Updated: Aug 23
I have wanted to do a blog post on this subject for some time; confidence is something that I have cultivated for the past 10 years, one day at a time. Contrary to what the media and society would like us to believe confidence and self esteem are not commodities that you can purchase.
Believe it or not, spending money on a new handbag a car or a new pair of breasts will not actually give you confidence or improve your self esteem. Confidence and self esteem start in the subconscious they start within us, everything else is just a manifestation of what we already feel inside.
Confidence means believing in you no matter what.
Note: If you suffer from depression or anxiety or both, going through these steps without the added support of a therapist may be very difficult and overwhelming. Try it anyways, but know that if you need help that is ok too.
So how can we cultivate confidence and improve our self esteem?
1. Priorities: Create a clear list of priorities and make yourself at least one of the top 3. This list will help you when setting expectations for yourself and your time and will help you with boundaries.
2. Know Yourself: Confidence starts by cultivating a healthy and loving relationship with yourself. An exercise that I like to start with, is taking a moment to look in the mirror and introduce myself to the person looking back. Take a moment to say "hi" and give yourself a compliment or something positive and uplifting to encourage you in this journey.
3. Re-frame Your Thinking: Take a moment every day to focus on the language you use towards yourself, when you do something positive or make a mistake how do you talk to yourself? Do you use negative and degrading language? Or do you use positive and uplifting language? Once you recognize the pattern take the time to re-frame negative thoughts into positive one's.
4. Self Care: Get to know the things that help you feel good, things that empower you and uplift you. Once you know take the time to engage in those activities often.
5. Find your Purpose: Its important to know your worth, know that you have purpose and make a difference in the World. It can be a special skill, or a love for service, it can be your faith etc.
6. Cultivate your Gifts: Don't be afraid to commit yourself to something you love. Don't be afraid to be great at something or even more than one thing.
7. Boundaries: By setting the right priorities (see step 1) and understanding your worth (step 5) you will come to understand the importance of knowing when to say "no" and when to say "yes" to others and to yourself. Ask yourself. (Will this help meet my priorities? Will this help me become a better person? Is it important and worth my time? Do I feel good about doing this?)
8. Declutter: Physically, emotionally and socially. Clutter can be a depressing and toxic situation. If you find yourself running ragged from trying to keep up with all the people that want your attention, or trying to stay positive around people that only bring negativity, then it's time to look back at your priorities, set your boundaries and remove some of the clutter. If your thoughts are constant and you feel distressed because you can't keep up, then it's time to declutter. Make short measurable goals, take it one task at a time, prioritize what is most important and what you can delegate.
9. Hygiene: You don't have to look like a super model to feel confident or have great self esteem. Keeping up with your personal hygiene goes hand in hand with positive self-care and with showing yourself love and appreciation. Think of how you treat those you love and all the attention you pay them and their well being, making sure they eat properly, that they look healthy and clean. Show yourself the same consideration and love.
10. Finally practice daily. Steps 1-9 until its no longer a practice, but a way of life.
I have to admit its hard for me to write blogs, it has taken me weeks to organize my thoughts into just 10 simple statements. I look forward to your comments.