Building Confidence in Yourself

by Ashley Wirgau

It’s been a year – a really long year – the kind of year that zaps your confidence in one fell swoop, and few of us are feeling like ourselves these days. Now that we’ve passed the one-year mark, though, what steps can we take to build ourselves back up again? How can we reach our fullest potential, our fiercest self? With a few tips and some targeted intentions, we can start piecing ourselves back together, and with all the resilience we’ve gained these past twelve months, we might just end up more self-assured than ever before.

Words Matter

They actually do, and the words we tell ourselves arguably matter the most. The refrain that lives in your brain day in and day out can shape how you feel and think. It can shape your reactions and growth (or stagnancy). In short, the things you tell yourself can become actualized, so the very first step on the road to real self-confidence is to examine your internal script.

Try starting each new day with positivity by assigning yourself a daily affirmation. Say this selected phrase aloud a few times in the morning and recite it mentally throughout the remainder of the day whenever negativity starts to creep in. Simple repetition of a key idea will do wonders for your mental state and can help you construct a new understanding of yourself and your abilities.

Do More of What You Love

If you have been feeling “less than,” it’s time to start focusing on the “more” – more happiness, more love, more of the things that fill you up. When confidence is waning, dig into the activities that bring you joy, that make you feel good about yourself and the world around you.

Find a cozy, quiet corner, a pencil, and paper. Then, draft a list of things you absolutely love to do. Think about your happiest moments, the ones that make you feel alive or remind you of your undeniable value. Think about the things that make you feel accomplished, talented, gifted; scribble them down and start putting them into your daily routine.

If your self-esteem has hit a low point, this might take a while. It could feel scary or uncomfortable, so avoid heaping on the pressure. Start small and simple. Do you love a good cup of coffee? Does conversation bring you joy? Do you like to read or run or write? Sprinkle at least one of these things into each day, and when time allows, shoot for three or four of them. Then, pay close attention to how these small changes shift your mood and self-worth. When we consciously take care of our needs, we show appreciation for ourselves, and this is one of the building blocks when constructing a truly confident person.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with anything, if you want to get good, you have to practice. In order to build yourself up, you need to put in some elbow grease. Practice your affirmations daily. Practice those skills you were born to show off. Your confidence will naturally expand as you come to realize your unlimited potential for improvement. As your skill levels grow, so will your confidence.

If you want to take it up another notch, practice doing things that stretch your comfort zone or make you insecure. By slowly and steadily working to challenge our fears, we make strides toward belief in our capacity and resilience, two key factors in maintaining long-term self-esteem.

Rest & Reset

Overwhelm and stress are confidence killers, so another way of keeping confidence up is by controlling those things that make us feel out of control. We can do this by incorporating rest and relaxation into our busy calendars. These periods of calm help bring down anxiety and stress levels, leaving us refreshed and ready to get back to the grind.

But believe it or not, relaxing is harder than it seems. Sometimes we run so much that when we finally stop, we aren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. We end up numbing instead of resting, so how can we be more intentional with our downtime? For those who have trouble being still, try these suggestions and see if focusing these free minutes might do a world of good.

Dare to Fail

The final tip for building self-worth puts many of us on edge. The actual key to confidence is being okay with failure. Failure is another one of those things that we need to practice in order to understand it does not define us. It does not negate our talent, skill, or aptitude. It actually increases it, challenging us to grow and improve. We cannot be genuinely confident in our abilities if we haven’t given ourselves the opportunity to work through our limitations (or the limitations others may put upon us). Be bold and brave, welcoming failure as openly as you do success. Then, and only then, can you step into your most self-assured state.

Yes, this past year has taken its toll, but it has also taught us that we can do hard things. We can overcome the obstacles life throws our way and survive. Now is the time to really embrace all that we can become, walking forward into this new year with heads held high, confident in who we are.

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