There’s no doubt about it in my mind: feeling self-confident is a life-long journey for most of us, and in no way an easy thing to accomplish. However, when I look at and think about myself these days, I can’t help but feel quite proud of how I’ve developed that level of self-confidence, especially when I think of where I’ve been and how low self-esteem has had an impact on my past life and choices. It can - nearly always is, actually - be a major buzzkill, so I thought I’d share the steps and tricks that have definitely worked for me, and continue to work up until this day. Although I don’t need them as much as I used to, I’m not there yet. But I’m hella close. And I’m convinced you can be, too, if you keep this post in mind.
Never ever talk about yourself in a negative way.
It’s ridiculous how many negative comments and hurtful things we tell ourselves ABOUT ourselves, while we wouldn’t even think about saying them to someone else (no, not even to our worst enemies. Or, you know, not out loud. ;)). No wonder most of us don’t feel confident, isn’t it, when we don’t even give ourselves a chance by being our own worst critic. So. Whenever you feel such a comment coming up inside your head, banish it to - oh, I don’t know - the moons of Pluto or something. Actively push them away, perhaps by following some of the next steps.
Wear something you love and adjust your posture.
Ah, the power of the right posture. There’s a whole TED Talk about it, you know, about how simply sitting up and holding your head high can instantly make you feel more powerful and in control. It tricks your brain into feeling the emotion you WOULD feel in an unforced upright posture, rather than feeling sad when you’re sort of slumping. Try it, it works! But don’t take my word for it, watch that TED Talk. ;)
Have a positive affirmation at the ready.
Oh, I know. Talking to yourself and telling yourself ‘you’re looking gooooood’ might seem like an awkward or weird thing to do, but… Let’s be honest here and admit to the fact that every single one of us has actually said that to a mirror at one (or more) little point(s) in our lives . Moments in which we actually, genuinely DID feel good about ourselves. Reality check, you probably didn’t look or even feel that different then, than you do on any other day, so just go ahead and say/think it. Every. Day! Or at least every time you truly need it. Such an affirmation doesn’t even need to be long and can be anything. For example: I constantly tell myself “You’ll get there” or “You got this”. A few positive words will go a long way, I promise you.
Blame someone else for a change.
Yes, I said it. Mind you, I don’t mean you should blame someone else for personal failures (I’m a big believer in owning your s*** and am convinced learning from your mistakes is, in fact, the best way to grow), but what I do mean is: every time someone tells you “It’s not you, it’s him”. Believe it, because it IS him. Missed out on an opportunity because they went with someone else? Pssh, their loss. However! Important side note: do not say these things out loud. I mean, that could just be rude and we don’t do rudeness, right? Think them, even if it’s just for laughs, and they’re guaranteed to help you move on to the next chapter.
Do something you’re good at.
Whenever I feel blergh and downright useless, I always, always try to distract my mind with something I am actually good at. From taking pictures with the fancy camera and writing or doodling, to just simple things anyone can do. Like organising a specific closet, room or corner of the house. Tackling one of such things will instantly give you a boost when it comes to taking on a bigger challenge.
Change your surroundings.
Both in the sense of going out for a walk or jog to empty your mind, as in a more extensive way. For example, instead of following the next pretty influencer with the seemingly perfect life out there, let your social media feed fill up with honest, sincere, real life people or organisations. Two of my personal favourites are Jameela Jamil’s @I_weigh and @adamjk, both immense inspirations when it comes to accepting who you are and facing our (pretty common) struggles.
Replace future nightmares with future dreams.
And finally, something for all of us over-thinkers out there. You’ve probably all struggled with your brain suddenly flooding you with all of these images of a down and out future where you’ve accomplished nothing and are barely getting around. Well, instead of letting yourself drown in that kind of imagination (because that’s all it is), try turning it around and imagine a future in which you’re dealing with things like a boss and are living the dream, or your best life, or running your own business, etc. While that bad imagination might paralyse you and actually push you towards that dreaded future, imagining the opposite will - unsurprisingly - also push you towards exactly that: the opposite. The bright future.
So there you have ‘em! Seven things that I feel have helped me get to the point of liking myself, and have kept me motivated to level up even more when it comes to feeling self-confident. I understand more than anyone, however, that it’s not always easy to overcome those bad days. So I would like to say that it’s also more than OK to have them, and just let them happen once in a while. Just… Try to fill them with some self-care when they do, will you?
Q || What do you do to fight low self-esteem?