Self-confidence isn’t just about how you view yourself, it’s about how you show up in the world and the steps you take towards pursuing opportunities that will lead you towards your desires and goals for success. It’s also about finding yourself in healthy relationships that are mutually fulfilling and uplifting- relationships that you feel worthy of. A person can be self-confident in some areas of their life, but struggling with confidence in others. Let’s explore some strategies you can start applying today to build your self-confidence.
Setting Realistic Goals and Celebrating Achievements
Self-confidence that’s genuine and long lasting is built step by step, so it’s essential to set realistic, achievable goals for yourself. These could range from completing an assignment in school or a particular project at work, trying out a new hobby, or engaging in regular physical activity. Every small step counts towards the larger goal- so make sure they are acknowledged and celebrated!
Here’s something to help get your started:
- Make a list of short-term and long-term goals (in other words small and large goals)
- Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones
- Celebrate each achievement, no matter how small. Remember, any progress is still progress towards the larger goal. Celebrating your achievements not only increases your self-confidence and moves you forward towards achieving the larger goal, but it also quiets the inner critical voice.
Surrounding Yourself with Supportive People
Your environment plays a key role in boosting your self-esteem, confidence, and outlook on life. Surrounding yourself with uplifting, positive, supportive, and like-minded people can significantly influence your self-worth and confidence. Interact with those who lift you up, who make you feel good about yourself, who you feel safe around, and who encourage your personal and professional growth.
Some ideas to enhance your environment and meet new friends:
- Join a club, group, or activity that interests you (i.e., adult sports like beach volleyball, a hiking group, women in business group, clubs on campus, dance studio, community art walks, etc.)
- Seek out mentors that can help support you towards your goals
- Take inventory of any negative influences in your environment and work towards decreasing their presence (this could also include social media breaks)
Practicing Self-Care and Self-Empowerment
Self-care is so much more than the idea of going out to eat, watching a movie, taking bubble baths, or lighting candles—although all of these in small ways can be a part of it! It’s about setting boundaries around your time and energy, respectfully asserting your needs, and taking time for activities (solo or with others) that rejuvenate and nourish you.
Some ideas to help elevate your self-care game:
- Make note of activities that nourish you vs. deplete you.
- Intently implement at least 1 activity a day that nourishes you.
- Move your body daily (walks, cardio, strength training, yoga, pilates, sports,hikes, etc.)
- Regularly engage in a hobby/activity you enjoy.
- Establish a daily wellness routine. A morning or evening routine can be very centering and grounding.
- Self-care and wellness comes in many forms, such as quality and quantity of sleep, nutrition, hydration, and exercise.
A healthy amount of self-esteem begins with you and the efforts you put into investing in yourself. By setting and working towards realistic goals, surrounding yourself with supportive people, and practicing effective and daily self-care, you’re on your way to quieting that inner critic and boosting your self-confidence.
Cultivating a Positive Mindset
One effective way to promote your self-esteem, which is directly related to self-confidence, is to cultivate a more positive mindset that naturally decreases negative self-talk. Working towards quieting your inner critical voice while also creating and amplifying the inner voice that embraces, values, and encourages you is key.
Reframing Negative Thoughts into Positive Supportive Thoughts
An important shift to make is in your thinking. You may find yourself holding onto and replaying previous and self-perceived mistakes, resulting in a dark cloud of self-doubt and negativity hovering over you. The good news, however, is that you can change this. Here’s a few tips:
- Recognizing the negative self-talk as it’s happening
- Reminding yourself that mistakes don’t define you, rather they’re a part of learning and growing
- Replacing the negative self-talk with more encouraging and supportive statements (think about how you would speak to a loved one and apply this to yourself)
Using Affirmations and Positive Self-Talk
Affirmations are a type of tool to assist in moving away from your inner critic. By continually validating your self-worth, you can rebuild your self-esteem and self-confidence overtime. Try repeating affirmations like, “I am capable,” “I am loved,” “I am valuable,” “I am deserving,” “I am worthy,” “I have something to offer” daily. You may not fully believe in the affirmations at first, but with consistent practice you will find that you’re inviting them in more and that they’re a bit more accessible. A helpful practice is to envision speaking to yourself as you would a close friend.
Practicing Gratitude and Focusing on Strengths
Remember to focus on your strengths rather than your own criticisms. Everyone has a unique set of abilities, skills, and traits; these are your strengths. The journey towards improved self-esteem involves consciously acknowledging these strengths and expressing gratitude for them. A simple gratitude journal or a daily appreciation acknowledgment can make a noticeable difference. Remember, embrace your uniqueness because it is one of a kind and you have something to offer to the world!
Overcoming Setbacks and Building Resilience
Building resilience is a key factor in boosting self-esteem and overcoming the negative self-talk from that inner critic that we sometimes struggle with. Resilience helps us stay on track, pick ourselves up after perceived setbacks, and move forward with hope, encouragement, and optimism.
Embracing Failure as a Learning Opportunity
Everyone experiences failure in life, yet it’s how we interpret and respond to these failures that truly defines us. If you follow successful people, they typically tend to be pretty upfront when it comes to disclosing their perceived failures, what it taught them, and how this led them to their success.
To boost your self-esteem:
- Accept failure as a part of your journey. It’s not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of trying and taking risks. It takes great strength to take risks and make moves towards your goals.
- Learn to separate your self-worth from the outcome. Remember, failure doesn’t define you.
- Most importantly, view each failure as a learning opportunity. Reflect on the lessons and use them to grow and improve. Without the failure, you wouldn’t have additional data to build from.
Finding Lessons in Obstacles and Challenges
Challenges can often feel like barriers in our journey, but it’s important to view them as opportunities for growth. Ask yourself; What can I learn from this situation? What strengths did it reveal that I didn’t know I had? When you start to view challenges as learning opportunities, your self-esteem and self-confidence will naturally build and create more fulfilling experiences.
Developing a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset can be a game-changer in overcoming your inner critical voice. This mindset revolves around the belief that your abilities can be developed through dedication, consistency, work, and patience as you move through the process. Embrace challenges, move forward even if experiencing a setback, and understand that effort will continue to move you forward. As you develop a growth mindset, you’ll find your self-esteem and confidence begin to build and thrive.
When to consider therapy or counseling for self-confidence building
If the negative self-talk is so loud and persistent, you find it hard to make decisions, take action towards goals, and even fall asleep at night because you just can’t shut your mind off, it might be an indicator to seek professional support. Also, if you find you’re constantly comparing yourself in unfavorable ways to others, struggling with feelings of inadequacy, imposter syndrome, frequently are self-critical, or feeling disconnected in relationships, therapy can be the next step in helping you to improve your relationship with yourself and others.
Take the First Step Today:
Hi! My name’s Dr. Anissa York and I’m a Licensed Psychologist who provides personalized therapy services throughout CA and FL. I’m dedicated to providing compassionate and effective care tailored to your unique needs. I invite you to check out the services that I offer and schedule a free consultation with me to learn more: https://dranissayork.com/free-consultation/
You do not have to walk this journey all on your own.