Confidence is Key: 5 Tips to Boost Your Self-Esteem This Year
In a pragmatic world where you are often judged for superficial achievements, it is easy to criticise yourself and feel that you are not good enough.
The antidote to that is confidence, which can be achieved by working on your self-esteem. Confidence has an array of benefits for both your personal and professional life. It can improve your performance by devoting your energy to completing the task rather than worrying about it. Confidence is also a key foundation to healthy relationships because you can only be kind to others when you are kind towards yourself.
Here are five ways to boost your self-esteem this year!
1. Identify Negative Self-Talk
Sometimes, you criticise yourself so habitually that you may not realise that you are doing it. It starts from the simplest thoughts, like, “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good enough.” Self-deprecating thoughts can have a negative emotional impact on yourself, and even prevent you from seizing opportunities that can help you realise your full potential. To overcome this, it is important to recognise these thoughts when they arise. Ask yourself if you would say the same unkind words to others.
Some may feel that self-criticism is a necessary part of self-awareness and finding ways to improve yourself. While it is good to be aware of what you could have done better, it is unconstructive to harshly criticise yourself because it can become self-fulfilling prophecies that impede you from realising your full potential.
2. Use Positive Affirmations
One way to counter the negative self-talk is to use positive affirmations. These can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging thoughts. They can also help to improve performance in stressful situations such as a performance review (Verywell Mind, 2021). When you repeat them and believe in them, it can create a positive change in your life.
Begin with a positive mantra to focus on every day. You do not have to be unrealistically optimistic, use more neutral statements if it suits you better. Here are some examples of positive affirmations:
- I am enough.
- I am worthy of what I desire.
- I am in charge of my life.
- I am responsible for looking after myself.
- I let go of what I do not need.
To practise or repeat them, you can journal these affirmations or say them out verbally to yourself in a private setting.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
With social media, it is easy to compare yourself to others. Perhaps you may feel your body is not good enough, or that your life is not as happy as others. However, people can always choose the image that they want to present to others on social media. Additionally, comparison is the thief of joy. A 2018 study found that people who compared themselves to others experienced more envy, and the more envy they felt, the worse they felt about themselves (Verywell Mind, 2021). Everyone’s journey is different. By constantly comparing yourself to others, you are not being fair to yourself.
If you are feeling envious of others, remind yourself of your strengths and successes, and consider keeping a gratitude journal to focus on your own life instead of others (Verywell Mind, 2021). You can begin by writing what you are grateful for everyday and what you like about yourself. Revisiting these small moments of gratitude can bring you contentment. By being happy with what you have, seeing others’ achievements will not make you feel like you are lacking, and your confidence will not be as easily undermined.
4. Face Your Fears
A great way to counter the negative perception of yourself is to face your own fears. Taking steps to overcome your fears proves that you can overcome a perceived weakness. This can be a great confidence booster. You can start by asking someone for help, such as getting someone to accompany you or taking smaller steps towards reducing the perceived hostility of the fear.
If you wait till you are confident to do something, you will never make progress towards achieving your goals. As Wayne Gretzky, a former professional ice hockey player, once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” Just remember to keep an open mind and learn from your experience. Growth is a journey, not a destination!
5. Don’t Take it Personally
Sometimes, when we receive unpleasant comments from others, we tend to believe what they say and let it affect our confidence. Maybe someone disliked your outfit, or a superior shot you down for the lack of quality in your work. Before you blame yourself, pause and think about whether you agree with what they said. Sometimes, you will find that they did not make a fair statement about you. By not taking it personally, you can continue to believe in yourself and not let their comments affect you.
You may also realise that it is not always about you – perhaps that person was having a bad day and took it out on you. Or, if you realise that you did make a mistake, do not let it be a ‘death sentence’ – everyone makes mistakes, but that does not mean you cannot learn from it and be better in the future!
Confidence is Key
Entrepreneur Patrycja Slawuta once said, “Healthy confidence is like a healthy immune system; it guards you against all the toxic stuff the world sometimes throws at you.” It is important to nourish your confidence consistently, but everything should be done in moderation – overconfidence is not healthy either. Start building your confidence today!
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