Having low self-esteem can often feel like it’s holding you back in life. Lacking confidence in yourself can affect things like how you perform at work or how you interact with others. While developing self-confidence is easier said than done, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to start seeing yourself in a different way.
Admittedly, I’m no stranger to experiencing low self-esteem, and I realize how hard it can be to become more confident in yourself. Over the years I’ve gotten better at identifying causes of low self-esteem and I’ve figured out ways to deal with them. For that reason, I’ve put together this list of my top 10 tips that might help you develop self-confidence.
1. Start a Compliment Journal
Keeping a complement journal is a good place to start if you’re trying to grow self-confidence. This is a super simple activity that can have a lot of impact on your self-esteem. All you have to do is journal the things you like about yourself and/or the compliments others have given you. Keep in mind that these compliments don’t need to be purely based on appearance.
2. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Practicing good hygiene, self-care, and eating foods that are healthy for you will give you a better sense of self-worth. Exercising and being active helps you take care of your body, plus the endorphins released during exercise will help you mentally offset the side-effects of low self-esteem.
3. Stop Being so Hard on Yourself
One of the most important things you need to realize when trying to develop self-confidence is that everyone messes up and everyone has flaws. These things just come with being a human and that’s ok.
When you find yourself being your harshest critic because you feel like you have failed at something, remember that failure is unfortunately inevitable and that’s ok. It’s ok not to feel perfect all the time because literally, no one is!
Instead of dwelling on missteps, stay focused on your accomplishments and celebrate the small victories. All you can do is try to be the best version of you!
4. Don’t Take Life So Seriously
Some things in life should be taken seriously, but not everything. That one awkward thing you did 5 years ago is a great example of something that is not serious.
In the grand scheme of things, little mistakes you’ve made here and there are minor life moments that you shouldn’t dwell on. Those setbacks (or even embarrassing moments) do not define you.
Remember that you’re only human and bound to make some mistakes. If you can learn to laugh at yourself and find amusement in it all you almost become immune to judgment from others.
5. Be More Forgiving
To become more confident you need to not only learn to forgive yourself but also those who have wronged you. Holding a grudge or being resentful doesn’t benefit your self-worth in the long run. Forgiving people should not be seen as weak or a loss. When you forgive people, you gain the ability to move on.
6. Unfollow Toxic Social Media Accounts
It’s easy to get blasted with social media posts that make you feel worse about yourself on some level. Unfollowing certain social media accounts can help boost your self-esteem, but first, learn to identify when and which posts are triggering to you.
If a friend posts while on vacation, you might temporarily wish you could trade places with them (because who doesn’t want to be on vacation??). This type of temporary comparison is likely harmless and an unfollow may not be necessary.
However, if you notice someone’s posts frequently cause you to compare or see yourself in a negative way, it might be time to unfollow. (Especially if these negative feelings tend to stick with you long after the fact.)
Simply put, if there are accounts you follow that constantly make you feel bad about yourself, unfollow them. Limiting exposure to these triggers for negative thoughts will help you develop self-confidence and self-worth. Out of sight out of mind is a saying because it’s true.
7. Remove Yourself From Toxic Relationships & Pursue Positive Ones
Just like removing toxic social media posts from your feed, you should consider removing toxic people from your life. Those who are genuinely struggling with low self-esteem are already extremely hard on themselves and do not need any extra toxic behavior from those around them.
It’s important to learn how to spot people in your life that could be contributing to low self-confidence. If someone in your life bullies or takes advantage of you, is extremely self-centered or boastful, is constantly criticizing you, frequently blames you for their problems, won’t let anyone compliment you, or is never happy or excited for you when good things happen, they might be toxic to you.
These types of people could be causing tremendous damage to your self-esteem, and you might not even notice it. A good first step to dealing with toxic people is to talk to them about it and make them aware of how they make you feel. If their behavior continues, it’s crucial that you begin distancing yourself from those people and track your emotions to see if you have seen any improvements in your well-being.
Surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones who actually want to see you achieve things and support you fully, makes all the difference.
8. Recite Daily Affirmations to Yourself
Here’s your opportunity to be your own hype man! Reciting affirmations to yourself on a daily basis can greatly improve your self-confidence because it helps offset negative thoughts you have about yourself.
Every day or at least when you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, STOP and start to tell yourself the opposite out loud. If your mind says you’re going to fail, tell yourself you won’t. If your mind says people aren’t going to like you, tell yourself they will. If your mind says you’re not worthy, tell yourself you are!
9. Help Others
A common characteristic of someone with low self-esteem is that they spend a lot of time thinking about how they don’t measure up to others. When you help someone else learn a new skill or achieve a goal, it takes your focus off you and your insecurities. Plus, helping others can give you a sense of purpose and it just feels good!
10. Turn Criticism Into a Challenge
Use constant criticism to grow your self-esteem rather than hinder it. Turn whatever you’re being criticized about into a challenge. If it’s something you want to change, use it as motivation to prove to yourself and others that you can be successful in whatever you set your mind to.
There’s no easy fix to improving self-confidence. Becoming more confident in yourself and your life takes time and effort.