playing the game of ”Why are they more [insert comparison here] than me?” helps no one. Although it’s natural to think the cosmos has favorites, each person is on their own journey.
You don’t know what they went through to reach success or gain the self-confidence they now have. Look at yourself, for example. You’re probably more successful today than you were a year ago, and you can’t see that because you’re too focused on others. Focus on yourself and what you can do to improve. This is your journey, so try to take it one day at a time.
There’s no clear-cut guide on how to be proud of yourself. Of course, feeling proud shouldn’t be confused with arrogance because there’s a thin line that splits the two. You don’t want to sound like you’re narcissistic while presenting your accomplishments. Even if you think you’re only an oxygen thief in this universe, you actually possess qualities and skills that make you unique.
When you’re proud of yourself, you acknowledge even your smallest wins, like decluttering your room, backyard gardening, or cooking a new dish. List down the things you’re good at, cultivate them, and become someone who helps others, too. As you go along, you’ll see that self-pride slowly transforms you into a better person.
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