Yes, confidence is something you can learn.
I struggle with myself. A lot. A background in a pretty grueling sport has turned me into a bit of a perfectionist, and when I feel like I fall short of my goals, I’m really hard on myself. I start to find every flaw and pick it apart. I feel like everyone is gossiping about my negative qualities. Sometimes, I just really, really don’t like myself.
It can become tricky when these feelings rear their ugly heads, because then I can drive myself right into a mental rut. No fun at all. In the spirit of being mindful, I try to catch myself in my negative feelings and do a 180 before I drive myself crazy. Here are some things that I’ve found helpful.
Every day do at least one thing in each category: spirituality, physically, creatively, and mentally.
Even if it’s something as small as doodling a little bit on a post it, or running up the stairs instead of walking up them, trying to check off one thing in each of the above categories will help you to be more well rounded and appreciate the little things you do for yourself. Setting goals and mentally checking them off in your head, as small as they are, add to your feeling of accomplishment.
Do something nice for another person as often as you can
Helping someone who is struggling at work, sending a thoughtful text message, or even just holding the door for someone is one of those things that can lift spirits. Yours, and the recipient of your kindness.
Know that you are more than your job, you are more than any one word description someone else can give of you.
Seriously. We are not what we do for a living. We are all just people. At our core, that is all we are. In the grand scheme of things, being an accountant, a cashier, a nurse, a mail person…those are all just things we do with our day. All in all, other people will not remember what you do, or really what you say. What they will always remember is how you made them feel.
Develop (or resurrect) a hobby
A hobby is more beneficial than just doing something fun. The feeling of accomplishment is 10 times more awesome when you’ve done something you love versus doing something you we obligated to do. Feeling accomplishment is a natural high. It’s human nature.
Take care of yourself
Not for drastic changes, but for how it makes you feel. Pick one area of your life (eating, exercising, personal growth) and make a plan for what you want to change. Make tiny steps in that direction, not allowing yourself to feel discouraged when you don’t succeed immediately. Not only that, but be kind to yourself mentally. Imagine how people who love you see you–don’t allow yourself to talk to yourself in a way you wouldn’t permit anyone else to do.
Recognize your strengths
Everyone has a strength. Everyone. Do some reflecting, and figure out what yours is. Maybe you’re unfailingly kind. Maybe you’re the best at making someone laugh when they’re down. Maybe you’re the type of person who will work their ass off until the job is done. Once you know your own strengths, not only have you found a reason to like yourself, but you can also find a way to use your strength to the fullest.
Before you go to bed, think of one thing you’re thankful for (could be anything from the tiniest “my hot shower was so refreshing this morning” or “I saw a gorgeous tree with yellow leaves I’ve never noticed before” to “I have a home to live in and a family that loves me”. I saw someone on Twitter suggest that every time something awesome happens to you, you should write it on a strip of paper, fold it up and put it in a jar. Reading those little reminders on days that suck can remind you that good things do happen to good people.
Always understand that confidence isn’t about feeling like you can do no wrong. It’s about being okay with who you are even if you don’t get that promotion, It’s about loving yourself and knowing you’re the shit even if you ask someone out and they say no.
It’s about knowing that no matter what you do, someone out there will always have something to say about it. Every person’s preferences and tastes are different. It’s about YOUR tastes and YOUR preferences.
Tell us how you stay confident in the comments below!
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