How to Enhance Confidence Within (Tips to Boost Self-Esteem)
Confidence is a desirable trait that can help you achieve more professionally and personally. Confidence is intrinsically linked with self-esteem. If you think highly of yourself, you’ll feel more confident. And one research study showed that higher self-esteem increases happiness in life.
Looking for a therapist? Get matched with a therapist today
What Is Confidence, Really?
Confidence is trusting your abilities, attributes, talents, and judgments. If we go with a more straightforward explanation, confidence is a belief that you can complete or excel at the job.
Of course, life has many jobs and duties, so does that mean confident people are good at everything? Not necessarily. However, they’re confident in what they can do and often not ashamed about what they can’t do.
Confidence is the product of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Surprisingly, it’s not your actual abilities, whether you can do something or not, but your belief that you can. And our beliefs do impact our abilities and actions. So the more you believe you can do something, the more wired your brain and body get to see it through.
In short, confidence drives people to achieve great things that, on the surface, seem unachievable for them.
So does being confident mean that you’ll succeed at everything you undertake? No, but confident individuals don’t let failures get to their heads. They rebound fast and try to master the skills needed to succeed at that particular thing.
Our experiences also impact confidence. Being rejected or not getting recognition can negatively impact morale and confidence. Similarly, getting compliments and acceptance can boost confidence.
Why Do I Lack Self-Confidence?
As mentioned, confidence can come naturally but can also be attained. There can be various reasons why you may not feel so confident in yourself.
Many traits of confident people are simply a gift of inheritance. Not everyone is lucky like that. However, even once confident, individuals can begin to have self-esteem issues.
Self-esteem is how you value yourself; you don’t feel good about yourself if you have low self-esteem. Low self-esteem typically impacts your confidence.
Your temperament and personality can also cause a lack of confidence. For instance, an introvert may not feel confident in social gatherings, especially with many people.
Life experiences also impact confidence within a person. For instance, bullying at school can result in low self-esteem in teenagers, which, in turn, impacts their social skills, as confirmed by research. Similarly, trauma can hurt a person’s sense of self-worth and result in low self-confidence, especially in social settings.
Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are symptoms of several mental disorders, including social anxiety disorder, addiction, depression, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders.
Your lack of confidence may be linked to your personality, upbringing, negative life experiences, or even underlying mental health conditions.
Ways to Improve Your Confidence
Confidence is something that you can work on and improve. No matter the underlying cause of your low confidence, there are many ways you can boost your self-esteem and present yourself as a confident individual.
Here are some well-researched and proven ways to increase your confidence within:
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
You’ve heard the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” We often compare ourselves to others, especially in a world with social media, where we’re exposed to so much.
From seeing promotions on LinkedIn to fancy vacation reels on Instagram, people often only share their positive life experiences. And if things aren’t going so well for you, comparing your life to theirs only makes you miserable.
A 2018 study showed a link between envy and self-esteem, indicating that comparing ourselves to others negatively impacts confidence.
You must stop comparing yourself with others and remind yourself of your abilities, qualities, and achievements. Everyone is on their journey in life. Your experiences and circumstances are unique to you. It may take you more time than others to achieve something, and that’s completely fine.
It’s better to compare yourself with yourself a year ago.
Become Active and Get Ample Sleep
You’d be surprised how much being active and getting enough sleep can improve your self-esteem. Exercise can boost your mood instantly, which has an overall positive impact on your mental health. Similarly, getting ample sleep that your body needs can improve your physical and mental health.
One study showed that physical activity and perceived physical fitness are important in improving self-esteem. If your lack of confidence springs from a poor body image, taking care of your body will automatically improve it.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
The environment around you can also heavily influence your confidence. If your family and friends do not support you and often use negative language around you, it may subconsciously lower your self-esteem.
Do the people around you make you feel bad about yourself? You need to surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel good about yourself. Even if they do criticize you, it’s coming from a good place and is supposed to help you become a better version of yourself.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do something or don’t do it right. We’re allowed to make mistakes and even be bad at things. One research article suggests that self-compassion improves interpersonal problem-solving.
Don’t be harsh on yourself, and avoid negative talk about yourself in your head. Learn to be kind to yourself and accept that you can make mistakes. Failure is part of the human experience.
Expose Yourself to New Things
Lack of confidence indeed limits our potential. One of the best ways to boost your confidence is to try new things and see how you perform or feel about them. You never know what you might be good at and what you may enjoy a lot.
Don’t let the idea that you might not be good at something keep you from trying it. Remember, if you never try, you never know!
Work on Your Skills (Especially in Things You Enjoy)
Skills can be acquired. Try improving if you’re bad at something, and it hurts your confidence. For instance, if you struggle in a sport you want to play, you can train with a coach and get better at it.
Moreover, acquiring new skills and knowledge will serve as an automatic confidence booster, not to mention make you more interesting. So go out there and discover what you can be good at.
Improve Your Body Language
Did you know that your body language can convey your lack of confidence? Slouching is often seen as a sign of low self-confidence. Working on your body language can make you more self-assured.
First, work on your posture, and stand upright with your back straight and your shoulder slightly retracted. When having a conversation, make eye contact frequently. Slow your movements, and don’t fidget, as that’s a sign of anxiousness.
Set Realistic Goals in Life
You’ll hear and read a lot that you can do anything. If that were true, we’d probably be flying by now. Setting goals that are simply too hard to achieve can be setting yourself up for failure. Keeping your goals realistic can make them more achievable.
Also, you can divide your goals into smaller milestones. Set the first step to the bigger goals as your next goal. What it does is achieving that small milestone boosts your confidence and prepares you to continue striving for that big goal.
Accept That You Can’t Be Good at Everything
Are you a terrible sewer? Do you always lose at chess? Are you not good at planning vacations? It’s ok to be not good at doing things. While some people appear to be the jack of all trades, most of us have strengths and weaknesses.
Instead of berating yourself about being bad at something, praise yourself for what you’re good at. And simply accept that you can’t be good at everything!
More often than not, our lack of confidence and poor self-esteem results from negative thoughts in our heads. Once your mind is calm, you’ll see that negative ideas about yourself do not bog you down. And meditation can make that happen.
Multiple studies have linked mindfulness with confidence, showing that meditation can help develop self-confidence. You can watch videos at home to practice meditation or join a local studio to meditate with others.
You Can Do It!
The confidence within ourselves is multi-faceted in that it’s influenced by a variety of factors– who you are as a person, how you were brought up, the kind of people you’re with, and your lifestyle. Whether traumatic life events killed your confidence or you were always very withdrawn and anxious, there are ways you can boost your confidence.
The above tips can help you begin your journey to becoming more confident. And as you do, you’ll see an overall improvement in the quality of your life.
Looking for a therapist? Get matched with a therapist today.