Loving Who You Are: 5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence
Self-love is all the rage nowadays, but it’s hard to pin down a definition. Instagrammers and social media influencers make loving who you are look easy, but everyday people know it’s anything but that.
The journey of loving yourself often starts when you aren’t very fond of yourself at all. Self-love means improving things about yourself one day at a time, not just celebrating all your strengths, even though that’s important, too.
Learning how to build self-confidence is a good way to love yourself. If you struggle with low self-esteem, these five suggestions can help you gently push yourself toward a more confident, content version of yourself.
Practice Positive Self-talk
We all have an inner voice, and what it says about us plays a large role in how we feel about ourselves and interact with the world around us.
Negative self-talk convinces us that we’re worthless, unlovable and no good to be around. It will isolate us, telling us that people will only reject us if we try to get to know them better.
None of this is true. A bad inner voice just needs some love and patience. If it’s hateful, it’s wounded, and you should begin to gently remind yourself that you are loveable, valuable and have plenty to offer others.
Changing your negative inner voice takes time and hard work, but it can be done.
Remind Yourself What You’re Good At
Embracing new challenges is scary when you don’t have a lot of confidence. While you should encourage yourself to push past your comfort zone and try new things little by little, it’s also helpful to remind yourself what you’re good at.
Embrace all of the things you enjoy the most and celebrate your small achievements. Praise yourself like you would a child. We all have one inside of us that needs to hear we’re doing great.
Learn How to Say No
Saying no is hard even when you don’t have low self-esteem, but without confidence, assertiveness in any situation can cause massive anxiety. When you have low confidence, it’s second nature to always acquiesce and do whatever other people want for fear of upsetting them and being abandoned.
Learning to say, “no,” is a lot simpler than you may think. It can help to practice in the mirror, keep your answers short and avoid justification. You are entitled to decline things just as much as anyone else, and saying no doesn’t make you selfish, mean or a bad person.
Therapists call the process of changing your negative and unhealthy thoughts reframing. You can learn to reframe your self-defeating thoughts with some free worksheets like those from the Positive Psychology Program.
Reframing exercises are grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy, which stresses the control of the individual over their own mind. CBT is an excellent counseling style that has dozens of techniques and exercises you can try on your own for free.
Embrace Your Ability to Change
You are allowed to grow. You are worthy of experiencing the release and joy of overcoming your greatest insecurities. No matter how long you’ve suffered from a lack of confidence, you can change. Give yourself permission to try and fail every single day.
You might not notice a lot of progress right away, but that’s okay. There is always tomorrow, and your life is a journey that doesn’t have to unfold at anyone else’s pace but your own.
Realize It’s Ok to Work on Yourself
As we progress in life, we are always changing and growing and trying to better ourselves. Sometimes that means working on things we might not love about ourselves to try to turn them into strengths that we embrace. Sometimes that means seeing professionals about a bad habit or to straighten our teeth or to help us exercise properly or for help with health and wellness issues.
However, the important thing to remember through all of these situations is that nobody is perfect and everyone’s journey is completely different—and that’s ok! Part of what makes life worth living is the variety of experiences and paths to take. As long as you’re doing what feels right for you and trying your best, you’re doing well.
Building self-confidence can improve every facet of your life, from work to love and beyond. There are many reasons why you might have low self-esteem, but know that confidence is not something unattainable.
You might feel fake when you first start trying to assert yourself. Your brain might tell you that you look stupid and everyone can see right through the act. Don’t listen to it. You are strong, powerful and capable of living confidently.
Remember that every day is an opportunity to do something good for yourself. The more you practice self-love and prioritization, the easier confidence will come to you.