This guide to how to improve self confidence and self esteem is all you need to feel great about yourself.
Self confidence and self esteem are the crucial difference between being scared and feeling unstoppable. Self confidence is also highly important to the way that other people will see you. When people see you as a confident person you will be more likely tohave positive relationships that lead to success in life.
Everyone wants to know how to boost self confidence. I mean we’re not all the Rock. But thankfully there’s a painfully obvious way how to build your self confidence. It’s this: Stop being so hard on yourself.
Trust me I know where you’re coming from. You expect a lot of yourself. I know. You want to be great, amazing, the best person ever. But you’re just too… human.
Listen. We all make mistakes. But if you lack self confidence it’s because you focus on your mistakes and you focus on your weaknesses. You’re an awesome person. You just have to stop focusing on your weakness and start embracing your strengths.
The really easy way how to boost self confidence? BE NICE TO YOURSELF!
Low self confidence affects us in every avenue of life, from meeting new people to job interviews, and while it’s easy to place blame elsewhere—on our critics, on the media etc.—in reality, the best place to look is to yourself. While the criticism of others can affects our confidence, it’s self criticism that really hurts.
It’s not hard to see how hard we are on ourselves. Whenever we find ourselves in a pressure situation—be it at work, in social life or elsewhere—we often hear a little voice at the back of our minds saying “You’re not good enough. You wont succeed. Why do you even try?” This voice hurts. It kills our self esteem. If we are to boost our self confidence we need to learn to not be so hard on ourselves.
Sadly, it isn’t necessarily an easy job to silence our inner critic. We can’t just wish our negative selves away. The mind is complex. What we need is to separate negative criticism from objective criticism, to recognise the difference between when we are being fair to ourselves and when we are being too judgmental. It’s also hard to believe that we are being too hard to ourselves. Most of us would never be so hard on others as we are on ourselves. The following exercises will allow you to accept yourself and boost your self confidence easily.
How To Boost Self Confidence By Being Nice To Yourself
So let’s get started being nice to ourselves. And let’s start by getting rid of the part of us that is not nice to ourselves.
We’re going to kill our inner critic. We are going to remove negative thoughts from our minds.
So here’s how to do that.
Go and grab a piece of paper. Or just open OneNote, Word, or whatever you need to make notes.
Now start to record the negative thoughts that go through your mind. And pay particular attention to negative thoughts about yourself. When you do this you’re going to gain insight into your own mind and you will also start to notice certain beliefs about yourself.
So, sit there for five minutes right now and simply make a record of any negative thoughts that go through your mind.
Now, copy the list, but instead of writing “I am . . . “ put it in second person, saying (for example) “Paul is. . . “
So if you’ve got a list that says…
I am a clown
I have big ears
No one understands me
Change it to
Paul is a clown
Paul has big ears
No one understands Paul.
Now read the second list back to yourself and notice how you feel about each of the statements.
You’re going to notice one obvious thing here. When you repeat those negative thoughts in the third person they seem stupid and it doesn’t take long before you want to stop thinking them. That’s because you’re now reading in third person, which means you’re reading as though you’re talking to someone else. And you would never talk to other people the way you talk to yourself. So stop talking to yourself that way too.
Now. As you read the list, make note of any new criticisms about yourself that come to mind and write those down too.
Let’s move on to the next step.
Now you’re going to start being your own best friend. And this is the best way to boost self confidence
Put your list of criticisms down to one side and pick up a new piece of paper. On this piece of paper, you’re going to treat yourself as your closest friend would treat you.
Read through each piece of criticism one at a time. Now, on the new piece of paper write a response to the attack, an objective and fair response to your attack, the kind of thing a friend might say.
For instance, if on the first list of paper you wrote, “Paul is too lazy,” you might write, “I have downtimes when I relax and recharge but that doesn’t make me lazy, I still get plenty of work done.”
It’s important to write this new list in FIRST person (using “I” and “ME”)
Perform this exercise and you will boost your self confidence and stop being so hard on yourself.
Within a month of using this exercise once a week you will notice that you have built your self confidence a hell of a lot.
In a nutshell what this means is that to boost self confidence, stop being a total A-hole to yourself and start being your own best friend.
Take another look at your lists. On the one list you have all the negative things that you say to yourself day in and day out. On the second list you have the responses that you would give if someone said those things to a friend of yours.
What you need to now is start responding to your negative thoughts as though they were about a friend. If you tell yourself you’re fat, imagine that someone had said that to a friend. Then react the way you would react in that situation.
And that is how you can be your own best friend and how you can boost self confidence today. This is one of the best ways you can train your brain to think positively about yourself. And it was painfully obvious, really, wasn’t it?
