Everyone has a mental picture in their minds of who they are, where they are capable of, and where they are going in life. If you suffer from low self-confidence, it means that you have a negative view of these things in your mind. You probably feel that you are not worth much and that whatever you try will result either in mediocrity or failure. If you want to increase your self-esteem and build your self-confidence, you have to work on your self-perception.
To start the process of improving your self-esteem, you need to incorporate these daily habits into your life.
Change your self-talk
Self-talk is the act of talking to oneself, either mentally or aloud. It is any thought that pops into your head in reaction to an external stimulus. The way that you feel about situations depends on what you tell yourself.
If you think about a situation negatively, it will lead to negative emotions like irritation or anxiety. Thinking about the situation positively will lead to positive feelings like excitement or happiness. When you are working on increasing your self-esteem, you become more aware of the constant self-talk that leads to negative feelings, and you can replace it with positive self-talk that encourages higher levels of self-esteem.
For example, if you are always telling yourself that you are fat every time you look in the mirror, stop and replace these thoughts with words of encouragement. You have trained yourself to look at areas of your body that make you insecure and reinforce your insecurity by saying “I’m fat.” Teach yourself to appreciate your body or focus on an area that you feel good about. Over time, this will shift your self-image and confidence.
Affirmations are simple, positive statements that you can write about yourself to change negative thinking patterns. They help to improve self-esteem by implanting new beliefs to replace beliefs that cause low self-esteem. With enough repetition, affirmations will become implanted into your subconscious mind.
Here are a few starters. Write these out before you sleep — 21 times each for 21 days continuously. If you skip a day, start again.
- I love and accept myself unconditionally.
- I am peaceful with all my emotions. I love and approve of myself.
- I create a life filled with rewards.
Recognize that you are unique. Realize that you never get the full story and that everyone puts on a front in an attempt to disguise their insecurities. When you compare yourself to others, you are merely comparing yourself to the facade others are presenting to the world. Everyone has thoughts, doubts, insecurities, judgments and other inner battles that they deal within their minds.
Stop using comparisons to make yourself feel good about yourself. It is tempting to feed your own ego, but it turns into a vicious cycle. When you use comparisons to make yourself feel better, your brain automatically uses it to make you feel worse, too.
Few live a life free from judgemental thoughts. Judgment and true confidence are incompatible. One can never experience genuine peace while holding onto judgments.
Judgment becomes habitual in us; we do it without even realizing it. We judge ourselves as a form of punishment for not being perfect, and we judge others in an attempt to make ourselves feel better.
People who are truly happy do not feel the urge to judge others or themselves. The first step on the path to this kind of freedom is accepting that there is nothing perfect in the universe. Everyone came into this world with different personalities, have had various experiences that have shaped them. Judging anyone including oneself is unfair.
Neglecting your own needs can contribute to low self-esteem, as well as being a symptom of low self-esteem. Self-care is merely doing something because it makes you happy. It can be as simple as relaxing with a good book or taking a walk alone.
Self-care is often looked at as selfishness. People feel guilty for spending time on themselves because they think that it is taking away the happiness of others. The first step to change this is to recognize you are worthy of time and attention and release any thoughts that cause guilt. Next, think of one thing that you can add in on a regular basis that is 100 percent for you. Tell your loved ones that you are doing it, and be as committed to yourself as you are to others.
Let go of perfectionism
Perfectionism is often a cover-up for insecurity. It is also the number one enemy of confidence. Perfectionism comes from an underlying belief that you must be perfect to deserve love and acceptance from yourself and others. It indicates that an individual places his or her self-worth on accomplishments and defines his or her self-concept based on actions. This mindset leads to drastic fluctuations in mood and confidence dnd immense Pressure to always get it right.
Let go of your perfectionist tendencies. Foster an unconditional love and acceptance for yourself and know you are separate from your actions and accomplishments. The more willing you are to accept yourself when you make mistakes, the higher your self-esteem will become.
It is easy to focus on what you want but doesn’t have, and it takes an effort to change this outlook. Expressing appreciation and gratitude for everything in your life will transform your perspective and eventually alter your perceptions of yourself and the world.
When practicing gratitude, be thankful for the blessings in your life, and who you are as a person. List five unique things that you appreciate in yourself and five things that you are grateful for in your life. Try to incorporate a practice of gratitude for yourself on a daily basis and see the impact it has on your overall self-esteem.
Set Realistic Expectations
The quickest way to kill your confidence is to set high expectations for yourself. Setting goals and working towards them can help you build your confidence.
However, if you set unrealistic standards, you will only end up feeling defeated. If you have something that you want to work towards, come up with a realistic goal that you can work on today. Keep your goals small and attainable.
Celebrate Daily Victories
It can be overwhelming when we try to change any aspect of our lives. Changes take time, and it can only happen with daily actions. To stay motivated on your path to increasing your self-esteem and building your confidence, you have to recognize and celebrate the small victories.
You deserve credit and have to be willing to give yourself recognition. If you are always focusing on how far away you are from reaching your end goal, your journey may turn into a struggle, filled with doubt and disappointment.
Celebrating the small accomplishments along the journey fills you with the encouragement and the energy to continue.