How to Build Your Confidence Levels
Do you suffer from low self confidence?
We all experience times in life where we feel a little low, and feel as though we are not good enough. We are hard on ourselves for being stupid, or being fat, or being ugly, and we never truly take the time to re-build the damage done by all the negativity. It can be all too easy to believe the negative thoughts.
While these abnormal thoughts can usually be established to be caused by an early example of cruelty, such as bullying or ridicule, little sense can be made of the reasons why our adult minds still cling to them, and inflict them upon ourselves time and time again.
Personally, I have experienced times of self loathing, and while I know the root cause of this, the knowledge doesn't prevent it from happening. I still have to fight off these thoughts, and remind myself that I am worth that fight! This hub will hopefully help some of you to rebuild a bit of your self confidence, and in turn, make you a happier person.
Learn to Love Yourself
I know some of you may have seen the title and rolled your eyes. But before you can be sure of your self worth, and be sure that you are a valued, loveable person, you must first learn to love yourself. It can be hard to attempt at first, but you soon get used to this strange new concept!
There are a few ways to attempt this.
1- Talk to yourself every day in the mirror, and tell yourself one thing that looks good/ is good about you. It can be that your skin looks clear, or that you have a nice bubbly personality, or that you like the outfit, or that you have achieved something productive... anything that you like about yourself that day!
2- Joke about yourself in a different way. If you were like me, you always made jokes at your own expense in order to hide the fact that you were insecure. This seems to help, at the end of the day because if I slag myself off, no-one else can. Wrong. Eventually, we begin to believe these jokes, so I propose that you start joking in a different sort of way. Comments such as "oh, look at me in my sexy dress" while wearing the most unflattering potato sack are better than "oh look at the state of me." If you can at least joke about being able to look amazing in anything, you will start to believe it!
3- If there is something you truly hate about yourself, and you can't see yourself progressing past it... try to change it. Physical changes are easier to make than personality changes, so don't be too hard on yourself! Changing the colour of your hair can be done with a bit of dye, but changing your entire personality would take numerous breakdowns, heartache and counselling, so I don't think it's worth it somehow!
4- If you hate something about yourself, try to see a positive in it! For example, I am overweight... Quite a bit overweight... But, rather than letting this get me down, I look at it in a positive way. I can lose weight! I can make the effort to make myself happier! I don't have to stay this way! Already I have made a bit of slow progress, but I feel better at the concept of taking action!
5- Ask your friends what your best qualities are. Return the favour for them, if it helps! Think about those qualities in your effort to love yourself more. If a quality is mentioned that you admire in others, you will see that you are an admirable person!
Ditch The Negative People!
It may sound harsh, but if there are people in your life who constantly belittle you, or make you feel insignificant or bad, get rid of them!
Obviously, try to breach the subject first- they may not be aware at how they are making you feel. Something like "Do you know that what you are saying/ doing right now is really hurtful to me because it makes me feel bad about my body/ life/ personality" works well. Bringing the subject out into the open is the best way forward. But if they persist to insult you or joke at your expense, then stop yourself from being in social situations with them.
I know that you have probably known these people for a lifetime, but if they can't change their comments and attitudes towards you, they really aren't worth having around.
Focus On The Positive
It may sound all hippy- like, but if you can focus on the positive things in life, they will eventually outnumber the negative aspects. This attitude can be said for a lot of things, but if you use it in terms of your confidence and your abilities, you will soon begin to acknowledge your own achievements!
So, if you have a slip up off the diet, don't focus on that one day, instead think in terms of: "well, that's 6 days out of 7 that i have eaten well, go me!" Or, if you see an unflattering photo of yourself, think more of "wow, my hair is gorgeous..." etc.
If you can retrain your brain to see the positive in a bad situation, you will start feeling more upbeat and confident in yourself.
Help Each Other!
Low self confidence is actually more common than you realise. Talk to your friends about it- they probably have low spells themselves! Try to boost each other's morale whenever possible, but don't be dishonest! There is nothing worse than a dishonest compliment- and it shows, let me tell you!
These tips are simply what worked for me, and Im sure there are other methods that work well for other people... so in the spirit of helping others, feel free to add your own suggestions onto the end via the comments, if you wish.
© 2013 Lynsey Harte