Almost everyone has come across something that knocks you off their balance: a situation or a series of events that make you unsure of yourself. Or maybe, you never had a lot of self esteem in the beginning, so this brings you a little lower. Either way, I believe two things: people should do more of what makes them happy, and they should feel better about themselves than they usually do. Today, I want to talk about the second.
Since I’m writing this post, you can probably infer I’ve had experience with damaged confidence. I won’t pretend that it’s only happened once or that I’ve bounced back immediately, either. Learning to view yourself in a positive way is difficult, because it’s so easy to focus on what you aren’t good at or need to improve on. I believe that some personalities are more susceptible to lower self esteem: perfectionism, shyness, sensitivity, and social uncomfortableness are characteristics that I’d peg–mainly because I had them just like my friends who felt like me.
Give them some tools for self-improvement and a couple confidence boosting moments, and you’re on your way to watching their opinion of themselves flourish before you.
People can glue seemingly shattered fragments of their self worth back together. But it takes time to fit those pieces back together, and a little more to let the glue dry. I don’t like the phrase, “picking up the pieces.” You can pick up a mess in an instant; to make order of the chaos is completely different, and it takes time.
I’m going to share some advice on how to build self esteem. While this isn’t all you can do to rebuild your confidence, it’s a great start.
1. Do something nice for someone: When you help someone accomplish something, you feel useful. People value what you offer them, and it proves to yourself how much you contribute to making peoples’ lives better.
2. Ask a friend for a pep talk: Your friends want you to feel good and succeed. There’s nothing wrong with asking them to give you a couple words of encouragement when you’re going through a rough time. Friends are there to support you, so they’d probably be happy to tell you how amazing they think you are!
3. Work to understand your emotions: This has been really helpful for me over the years. Trying to gain an understanding of what emotion you feel and why you feel it is a good way to better understand yourself. Your emotions are a key part in how you see the world, and understanding those can help you figure out who you are and how your mind works.
4. Compliment yourself: There’s nothing wrong with looking at yourself in the mirror and saying you look fantastic. Or looking at your last A-grade paper and commending your intelligence. Or looking at your significant other and recognizing that your flexibility and understanding is helping to make the relationship work. This goes along with becoming your own best friend–learning how to see the good qualities about yourself is the base of self worth. And by creating this solid base of self-love and appreciation, you’re building a mountain of confidence.
5. Take good care of yourself: When you’re eating foods that nourish your brain, stretching your muscles on a walk, practicing good grooming and hygiene, and taking a mental break when you need to, you’re benefitting your health and body. These habits are what’re strengthening and refueling you to take on new challenges. Physical and mental health are synchronized, so moving one forward can often affect the other.
6. Get more sleep: There’s no question that you feel lousy when you don’t get enough sleep. Your brain feels cloudy and you can’t think like you normally do. It’s like being in a state of disorientation until you get to go back to sleep. How are you supposed to build yourself up if you aren’t feeling well? Hormonally, your cortisol levels are totally out of whack, which can make you end up feeling nervous and uneasy. Not the best environment for enlightenment.
7. Stop talking to people who make you feel bad: We’ve talked before about spotting and handling toxic friendships, so this may seem repetitive. However, I can’t tell you enough how important it is to surround yourself with really good people who care about and support you. They’re the ones you’re going to go to when you’re feeling down, and they’re the ones you’ll go to when you need advice. You need reliable people and ones who want what’s best for you. After all, people often slowly become more like the people they hang out with.
8. Forgive your failures, but don’t forget them: Originally, this point was labeled “forget your failures.” However, after thinking, that’s always the most constructive way to move forward. We’ve talked about failure a lot on this blog, and I think it provides good lessons–mental nourishment for your future self, even. I don’t think you should discount your wealth of experiences, no matter how badly you failed. Each has taught you something about life or how to think, and each should be rewarded with remembrance. This isn’t to say you have to think about them every day or torture yourself over what you did wrong. Life would be a lot easier if we could live it backwards–then we’d never make mistakes. But give yourself a break; you did the best you could, and now you know what you can do better. Forgetting the experience altogether eliminates that crucial, second part.