For years I had an unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness and cared extremely about how others perceived my looks and personality. I was extremely insecure and cancelled pretty much every time I would hangout and avoided social gatherings. If I actually went it was usually in the weekend where I would drink to a point nothing really mattered. Not the most healthy relationship with myself and others, I would say. Over the years I gained confidence and was less obsessed about how others see me. It still sometimes causes some negativity and jealousy, it takes time to build that self-confidence. I’m getting there though, and in this article I share 5 strategies that helped me gain confidence and be more self-loving.
Focus on the good
Yeah, I know, you’ve heard this before. There’s a reason for that: it actually works. I used to be so focused on the things I didn’t like or things I screwed up. I could dwell and dwell on self-pity and guess what? I only got more negative. It came to a point that I was so negative about everything I did I actually called in sick didn’t go outside the house for days. Not good.
Nowadays I am much more focused on the good things. The things I like about myself, the things that are going well and the things that positively stand out for me. Slowly but surely my outlook on life and how I perceived myself changed for the better and I went from being a pessimist to being an optimist. The funny thing about that is that people will actually treat you different, which is an affirmation for your own confidence. It’s a win-win situation! You could also start your day by saying positive affirmations as well, but for me personally it felt too unnatural. Find you way to see the good in your life and swift that focus!
By helping others you don’t only make someone else happy, it also ensures a positive feeling towards yourself. That positive felling is your reward and that ups your self-esteem: you matter. Now I’m not saying you should start a fundraiser every week or start volunteering 7 days a week (although volunteering is a great way to help others and yourself!). It’s in the little things as well: give a stranger a compliment, help your co-worker or run some errands for your elder neighbour. Especially in times like these you can help others with small tasks they cannot complete due to being high-risk. Helping others works wonders for society and your personal growth.
Treat yo’ self
Take the time to really pamper yourself. Whether it’s a long luscious bath, some extensive online shopping or just absolutely nothing. Treat yourself to some serious me-time. Taking good care of ourselves plays a huge role in how we feel about ourselves and how confident we are. At least one day a week, sometimes two, I am “free” one afternoon or evening. No cleaning, no laundry, no tasks, nothing. I can do whatever I like and Kerim takes care of the house and T. Since I’ve been doing this I feel more relaxed and my self-esteem is growing by taking care of myself and/or expanding my skills. It’s so important to do this. A flower doesn’t grow if you don’t give it water.
Get out of that comfort-zone
By doing something I wouldn’t normally do my confidence grows faster than ever. Doing and discovering new things ensures that I always surpass myself and thus gain more confidence in my actions. It can something small such as starting a conversation with a stranger or going out without makeup. You can also go big and face those fears. Go skydiving, finally get that motorcycle license or go backpacking. By taking that extra step out of your comfort-zone you’ll be proud of yourself and your feeling of independence grows. Those cool experiences are a nice extra, amirite? 😉
Fake it till you make it
Last but not least: fake it. Trick yourself into being a more positive feeling. That brain is easier fooled than you might think. For example: we all have days where we rather stay in bed and that resting bitch face is more present than other days. If you start smiling and act happier you will actually feel happier. Thus you start to think more positively, which bring us back to strategy number one.