If you’ve been interested in working on yourself, there are many aspects you can choose from. It can be your artistic skills, self-regulating habits, or assertiveness. There are many reasons why you might want to grow your confidence: to set more ambitious goals, to improve your personal relationships, to enhance your career, and overall, to be more at peace with yourself and your decisions.
When you have the power to make decisions about your life without undue pressure from other people or external situations, you end up feeling much more satisfied with it.
I’m sharing some tips that have helped me in my own personal journey while growing my confidence, in the hopes it can help you too!
Think big picture first and then break it down. Set your sights on what you want to achieve and define the individual step to get there. Reflect on what behaviors you need to change and what skills to practice in order to increase your chances to meet your goals.
It can be hard to do, but try to break the habit of going through your day on autopilot. Has it ever happened that you’re in the middle of doing something and you start getting a headache or a stomachache all of the sudden? It has happened to me, and it’s only when I'm alerted by my own body that I remember I need to eat something and drink water every couple of hours! (Cold brew doesn’t count, for you coffee drinkers!).
Recognize when your body or mind need some rest or an energy boost. If you have trouble identifying the right times to do self-care, either because you’re not used to it, or because it’s hard to get out of hyper-focus mode before it’s too late, try setting reminders on your phone or writing them down on your to-do list.
This one might seem obvious and repetitive, but it’s good advice for a reason. If you’re a creative person and have the ability to come up with wildly ambitious ideas, you’ll either have to find experts to help you develop them or try your hand at the different tasks personally. You might be surprised at how skilled you can become at something you thought was out of your reach once you do some digging on how to start and stick to practicing it.
Allocating specific time out of your day to practice a skill, a hobby, or doing some reading on subjects that were previously unknown to you are tangible and fairly inexpensive ways to invest in yourself. Nobody is born already knowing everything, so be patient with yourself as you navigate new habits. Pro tip: try to find a community of experts and follow their advice on how to stay motivated!
There’s a lot of advice out there on networking, group dynamics, and all that. Right now, I’d like to focus on a more personal aspect. We rarely have a say on who’s with us in a family or work setting, but with friends and acquaintances, it’s a different matter. You do get a choice on who you decide to spend your free time with, what kind of activities you do, and how you support each other. When someone brings you joy and offers honesty and inspiration; you should try to nurture that type of relationship as opposed to hanging out with people who belittle or disrespect you (or others).
It can be hard to change our self-esteem overnight, but it’s vital if you want to grow as a person. One way to improve on it is to practice positive self-talk and affirmations.
Ever heard of “fake it till you make it”? Apply it to yourself and think of it as a cheat code. Compliment yourself after doing something well, keep a record of the productive things you did on a given week, and recognize and celebrate progress in yourself!
Whenever you feel frustrated with something not going the way you envisioned, take the time to breathe and picture any negative thoughts literally flying out of your head. You can of course set up any sort of mental exercise like this in a way that makes the most sense to you, but it’s a great tool to recognize that yes, you are frustrated, but it’s not the end of the world. You still have the opportunity to find a solution and pivot to an alternative.
Easier said than done, I know. But if you have a plan of action for the things you want, you’ll be able to weigh the pros and cons of any choice you have to make. And this is something you can do in your everyday life too!
We might stop ourselves from saying what we want to avoid conflict, but always going the way others want might make you unhappy, and is that really such a good alternative? You can try speaking out on smaller things, like what to get for takeout or where to sit when out for a walk. Practice voicing out your likes and dislikes, noting your preferences and the reasons behind your personal choices to yourself. That way you’ll feel that you have a reference for any future choices.
Feeling empowered can mean different things to different folks, so it would make sense that you first define what that means to you personally. Is it being able to jog for longer? Is it increasing your savings? Or maybe standing up for yourself at work? All of these are valid.
Think of actionable items that not only make you feel good but also bring on a greater benefit in the long run, that’s how you know you’re making that choice with yourself in mind. A lot of people reject the idea of someone growing confident and setting limits and expectations for their relationships.
This advice is not about being selfish or self-centered, it’s about knowing how much you can realistically give to others and not neglecting your own needs in the process.
Working to improve yourself and grow more comfortable with your own life is a very worthy endeavor, think of it as something that your future self will definitely thank you for.