Having low confidence/self-esteem is something many people struggle with, especially in this social media era. Feeling as if you are not good enough, caring too much about what others think, discrediting and/or minimizing compliments you receive are just a few ways low confidence manifests itself. Building your confidence isn't impossible. It does require practice and in some cases, guidance from others. Below are a few tips I often share with my clients to help them build their confidence.
1) Create an Accomplishment List - if you struggle to remember your positive qualities, then it is time to create a list of positive feedback you receive. Whether it is about your grades, your cooking, sense of style, personality, career, etc., listing your current and past accomplishments can help lift your spirits. This list is meant to keep handy. So, when you are feeling unworthy or "down" about yourself, review it and remind yourself how great you are doing.
2) Pay Attention and Interact - nowadays we are so connected and involved with our devices that taking a moment to explore our surroundings is often considered a luxury. If you believe, even for one second, that no one is interested in you, I challenge you to take a moment to disconnect from your device, remove your earbuds and observe your environment. The purpose of this challenge is to get you to take notice of the things around you and the connections that are currently being made (i.e. other people smiling, people saying hello, strangers helping strangers, etc.). Yes, that sounds like something out of a movie, but it is happening. It is through connection with others that we often feel good about ourselves. Have you ever noticed the difference you feel after coming back from hanging out with friends vs. "hanging out" online? If not, start paying attention and add hanging out with family & friends part of this challenge.
3) Increase Positivity, Decrease Negativity - building your confidence takes practice and insight. Knowing what you like and dislike, sticking to your truth regardless of what others may think are key ingredients to building your confidence. Eating well, developing good sleep habits and surrounding yourself with positive people are all crucial to this equation too. People who support who you are and are willing to help support your true self can work wonders. Surrounding yourself with negative people/things, on the other hand, may make you feel like an outcast and/or unworthy; Attributes that can ultimately hinder your confidence and self-esteem. So, minimize how much you surround yourself with negativity and focus on being around things that put a smile on your face.
These three tips are by no means end all, be all of building confidence but they can be a great place to start. The road to building your confidence is not easy and sometimes there are some road blocks, but, it is possible. Good luck!
In a previous blog post, I discussed why some individuals avoid confrontation. That post sparked a lot of feedback which caused me to address another issue many people have - caring what other people think about them. The need to be accepted or receive approval, on a personal level, is one that almost every individual grapples with. And, while it is something that is common, it is important to understand how it can impede your well-being and in some cases your life.
Depletes Your Self-Confidence
Seeking and relying solely on feedback from other individuals regarding a decision you want to make can have a impact on how confident you feel about your decision-making capabilities. If feedback received is repeatedly contrary to the one you initially believed was right, it could result in you having a higher level of self-doubt and uncertainty.
Impedes Your Values
The need to be accepted is something that can ultimately affect a person's values, especially if they are seeking acceptance from individuals who do not appreciate the person's beliefs. The need for acceptance can, in some cases, override what an individual believes in and may cause the person to resent themselves later on.
Affects Your Passion and Creativity
Lack of self-confidence combined with the need to be accepted can affect a individual's ability to "think outside of the box" and allow their creative "juices to flow." Someone who is always seeking the approval of others may easily be talked out of an idea they have or goal they wish to pursue.
So, what can you do avoid/fix such issues? First, start building your self-confidence. Spend some time each day reminding yourself of all the wonderful and important qualities you have as a person. Making a list of such qualities can help the process.
Second, spend more time with people who accept you as you are. In other words, you shouldn't have to change/curtail who you are just to "fit in" with the crowd. With technological advances like social media, it is easy to find like-minded individuals who can help support who are and ultimately help build your self-confidence.
Last, but not least, be realistic! Understand that not everyone on this earth will like you. Some will be jealous, some will misunderstand you, and some will straight out dislike you. It shouldn't be your mission to figure out why or to try to make amends. Whatever the issue may be, it is important to remind yourself it is their issue and it is for them to resolve if they so desire.
Do you have any other suggestions you would like to share about how someone can minimize how much they care about what other people think? Please share them below and also feel free to share your personal story of how you overcame this common problem.