It isn’t always easy to be sure of yourself, especially if you tend to be hard on yourself or if other people put you down. You can take steps to build and keep up your self-confidence, which is good news.
Confidence in one’s own abilities is not usually present alongside high self-esteem. You might believe in your own abilities and still have low self-esteem.
When people try to boost their confidence instead of their self-esteem, they often wind up with a laundry list of skills and accomplishments that do nothing. Instead of owning up to their flaws and shortcomings, they use their accolades as a shield.
This article defines self-esteem & confidence and talks about why it’s important. We’ll talk about how to believe in yourself and show others that you do, so you can be more successful and happier in your life and work.
What is confidence?
Being confident of yourself means having faith in your skills, qualities, and decisions. Confidence is knowing that you can do what you want to do. Most of the time, people who are confident also tend to be happy and have a positive view of the future.
There are both internal and external sources of confidence. Believing in yourself, or having internal confidence, is the key to showing confidence to others. People who are sure of themselves may feel more at ease in social situations and be more willing to take risks because they can say what they want clearly, firmly, and with conviction.
Confidence can be boosted in many ways, such as by focusing on and building on the strengths they already have, setting and achieving clear goals, taking care of themselves regularly, facing their fears and taking calculated risks, and asking for help from those around them. Having confidence in yourself can be very important for your own growth and for reaching many of your goals in life.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is how a person thinks about their own worth and value as a whole. It means how much a person thinks they are smart, capable, and worthy. Self-esteem can affect how a person thinks, feels, and acts, as well as their relationships, how well they do at work, and their overall health and happiness.
People who think highly of themselves tend to have a good opinion of themselves. They may be able to deal with setbacks better and believe more in their own power to change their lives. On the other hand, people who don’t like themselves may have problems with critical self-talk, an exaggerated sense of their own inadequacy, and a higher risk of emotional distress.
People’s self-esteem can be affected by many things, like how they were raised, their relationships with other people, cultural norms, their religious or spiritual beliefs, and how well they do in their jobs. How a person talks to him or herself could also make a difference.
What lowers confidence and self-esteem?
Past experiences: There are many ways that past events can affect confidence and self-esteem. Negative events like failure, rejection, or trauma can lead to feelings of self-doubt, shame, or inadequacy, which can lower confidence and self-esteem. For instance:
- Failure: When you don’t reach a goal or finish a task well, you may feel disappointed, self-doubt, or even shame. If you don’t deal with these feelings, they can make you feel less confident and less good about yourself. This will make it harder for you to try new things in the future.
- Rejection: Being turned down or left out by other people can also make you feel less confident and lower your self-esteem. Rejection can make you feel like you’re not good enough or don’t belong, which can make you doubt yourself and feel insecure.
- Trauma: Things like abuse or violence can have a big effect on a person’s confidence and sense of self-worth. Trauma can make you feel shame, guilt, or fear, which can make it hard to trust others and feel good about yourself.
Negative self-talk: Constant self-criticism can damage confidence and self-esteem. Negative self-talk involves criticizing one’s character, competence, and value. Self-criticism like this might sap your confidence and make you feel unworthy.
“You’re not good enough” and “you can’t do it” can become self-fulfilling prophecies. This can make you afraid to try new things or face obstacles, which can lower your self-esteem.
Comparison to others: Constantly comparing yourself to others can make you feel inadequate and affect your confidence and self-esteem. It’s important to remember that everyone has their own unique journey and that comparing yourself to others is not productive or healthy. Instead, focus on your own strengths, accomplishments, and goals. Recognize that everyone has their own challenges and struggles, and that what may look like perfection on the outside may not be the reality.
Lack of support: Confidence and sense of self-worth can be damaged by isolation. Isolation, loneliness, and a sense of not being appreciated or important can set in when you don’t feel like people care about you. Negative thoughts about oneself, a lack of trust in one’s own abilities, and a general malaise may result.
Perfectionism: Striving for perfection can be a double-edged sword. While it can motivate you to achieve excellence, it can also lead to self-criticism and lower your confidence. If you’re a perfectionist and find yourself waiting until everything is just right before getting started on a project or committing to it, you may be engaging in avoidance and procrastination. Your sense of competence and self-worth can take another hit, making you feel like you can’t accomplish anything.
Lack of control: When you don’t have control over your life or circumstances, you may feel weak and unable to make constructive changes. This can cause self-doubt, low self-esteem, and a lack of confidence.
For instance, if you’re facing a health or relationship crisis and feel like you have little control over the result, you may feel that you can’t handle it or make positive adjustments. This might snowball into negative thoughts and feelings, lowering your confidence and self-esteem.
