We are not born with any certain level of self-esteem or confidence. What we believe and feel about ourselves is instead developed early in life as we’re presented with numerous messages from family, friends, media, and culture that begin to shape the way we view ourselves and the world around us. We may have been criticized, ignored, or ridiculed, or we may have been lucky and experienced success, and received praise and respect. Either way, we must learn to be comfortable with whom we are and the best we have within us in order to have any self-worth.
Our view of ourselves follows us into adulthood and we must learn to deal with it. It seems to be human nature to size people up and compare ourselves to others, though until we have self-acceptance these personal evaluations will lead to distress and angst, as there will always be someone smarter, wiser, and more talented than we are.
Here is how to build self-esteem and confidence for success.
1. Be aware of personal strengths
It’s a known fact that we all have strengths and weakness, but for some reason we get bogged down by focusing on areas we struggle with, and forget to develop and embrace our strengths. Knowing what you do best and how you can shine sets you up to succeed and be excellent everyday. Take an inventory of your strengths, by consider, “When am I at my best?” “What am I usually doing, and how does it make me feel?” Continue to cultivate your best attributes that make you feel confident, and incorporate these into your daily life as much as you can.
2. Model people with confidence
The people we associate and surround ourselves with has a major impact on the person we become. We simply learn much of what we do from modeling, whether it’s constructive or destructive. One of the best ways to begin feeling more confident is to learn how a confident person thinks, behaves, believes, and interacts with others. Much wisdom can be gained from someone who has learned to channel their self-worth and potential. Find someone who you admire and can connect and learn from.
3. Achievement and accomplishments
A major factor of healthy self-esteem is trusting and believing that we are able to achieve a given task. In other words we need to develop a positive self-efficacy. Those who believe they can accomplish a task likely will, and those who feel uncertain will likely shrink away from a task at the first set-back. Self-efficacy then plays a role in being motivated to take action and in staying resilient when set-backs emerge. As we accomplish our goals along the way, we begin to trust we can do much more than we previously believed. Make efforts to have continued self-growth by setting small, realistic, measurable goals that can help you build self-efficacy.
4. Use positive self-talk and avoid negative self-talk
If you only take one thing away from this post make it the importance of self-talk. The most integral part of self-esteem is the thoughts we have about our abilities and self-worth. We must program our brain to focus on encouraging and positive ideas, images, and beliefs. When we have a positive attitude and feel confident, we think more clearly and perform better. Using positive self-talk in itself perpetuates greater self-esteem. When you catch yourself using self-defeating language stop this cycle by reframing your thoughts to include your strengths and capabilities that can be applied at that time. We may not have the perfect solution, but we can certainly do something to better the situation.
5. Create a high self-esteem living space
I love the idea of have a sacred living space, or a place where I can go to recharge and unwind. For many people, where they live is an impression of their self-image, so if you feel disappointed about how your home looks, or are stressed out about the environment you live in, this can translate into how you feel about yourself. Make your living quarters inspiring and conducive to your personality. No matter where you live, find ways to keep it clean, attractive, and comfortable. The ancient practice of Feng shui reveals how important the energy and ambiance of our environment can be, so don’t disregard this as an inherent part your well-being.
6. Learn to be optimistic
When things don’t go as planned how do you handle it? Do you accept your plight and give up, or do you have faith that things will turn around? There are going to be times when we fail and run into unforeseen circumstances, and being able to view the future as bright in these dark times is crucial. Having an optimistic outlook provides the key to staying more positive, resilient, and confident, and is a very effective way to adapt to our environment. An optimistic outlook with aid in solving problems and staying engaged with your goals and aspirations. The way we feel and think about ourselves will translate into every situation and encounter we have. Being able to make a favorable impression by having a positive attitude and self-confidence will be a deciding factor in our professional and personal success. We must become okay with who we are as a person before we can influence and inspire others. Knowing we are worthy, capable, and courageous, despite our current conditions, is what self-esteem is all about. Photo credit: Aziz J.Hayat