Everyone wants to be confident and have self-esteem. Imagine how much easier life would be if you could buy it from Amazon. Until that day comes, you will need to put the work in to improve your confidence. The time has come for you to stop waiting and wishing that you felt better. Give yourself permission to start today. Here are a few things you can do to improve your self-esteem.
1. Decide to love yourself unconditionally, regardless of how many times you stumble.
Unconditional love doesn’t start in a relationship; it starts with loving yourself. If you can’t show this kind of love to yourself, how do you expect to get it from someone else? Deciding to love yourself regardless of how many mistakes you have made is a great way to start improving your confidence. Showing that you are able to love yourself shows others that you expect to be treated with kindness and respect. You are showing others that you are worthy.
2. Find acceptance in yourself.
Begin to accept yourself for who you are. Some days will be better than others. Accepting yourself gives you permission to be okay with who you are. If you can’t accept yourself, how can you expect others to accept you? Fully accept who you are as a person. This doesn’t mean that you stop improving and making changes to better yourself. Acceptance allows you the space to grow and evolve into the confidence that you deserve.
3. Stop and look in the mirror.
You probably pass a mirror or have the opportunity to look in a mirror multiple times a day. If you avoid mirrors and believe that they are evil, then you’re missing out on a powerful boost to your self-esteem. The next time you pass a mirror, stop, look into your eyes, and tell yourself that you are okay. Tell yourself that you are fine just the way you are. Practicing positive affirmations and reminding yourself that you’re not that bad will greatly improve your confidence.
4. Head up, shoulders back, and eyes forward.
Become more aware and present with your body. Don’t take for granted that you are healthy and have the ability to move without effort. Even when you don’t feel great about yourself, you can still look confident. Start by holding your head up, hold your shoulders back, and keep your eyes looking forward. Maybe even try smiling. It will help you feel more comfortable and definitely make you look more confident.
5. Begin to forgive yourself and those around you.
Is there something you need to forgive yourself for? Have you done something in your life that you feel guilty about? Are you getting any benefit from holding on to guilt? If you can’t find a benefit, then begin the process of self-forgiveness. Give yourself permission to let go of your guilt so you can grow. Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Remember that forgiveness isn’t for the person that hurt you. You aren’t forgiving someone so they feel better. You are doing it for you. Also, the person doesn’t have to be involved in the process. The process of forgiving is for your improvement, not theirs.
6. Set your short and long term goals.
Establishing these two types of goals are crucial to keeping you on track of forward movement. These goals will not be achievable if you only have them in your head. You need to write down your goals so that you can take action. If your goals are only thoughts in your head, then they are wishes, and not goals you plan to accomplish. Start by writing all of your goals on one page and separate them by short and long term. After you have them separated, brainstorm small actions for each that you can take to get you closer to achieving them. Also, put this list in a place where you can see it daily. This will be a great reminder that you are working toward a bigger goal. Your self-confidence improve as you accomplish your goals.
7. Get unstuck.
It’s hard to be confident when you feel stuck in a rut. A huge part of getting unstuck is your mindset. You need to mentally prepare yourself to move forward. Write out the specific thoughts or beliefs that are leading you to feel stuck. For each of these, think about a small step that you can take now to move forward? What can you do over the next few days or weeks? Write out a plan and take action.
8. Wear clothes that fit.
If you have lost weight or your weight fluctuates, make sure that you are wearing clothes that fit you properly. Don’t wear clothes that use to fit you in the past and don’t use the excuse that you are more comfortable in them. This will not help you feel better about yourself. Your favorite sweat pants that are three sizes larger than you currently are belong at home. Your body changes so make sure you have clothes that fit you. Feeling good about what you are wearing increases your self-esteem and confidence.
9. Your job is important but it doesn’t define you.
If you don’t feel confident at your job, remember that it’s only a part of who you are. It doesn’t define you as a person. If you do want to increase your confidence at work consider if there are any opportunities you can take advantage of. Is it possible for you to increase your competence and skill set? Does your employer offer trainings, potential for advancement, or any other opportunities? It never hurts to ask, so speak up about your work interest.
10. Have a hobby or something you enjoy every day.
When you were a child, you probably had many things you were interested in. Getting older and becoming an adult leads little free time outside of your daily responsibilities. However, it’s important that you spend time each week doing something you enjoy. Before you say, “I don’t have time” think about how much time you spend on social media and watching TV. There are 168 hours in a week, if you get 8 hours a night of sleep (if you are lucky) that leaves 112 hours left. Subtract 40 hours for work and you still have 72 hours. What would happen if you invested just 1 hour a week doing something you enjoy? Imagine how much happier and fulfilled you would be.
What works for you?
What do you do that helps you feel better about yourself? Feel free to share any that you think would be helpful for others to know in the comment section below. Thank you for checking out this post.
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Dr. Kristie specializes in sex therapy, relationships, and transgender identities.