How to improve self-confidence

You might have heard Emma Stone say, ”I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than a woman who is unafraid to be herself”. Yet still so many people seem to run away from the word ‘confidence’, they are afraid to be themselves. I used to be one of those people and i can say confidently, being afraid has to end here and now.

I have worked on my self-confidence for years and it was hard work. It is not something you suddenly wake up with and it can be knocked down again at any time at the beginning by the smallest things such as a joke from a friend that hits your deepest insecurities. (daily experience) For me I think it was more my inner critic towards myself than it was the comments from others. You really don’t have to try hard to talk yourself down but boosting your own self-esteem is a lot more difficult to do. I hope I can put my view on this subject into words and share how important it is to work on your self confidence.

What’s wrong with being confident 

As Demi Lovato’s song beautifully states, ”What’s wrong with being confident?” I believe that people often mistake confidence for arrogance and that is where it goes wrong. Being arrogant will for sure not get you very far, no one is going to look up to you if you are going to look down on everyone else. or if you think you stand ABOVE everyone else. Being confident however, will in fact get you very far. The two are VERY different yet I believe that most people are afraid to show their confidence because they don’t want it to be mistaken for arrogance. That’s why so many of us find it hard to accept compliments. People would rather dismiss a compliment to come across nice however I think this just shows their low-confidence. I truly think that confidence is a quality to look up to and I love seeing it in other people. I don’t mean people who ”know they are good looking”, no. I mean people who are unafraid to be themselves. People who can admit it when they worked hard to achieve something but also take responsibility and own up to their mistakes when these are made. People who face their fears, take risks and step out of their comfort zone to be better, to do better.

Stand in front of the mirror every day and name something you like about yourself

This may sound obvious but it does really help. Being confident all starts with you loving YOU. Inside and out. So yes, it is hard to be confident if you are unhappy with your appearance.  I personally had many things I didn’t particularly like about my body and I used to pay so much attention to only those parts that I was talking myself down. This is not worth the extra stress and negative vibes so please, if you focus only on the parts of your body you dislike, stop doing that right now. For example, I used to look at my face and ONLY see how my nose was not how I wanted it to be and my teeth were not straight. What did I achieve doing that? Absolutely nothing and it used to make me feel so low about myself.

So instead, when I realised it wasn’t going to get me anywhere and it was taking away my self-confidence, I decided to only look at the parts of my body that I DID like. When my mind wandered to the more negative thoughts again I used to ask myself, is there anything I can do about it? If yes, hairdresser time! If not, deal with it, it could have been worse.

Telling yourself in the mirror out loud what you like about yourself is a good exercise towards self-confidence. This will not work overnight and it will take some dedication but as long as you keep repeating this every single day you will start to feel different, more positive. This is exactly what we want to achieve. Time to show it to the world. If you start to see yourself in a better way, your confidence will rise and that will influence how others see you as well. It is kind of a circle going round.

Stop caring what others think, care about what you think.

Social media plays a mega important role in our lives. Even though I don’t want to admit it, I am glued to my phone all day every day (do not recommend this) and I will scroll through Instagram until I have seen each and every last picture. Some days social media can really knock your self-confidence down and this is not what we want to achieve. Taking a break from these platforms such as Instagram and Twitter can be good sometimes, it will help you feel better about yourself and your life because for some reason there always seems to be someone prettier on the gram and someone tweeting about their holiday in the Maldives. Some days you might feel judged for what picture you post, why you dropped out of uni or the reason you dyed your hair in a crazy colour. The truth is, you probably are being judged. That is just the way this world works. However, the only thing that matters is if you care. It is good to take a step back sometimes, go to the beach, read a book and disconnect yourself from the online world.

However, this will only work for so long.

You see, in the end your confidence should not be based on the number of likes or your own comparison to others. Your confidence should come from within you, showing that you are truly happy with the way you are, because you should be. So stop caring what others think and if they are going to judge you. Truth is, they most likely will, that is just the way this world works. So focus on your own life and live that to the fullest. Make it the best you can and as long as YOU are happy with what you do, who you hang out with and your own personality, stop caring about the opinions of others.  Be 100% yourself wherever you go and most of all don’t apologise for being you.

Keep working on yourself and try to be better every day

Yes, work on yourself but don’t be too hard on yourself either. I am not sure if this sounds controversial but even though you should strive to be a better version of yourself as you carry on in life, you shouldn’t blame yourself for being you. For example, I want to work on my personality flaws and be a better friend, sister, daughter all the time and most of the time it feels great. Whenever I experience myself doing or saying something I am not happy with, I make a mental note and try to work on this the next time I find myself in the same situation. However, recently I found myself being extremely jealous and as soon as I realised I was being so obsessively jealous I tried to stop and I felt so bad afterwards because that is not a quality I particularly like about myself. I got so angry for being jealous and then I thought, as much as I dislike this, it is okay to feel these feelings so why am I being so hard on myself. I know I am rambling on but I guess what I am trying to say is; work on yourself but embrace the fact that you are far from perfect and so is everybody else.

What could help is just like career goals, write down your personality goals and reflect back on them regularly. This could be anything from gossip less to giving people more meaningful compliments to attend more social events or to be more honest. Anything that YOU think will help you work on being a better version of yourself. When you feel better about who you are, your confidence will rise immediately because you know this is who you want to be now.

Most of all it is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and loving yourself because and in spite of them, unconditionally.

Love, M

(Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash)

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