Everyone has moments when they feel less than fabulous. A bad day at work, a rejection from a friend or simply being unable to squeeze into a favorite pair of jeans. Indeed, both large and small disappointments and setbacks are enough to put a serious dent in the way we see ourselves. Fortunately, making a few simple adjustments in attitude and action can significantly boost self-confidence, with lasting beneficial effects.
1. Practice Self Care
Many people hesitate to indulge themselves, because they believe doing so makes them selfish. However, maintaining good physical and emotional health is essential to being able to perform at an optimal level. Maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise routine and getting enough sleep can have a surprising, beneficial effect on self-confidence.
2. Look Good to Feel Good
Within reasonable limits, practicing a little retail therapy can work wonders on a person’s self-esteem. For example, trying out a new hairdo or showing off a great new outfit or sexy lingerie can go a long way in making someone feel better, without breaking the bank. Additionally, wearing something that enhances your body’s best features or getting a new, flattering hairdo not only boosts self-confidence, but also makes a more favorable impression on others, including that special someone.
3. Focus on Body Function, Not Just Looks
Society often emphasizes women’s looks to the detriment of their accomplishments or abilities. As such, women internalize this judgment, which frequently results in low self-esteem. This is especially true for women who do not fit the perceived ideal of slimness and youth.
In fact, a collaborative pilot study between Psychology Today and the University of Gothenburg found that women who focus heavily on their looks often suffer from low self-esteem. By contrast, women who focus on their body’s innate abilities and traits are more likely to have a positive body image and higher self-esteem.
4. Think Positive Thoughts
The phrase “fake it till you make it” may seem cliché, but there’s truth behind the statement. Many women are their own worst critics, and a constant inner dialogue of criticism inevitably has a detrimental effect on self-confidence.
However, taking part in cognitive behavioral therapy can help silence the inner critic by countering negative self-talk with self-praise. While many people at first find it awkward talking about themselves, bringing to light both our successes and downfalls eventually has a beneficial effect on self-confidence.
5. Reach Out to Others
One tried-and-true way of boosting self-confidence is by reaching out to help others. For many people, volunteering or engaging in altruistic acts makes them feel more fulfilled and part of something bigger than themselves. It also serves as a reminder that others have it worse than us. Plus, volunteering can also be a great way to meet new people who share common beliefs and interests.
Putting It All Together
These days, people can often feel discouraged and lack self-confidence in numerous ways, including from work, in relationships or as part of their everyday routine. Additionally, many women are their own worst critics — and the combination is enough to diminish anyone’s self-confidence.
But making an effort to practice self-care, along with replacing negative thoughts with praise and encouragement, is an essential element of boosting self-confidence. You’ll be glad you did.