Self-confidence is one of the most elusive, yet vital things we can learn to cultivate during our lifetime. At one point of another, most everyone, no matter their age, race, gender or creed, has battled with their self-confidence. Yet, while it’s a known universal struggle, many are uncomfortable discussing their personal experiences with it. Whether it’s body image issues, a poor sense of self, a disbelief in one’s abilities, or overcoming a difficult personal history, in order to improve self-confidence it’s important to address the three core areas.
Working Out Regularly
A large majority of people cite poor body image as the major contributor to their self-esteem struggles. And while it’s true achieving total body acceptance can be exceedingly difficult for most, practicing self-love and forgiveness and focusing on your body’s ability versus its aesthetic value can be a helpful place to start.
While putting too much emphasis on physical appearance can have a negative effect, taking care of your body is essential to your overall well-being. Traditional forms of exercise such as running or lifting weights may not be for everyone, but finding a way to move your body on a regular basis helps maintain a healthy weight, improves circulation and is a huge contributor to improving your self-confidence. It also doesn’t hurt that exercise also releases feel-good endorphins, which provides a natural pick-me-up. Try different classes and find something that works for you—if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to go. Give Orange Theory a try—this exciting new exercise system is sure to burn some fat and leave you feeling great, albeit a bit sweaty.
Using Your Mind to Build Yourself Up
The mind is the most powerful tool we have. It can either be our best ally or our worst enemy. Often, the root of any self-confidence issue is fear --- fear of not being enough in some capacity. Overcoming the things we fear most is a crucial stop towards improving the way we feel about ourselves. You can do this by asking yourself what you are most fearful of. This in itself can seem like an overwhelming task, so it’s important to be patient with the process. Start with making a list of three things you’d like to try or improve on and give yourself a reasonable amount of time in which you can accomplish them.
Another important skill you’ll want to add to your self-confidence arsenal is the practice of cultivating healthy thought patterns. Negative thinking is toxic to happy, healthy living. If you often catch yourself in a pattern of negative self-talk, it’s necessary to find a personal disrupter to shut it down. Call a friend, go for a walk, write a letter to a loved one, or cuddle with your pet. Many credit starting a meditation or gratitude practice as one of the most effective ways of building a stronger mind, and ultimately, a stronger sense of self.
Taking Care of Your Skin
Another common self-confidence buster is found in the form of skin issues. Many women can tell you that it’s not just teens who struggle with acne. Hormonal or environmental irritants affect some individuals way beyond their teen years. If you struggle to keep your skin clear, it’s time to put some effort into treating your acne. Don’t just try to cover it up with makeup, or avoid social events because you feel self-conscious. Millions of Americans struggle with blackheads, pimples, and other skin ailments, but there are numerous ways you can combat acne and achieve clear skin. Find a good skin specialist, be consistent with your skin care regimen, and make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and drinking lots of water. You’ll be amazed at the positive difference a clear complexion can make in your self-perception.
Soothing the Soul
People often confuse the soul with being religious, and while that can certainly mean that for some, that doesn’t need to be the case for all. Feeding your soul can be a spiritual or religious practice, but it can also mean discovering something you’re passionate about. Maybe you love painting and drawing, or perhaps you really enjoy volunteering in your community. Whether it’s a creative outlet or a love for travel, spending time doing things that make your heart happy is an important ingredient for developing healthy self-confidence. While for some pinpointing a passion is a no-brainer; it’s often not so clear for others. Trying new things and exploring past-times that feed the soul is an important thing to do for yourself. If, however, your passion is already clear, consider sharing it with others. For example, if you love music, think about playing for the elderly at a retirement home, or, if you’re a yogi at heart, take a timeout during the workweek and share your yoga practice with coworkers. Check out Meetup.com and find a group of likeminded individuals that you can meet and practice your shared joys with. Spending time doing things that make your heart happy, or sharing them with others, is one of the best ways to elevate your self-confidence.
Make a difference in your self-esteem with these easy habits and change your life today.