You may or may not already be aware that I have continued to struggle with self-confidence and self-doubt. For many people, this is just a part of growing up and discovering who you are, and for others, like me, it stems from something deeper. Regardless of the extent of this disbelief, everyone experiences it now and again. Recently, however, I have felt a shift.
It’s only in retrospect that I can see it happening, in my day-to-day I still get caught up in my insecurities. However, I am starting to talk to and think of myself in a totally different way than before and I’m excited to share my tips with you! I’ve listed five different ways that I actually started to see my confidence affected.
No. 1: Explore your potential instead of dreaming about it
This is perhaps one of the most important aspects in improving my self-confidence. By changing my perspective from thinking I can do things to planning on how to do them, I have seen an enormous difference in my desire to take on new opportunities.
Doing instead of dreaming.
I cannot express how incredible it feels to finally be doing many of the different things people have always said I can do if I set my mind to it.
As messed up as it is, it’s easier to live in a world of unfulfilled potential than to open yourself up to the chance that you have no potential. It is so much easier to go back and say what you would have happened if you’d done it, rather than doing it and falling short.
This right here, is classic self-sabotage. Many of us don’t even realize that we do it or that we comfort our friends who do it, but its not helping us or them. It is simply justifying why something didn’t work out instead of putting in all the effort to see if it could.
By changing my thinking from dreamer to a doer, it has made all the difference in my self confidence. I’m not great at everything or even a lot of things, but at this point I am at least willing to grab hold of an opportunity and see what happens. Im willing to improve and not take failure to means that I am not good enough. I’m finally feeling like I’m making my life happen – traveling to another country, getting an internship that will certainly help my career, and hopefully soon re-training my body to travel in an ice skating show next year.
No. 2: Moving your focus away from appearance
Moving your focus away from your appearance is absolutely pertinent to improving your self-confidence. Now, I am not saying that I do not feel better when I put make up on, when I work out, or when I dress well, but I am saying that you can do all those things but not value them so highly.
In society, we place our ideals in our appearance and not so much in who we are. What I am learning to do (I’ve still got a long way to go) is shift my worth from my appearance to other aspects of who I am. I am working on changing my focus from the physical to other areas like performance, passions, and work ethic.
I’ll be honest with you, right now I do not feel great about my body. Before I left for my trip to New Zealand, I was working out at the gym 4-5x per week, and I felt absolutely confident with my body. Now, while I am here, I am choosing not to spend my money or time on a gym membership, therefore I am not working out even close to the same amount as before. However, I am walking to and from work and hiking or doing outdoor activities every weekend. This has absolutely killed me over these past few months. I have had to work tirelessly to put it all in perspective.
What I have to repeatedly tell myself is that right now, I am excelling in my career, in my travel experience, growing global relationships, and in developing new hobbies. So what if for a few months my body isn’t absolutely perfect. When I get back home, I will return to a regular workout and healthy eating regimen and it’ll bounce right back.
I am still healthy, I am still beautiful, and I am still absolutely freakin’ worth it.
No 3. Be less judgemental of others
This one is also difficult, but I feel it contributes to our self-confidence and self-perceptions. Confidence booster tip number three is to be less judgemental of others. What does this have to do with your own perceptions?
Well, low self-confidence comes from negative self-talk, which is often based off of what you imagine other people must think of you. If you’re in the habit of judging other people, you’ll often think they are always judging you too. I’ve learned that the most conscious people are the most judgemental, putting others down to lift them up.
In combatting this, you’ll stop worrying so much about what others think and also become a nicer person in the process!
No. 4: Use healthier motivation
Another way to shut up that inner critic and work towards improving your self-esteem is to create healthier motivation habits. What I mean by this, is find more positive reasons for working towards being a better you.
Throw out the superficial and think of some alternatives. For example, make the reason you’re working out to be stronger and healthier throughout your lifetime rather than to be skinnier or more fit than the girl next to you. Or motivate yourself to make money by focusing on the ability you’ll have to travel with the love of your life and experience wonderful new things together. You can also try focusing on what you actually love to do and not what you think others want you to do. When you truly like doing something then the motivation to do that thing tends to come automatically.
So if you lose your motivation, ask yourself: Am I doing what I really want to do? If not and if possible, then refocus and start working on that very important thing instead.
No. 5: Replace “perfect”
If you’re a perfectionist like me, this one is really difficult, but will be incredibly worth it if you can figure it all out. I still haven’t. I’ve just got this idea and some suggestions for how to help.
Take a second and actually think about what “perfect” is.
Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluation and concerns regarding others’ valuations’.
Feeling like you need to be perfect all the time has definite drawbacks when it comes to not only to how you see yourself, but also feeds into your desire to take on new experiences. Perfectionism can paralyze you from taking action because you become so afraid of not living up to some standard. The desire to be perfect makes you believe that you’ll never be ‘good enough’ and that there is always something more – something more you should be doing, thinking or saying.
The perfectionist in me makes me believe that what other people think matter more than what I think of myself. It makes me believe that everyone else is holding me to the same excruciatingly high standards that I hold myself to, and in no way could I measure up.
But I am starting to realize that is not the case. Its okay to strive for greatness, but try to fight the incessant need to be 100% on your game at all times.
Hopefully, you find these methods for improving your self confidence as helpful as I do. Its all a matter of reading it and making it a habit, which is where things get tricky. Best of luck, and just know: You are enough.