There’s more we can do to build self confidence. Let’s take a look.
10 Killer Tips To Radically Improve Self Confidence
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 1 : Dress for confidence
Clothes affect the way you feel about yourself. We are all very sensitive of our own appearance, whether we admit it or not. You can turn this in your favor by dressing smartly to make yourself look good and feel good about yourself. Make sure you like who you see in the mirror and you’ll build your self confidence.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 2: body language
Body language has a large impact on the way we feel about ourselves. When walking, walk with a kick in your step. When standing, stand tall and hold your head up. When talking to people, look them in the eyes. Body language gestures like this can make a huge impact on your self confidence and self esteem.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 3: Posture
Closely related to body language is posture. When we sit or stand with bad posture we feel tired (which is because bad posture actually uses more energy and thus does quite literally make us tired). When we stand or sit with good posture we promote physical energy and positive feelings.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 4: Think about your strengths
Think about everything you’ve accomplished in your life and everything you are good at.When you feel low it can be hard to think of these things, but be honest with yourself and take your time. You are probably good at a ton of different things. Embrace these strengths.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 5; Gratitude
You don’t need a degree in psychology to recognise the importance of gratitude. When we express gratitude, we feel positive about the world in general, and when we feel good about the world in general, we feel good about ourselves. Find things to be thankful for and express thanks.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 6 : Compliment
Complimenting other people naturally leads us to compliment ourselves. When we think positively about others we think positively about ourselves. Find excuses to compliment people. This wont just make you popular but it will build your self confidence and self esteem too.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 7: Front row
When you go to a lecture or a conference do you sit in the front row or somewhere near the back? When you sit near the back you make yourself feel excluded from the group, which makes you feel bad about yourself and negatively effects your self confidence and self esteem. Sit near the front so you feel like a part of the group and you will build your self confidence and self esteem.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 8: Speak
Another key way in which you can make yourself feel a part of groups and thus build self confidence is by contributing to conversations. No matter what other people are talking about, make some valuable contribution to the conversation and become a part of the group.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 9; Exercise
There are two ways in which exercise will build self confidence and self esteem. The first is that exercise naturally releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel good about yourself. The second is that once you’re fit you’ll love your body more and feel good about your image. Get exercising today.
How To Improve Self Confidence and Self Esteem 10: Contribute
A theme of this article has been feeling a part of groups by making contributions. Make contributions to everything you can. The more involved you get with other people the more connected you will feel and the more self confidence you will build.
Try this alternative technique: A writing exercise for massive self confidence
Remember: this is a stream-of-consciousness piece so has not been edited in any way (spelling / grammar). Nor is this intended to be an entertaining story. The reason for writing it is to force one’s mind to create positive situations out of their present state in order to help with building self confidence.
In writing the following, I was forced to imagine a great many ways in which the story could progress through our three stages. Again, these three stages are
1) Leaving Present state
2) Realising oneself
3) Becoming hero (positive ending)
A “building self confidence” stream of consciousness piece, by Paul Harrison.
It was strange how the memories of days of joy now resounded in his mind like the screeching of a knife on metal, that agonising sound no normal man can stand, that sound that tears your head to shreds. Glorious days they had been. He’d acted. Day in, day out, he had acted. He hadn’t acted upon the grandest of stages. There shall be no Nationals nor Her Majesty’s here, no, his stages were the streets.Edinburgh,Oxford,London, the streets of his country,England. He’s made life happen on those streets. He’d made girls whistle, old people cheer, children cry. He’d seen so much emotion, enough to last a life. And now it all came back, like a twisted echo returing to him through some dark tunnel.
Where had it all gone? He’d promised himself that he would act all his life. He would fill the life of others with love and cheer and drama and stories that sparked the imagination. That was him. The actor. That was him. But this day he just sat gazing out the window wondering where the life had gone. It had been sucked up into some greedy vacuum. It was lost. Vanished. But it had to be there somewhere, didn’t it?
There were no stages on the village streets, just a road perpetually winding onwards to places where some folk might meet, not like here. Here was quiet. Here was empty.
[Finding himself — self realisation]
He wondered what would happen were he to just leave the house and follow that ever winding street like Dorothy. Would he meet a tinman, a scarecrow and a lion? Would he click two out-of –place pretty red heels together and float off back home at the end? Even if he ended up eating the apple and sleeping in grass fields forever, it would not be so bad. He imagine he were Dorothy and clicked his heels together, got up and stretched.
Dorothy. She was one hell of a character. He;d have played her if he were a woman. He would have danced all day and sung sadly of a rainbow and followed a golden road winding ever onwards. He could feel the road beneath his feet as his feet walked slowly and shyly along it. Had he forgotten he was supposed to be at home looking out the window meditatively? Now he was walking in the shoes of Dorothy down the road he had always gazed down upon.
