Self-confidence is a term you’ll come across very often when reading about human psychology. It’s usually intertwined with self-esteem, and it carries an equal importance in our lives. What does it mean to be self-confident? It’s knowing what you’re good at, feeling comfortable with yourself, and knowing that you’re a valuable asset to the world around you. It includes feeling and thinking of yourself in positive terms and self-acceptance even you’re going through some tough times.
Lots of stress can shake up the faith that we have in ourselves and our abilities. This can lead to a vicious circle and cause further problems in social and professional life, and it can even endanger psychological and physical health. Building and maintaining self-confidence require time, energy and dedication, but it’s worth it. Let’s see some great strategies that will help you on a path to a greater self-confidence.
Dealing with rejection
One of the most common destroyers of self-confidence and self-esteem is rejection. It doesn’t really matter if you have been rejected at work, by your friends or by your partner – rejection hurts. If you have been going through a rough patch and/or you’re usually struggling with feelings of low self-worth, rejection could be a trigger for a depressive episode. Prevent this and adopt positive strategies to decrease the pain of rejection. Have in mind that this happens to everyone and this feeling will pass in time – you just need to hold on for a while.
Make your brain work better
The way we feel and think sometimes depends on pure chemistry. The brain that gets enough sleep and exercise (both mental and physical) is not a brain that will easily get depressed. In most cases, the tendency towards depression and low self-confidence go hand in hand. Also, there are some periods in life more stressful for brain than the others. While studying for example, if you provide your brain with healthy foods, improve your memory and save it from the harmful effects of multitasking, you’re already on a good path. There’s no need to mention the great results that come from all that mental exercise – success at work and in school that will help you to boost your confidence even more, through building competence.
We all know that we need to think positive about ourselves, but it’s easier said than done. Despite all the problems that you may have experienced (rejection, stress) you need to remind yourself of your worth and all positive qualities that you possess. Learn to recognize the negative and toxic thoughts that you have about yourself. You’ll easily recognize them – those are usually extreme and irrational thoughts such as “I can’t do anything right” and they are never true. If needed, make a list of all strengths that you have and read it on a regular basis to maintain your self-confidence.
Healthy daily routine
There are some daily practices that affect the level of your self-confidence, even if you’re not aware of it. Those are things like getting a good night’s sleep or paying special attention to your hygiene. Positive daily rituals such as dressing up for work or having a healthy meal are extremely important in maintaining self-confidence. Choose one activity that makes you happy and set aside some time to do what you enjoy each day. Remind yourself of your successes and know that you deserve a quality life and a bit of time for yourself and your pleasure during the day.
Manage stress levels
The aim of all healthy daily routines we mentioned is to improve your functioning and help you fight the stress in the long run. However, even those who live good lives are not immune to the consequences of stress, especially if the stress is overwhelming and if we simply can’t avoid it. It’s important to encourage yourself and realize that you’re strong enough to deal with the tough situation you’re going through and forgive yourself if you make a mistake or show signs of “weakness”. There are many proven strategies to help yourself and reduce stress – choose those that you think are the most suitable for you.
Try new things and gain skills
Instead of focusing on the negative, build confidence by gaining new skills and engaging challenging activities. Try something you have always wanted but never “had time” to do it. Or, allow yourself to try something that’s not your cup of tea or you think you’re not particularly gifted for it. This will help you to express yourself in a creative way, master a skill, find a new hobby or feel pride for doing something you’ve never thought you’ll have the courage to do. Paint, enroll music or creative writing classes, or find a new, challenging sports activity, and watch your confidence rise!