Once in a while, your self-confidence takes a megaton punch.
Maybe your great-grandaunt gave one sweeping look at that gorgeous dress you wore the other day, and said: “Good choice, dear. Hides the love handles!”
Maybe you messed up at work, and your boss yelled at you over lunch and in front of your colleagues.
Or maybe—just maybe—you’re the type who looks in the mirror every day, and says: “I’m not good enough. Heck, I’ll never be good enough.”
Newsflash: Girl, that ain’t good. (The negative self-talk, I mean.)
You can’t let anyone—including yourself—treat your self-confidence like a piñata.
At least a piñata spews out a ton of sweet, colorful candy when it breaks.
But when your self-confidence breaks… Suffice it to say that it won’t be pretty—much less sweet and colorful.
So before that happens, do something. Like these 3 steps:
1. Re-Assess Yourself
Take a piece of paper (preferably at least A4 size), and fold it in half lengthwise. On the left side, jot down your strengths; on the right, jot down your weaknesses.
Now, beside each strength and weakness, write your honest thoughts and feelings about them. For example: “I’m smart – but I think it intimidates people” or “I’m clumsy – and it’s frustrating because I’m a waitress.”
Then, read it to yourself. You don’t have to read it out loud (though that’ll help); just take a good long look at what you’ve written down.
Are you seeing a pattern? Are you seeing a person who’s too conscious about what others think of her? Or are you seeing someone who holds unrealistically high standards for herself?
The answers to these questions will tell you the best way to boost your self-confidence.
2. Accept Your Flaws
To be clear, I’m not suggesting you toss your standards out the window. If going on a diet, hitting the gym, and taking a personality development course makes you feel good, then by all means do it.
What I’m saying is that focusing too much on your flaws isn’t productive. Even when you become older and wiser, you’re bound to have some quirks that won’t completely go away.
Also, I’ll let you in on a secret: As a part-time fiction writer, I find flawed characters interesting. They’re the ones who are good and get better, get worse before they get better, or were good before they get worse. (Sound familiar?)
It’s the same thing with real people. Flawed people are infinitely more interesting than “perfect” ones. Heck, even people who seem perfect have flaws—albeit ones that aren’t obvious. So hold your head high, and know you’re in pretty good company!
3. Just Do Your Thing
If you’re self-conscious to the point that you feel paralyzed all the time, you won’t be able to achieve your full potential as a person. Take baby steps outside your comfort zone every now and then. Try learning a new skill; if that fails, try another one. Always “whole-ass” the things you do, as Ron Swanson put it. The more things you do well, and on your own terms, the more your self-confidence will grow.
How Confident Are You? Take Our Quiz!
Want to know where you sit on the confidence radar? Answer these yes/no questions and see how confident you are!
- Do you do what you believe is expected not what you believe to be “right?”
- Do you feel appreciative of your life?
- Do you feel hopeless and helpless when faced with a difficult question?
- Do you like to learn new things?
- Do you stop pushing yourself if you don’t experience success at new ventures?
- Do you feel happy most of the time?
- Do you believe that if you work hard enough, you will find the answer?
- Do others give you validation and praise for what you do?
- Do you enjoy being challenged?
- Do you have a positive outlook of the future?
- Do you enjoy doing difficult things?
- Do you like being around people, especially those you just met?
If you answered mostly yes, then you are one confident lady! Give yourself a pat on the back. You take life by the horns and you don’t shy away from tough situations. Take this confidence and ask for that raise you’ve been wanting.
If you answered yes to some questions, you’re on your way to being confident. You may be hard on yourself and may need more validation from those around you. Remember to love your flaws!
If you answered yes to very few questions, then you need to really sit down and reflect on why this is. As I have mentioned, write down your strengths and weaknesses and work to iron out any misconceptions you may have. This may be the kick in the butt you need to try new things and meet new people. A new person can help steer your attention away from yourself and onto them. Give it a try!
Have any thoughts to share about building self-confidence? Hit us up in the comments section below!