Have you read the first part of my confidence series? Check out my previous blog, “Why You’re Losing Confidence in Yourself,” to better understand the root cause of this.
Do you feel insecure about yourself or something you've done? Maybe you only see your negative thoughts, feelings and patterns. Maybe you didn't come from a warm and comforting family. No matter the circumstances, there are plenty of things a person can do to start making themselves feel better about their life.
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Sarah Barkley provides a comprehensive look at gaining self-confidence in her article “12 Steps to Learn to Like Yourself” on PsychCentral.
“[A] lack of self-confidence can lead to people-pleasing for validation and porous boundaries,” Barkley writes.
Your integrity hasn’t settled in. You function under the belief, “If I make everybody happy, they will like me, and I will be safe and secure.”
Set aside your weaknesses
“You might focus on your weaknesses and shortcomings when you don’t like yourself. Shifting your thought process and thinking about your strengths can make you feel better and release some of the negativity,” Barkley says.
Try being objective and putting aside the things you don't like about yourself. Start focusing on what you’re good at because it's your contribution to the world. Whatever your talent or gift is -- because everybody has something -- be appreciative of that.
Surround yourself with kindness
“Acts of kindness can improve your self-confidence because you’ll feel like a kind and generous person,” Barkley says.
You would be surprised what a little act of kindness will do to your feelings. Seeing someone grateful and smiling makes you feel good about yourself because you helped them.
“Consider taking the time to develop a friend group that supports you and your dreams,” Barkley writes.
Everybody needs a support group of some kind. When you don't have a sense of belonging, it’s a real downer. Life feels difficult when you're isolated because you lack others’ reflections and feedback. Try to come out of your comfort zone in small, achievable bites.
Thank yourself (and your body!)
“Think of all the small ways you take care of yourself each day that you may take for granted... You do more than you realize, and it’s worth taking a second to thank yourself for everything you do,” Barkley writes.
I once went to a massage therapist while I had trouble with my ankles. Shortly into our session, she told me she had an answer to my pain.
“Several times each day, you need to thank your foot, calf and ankle for what a good job they do,” she said. I thought this woman was crazy. I told her it was a good idea, trying to be polite. Later that day, I looked down at my ankles just like she told me.
“You know, I'm complaining about this discomfort. But the truth is, with all the physical activity I do, the hiking and walking, you guys do a good job for me. Thank you,” I said.
I didn’t feel stupid thanking my feet, like I thought I would. When I stopped focusing on the pain, it didn't register as pain anymore. The brain works in mysterious ways. Thanking your body for what it can do, as opposed to focusing on what it can't do, turned out to be very wise advice.
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