Despite my mission statement, I’ve found it extremely difficult to stay confident at all times. 2016 was a tough year to say the least, but I know that I need to regain focus and belief, most importantly I have made it my mission to help you. With that in mind, here are 21 tips to follow to gain back that confidence.
- Ditch negative people and their criticisms. Sometimes you need to sift through friends and acquaintances, separating out the negative people from the positive ones. You may have a negative boss or a friend who constantly puts you down; these aren’t the people you need in your life. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between constructive criticism and negative criticism. Constructive criticism helps you to improve, negative comments strip away your sense of self and do nothing to help you get better. Leave these negative people behind and make way for more positive ones.
- Never rely on anyone for approval. Your confidence should never be someone else’s responsibility. If you want to be confident, it’s in your hands to make that happen. Don’t wait for approval from others and know that your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters.
- Put an end to the vicious circle of comparing yourself to others. When we compare ourselves to others, we place self-doubt and become resentful as a result. This in turn makes us feel even less confident. In order to feel your best, compare yourself only to you. If you have flaws, change them. If you can’t change them (for example, the colour of your eyes), embrace them. Sometimes, I don’t like how my face appears in the mirror but it’s what makes me me. And since I can’t change that, I might as well learn to accept it. Life’s too short to be someone else.
- Focus on your goals. When all else fails, your dream is the only thing you have to fall back on. Focus on keeping busy at all times. Chances are you’ll be so busy you won’t even have time to think about anything else. Besides, your goals and what you want to achieve in life are really what matter more.
- Leave the past behind. Easier said than done. But your past has no place in the present. All it does is stop you from moving forward. I’ve been a sucker for this and have been tormented by things that happened to me. Just remember that you’re better than anyone who may have hurt you or picked on you.
- Practice gratitude. You’ve heard it before and you’re hearing it now. It’s very true, feeling grateful and focusing on all the things you have rather than the things you don’t have is an excellent way to feel good about yourself. Bitterness will only put your confidence down.
- Learn to love yourself again. The only way to do this is not to look for external things. What I mean by this is you need to turn inward. New clothes, makeup, holidays are great distractions and will make you happy for a while but in the long run if all you rely on is outside things, you might find your confidence fluctuating. Turn inwards and think of all the things that make you a wonderful person, e.g. you’re compassionate, you’re loyal, you’re honest and so on. These things lie at the core of your being and will likely never change. Love yourself for who you are, not what you are…
- Forgive yourself. But before you can love yourself, you need to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and go easy on yourself whenever you make a new one. Remember that mistakes and embarrassments are a part of life. Learn from them, try not to make them again but at the same time give yourself a break.
- Know who you are. This is the surefire way to be confident. Once you know yourself in and out, no-one will ever be able to put you down again. If you know who you are, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.
- Be good. When you react negatively to bad situations, the consequences of your actions can lead to embarrassment or shame, which is the last thing you need when trying to regain your confidence. So next time you’re faced with a difficult situation, react to it like a warrior, but not a warrior who fights with his fist. There’s something extremely powerful about a silent warrior. Think of someone you look up to. What would they do in your situation?
- Do good. A great way to help yourself is to help others. Get involved in good causes such as helping out a charity by donating or offering your time. Choose something that matters to you. By focusing on boosting someone else’s confidence, you might find that your own self-esteem will soar. Of course, don’t do it for confidence. Do it because there’s someone out there who’s going through a difficult time and needs your help.
- Fake it. If you’re really struggling with confidence, fake it. This doesn’t mean pretending to be someone you’re not, but rather visualising yourself a certain way and projecting that image onto others. If you tell someone that you’re a confident person, chances are you’ll begin to act that way. It’s all in the mind. A tip: A smile is a great disguise for the shaky weasel inside.
- Do more of the things you love. I say not to rely on external factors but at the same time, you need to live a life that’s full of fun and excitement. When you’re having a good time, you’re less likely to dwell and more likely to shine.
- Pamper yourself. Again, this may sound contradictory to what I’ve previously said about relying on external factors. Without letting it go too far, once in a while you deserve to treat yourself. Whether that’s a day at a spa or sitting for a cup of coffee and cake at a cafe to the occasional splurge, it’s all part of what makes life fun. And when we’re having fun, we feel great.
- Step outside your comfort zone. It may be scary at first but the whole point of this is to help you get stronger and build confidence. Once you’re able to overcome a certain fear, you’ll feel invincible and realise how much control you actually possess. It will restore your faith in yourself and make you realise that you can do anything, if you put your mind to it.
- Get out there. This is similar to my previous point, except by this one I actually mean to get out there. Visit places, meet people and take classes. It’s amazing what it can do for your levels of happiness, which in turn will boost your self-esteem.
- Share moments with family and friends. It’s important to have a strong support system around you, people that you rely on in times of need. Make sure to spend time with the people that matter to you. Good times = happiness = boost in confidence.
- Listen to positivity. Whether that’s a motivational Nike advert or an inspirational song, listening to positive things have the power to influence our mood. So it’s very important that you constantly reinforce the idea that you can do anything.
- Leave positive reminders lying around. Anything from sticky notes that says ‘you rock’ to mugs with funny jokes on them will keep you smiling. Fill your house with these things.
- Give it time. Finally, if your confidence has been severely bruised, it will take some time to rebuild. Understand that that’s okay. Take baby steps and don’t expect results immediately.
As a final note, remember that confidence is a state of mind. You have the power to be confident if you believe it. I hope you grow in confidence. Good luck!
What are your tips for confidence building? Let me know.