I'm going to just come out and say right here at the start of this post that I struggle every day with low self-confidence. I'm not just talking about body confidence or not liking the way I look, I'm talking in general about feelings of self doubt and not having faith in my own abilities. People are always telling me, either at work or in my personal life, to give myself more credit for my achievements and to not be shy about speaking up when I've worked hard at something. But this is something I find really hard.
This year I've set myself a goal to consciously make an effort to work on building my self-confidence. I know it's something that can be really valuable in the workplace and in generally developing a happier attitude. I've put together a few of the things that have helped me to get into the habit of being my own cheerleader, instead of dragging myself down with self-doubt.
Stepping away from the language of self-doubt
So we know that it's hurtful to say mean things about somebody else, so why do we think it's okay to be mean about ourselves? You hear people all the time using this kind of language about themselves; they berate themselves for non-existent flaws, down-play their achievements and deflect compliments from others. It can be really hard to break the habit of always speaking about ourselves in negative terms and it's something I have struggled with for years. I'm the type of person who can find it uncomfortable to take a compliment, but recently I've really been trying to just say thank you.
I also find myself using this kind of language in the workplace. I will always down-play my achievements, or let other people take credit for them, because I prefer not to be in the spotlight. But, in all honesty, this does nothing for my confidence and leaves me in a really negative headspace. Even though at the time it can feel uncomfortable, knowing something you've achieved is appreciated by others will always leave you feeling more positive and give you more confidence in your abilities in the future. People won't think badly of you if you for being proud of something you've done. Next time you work hard and you achieve something, just try saying 'this went really well and I'm proud of how this turned out'. People will respect you for having faith in your abilities and you'll feel so much more positive than if you let self-doubt completely down-play your success.
Find out what makes you feel fabulous
Although I've found that exercising really helps me to build confidence in myself, I also know that other people find different ways to improve their confidence. Personally I find that exercising always leaves me feeling like I have achieved something, and it helps me to appreciate my body for what it can do, instead of focusing on my flaws. I find it particularly helps me to go to a workout class, and if you find one that really suits you it can be a big confidence booster. I also find that surrounding myself with people who are truly supportive and positive improves my confidence and makes me feel a whole lot more fabulous about myself.
If you're struggling with building your self-confidence then setting time aside for the things that make you feel good about yourself is hugely important. For you it might be having a nice bath and taking the time to pamper yourself a bit, or maybe experimenting with different make-up looks makes you feel great. Whatever it is, make the most of it and set time aside for those things. In the longterm you'll end up feeling far more confident in yourself.
What have you found really gives you a confidence boost when you need it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Pictured in this post: Ted Baker Necklace, Olivia Burton Watch, Olivia Burton Bracelet, Jigsaw Jumper, Jack Wills Coat