Writer: Bridget Webber
When your self-esteem is low, you miss opportunities to thrive. You turn down invitations, underestimate your value, and hide in your shell. Taking a step-by-step approach to building confidence allows you to shine progressively. As a result, moving out of your comfort zone is gradual.
Week one: Your critical inner voice
Your inner voice can be your greatest enemy or best friend. Learning how to make it your comrade is the first step to building confidence. When it says, “You aren’t good enough,” your self-esteem dips. Understanding your voice will make a big difference to your self-confidence.
Initially, you need to know how the voice in your head works. What it says depends on the subjects you entertain. Feed your mind fearful topics, and you’ll get anxiety-based feedback. The voice is a helpful gauge, reflecting areas of focus. If it tells you things that distress you, this is your cue to concentrate on positive topics.
Your confidence-building task this week is to practice shifting your focus. Move your mind to subjects that generate kind feedback. Start by recognizing areas you give the most attention at the moment. Maybe you focus adversely on your appearance, how incompetent you think you are, or an unhappy memory. Doing so places anxiety at the forefront of your mind, causing negative reactions.
Once you’ve identified what you’ve been focusing on, think of a topic to replace destructive rumination. Consider a subject that makes you feel good. A pleasant memory, an uplifting song you can play in your head, or an achievement you’re proud of will be suitable. Over the next seven days, shift your focus from negative topics to your chosen area.
Remember, your inner voice is not a problem; it’s a tool that measures where you’re applying attention. Use it to help build confidence.
Week two: Acceptance
You might have unrealistic expectations about your qualities. Do you compare yourself to others or try to be someone you are not? You might tell yourself you should be more attractive. Or you may imagine you should have similar talents to someone you know.
This week, notice when you disapprove of yourself. Spot when you want your personality, abilities, or appearance to be different. On each occasion, silently say, “That’s not who I am.”
Next, practice the art of self-acceptance. Look in a mirror without being judgmental. Observe your shape, lines, skin tone, and curves, viewing with curiosity. Describe what you see aloud, using only positive words, like curvy or svelte. From now on, use only these or similar words to describe your appearance.
Now list your achievements. Consider everything from sponsored walks you finished to exams you passed. Include successes like having forged a great friendship and attaining personal growth. Also, list positive traits you think you own. If you can’t think of any, ask those closest to you what they would add. When you believe you aren’t valuable, read the list and boost faith in yourself.
Week three: Validation
Do you look for approval from people? You might also take the negative things they say to heart. When you need proof from others that you’re good enough, their words and behavior toward you are powerful. If they are unkind or devalue you, you are depressed.
This week, build your confidence by noticing when you look for approval. Stop yourself in the act of doing so, inwardly saying. “I am always good enough.” When others criticize, know that no one can judge you accurately. They can only dip into their experiences and what they’ve been taught. Once again, say. “I am always good enough.”
Week four: Help someone else with their confidence
Helping others overcome similar challenges will elevate your self-esteem. As you consider ways they misjudge themselves, you will recognize ways you do the same yourself. Also, you will think differently. You’ll be optimistic and have a sense that everything will be all right. The compassion you offer them is just what you need from yourself.
This week, think of someone you know who isn’t confident. Consider how you can help the individual increase self-worth. If you can’t think of anyone, make up a character. Think of the behavior the person might carry out, for instance, using self-defeating language and refusing compliments. What advice would you offer? Write helpful ideas in a notebook and follow your recommendations.
You can build confidence week by week until you see yourself in a positive light. Carry out the exercises suggested for a new perspective, courage, and more self-esteem.