Ways to build confidence and self-esteem.
Luckily, there are a number of strategies you can use to boost your confidence. These 12 methods might help you feel more confident whether you’re lacking it in one particular area or just generally.
1. Recognize your strengths
Make a list of your strengths, accomplishments, and positive qualities. Focus on what you’re good at, and remind yourself of your successes regularly.
When you take the time to identify your strengths, you develop a greater sense of self-awareness. This can help you better understand your unique talents and abilities, and help you appreciate your strengths.
Recognizing your strengths can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in your abilities. This can boost your confidence and help you feel more positive about yourself.
When you know your strengths, you can set goals that are aligned with your strengths. This can help you feel more motivated and confident in your ability to achieve your goals.
Knowing your strengths can also help you build resilience. When you face challenges or setbacks, you can draw on your strengths to help you navigate those challenges and bounce back.
2. Challenge negative self-talk
Pay attention to your self-talk and challenge any negative thoughts or beliefs. Reframe negative self-talk into positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself daily.
When you challenge negative self-talk, you become more aware of the thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back. This can help you identify patterns of negative thinking and develop strategies to overcome them.
Challenging negative self-talk involves reframing negative thoughts into more positive or neutral ones. By doing this, you can develop a more balanced perspective on yourself and your abilities, which can help boost your confidence and self-esteem.
When you challenge negative self-talk, you’re developing resilience by learning to overcome obstacles and setbacks. This can help you feel more confident in your ability to handle difficult situations.
Self-compassion and treating yourself with kindness and understanding are effective ways to combat negative self-talk. As a result, you may find that you have a better opinion of yourself and that your whole outlook on life improves.
3. Set achievable goals
Set small, achievable goals that align with your values and interests. Accomplishing these goals can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence.
When you set achievable goals, you’re giving yourself a clear sense of direction and purpose. This can help you feel more focused and motivated, which can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Achieving small goals can help build momentum and make it easier to tackle larger goals. As you accomplish each goal, you’ll feel a sense of progress and achievement, which can help you feel more confident in your ability to succeed.
Setting achievable goals can help you develop a sense of self-efficacy, or belief in your ability to achieve your goals. This can help you feel more confident and capable in all areas of your life.
You’ll feel more in charge of your life and motivated to make progress when you commit to achieving specific, measurable, and timely objectives. This has the potential to improve your confidence by making you feel stronger and more capable.
Read more about: 10 Tips to Help You Set Goals and Achieve Them
4. Take care of yourself
Engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and practice relaxation techniques. These can help you feel better physically and mentally, which can boost your confidence.
When you take care of yourself, you’re sending a message to yourself that you are important and deserve to be treated well. This can help increase your self-worth and self-esteem.
Taking care of your physical health by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can have a positive impact on your mood and energy levels. This can help you feel more confident and capable in all areas of your life.
Prioritizing self-care can help you manage stress and anxiety, which can have a negative impact on your confidence and self-esteem. By taking time to relax and recharge, you can feel more grounded and centered.
Self-care increases self-awareness, which in turn increases satisfaction with life. A more profound awareness of who you are and what you stand for can do wonders for your sense of self-worth.
Read more about: 6 Self-Care tips for Your Mental Health and Well-Being
5. Face your fears
Identify what you fear and face it head-on. Start with small challenges, and gradually work your way up to bigger ones. Celebrate your successes and reflect on what you learned from the experience.
When you face your fears, you are actively taking steps to overcome challenges that may have once felt insurmountable. This can help you feel more capable and confident in your abilities to face difficult situations.
Facing your fears can help you expand your comfort zone and become more comfortable with taking risks. This can help you feel more confident in trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone in other areas of your life.
When you face your fears, you are building resilience and developing coping skills that can help you deal with difficult situations in the future. This can help you feel more confident in your ability to handle challenges and setbacks.
Successfully facing your fears can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem. It can help you feel proud of yourself and your ability to overcome challenges.
6. Seek support from others
Put yourself in the company of positive, encouraging individuals. If you need help boosting your confidence and self-esteem, talk to a trusted friend, family member, or mentor, or visit a therapist or counselor.
Having people believe in you and applaud your work is a great confidence booster. More assurance in oneself and a better sense of personal worth can result from doing so.
Being able to lean on friends and family during tough times is a powerful tool for perseverance. Having someone to confide in and lean on during tough times might help you feel stronger and more capable of dealing with stress and hardship.
You can do more and feel better about yourself if you have access to tools and help with tasks. You might feel more capable and confident when you get the support you need to overcome difficulties and achieve your goals.
