I have never met anyone who hasn’t felt insecure at some point in their life. We all have moments of self doubt where we question ourselves. We compare ourselves to others and this weakens our resolve. There are things that you can do to feel more confident in yourself and in your choices. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Stop the Negative Self Talk
If you don’t back yourself 100%, you need to ask yourself why. If you don’t champion yourself, no one else is going to. You have to be at the forefront of promoting yourself. Others assess you according to your own level of confidence and make judgements according your assessment of you. If you don’t come across as happy with yourself, others will be less likely to think positively of you. Hard but true.
2) Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Comparisons lead to all sorts of distorted realities where we end up believing that others have happy fantastic lives and feel fulfilled every moment of the day, while we sit here and mope – feeling sorry for ourselves. Comparing yourself to others is a sure fire way to get down on yourself and feel deprived. We can always find something to make us feel bad about ourselves. Instead, remind yourself that we are all on our own paths and that it is futile to compare. Focus instead on the progress you have made. If any comparison is to be made, make it between where you were and where you are now – that is the only valuable comparison.
3) Increase Your Self Belief
Big yourself up and talk positively to yourself at all times. Remind yourself of your strengths and of what you have achieved in life – no matter how small. Every victory, no matter how tiny is still a personal victory. For some it can mean just getting out of bed in the morning, for others it can mean foregoing that pudding. Nurture your self belief by talking to yourself as you would a best friend. Be kind to you.
4) Surround Yourself with Positive People
Being around people who appreciate you and inspire you can be hugely beneficial. Being inspired allows us to think of possibilities and open doors that we believed were closed. Â Be open to new ideas and don’t ever think that something or someone is out of reach.
5) Face Your Fears
The only way to show yourself what you’re made of is to face your fears. You’ll be surprised at how resourceful you can be when you need to be. Don’t be afraid of failure – risk is part of life and if you never risk, you never really live. Start small, baby steps, but get out there and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Research has shown a direct correlation between facing fears and trying new things and increased self confidence/self belief.
6) Remind Yourself That No One is Perfect
We live in our heads and are egocentric in that we can only see the world through our own perspective. This can allow distortions to creep in and it’s important to maintain perspective and remind ourselves that no one is perfect. Some are better at selling themselves and some are just really talented in the ‘bullshit department’. Don’t believe other people’s hype. At the end of the day, we all have parts of our bodies we dislike and we all use the toilet…even the Queen does!
7) Practise Gratitude
Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t have. Appreciating what is good in your life alters brain chemistry and encourage the ‘right’ neural pathways to strengthen. When you are feeling self doubt, write down five things every day that you appreciate in your life right now. List the good stuff and prime your thinking to be wired more positively.
8) Be Yourself
No fake versions of you and no trying to please others and be accepted by changing who you are. The very act of changing yourself means that you do not believe that you are acceptable as your natural self. This is a damaging message to send to yourself.
9) Make The Most of Yourself
Look after yourself. Honour your body by eating well and getting enough sleep. Improve your good bits and minimise what you are less fond of.
10) Self Acceptance
You have been given your body and brain to get through this life with. You can continue to hate what you have or you can begin the healthy process of working with what you have. There is always room for improvement but self acceptance is key as a healthy platform from which to move forward. It really is wasted energy wishing you were someone else Â and you do yourself a disservice by thinking this way. We are all unique and we all have something special to offer.
Self love has nothing to do with being arrogant and everything to do with honouring yourself and making the most of what you have. The more at ease you are with yourself, the more others flock to you and want to be around you. Care less what others think and develop warmth and a genuine interest in others. When you focus on others, there is less time to be neurotic about our own shortcomings. Believe that you are wonderful and strive to be the best person you can…it is possible. Stop the self sabotage and embrace how wonderful you really are.
Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.