All was quiet. There was no rainbow, nor a lion, nor a tin man, nor a scarecrow. The only person was a homeless man sitting on a seat with his head buried in an old newspaper page.
[Becoming a hero]
The homelessman looked up through tired eyes. “Change?” he called, clearing his throat after. “Any spare change?” His eyes were clouded with sadness, as though the wicked witch had just sent those weird-ass monkey creatures into the sky to do evil. And there was the rumbling of clouds above.
Rain started to poor down upon the homeless man and the man who was pretending to be Dorothy.
“We must get in from this rain,” he said.
“Oh, it’s just rain,” said the homeless man.
“I don;t know how you take it all the time, my friend.”
“Heh. I don’t care ‘bout no rain. I just wish I’d some company for some time. Maybe a song on a radio. You know, the simple pleasures. I reckon aint nothing more important than just the simple pleasures that get ya through.”
Remembering Dorothy and all the fun and adventure she’d had just by letting a tin man a scarecrow and a lion share the road with her, the man said, “Well, I’m just walking down this road.” he indicated down the road. “You could walk with me if you like.”
The homeless man looked up at him as though he’d done him some great favour just by letting him walk with him. “Well, I’ll take the company, even if I can’t have the song.”
“You can have both,” said the actor. “I used to be an actor.” he stuttered in confusion. “I am an actor.”
“Then act like it!” the homeless man laughed.
It had been meant as a joke, but the actor looked deep into the homeless man’s tired eyes as though he’d just heard the most precious secret. Act like it, he thought to himself, smiling knowingly. And with that, the actor and the homeless man followed that long winding road together, not knowing where it led, but enjoying the journey and singing as they went.
So, just begin writing and carry the story along those 3 steps we discussed earlier.
This forces you to think of a thousand ways in which one might go from feeling low to realising their worth to being happy, and should you continue practising this exercise frequently, you will find that you will naturally be building self confidence just from the way you think.
Honestly, this idea might seem alternative. But it is the best way of building confidence and self esteem. Try it now.
If you still have low self confidence, don’t sweat. There is a solution
There are some really great techniques that you can use to build up your self confidence. So if you’ve been wondering how to be super confident, it’s just a mater of training yourself, just the same way you train your muscles.
Let me share with you a great way of increasing yourself esteem. It’s a tip I picked up from a friend who works in counseling self esteem programs in schools. It’s extremely effective!
It’s a technique all about focusing on the small changes you’re making in the world.
This is an incredibly simple exercise. And, honestly, I think it is the answer to where does confidence come from and a way how to be super confident, because when you realise that youdo, continually, make real changes in the world each and every moment of your life, you recognise that you have power.
The key to confidence is having power. And the key to having power is recognising the differences that you make in the world (kinda like that movie, It’s A Wonderful Life).
So, the key to confidence is recognising your power. Sadly, a lot us actively prevent ourselves from realising just precisely how much power we have.
How I am maintaining my own confidence right now despite setback
At the moment I am obsessed with selling my books “Smoking Thoughts” and “War within Grief” (see note below). \Like many authors and artists have, I’m a little obsessed with the idea of becoming a successful writer (and actor; neither of which I would currently consider myself to be). I’ve been so obsessed about this that it has eclipsed seemingly everything else I do. I have been oblivious to minor successes that I have had over recent times because they weren’t the success I wanted most. Naturally, this has been affecting my self confidence.
When you fail to realise the differences you are making in the here and now, when you fail to recognise your minor successes on a day to day basis, you begin to feel like you can’t accomplish anything, as though you are completely powerless. That becomes a negative self belief that will hold you back until you kill it.
If you want to be super confident you have to realist that you do have power. You have to see all the ways you’re changing the world each and every day.
It’s the seeing part that is most important here.
We are all capable of making changes in the world. Heck, we all make changes in the world even when we don’t want to. Even by staying in bed and doing nothing you still make changes in our world (you make life worse for everyone else who has to pick up your slack).
The point is; whenever we do anything, we are making changes. We are never truly powerless, but we often forget to recognise the changes we are making in the real world, so we create a false belief in our incompetence.
To recap: Where does confidence come from? It comes from recognising the changes we make in the world.
How to be super confident: Recognise those changes every moment of our lives
Most often, when we feel powerless it is because we are blinding ourselves by one goal that we hold onto too tightly.
Goals, like my personal goal of becoming a successful author and actor, are nowhere near as important as our ability to enjoy the moments of our lives or as important as our mental health or self confidence.