Self-assurance and pride can also be bolstered by having strong role models to look up to. It’s easier to push through adversity and pursue one’s own ambitions if one can see that others have done so as well and succeeded.
7. Practice self-compassion
Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a good friend. Practice self-compassion by recognizing that everyone makes mistakes, and that imperfection is a natural part of being human.
Having self-compassion is being patient and forgiving with oneself whenever you endure difficulties. Negative self-talk and self-criticism can erode confidence and self-esteem; doing this can help.
When you practice self-compassion, you accept yourself, warts and all. The positive effects on your confidence and sense of self-worth from practicing self-acceptance and self-love are well-documented.
Self-compassion is an effective tool for dealing with adversity and strengthening one’s emotional and mental fortitude. If you do this, you may find that you have a greater sense of competence and assurance in your ability to deal with difficulties.
When you show yourself kindness, you put your needs first and look after yourself. You may find that you have more faith in your abilities to handle your life and duties after doing this.
Read more about: 6 Ways You Can Become Your Own Bestfriend (Self-Compassion)
8. Volunteer to help others
Helping others can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Volunteer for a cause you care about or help a friend or family member in need.
Doing volunteer work is a great way to meet new people and strengthen existing friendships. This can boost your self-esteem, make you feel more appreciated, and strengthen your bonds with others.
Helping others through volunteer work can be a great way to gain experience and improve abilities. In turn, this might boost your sense of competence and self-assurance.
Volunteering can provide you a sense of fulfillment and self-worth by allowing you to help others in need. Your sense of self-worth and faith in your abilities to make a difference in the world can both benefit from this.
Volunteering can broaden one’s horizons and help one better appreciate the struggles of others. Realizing this about yourself can boost self-esteem and confidence in your capacity to handle adversity.
9. Learn new skills
Gaining knowledge and experience may do wonders for one’s sense of self. Learn a new skill or pursue a new hobby by enrolling in a class or workshop.
Gaining confidence and expertise in a new area takes time, but it’s worth it when you finally get there. More assurance in oneself and a better sense of personal worth can result from doing so.
Overcoming difficulties is a common part of learning anything new. Conquering these tests can strengthen your character and give you faith in your own abilities to deal with adversity in the future.
To master a new ability, you must frequently challenge your established habits and routines. By testing your mettle in this way, you can gain faith in your own judgment and confidence in your capacity to deal with the unknown.
When acquiring new knowledge or skills, it’s helpful to take stock of one’s current level of competence and identify areas where improvement is needed. Knowing yourself better and having a higher level of self-awareness may do wonders for your sense of personal worth.
Read more about: 15 Essential Life Skills the Modern Women Must Learn
10. Dress for success
One method to improve your sense of self-worth is to dress in a way that exudes assurance and ease. Put on comfortable clothing that flatters your figure.
Good manners and a sharp wardrobe give off a confident vibe. To put it another way, this can boost your confidence and sense of competence.
When you put effort into your appearance, you indicate that you value yourself. If you do this, you may find that you have more faith in yourself and your talents.
If you take the time to put effort into your appearance, you may find that you experience an increase in good emotions and a renewed sense of optimism. Your optimism and consequent ability to bounce back from setbacks will both rise with this strategy.
To a lesser extent, how you dress can also be taken as an indication of your character and taste. The result may be a greater sense of security and comfort in your own skin.
11. Practice positive body language
How you move can change how you feel about yourself and how other people see you. Stand tall, look people in the eyes, and move in a confident way to feel more sure of yourself.
When you use good body language, you show others that you are confident and sure of yourself. This can make you feel better about yourself and more sure of your skills.
Your communication skills can also get better if you use good body language. When you look people in the eye, stand up straight, and use open gestures, you can get your message across and connect with them better.
Positive body language can also help you feel better and have more energy. When you smile, take deep breaths, and move with intention, you can feel happier and full of energy.
Body language that is aligned with a positive frame of mind is also an effective tool for bringing about inner transformation. Developing self-assurance can begin with the simple act of practicing more confident, open, and forceful body language.
12. Celebrate your successes
Positive actions and results are reinforced when they are celebrated. More assurance in yourself and a better sense of personal worth can result from doing so.
Recognizing and appreciating your achievements is another way to strengthen resilience and resiliency. By taking the time to appreciate and enjoy your accomplishments, you strengthen your resilience and make it through tough times more easily.
By encouraging you to see setbacks as learning experiences, success celebrations can help you develop a growth mindset. Positivity and hope can help you approach difficulties more effectively.
Your motivation and inspiration to keep working toward your objectives and dreams can both benefit from a healthy dose of celebration.