Learning how to increase your self-confidence is tricky, especially when there are so many advertisements and people ready and willing to tell you what you are lacking. Living in a consumerist society, you are taught to make you feel as though you need certain product in order to be loved and valued as a person. This can also be seen in the rise of self-depreciating humor with the intent of “if I make fun of myself, others won’t have the chance to do the same.” People who are confident in who they are, are less likely to put others down and tend to have a higher quality of life. Below are some suggestions on how to increase your self-confidence and begin to believe in yourself.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Everyone experiences life differently and it is unfair to compare yourself with another person. We all have our own unique skills and the collaboration of these are what makes a successful society. We need farmers and teachers just as much as we need lawyers and stay at home parents. None of these people are lesser than another, they are different and fulfill the many unique roles we have in our communities. If you find yourself unhappy with the role you play, change it. This could mean going back to school, applying for a promotion or new job, or quitting your job and doing something entirely different. Whatever it is, stop comparing yourself to someone else and start living your own life.
Acknowledge Your Feelings of Jealousy
If you find that you have been extra critical of yourself or other, look at where these feelings are coming from. Give yourself permission to experience all of your emotions, even the negative ones. You have the right to feel all of your emotions, the more you open yourself up to them, the better you are able to process through the negativity. It is natural to feel jealous of someone who was just hired at your dream job or someone who appears confident in most areas of their life, just don’t let the jealousy consume you. When you are able to acknowledge the root of your negativity, you can then work to fix it. This could mean moving, changing jobs, getting out of a toxic relationship, or going on a vacation. Jealousy can be used to better your life by figuring out where it is coming from and working to better yourself.
Release Yourself from Attachment
Unhealthy attachment to people or objects can get in the way of developing positive relationships. For instance, in co-dependent relationships where one or both partners rely excessively on one another for emotional support, it is easy to get disappointed because another person can never fulfill your needs as good as you can. This can happen with objects too. In our consumerist culture, we are taught to place disproportionate value on material possessions. These possessions are designed to break and need repairs. When you place too much emphasis on a person or object, you are setting yourself up for failure. No person is ever going to be your idea of perfect and all material possessions can be lost, stole, or broken. Release yourself from unhealthy attachment by increasing your confidence levels. If you have a good sense of who you are and what you expect from others, you will be able to better process when a person lets you down or you loose your iPhone.
Take Care of Yourself
Practice proper hygiene and self-care. Setting aside time to establish a hygiene routine where you put in effort to make yourself look good, will lead to an increase of satisfaction of your physical appearance. When you are happy in your appearance, you are more likely to have a greater sense of pride in yourself. Also, setting aside time for a self-care routine can increase your self-confidence by placing your needs first and therefore raise your self-worth. Try to do something small for yourself everyday, because you’re worth it.
Begin by complementing yourself daily. It is easy to spiral into negative self-talk and telling yourself that you aren’t good enough for something. If you find yourself doing this, say 3 things that you are good at and then start to think about how you can turn the situation around. Just because you didn’t get the promotion or aren’t where you thought you’d be at this point in life, doesn’t mean you aren’t doing things right. Often the timeline of expectations your set for yourself stem from societal expectations, not from what you really want. It doesn’t matter where you are on this self-imposed timeline. What matters is, if you have been happy getting there. It is easy to discuss a problem ad nauseam, but that isn’t helpful. Establish what you would like to change, and create a plan on how to change it.
Confident people don’t have a magical set of rules they follow. They have chosen to believe in themselves and trust that they have the ability to accomplish their goals. Try some of the activities suggested above and see if you notice a difference in your self-talk or your feelings of jealousy. Wanting to change parts of your life is normal and it is what helps you to become the best version of yourself.