I used to be a very unconfident person. As the result of childhood trauma, I became a young adult with cripplingly low self-esteem. I knew something had to change because it was having a negative impact on all areas of my life. It’s taken me years to develop my confidence but it doesn’t need to take this long if you are armed with the tools I leant along the way. Here are some handy tips for improving your self-confidence today:
- Positive self talk
We can all be our own worst critic. We would never dream of talking to another person the way we can speak to ourselves sometimes. Write a list of you good qualities . Maybe you are a good listener, or kind to animals. Maybe you have a great memory, or a good sense of humour. We all have MANY good qualities. Write some key ones on post it notes and post them around your home.
When you find yourself engaging in negative self talk, say ‘stop’ to yourself, and immediately counteract it with two things you like about yourself.
Morning affirmations are a really useful tools which I’ve been saying to myself each morning for a while now. I was initially resistant, but after getting over that I’ve found that they really do help.
Some of the affirmations I use daily are:
I am enough
I am worthy of success
I am worthy of love
All is well
I am fully supported
We often set very high standards for ourselves, and can chastise ourselves is we make mistakes. But mistakes are a normal and natural part of life. Learning to be gentle with ourselves has a big impact on improved self-confidence. Let go of mistakes and try not to beat yourself up. Acceptance of ourselves involves the understanding that we won’t always get everything right, nobody does, but we can feel good about ourselves if we tried our best. Your best is ALWAYS good enough.
- Reaching out
Speaking to another person usually makes any problem smaller than when it’s left running around your own heads. Make a commitment to call at least two friends a week. Check in with them and see how they are, and let them know what’s going on with you. This will develop our confidence in speaking to people and also help us to understand that we are not alone. If you aren’t comfortable talking to friends try speaking to a therapist who specialises in confidence and self-esteem issues.
Meditation can seem a bit out there to some people, but it’s good centring yourself and going within, away from your external environment. It releases happy hormones and just 5 minutes can make to feel more relaxed and grounded. Here is a simple breathing meditation I use regularly:
Sit on a chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground. Take a deep breath in and as you breathe on feel your body relax from you head down to your toes. Feel any tension in your body leaving through the soles of your feel and into the ground. Repeat this a few more times. Now focus on your breath, letting go of any negative thoughts on the out breath, letting in positive, healing white light on the in breath. Do this for a minimum in 5 minutes in the morning, or whenever you notice negative self talk coming in.