Self-confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. 

It is, essentially, our ability to believe in ourselves and our worth. Many of us struggle regularly with this. It can be hard to be our own cheerleaders all of the time! But self-confidence can really change your life, so it’s important to improve your self-confidence if you notice it wavering. 

Here are some ways to improve your self-confidence, even if it is at an all-time low. 

1. Stop comparing yourself to others, start comparing yourself to you 

We’re all guilty of seeing others on social media or in the street and instantly comparing ourselves to them. Whether it’s a stranger who walks past that has better hair, style, or is fitter than you or somebody on social media who has a life you dream of. Either way, we put ourselves down and put these people on a pedestal. 

A sociological theory known as the social comparison theory tells us that this comparison making is entirely natural, but it does have an effect on our self-confidence. Studies have found that envy and jealousy, the two culprits for these comparisons, actually have a direct impact on the way we view ourselves. 

Instead of comparing yourself to others, try and compare yourself now to yourself a few years ago. Think about all of the things you have achieved in that time, and how you may have grown as a person. 

2. Take care of yourself 

If you’re struggling to feel good about yourself, taking care of yourself is the first step back towards self-love and self-confidence. It is hard to feel good if you’re not treating yourself right, and once you start taking care of yourself you’ll naturally feel a bit more confident. 

  • Self-care 

Practicing self-care is one of the most relaxing ways to improve your self-confidence. Making sure that you’re looking after yourself externally can be quite soothing. Showering or bathing, doing your hair, styling yourself – all of it will improve your image of yourself, and will help you to let go of any stress that might also be impacting your self-confidence. 

  • Diet and exercise 

Just like self-care, eating well and exercising can really help to improve not only your image of yourself but it has been scientifically linked to improved confidence. It is also great for releasing positive endorphins, which will help to lift your mood generally. So if you’re feeling low and that’s contributing to the lack of self-confidence, eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise can really make a difference. 

3. Get to know yourself 

Ever heard the phrase: know your enemy? Well, in this case, you’re your own worst enemy. You are the one stopping yourself from being confident. You are the one putting yourself down. So get to know yourself. 

Now, this doesn’t mean sitting and talking to yourself or anything too peculiar, it simply means start listening to yourself. Notice the thoughts you have about yourself. Notice negative thoughts. Replace them with positive ones. You need to be able to see and understand how you think about yourself and those around you in order to catch yourself in the act and stop it. 

This can be made easier by keeping a journal of all the negative or self-doubting thoughts you have and then looking at them from an outside perspective. Are they true? Why do you think that? How can you disprove/combat that thought? 

4. Practice positive self-talk 

Self-confidence is all about you and your opinions on yourself. So if you’re constantly telling yourself (either out loud or mentally) that you can’t do things, or that you’re bad at things, then you’re unlikely to think very highly of yourself. So instead of talking to yourself or about yourself like this, swap out the negativity for some positivity. 

Look in the mirror each day and list 3 positive things. Before you go to bed, list your achievements that day. Speak to and about yourself in a way that shows pride and comfort, not disappointment. 

5. Surround yourself with positive people

Just like how you talk to and about yourself, the way others talk to you and about you will also have a drastic effect on your mental health and the way you view yourself. Think about it deeply – do your friends support you? Do they lift you up and champion your successes? Or do they bring you down, judge you and dampen any success? If it’s the latter, you might want to reevaluate the people you keep in your life, as this is likely to dramatically decrease your self-confidence. 

It has also been found that the more time you spend around someone, the more likely you are to pick up their positivity (or negativity), so picking positive people is important. 

Why is self-confidence important? 

It may feel like you’re getting by just fine without self-confidence, so why bother implementing these things? Well, there are a few benefits to improving your self-confidence, such as: 

  • Having an executive presence: those who are confident are more likely to command a room or fall into leadership roles 
  • Being sexier: confidence is generally considered an attractive trait 
  • Experiencing less anxiety: the more you believe in yourself, the less you will feel nervous about social events or work events
  •  You may live longer: studies have shown that people with confidence are likely to live longer

Overall, improving your self-confidence can really impact your life at home, at work, and in your social life – and it’s super easy to do! Why not try and improve your confidence today?

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