I’ve always wondered if in ancient Greece or in times of Egyptian pharaons people suffered from the same conditions we do today. Of course people at that time had their own problems but how widely spread was low self-esteem compared to our media/social media influenced societies?
Any insight on this question is welcome.
I wanted to put into one article the little things I have learned here and there about confidence. I wish I had a secret that I could share on how to be more confident but I believe confidence has to be built by small (or big) actions and experiences and has to be continuously worked on.
These are very cliché but try telling yourself this everyday until you believe it and you’ll see great improvement.
1. Do not care what others think
Don’t live through other people, live through yourself. There will always be people judging you, not liking you etc. so you can never please everybody, you have to learn not to care. Whenever you do something and think “what could other people think?” just remember you don’t care what they think. And don’t look for validation in others. This is probably one of the hardest because I believe it’s inherent to the human kind and especially today with social media we are always looking for approbation. Live for yourself not for anyone else.
2. Don’t compare yourself, just STOP it
I think this is one of the worst low self-esteem triggers. Just go five minutes on Instagram and you’ll probably have some kind of unknown complex that just awakened in you. But this brings me to my next point…
3. Each and every one of us has our own values
Well it all comes down to knowing yourself and your value. I am constantly reminding myself that we are all different and we all have our own value, our own strong points. Nobody really nobody is the same. So, as cliché as it sounds, we are all unique and that’s what makes each and every one of us valuable. Of course we can’t excel in every field but knowing your strengths can be a great starting point not only to to gain greater confidence but to avoid things such as imposter syndrome (which I’ll talk about another time). I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they feel they are not qualified for a job for example and not taking the chance, well that’s not a good way of thinking. You might have other strengths that can be as valuable as the ones you don’t have. Taking a chance doesn’t cost anything and can bring great results.
4. You learn as you go.
It’s very important to keep in mind that we are not supposed to know or be able to do everything. Everyone, yes everyone at some point had to learn. Great leaders or entrepreneurs or whoever they are where once beginners, had no idea what they were doing and had to learn. I promise you no baby came out of the womb knowing how to build an empire or how to be a great spokesperson. We all need to learn and it’s something people tend to forget. Also we see others who have “made it” and we think we’ll never be able to get to their level but you are your own limits. I know I say a lot of things you’ve probably heard here and there but they are true.
5. Think positive
When you find yourself having a negative thought just reverse it, make it positive. I was once told that the brain concentrates on certain keywords and remembers them. For example I’ve had some bad panic attacks while driving in tunnels and went to see a kinesiologist about it. She asked me what do I tell myself when I get into a tunnel and I said “I try repeating myself I’m not scared, I’m not scared” well she told me the brain will remember the word scared and not the negation so I should change my sentence to “I’m confident or I feel safe” that way the brain will focus on confidence or safe. I think this advice is very valuable and that the thoughts we put in our minds have a great impact. If you wake up feeling really bad don’t keep telling yourself “today I feel really bad”, try “I feel good”. It’s hard and takes practice but I honestly think that positive thinking has a great impact.
All these things you’ve probably already heard and they seem very stereotyped, but when you think a bit deeper into why or how to do these things you’ll see it makes sense. Let me know what you do to boost your self-confidence and if you’ve already tried some of these.
Photo by Justine Jugnet