7 Steps to Boost Your Self Confidence

Self confidenceEveryone suffers from some degree of self doubt at some point in their lives. It’s human nature to be unsure of yourself and your abilities from time to time. Short episodes of self doubt aren’t harmful. However, if feelings of poor self-worth are becoming more frequent or harder to ignore, you could benefit from trying to improve your self confidence.

No one is born with low self confidence. A poor sense of self-worth is often the product of cumulative emotional trauma. For instance, if someone else constantly points out your failings, you may begin to believe them. Then you may fail to achieve something and convince yourself they were right all along! They’d said you weren’t good enough and the subsequent failure has proved that! This reinforces and feeds back in the damaging cycle of self-doubt and lowers your self confidence.

If you constantly find yourself self-criticising and expecting to fail, you could benefit from trying to improve your self confidence. It’s not always easy; negative thoughts about yourself could have been building in your mind for years. We’ve listed seven highly effective habits you can adopt to improve your self confidence. Treat yourself as a work in progress. Devote regular time to any of these exercises and you should be able to improve your self confidence over a reasonable period of time.

1. Pay Attention to Your Appearance

It sounds really simple, but just treating your appearance with care can help you to feel better about yourself. Book yourself some pampering time, have a haircut or reinvent your image. If you know you look good, you often feel so much better.

2. Stop Negative Self Talk

Start to notice when your inner voice turns on you and becomes self-critical. To improve your self confidence, it’s important to take control of your negative thinking. Whenever a self-critical thought pops into your head, recognise it and simply push it away.

3. Know Who You Really Are

It’s vital you get to know yourself better and realise what you really want out of life. Some deep self analysis is called for. Perhaps consider starting to write a private journal where you can honestly pen your true hopes and fears. Write down the things you’re good at and the things you’ve achieved. Use this journal to get to know yourself better. Self-knowledge is power and will help you to recognise any negative patterns of thinking that need to change.

4. Power Pose Your Way To Self Confidence

When you don’t feel good about yourself, you tend to make yourself physically smaller. People with low self confidence will hunch their shoulders, cross their legs and clasp their hands together. The good news is that research suggests that if you assume an expansive posture instead, you will actually begin to FEEL more confident. Make yourself as big as possible, practice stretching your arms up and out. Breathe deeply and stand tall. You’ll be amazed how quickly ‘power posing’ can improve your self confidence.

5. Make Action Plans

If you make lists of achievable goals, it’s very rewarding to tick them off when they’re completed. Acknowledging to yourself that you are moving forward and working towards your goals can be a huge confidence boost.

6. Get Active

Exercise seems to be on every list for self improvement – and that’s because it really does work wonders for your self confidence. As well as helping you with body image issues, it stimulates your brain to release ‘feel good’ chemicals that actually have the power to change your mood and eliminate self doubt. Regular exercise is also solid proof that you can achieve your aims. Make an exercise plan and stick to it. Even something as easy as 20 minutes of walking a day can have massive benefits – both physically and psychologically.

7. Finally – Solutions Not Problems!

Rather than criticising yourself, look on any problems you may feel you have as opportunities to find solutions! Stop worrying and start taking action instead! For example, if you feel that you’re lacking in skills, book yourself onto a relevant course. If you’re unhappy with your weight, find an exercise you enjoy and participate regularly. YOU are in control of everything you do. Stop self-sabotaging, stop procrastinating and make things happen!

If you have a story about how you improved your own self confidence issues, please get in touch. Illumine would love to hear from you.

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