It may seem like a benign, isolated thought along the lines of “Nope, I cannot do this, I’m an awful dancer”, or you perhaps already have a whole array of bad habits in your life that only confirm your low levels of self-esteem. No matter how old you are or what you do, going through life without enough confidence often means missing out on opportunities and wonderful adventures that would help you grow and enjoy life more than ever.
Having and building your own confidence means building an attitude, a healthy mindset based on self-love and self-care. Even if it seems impossible to see yourself with such a frame of mind, the following six habits will help you finally abandon your little cocoon of constant self-constraint and spread your newly-formed wings of freedom!
Get to know yourself
If someone asks you to describe your best friend, you’d probably have so much to say, most if not all of it in a positive light. But for those with low confidence, saying something remotely positive about yourself seems close to impossible, and you probably wouldn’t even know where to begin.
Take a moment to yourself and note down all the things you know about yourself, and don’t just stick to facts such as education or a job title, but delve deep into your personality and list out your best features. Also, don’t shy away from listing the negatives as well, as recognizing them is the first step to rooting them out. Keep the positive statements nearby and use them as your own affirmations when you feel your confidence needs a boost. Over time, greater self-awareness and knowledge of your qualities should be a natural state of mind, one that supports your self-esteem.
Strive for the positive
There will always be days when things go wrong and you make mistakes and fail. So what? You’re human and you will always come across situations that might not bring out the best in you, but how you perceive them shouldn’t bring down your self-confidence.
Try to think of them as opportunities to learn and overcome your current limitations. Don’t let yourself fall into that vicious negative thought cycle where you berate yourself for not accomplishing something the way you intended. Choose more positive language that doesn’t generalize and ascribe a single negative outcome to a character flaw. Be your own support!
Embrace the unknown
One of the main reasons people are in a perpetual state of self-criticism is their fear of the unknown. It can paralyze you, prevent you from taking a step forward in your life, and leads to those outbursts when you feel that you are “incompetent” or “unworthy”. Try to accept the fact that there will always be things you cannot control, and start noticing the ones that you can affect.
We are all afraid of losing our independence as we age or losing our status in our company – it defines a great part of our identity. Although you cannot prevent ageing process (not yet, at least), you can save up for a future you wish for yourself, look into in-home care offers or check out where you’d like to retire. You can invest in a gym membership now and do your best to maintain your physical well-being by sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise. So, take control and responsibility wherever you can, but don’t let the unknown and the unforeseeable prevent you from enjoying your present.
Say yes to new experiences
If your low confidence has always pushed you away from certain dreams and hobbies you wanted to try, this is your chance to learn to say yes! With the help of those affirmations, you can change your thinking patterns from negative into positive and allow yourself to take a leap of faith.
Start small, with those dance lessons you’ve always wanted to try, or by taking a yoga class. If you’ve been meaning to look for a new, more rewarding job, then go for it, why not? Yes, it might take time to find the right one, or you might make mistakes along the way, but that is precisely a part of the confidence-building process. You will need to fail in order to succeed.
Shift your perspective
Finally, remember that no matter how troublesome a situation may seem, or if you find yourself stuck in a negative loop once more, we are all specs of dust in this beautiful universe. Our presence is temporary and fleeting, so spending it on meaningless worries and stressing over that mean comment on Facebook doesn’t give it any more substance or meaning.
Don’t waste your energy on pointless quarrels, internal or shared. Enjoy this limited time we are given, focus on the wonderful moments you create, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Find gratitude for the beauty in your life and for the challenges that have made you who you are today – an incredible, authentic person eager to thrive!
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