Self-Confidence and ways to cultivate it

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Someone told me once “I wish I was as confident as you are” and it almost made me jump on my seat. If anything, “being confident” was the last thing I would’ve described myself at that moment. I guess I played the part very well. Four something years and couple achievements forward and here we are. I definitely feel much more confident than I felt back then and I’ve learned a great deal. The most valuable lesson of all, however, is that confidence does not come in a package when you turn a certain number of years. It is something that you must work on every day.

 


 

When you are a teenager you measure your success in school grades and number of boys that like you

 


 

All my life I’ve never felt particularly confident or comfortable with myself. When you are a teenager you measure your success in school grades and number of boys that like you. I’ve never exceed in neither. I’ve always been a tomboy and had more guy friends than girl friends. And school seemed too boring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I kind of got stuck in that phase for awhile. Bored with the world and unappreciated by fellow guy friends, or so I thought. Later in years it did turn out that most of them were actually secretly in love with me. Imagine my disappointment! If only I had known it before! What wonders would it do to my self-esteem! But back in the middle and high school I’ve never felt beautiful enough or confident and hid behind my quirky personality. The only thing that I could always rely on was my imagination and curiosity. 

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If only I had known it before! What wonders would it do to my self-esteem!

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I’ve never liked to study but I sure thing loved to learn. Over the years I’ve learned how to love what I can’t change and change what I don’t love about myself. Of course, as any sensible person would add here, I am a work in progress, that learning and improving never stops. It is true. However, I do have few tips for you on how to cultivate (the perfect word for it too!) self-confidence and built self-esteem. And if it’ll help just one person out there, my mission is accomplished.

 

No.1 RESPECT YOUR CHOICES

It goes hand in hand with making choices that you can respect yourself for, of course. Either it’s choosing a healthier option for lunch or choosing to end an unhealthy relationship/friendship, or signing up for gym classes. There are no choices and challenges that are less significant than others. Every challenge as little as it might seem is an opportunity to built your character and self-esteem. In fact, it is those seemingly little choices (like choosing to wake up early in the morning to go for a walk) that help us build the self-confidence. Because once you know that you can rely on yourself, you know that you will not back out with excuse, you start believing in yourself. And that is pretty powerful!

No. 2 DISCIPLINE YOURSELF

We all have bad habits that undermine our self-esteem. Either it’s binge eating while binge watching your favorite TV show on Netflix, or skipping gym after you’ve made a commitment to yourself, etc. That is when your self-discipline comes to rescue. While it is ok to be flexible with your plans (sometimes I’d go for a 20 mins run instead of 1,5 hour gym session), when it turns into an excuse day after day, you’re damaging your self-confidence. Learn where your struggles and bad habits are. They tend to sneak up on you when you least expect it, when you are stressed or tired. Once you’ve learned how to identify them, put your foot down. Might not work the first few times, but practice makes perfect. As long as you keep trying, you can’t loose.

 

 

 

 

No. 3 STAY MINDFUL & GRATEFUL

 

Our minds have interesting ability to kind of shut off when we are too stressed or tired. There must be some fancy terminology for it in psychology, I am sure. I haven’t researched into it too deep. But I am speaking from the experience. If I had a stressful day all I want to do is make as little effort as possible and comfort myself with food and watching something easy on Netflix. That is as low as my energy level can get. It is like a point of no return. If I am in that state, it might take hours to recover. That is why I learned not to get to that point. The trick is to stay mindful and present. Sometimes it’s people that drain your energy, sometimes it’s sad and useless thoughts (in other words rumination). If you feel your energy levels dropping, take 5 minutes break. Not checking your Instagram or Facebook but to sit quietly.
That is why smoking is so addictive. If you smoked or still do (which I highly recommend you quit), you know that it is some kind of escape for your mind. For that 5-10 minutes all that exists in the world is your cigarette and you. Why not meditate for those 5-10 minutes instead? In fact, meditation is the only way that can help you stay mindful and present. Or praying, if you are a religious person. Praying and meditation helps you achieve that peaceful state on mind, be grateful and present. What I’ve learned is that the results are not noticeable at first, but the more you do it, the more noticeable it gets.

 

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You cannot concentrate and make choices that are right for you when you have thousands of to-do lists/sad thoughts running through your head. Leaning to get rid of all that clutter in your head, makes space for, well, thinking. It helps you recognize what’s important, helps you concentrate better. Hence, better choices that you respect yourself for, hence higher self-esteem.

I hope you found something that you can apply in your life. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

 

 

 

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