Confidence & Self Esteem. How to get it and maintain it?
There are often a number of factors in a person’s life that can lead to the loss of confidence in themselves. We are not all born as confident individuals so how do you build up your confidence? Often we hear people saying to us, “You just need to be more confident.” But what does that mean?
Confidence is a tricky word, particularly amongst teens as no one wants to appear too confident or up themselves. Unfortunately, we are living in a ‘tall poppy’ society which pulls down people when they appear to have gotten too big for their boots. It seems to be a popular trend amongst many people to play themselves down in front of others, to not want to appear too happy, too ambitious or too successful. For some people, it is easier to sit in a place of negativity and insecurity but this approach to life, gets you no where.
To feel confident and have a high level of self-respect and self esteem, we need to believe in who we are as individuals and what skills or gifts we have to offer the world and people around us. It is a feeling of knowing that not everyone is going to necessarily like you but being okay with this.
How to build up your confidence?
- Take stock of what you have achieved
We often focus on all the things we would like to have done or should have done instead of taking a moment to really absorb what we have achieved so far and giving ourselves a pat on the back for it. Focusing on things you have achieved (no matter how small they are) can help you gain some perspective. At Beautiful Minds, we get teens to write up some of the things they are most proud of, some of their achievements and write each achievement on a different coloured piece of paper. We then get each person to fold up their achievements and place them in a jar. Keep the jar in your room so you can add to it but also when you are having a bad day, you can open the jar and read some wonderful things that you have achieved. This will elevate how you feel about yourself.
- What are you good at?
In life, it is no point focusing on activities that you do not enjoy. Even if you are not necessarily great at something but enjoy doing it, it will still elevate your confidence. For example, I am not the world’s most sporty creature but I still get out there and walk and do yoga because I feel great once I am doing something active. Think about what you are good at or what you enjoy and just go out there and do it!
- Silence the inner bully
There is enough negativity in the world so why add to that by being negative about yourself? You have to be your own cheerleader! You will never feel confident if you have a non-stop voice in your head talking yourself down. Your self-talk will have a massive impact on the choices you make in your life, the quality of friends, careers and partners you choose are all based on how you feel about yourself. In life, you ALWAYS get what you feel you deserve. If you feel you deserve success, happiness and a loving relationship, this is what you will choose for yourself. If you feel you do not deserve these things, it really is simple..you will not choose them but spend a huge portion of your life angry as to why these things have eluded you.
- Sign me up
Get a hobby that you enjoy. This is a great way to meet like-minded people who have similar interests to you. When you have great friends around you that appreciate similar interests to you, this elevates your confidence. You find your tribe that ‘speak your language.’
- Complete it!
When you set out to do something, start it and complete it. There is a real sense of achievement when something has been completed. This elevates confidence and a belief in yourself that you can see things through no matter how long it takes. My first book took me 5 years to write but I completed it, had it published and the sense of achievement once I held that book in my hands was enormous.
- Be patient
We live in a world of instant gratification. We want things now! Confidence often takes time to build it back up. It will not happen overnight. Think about building a big brick wall. You need to lay the foundation and one at a time, brick by brick, you need to create the wall from the ground up. It does not happen quickly but it will happen if you focus one brick at a time. We are not after a quick fix here. We are after a plan that you can action every day so that life becomes a place that is enjoyable, a place you have a very important role in, a place to shine.