Like many people, for a good majority of my life I battled major insecurities and crippling self-doubt. I avoided thinking about myself all together in order to evade my terrible thoughts of self-loathing. The uncertainty I felt in my beauty, intelligence and capability hindered my interpersonal relationships, academic standing and overall quality of life. But once I realized that it took such a negative toll on me, I consciously took steps in order to live more confidently and more carefree. Many people suffer this plight seemingly alone, not realizing that everyone around them is fighting the same internal war. Below are a few of the ways I began to build my self-esteem, they worked for me and I’m confident that they’ll work for you too.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”
— Norman Vincent Peale
1. Fake it ’til you make it!
The easiest way to have confidence in your beauty and abilities is to tell yourself that you do! Is it that simple? Yes… and no. It doesn’t happen over night, it takes a while for the words of encouragement that you say to yourself to seep in, but eventually, it does. It may seem silly at first, but good habits are the fastest route to success (if there ever was one.) Having “faux” confidence is totally okay until you develop the real thing.
2. Speak love, speak light.
Whether it becomes apart of your routine or you do it randomly throughout the day, get into the habit of speaking love and light into yourself. Stand in front of the mirror after you brush your teeth or use the bathroom and say “I am beautiful, exuberant and utterly extraordinary. I am capable of anything, I will accomplish every goal, and I will do so with grace, hard work and humbleness. My crown was jeweled by the creator, so my destiny is mine and can never be taken away from me. I am phenomenal, powerful and gorgeous.” Again, it might feel weird at first, maybe even a little cocky but I assure you, it isn’t. Society has conditioned us that we have to hate ourselves and downplay our abilities. Instead of falling into that trap, allow yourself to fall in love with you. Speak love and light into yourself, and it will soon shine through.
3. Balance is key.
Every time you think of something that you consider a flaw, take the time to consciously think of two things that you like about yourself too. Start thinking more about your strengths, rather than over-analyzing your weaknesses. No matter how you feel at your lowest, remember that when you come out of that slump, you’re still just as amazing as before it.
4. Learn to be confident in your flaws.
You have to know your flaws, and have the courage to accept them and love yourself in spite of them. Remember that everyone has insecurities! You’re not the first one that doubts themselves, and you definitely won’t be the last. Your feelings are valid and important, but know that you have the ability to grow and evolve. Your flaws cannot hold you back from all the remarkable things you’ll do in life.
5. Get inspired!
Post cute inspirational and motivational quotes and sayings around your room, you can print them on large sheets of paper or write them on sticky notes. Some good places to put them is on your desk, the wall next to your bed, on the threshold before you walk out the door, or even on the ceiling above your bed. Little things to remind you that you are beautiful and powerful beyond measure.
Unfortunately, there is no exact formula to gaining self-confidence and no one has all the answers, but one of the most important things you have to remember is that you and only you have the power to change how you see yourself. It isn’t up to anyone else, and believing that it is will leave you empty and powerless to the effects of the extraneous opinions of others. Everyone is insecure about something and to deny that would be to deny human nature. But it is our ability to accept our flaws and shortcomings and focus on our accomplishments and positive attributes that really matters.