If you suffer from low self-confidence, don’t lose hope; there are some key ways to refocus your energy and get back in the game. First, figure out how and why you’re lacking in confidence, then use these tips for getting back on the horse. After all, life is too rich to be stunted by low confidence.
Symptoms of low self-confidence
Do these scenarios sound familiar?
Someone tells you it’s important to wake up early in the morning and exercise. You know that you’ll benefit from that kind of discipline, but say to yourself: “I could never do that. I’m terrible at waking up early. Plus, I get tired too quickly.”
What about this? You know you should look for another job. The one you have is not giving room for progress. Still, you can’t find the strength to quit and move on. You’re afraid of failure.
Or this? You see a charismatic person getting all the attention during a meeting. You admire their ability to speak confidently and convince everyone to consider their point of view. You think to yourself, “I could never do that.”
Did you recognize yourself in any of these low-esteem situations? They are quite different, but there’s a personality feature that connects them all: lack of self-confidence. In its most basic form, low self-confidence is about feeling worthless. And it’s manifested in our activity (or inactivity), what we say, and what we think.
We need self-confidence in everything we do. It’s a crucial personal trait for developing a successful career; it makes us better friends and family members; and it drives us to grow. Without it, we stagnate—or fall backwards and atrophy.
How we find our own path to self-confidence and success
Here’s the good news: No matter how low your self-esteem is, there’s always room for improvement. You just have to work on it. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of 11 key approaches to turning the corner on confidence and taking your life back. What are you waiting for? Dive in:
1. Make lists
The first step toward self-confidence is setting goals and objectives by writing lists. If you don’t like making lists on paper, you can try WorkFlowy—a great tool that lets you create well-organized lists. But what really matters is what you write down. Here are a couple of lists you can start with:
A list of realistic things you want to accomplish in both the short and longterm. Why realistic? Well, if there’s no chance to become an astronaut, for example, don’t make it a goal. It will only stymie you. Think of things you could accomplish, but still haven’t found the courage to try.
A list of things you’re grateful for. This one should be easy—a list of family members, friends, partners, treats and toys you enjoy, experiences you’ve had, and so on.
A list of things you’re proud of. Were you chosen among many other candidates for a job? Did you get a degree? Can you do a headstand? Do you own a home?
The first list shows the person you want to become. The other two lists showcases your amazing accomplishments. In case you haven’t already noticed, the second and third lists show you just how much you have achieved and how possible it is to achieve the items in the first list. Hold on to these and reference them often for inspiration.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
You are who you are. When you’re trying to improve, you should compare yourself to you. Comparing yourself to others is a constant trap; you will always find people who are doing things better than you are. But your life is not about them—it’s about you.
3. Clean up your work space
The physical environment in which you work affects not only your performance, but your satisfaction. Clutter has a mentally exhausting effect; an organized desk, on the other hand, will do wonders for your focus and productivity. When you’re more focused and productive, you achieve better results. That’s how staying organized indirectly affects your self-esteem.
4. Spend time with supportive people
Does one of your colleagues constantly criticize your work and show off his own results? That makes you doubt yourself, right? If you don’t have to spend time with people like this, then don’t. Instead, seek out supportive coworkers who are willing to help and are always ready with affirmations when things are going well.
Also, make changes in your social life. Spend more time with people who support you. If there are nervous perfectionists around you, don’t pay their nitpicking any heed. You’ve got this.
Regular writing helps hone self-expression. So, pick a daily topic and write something. Find good resources to support your arguments if you’re writing thesis-based paper. Write convincing persuasive content. And search online for guides and directions on how best to craft a compelling argument. I recommend the service EssayGeeks.
As you continue to write, you’ll improve your critical thinking and analytical skills. You’ll become better at creative expression. These skills will soon be manifested in your speech. You’ll become more confident in both written and spoken communication.
6. Read more
When you read something inspirational, you learn new things. And when you know more, you see yourself as a more valuable person. Why? You have more to contribute to your job, your relationships, and the world around you.
You won’t get that impression of value when you read “pop” writing, though. You need meaty books, so try the classics. Read news from reliable sources and great blogs that pique your interest. Look for writing outside your ken and that you know expresses opinions contrary to your own.
7. Accept failure as part of the journey
So, you’re in a bad place right now and feel like you’re a failure. But you also know you’re invested in a warped perception of yourself and needs to change. Good; that means you’re self-aware. When you become aware of your failure, you’ll be ready to take action.
Don’t let this situation make you feel worthless. Everyone goes through failure. It’s just life’s way of teaching us how to be strong.
8. Learn more
When you know something thoroughly, you’re confident enough to apply that knowledge to your work. So why not learn more? With online resources like Coursera, edX, Saylor Academy, Harvard Open Courses, Early to Rise University, and Udemy, it would be a shame not to invest time and effort in your base of knowledge. Pick a course related to your career and complete it. Then, pick another one. Don’t stop learning!
9. Hush your inner critic
Yes, being aware of your own mistakes and failures is a good thing. Realization is the first step towards improvement. However, if you’re constantly heeding the voice of negativity in your head, you’ll be too downtrodden to move forward.
Catch those negative thoughts. Are they saying you’re not good enough? Read those lists from step 1. You’re good enough. And you can be better if you try harder, so quiet that negative voice and focus on the journey.
Australian researchers found that exercising for health and fitness also leads to higher self-esteem. When you’re physically active, you feel more energized. As you make progress, you realize that you’re pushing your body’s limits and confident you can do more each time you exercise.
11. Explore and experiment
Just like knowledge, experience makes you more self-confident. How? Facing the fears and uncertainty of new adventures gives you the opportunity to succeed in an area you haven’t before. So travel. Sign up for paragliding. Start doing yoga. Go hiking in a wild area. Get out of your comfort zone on a regular basis; not only will you feel energized, but you’ll have success stories to share with friends, family, and co-workers. And you’ll share them with renewed self-confidence!