What do you think you are capable of? The answer is probably more than you realize. Having self-confidence and believing in yourself are important steps to achieving your dreams. As I wrote in the conclusion of my book, Dream Big!: How to Reach For Your Stars, “I hope that, on top of knowing that I believe in you, you know something even more important—that you believe in yourself.” I believe in you, your support system believes in you, but to achieve your dreams, you need to believe in yourself. When we gain self-confidence, anything is possible.
Building self-confidence isn’t always easy. An estimated 85% of people worldwide struggle with poor self-esteem. To improve confidence in yourself, there are beneficial habits you can practice each day. When I started practicing these habits a few years back, I slowly gained the confidence I needed to fearlessly chase my dreams, and I hope they do the same for you! Keep reading for ten daily practices to build your self-confidence!
1. Build Self-Confidence by Challenging Inaccurate Thinking
Our irrational or illogical thinking mind can often make us feel a certain way about ourselves. A common example of this is holding the perception that everyone is judging us. You may feel like all eyes are on you and that the world is making silent critiques of your every move. Thinking this way not only negatively impacts your self-confidence but is also just plainly untrue. Most of the time, people are too wrapped up in their own heads to be wasting their time judging you!
When you catch yourself thinking irrationally, challenge those thoughts. One thing I like doing is giving those illogical thoughts a name (let’s call them Bob). This separates these illogical thoughts from you and your more realistic perception of yourself; you’ll no longer feel weighed down by their negativity when you pass them on to “Bob.” Bob shouldn’t be making you feel poorly about yourself!
2. Build Self-Confidence Through Positive Affirmations
Affirmations and mantras are simple yet powerful tools to help you improve your self-esteem. This method of self-talk can be used at any time and will reinforce your positive thinking. Here are ten of my favorite motivational mantras:
1. Focus on who you are.
2. Nothing lasts forever. The bad will pass.
3. Don’t let anyone steal your happiness.
4. It’s all good! You’ve got this.
5. Action conquers fear.
6. Don’t wish for it; work for it.
7. Stop asking for permission to be great.
8. One year equals 365 possibilities.
9. It is the start that stops most people.
10. Tough times don’t last; tough people do.
Even something as simple as “You’re okay!” can go a long way. Come up with or find your favorite mantras and then write them down on a sticky note, use them as your phone background, or write them in erasable markers on your mirror. That way, you’ll see them on a daily basis and always be reminded of them. When you build yourself up with beneficial self-talk, positive thinking will follow, and then, successful outcomes are right around the corner!
3. Build Self-Confidence Through Self-Compassion
As you work on your goals and improving yourself, remember that no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. It is irrational to believe you need to be “perfect” all the time. If you feel that way, you are holding yourself to an impossibly high standard and are inevitably setting yourself up for disappointment.
Instead of always striving for perfection, show yourself a little compassion. Remind yourself that you are human and that you are doing the best you can in your given circumstances. As the old saying goes, “self-love is the best love.” You need to be able to love and appreciate yourself before anything else!
4. Build Self-Confidence By Taking Care of Yourself
To improve your self-esteem, it is important that you take care of yourself. When chasing after your dreams, you want to feel your best because that’s what will give you the energy to keep working hard towards your goals. In order to do this, you need to prioritize your physical and mental well-being and do things that make you feel happy and healthy.
The great thing about self-care is that there is no one way to do it. You could dress in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable, get outside and enjoy some nice weather, take a nap after a long night of work – the possibilities are endless. self-care is simply something that should improve your mood and make you feel good about yourself. By implementing self-care habits, you’ll naturally begin to feel more confident and happier with who you are!
5. Build Self-Confidence by Listing Your Accomplishments
Reflect on everything you’ve accomplished so far, big and small, and write them down. Oftentimes, we overlook all the little things we accomplish each day! Give yourself credit where credit is due and list out everything you’ve achieved. Write them in your phone, a journal, or even hang them on your wall – anything to remind yourself on a daily basis just how awesome you are.
As you think about all your accomplishments, consider everything you’ve overcome to get where you are today. Everything you have faced, for good or for bad, has made you who you are and shows how resilient you are. Developing this sense of pride in yourself and what you can achieve will build your self-confidence and make you feel more prepared to tackle your dreams.
6. Build Self-Confidence by Letting Go Of Negativity
Get rid of negativity in your life! Negative people, situations, and habits – let them all go and focus on surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. Things that bring around negativity are doing nothing but inhibiting your ability to grow.
Letting go of negativity is easier said than done. The first step to do this is recognizing what exactly is causing the negativity. This can be difficult because, very often, negative things can be so rooted and so constant in our lives that we don’t even realize that they are a problem. When you catch yourself feeling poorly, think about what is causing that feeling. Once you recognize that, you can take steps to remove the negativity from your life.
7. Build Self-Confidence by Pushing Your Comfort Zone
While pushing your comfort zone may seem intimidating, there are also a lot of benefits that will come from it! By pushing yourself, you can accomplish things you never thought were possible. You’ll be proud of yourself and, in turn, be more confident in your capabilities. You will also feel like you’re growing, and that can make you feel more energized to keep working towards your dreams.
To push the limits of your comfort zone, do one thing a day that scares you. Don’t put yourself in any unsafe or distressing situations, but try something you may not have had the confidence to do before. Whether you do it successfully or not, you’ll be proud of yourself for trying, and that will give you the confidence you need for other things.
8. Build Self-Confidence Through Self-Awareness
Take some time to reflect on who you are. Ask yourself: Who are you as a person? What are your values? What do you want to accomplish? Very often, we try to fit into the mold of what we think society wants us to be. With that false perception of ourselves, we can never really feel comfortable in our own skin.
Once you recognize what matters and what is important to you, think and do things that fulfill that. When you start living by your values and passions, you are embodying your best self and will be that much more confident because of it. Gaining a sense of self-awareness will also help you point out your pitfalls (think back to illogical thinking) and cause you to become a more well-rounded person.
9. Build Self-Confidence by Giving Back
By helping others and giving back to your community, you will inevitably feel good about yourself. Knowing you made an impact on other people’s lives can be a deeply fulfilling feeling, so spend some time and lift up the people around you! This can be as simple as sending congratulations cards, checking in with friends often, wishing your peers well on tests they’re taking or goals they’re reaching, or spending time with your family members. Doing something good for others will improve how you view and value yourself.
10. Build Self-Confidence by Setting Realistic Goals
Finally, set realistic goals for yourself that you know you are capable of achieving. That very well may mean going outside of your comfort zone, but when you are able to achieve something, your self-confidence is sure to improve.
You can work on setting realistic goals by breaking your big dreams down into small steps. For example, if your dream is to run a marathon, work up to those 26.2 miles in smaller intervals. Run five miles a week, then run ten the next. Eventually, you’ll keep building up until you can complete the entire race. Every small goal you complete will bring along a self-esteem boost and propel you one step closer to your dream.
Once You Believe In Yourself, Anything Is Possible!
Believing in yourself is the first step towards chasing your dreams. By practicing these ten things, you’ll be able to build your self-confidence and make strides towards your dreams. If you want to learn even more about the importance of good self-esteem, be sure to check out my book, Dream Big!: How to Reach For Your Stars. In it, I break down more ways to improve your confidence through fun guides and activities, as well as offer tips and advice to help you fulfill even the wildest of dreams. Through my own trials and errors, I have learned a lot about achieving self-confidence and sincerely hope these practices can help you do the same!