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10 Ways to Step Up Your Self-Esteem and Confidence

Struggling with your self-esteem and self-confidence? We all do from time to time and that is normal. However, when it begins to be a wall between your success, your happiness,  and your relationships, it is something that is in need of your attention.

Several things could be contributing factors to losing our self esteem in the first place, this can include :

  •    the general ever growing life stressors a lot of us seem to be experiencing every day (e.g. financial decline, job loss, global pandemic etc.)

  •     severe illness that can cause a serious long-term decline in overall health, potentially even disability and dependency on others

  •    childhood trauma

Here are some definitions to clarify exactly what we are talking about. Most people use these interchangeably, but here is the slight difference between the two. Here we are talking about both.

  •   Self-esteem – evolves and changes with the experiences and changes you experience in your life. Refers to how much you appreciate and value yourself

  •   Confidence – Belief in yourself and your abilities

Here are 10 of the Best Ways that can help you to gain some self-esteem and some confidence:

1.       Be kind to yourself

These points are important but this one is one of the most important. We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves to be a certain way, reach a certain standard, have a certain lifestyle. Is it actually the kind of things which align with what you really want and stand for? Or are they things that you think should be the things you want and should be? Really ponder that and be gentle with yourself on the harder days. Also allow yourself to make mistakes, you are human and perfection does not exist on this or any other realm. You will make a few, they build strength and character so take it easy. They also teach you what you want and don’t want, what works and what doesn’t work. In a way they’re quite good.

2.       Focus on the positive aspects of your life

It’s very easy to focus on what is wrong, it actually becomes a habit to complain. Do not fall into this trap. If you already have, do not worry, it is actually something you can change. Start paying attention to and being grateful for the things which are going right, for the things which are working, for the things which are bringing you joy, peace, and excitement! The more you focus on them the more you will actually realize how many there are. This is not to say be delusional, just dwell on actual facts and focus on the bigger picture as opposed to zooming in on the worst things you can possibly focus on about yourself and your life. You will find it easier to put yourself out there and connect, and not limit yourself in any aspect.

3.       Be assertive

Be bold! Be clear about your intentions and the things that you want. You can never get the things that you want if you never say what they are. Whether this is at work or with your personal relationships. Say clearly and boldly what it is that you want. Also be equally bold and clear about the things that you do not want. Boundaries are very important when it comes to your confidence and self-esteem so that you feel like you are not being taken advantage of, over extending yourself, being disrespected, being unheard, or being your authentic self. It is freeing to exist as yourself each and every moment.

4.       Try new things

It’s not only important but it is also fun to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Get yourself used to trying new things. You will actually discover so much about yourself - so many things you never thought you could enjoy, so many things you never thought you could actually be good at, and new perspectives you never thought you could have. The idea that we need to be good at things in order to enjoy them is absolutely false, you can enjoy something without being good at it. You may also just find that after doing it for a while you develop it as a skill anyway, or it just helps you develop new problem solving skills that you can apply in a different part of your life. You will not be afraid to go for the things you want and take the risks needed to achieve those things.

5.       Build positive relationships

We do not realize the impact and influence of the people we keep around us until we are going through something, until we need inspiration, until we are in need of complete honesty. The people you spend the most time with shape your outlook, your motivation, your behaviour,  as well as your outcomes. A good support network is also one of the basic needs we have as human beings. Without  good connections we can go as far as falling physically ill. You want to have people around you who motivate you, are honest with you, motivate you to be and do better, and are supportive of your endeavors.

6.       Exercise

Exercise releases feel good hormones that literally make you feel good and boost your immune system. You will also be healthier, and more fit. You will also look amazing.

7.       Challenge negative thinking

When those intrusive thoughts creep up on you, remember point number 2, to focus on the things that are working in your life. Have things that are ready to challenge the negative thoughts, also learn to look at the facts. How true are these negative thoughts? How much do they actually reflect reality? You’ll learn to see yourself to really see yourself as your true self, not through the lens of self-doubt.

8.       Eat well

Eating well actually boosts your immune system and also helps with releasing those feel good hormones. Good gut health has also been found to be really good for our mental as much as our physical health.

9.       Do not compare yourself

Focus on your own goals and achievements. Learn to congratulate and be happy for others without diminishing your own achievements. What others do also has nothing to do with you.. You also don’t want the same things, have the same path, the same definitions of success, fulfillment etc. Do things for your own gratification.

10.   Forgive yourself

Last, but certainly not least, learn to forgive yourself. We already spoke about being kinder to yourself, forgiving yourself is a part of that. Make mistakes, change your mind, have bad days. This does not make you a bad person. Your past also does not make you undeserving of the things you want to achieve, the love you want, the life you want.

It may be too much to take on everything all at once and it certainly will not happen over night. Nothing long-lasting ever does. This takes conscious and consistent effort from you. It may feel like you have been set back at times, you may feel like you are not where you should or want to be at other times, but just remember to go at your own pace and that any progress is still progress. It also takes practice so keep trying even if the first few times do not go as you maybe may have pictured, it is okay. You are okay.

Coach Nomie, Take Control x

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