If you want to have self confidence youmust be willing to put aside our lofty aspirations and focus on the positive affects you are having on the world. By focussing on the changes you’re making—no matter how small they may be—you set your mind on the path of empowerment. You begin to feel capable of more and more.
Even if you are currently at an extremely low level of self esteem or if you are suffering from depression, you can still choose to focus on the small changes you are making.
Perhaps all we are capable of is some seemingly miniscule task like giving a weak smile. So long as we focus on the action and the outcome; so long as we focus on lifting our cheeks and then recognising the difference that action makes in others (causing them to smile back) then we will be setting our minds down the right path. This will begin to develop your self confidence and from there you will quite naturally move on to bigger actions and bigger outcomes.
Remember, it’s the little baby steps that lead us up the mountain.
What this all comes down to is this.
To have self confidence right now, simply perform some action, no matter how small, and be mindfully aware of the changes that action makes in the real world.
Notice that you did something and something happened in response. Remind yourself that you do have power in the real world, that you can create change.
How My friend learnt how to have amazing confidence in himself
If you really want to know how to have amazing confidence in yourself, just listen to this story…
Ross Whitley, a good friend of mine, was once prey. He had a minimum wage job, no girlfriend, not much of a social life. He was a mommy’s boy. He way prey. Then one day I said to him “You need to let out your inner tiger.”
He raised an eyebrow dubiously and scoffed. “I’m just not that type of guy.”
Type of guy…? I thought. This guy’s limiting himself to his beliefs. He believes he’s weak, so he’s living weakly. “What type of guy are you?” I asked.
“Just a regular old nine to five working guy. Nothing special about me.”
“Bullshit,” I said to him. Whenever someone says there’s nothing special about them it’s always bullshit. There is something special about everyone, whether they see it or not. Trick is getting them to realise that they’re special, to see the gifts inside of them. “Entertain me for a sec’,” I said. “If you could create your life precisely as you want to, what would you be doing.”
“Sitting on a sandy beach drinking Sam Miguel with a beautiful woman.”
“Bullshit,” I said.
The second ‘bullshit’ riled him—it often does. Truth is though, his answer was bullshit. Sitting on a beach… yawn. It’s a cliché answer. He could do better. I knew it. He knew it. “Well then you tell me what I should do?” he said. I refused, saying he knew deep down what it was he truly wanted. He was just stopping himself from opening up to it. After a few minutes silence he said, “You know what? I wish I could be a personal trainer.” I dipped my chin in approval and asked why he wanted to be a personal trainer. “Helping people; that’s what it’s all about I reckon,” he said. “People are special, they deserve help.” I pointed out the fact that only a few moments ago he’d said that he himself was not special. He laughed. “Okay yeah you got me,” he said.
“Do it then,” I said. “Help people. Teach people. Be a personal trainer.”
“But how? I don’t have the money to start my own business. I don’t really have the knowledge either.”
“Knowledge is easy,” I said. “Read. Volunteer. Get to know other personal trainers. Money…?” He tossed his head at my delayed response and smiled as though to say see, it’s just not possible. “ How could he raise the money to make it happen? That’s the second part of the equation.
Having chosen your target, how do you pull the trigger?
Ross had already succeeded in choosing a target. He’d found his prey. But now he needed teeth. He needed some way to make it happen. He needed money. Money’s often secondary though. We wish it could come first, but it usually doesn’t. Usually you start with doing the thing you love, and then you work out how to make money from it.
“Just do it,” I said. “Start training people. Start inspiring people to get fit, or to do whatever it is you want them to do.”
“No one wants to listen to me,” he said. I felt like slapping him when he said this. I mean really, no one wants to listen… sounds like an emo teenager.
“I’ll listen,” I said. It wasn’t just charity. The way I see it, if people are passionate about something they must already know a lot about it, or they must feel deep down that they’re capable of doing it. I knew from Ross’s passion alone that he would be good at being a personal trainer. Why not make myself his first client? Why not get a free personal trainer, and in so doing help a friend achieve his dreams? “I want to be your first client,” I said. I held my hand out. He shook it. The deal was done. “Now you’re a personal trainer,” I said.
The truth about a tiger’s teeth are that they grow gradually. You don’t start out powerful. You have to start from menial ends. But you have to start. Once you’ve started, you grow. Once you’ve set down the right path, you journey in the right direction. Every tiger was once a cub.
In one conversation my friend had gone from not knowing what his ambition was, to having an ambition and even starting to actually make it happen. The moment he said out loud “I want to be a personal trainer” he scored his first client. Success. It’s usually a few seconds away.
So what do you make of that? Is this one of the best exercises for self esteem or what? Do you know another way how to have amazing confidence in yourself? Let’s hear it in a comment below.