Most of us can use a little pep-talk and boost in confidence from time to time. It’s especially true when something difficult hits us such as job loss, a relationship breakup or health concern.
I sometimes like to pretend that things don’t bother me, and can brush everything off my shoulder. But it’s not always the case, and when something hits me, I need to take some steps to remind myself of the positives. I also tend to sing the song “Always look on the bright side of life”, but I only know that one line and the whistling part, so it’s a short, helpful mantra for me. I’m clearly in a music mindset today as I must have had “Diamonds in the sky” from Rihanna in my head when I wrote the title. Sorry for the off-topic comment, but I haven’t had my coffee yet so I’m not as focused!
If you find you’re in need of a self-esteem boost, there are some key things you can do to try to help build or maintain a positive self-image. Some of these I’ve discussed in other posts but they hit on a few different attributes.
Create a self-improvement program: Make a plan to change things that may lower your confidence. For example, if you procrastinate, how can you make some small changes in how you think to get things done? To increase your potential for success, make sure that you start small, and the changes are achievable. Not achieving a goal can drag down your confidence even further.
Try to take action rather than just planning it: It’s easy to say you’re going to do something but doing it will make you feel good.
Remember your successes: Focus on the positive things you have achieved in your life, no matter how small they may seem. Give yourself a quick confidence boost by thinking of at least one thing you did well or that made you happy.
See mistakes as a way to learn: We all make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up over it, or letting it upset you, figure out why you made the mistake and think about how you would do things differently the next time.
Remove negative influences: Spend less time, or ideally no time, with people that make you feel bad or try to take away your shine. I know it’s not always easy to take people out of your life, especially if it’s family or at work, but you can spend less time with them. The same goes for something that makes you feel bad. I’m not talking about the days you feel like drowning your sorrows in sad songs occasionally (because who hasn’t done this?!) but not every day. If something has a negative influence on you, for example, you feel guilty about eating certain things, stop eating them.
Spend time with people that make you happy.
Focus on positive feedback from others: Think about the positive feedback you receive from family, friends or coworkers. Take the time to remember what it is about you that people find fabulous, especially during the times you’re starting to feel bad about yourself.
Try to focus on being the best you possible: No one is perfect, not even celebrities. Everyone’s definition of perfection is different. So, instead of trying to live up to a concept, try to be the best you that you can. Some of the things you might think are “imperfect” are probably the things that make you fabulous.
Don’t try to live up to someone else’s ideal: You may find it difficult to maintain a positive self-image if you always try to live up to someone else’s vision of what you should be. As the step above mentioned, just try to be the best you that you can.
Be comfortable: You’ll never feel great if you’re not comfortable with what you have on. I had a back injury, so I’m much more comfortable in dresses than jeans. Maxi dresses are my best friend. I only own one pair of jeans because they feel terrible on me. Feeling uncomfortable in what you’re wearing can take away from your confidence.
It’s important to get some support if you need it. Talk to a healthcare professional, or someone you trust if you need to talk about your improving your self-esteem.