“To be able to say that you love yourself with conviction is one of your greatest strengths.”
As a young woman, possessing and developing self-confidence has never been simple. I’ve always compared myself to my peers, celebrities, and other influential people in the world.
This pattern of comparison, however, resulted in no longer having the confidence to tell myself that I was beautiful or smart. For a long time, I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin and yearned for a different body, a more intelligent mind, and a happier life.
It wasn’t until years of therapy, self-reflection, and countless positive affirmations that I was able to boost my self-confidence tenfold. Of course, I still have days when I don’t feel as pretty or successful, but I always put in my best effort to increase my self-confidence and to look at myself in a more positive light.
Being confident within yourself is not an overnight process; it takes time and daily practice.
These are my 5 favorite ways through which I empower myself and boost my self-confidence:
- Ask for help when I need it.
Whether I need tutoring for calculus or advice on how to deal with my mental health, I always ask for assistance whenever I genuinely need it.
Many times we justify our uncertainty, telling ourselves, “I’ll deal with it another time,” or (my personal favorite), “It’s not that big of a deal.” However, by acknowledging that we are imperfect and that we need other people to support and help us in times of need, we feel empowered and more self-confident.
Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Next time you need help – be it a menial situation or not – push yourself outside of your comfort zone and ask for assistance from a friend, family member, boss, teacher, health professional, or another trustworthy individual.
- Serve my community.
Being involved in multiple extracurricular activities and volunteer groups outside of school may take a toll on my sleep schedule, but engaging with my community by serving others is one of the most effective ways I’ve boosted my self-confidence.
Fortunately, everybody can serve their community in a variety of ways. You can volunteer at your local animal shelter, work at a food bank, donate clothes to a nearby homeless shelter, pick up trash at the beach with your friends, donate blood, write letters to the troops, or fundraise for your favorite charity.
Serving the people within your community will take you outside of your personal problems to assist others who are in need. By uplifting and inspiring others, your self-confidence levels will increase exponentially, as well as your gratitude for your life and the people around you.
- Pursue an education.
Although school may be a huge source of stress and anxiety for many people, I have a huge affinity for learning, especially when I’m learning about subjects I love.
Pursuing my education and working hard in my classes gives me a sense of accomplishment, which helps boost my self-confidence. By being actively engaged in school, I feel as though I have a purpose within my community, giving me a reason to further my education and obtain my vocational goals as a journalist.
If books are not your niche, pursue something you absolutely love and immerse yourself in it. For example, if you’re a band geek, put all your time and effort into learning how to play another instrument or composing a song. If your passions lie within mathematics, consider tutoring others who need help or pursuing a career in the STEM field. In other words, do what you love and love what you do.
- Enjoy my own company.
Being alone can be an utterly terrifying experience for many individuals; however, by stepping outside of your comfort zone and deliberately being by yourself can work wonders on your self-confidence.
When I was insecure, I always wanted people around me, including friends and my significant other. In other words, I depended on others for love.
This false sense of security quickly faded when I realized during therapy that I was attaching myself to others in order to feel happy. To find self-love, I had to dig deep and let go of the people on whom I depended.
After months of discomfort and loneliness, I soon began to enjoy my own company. I loved taking myself out on dates – I would go to the movies, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, the beach, or anywhere else I could escape from my personal issues.
Working on myself, being single, and learning to be happy by myself was one of the most challenging, yet pivotal points in my life. Although it was a long journey, I eventually increased my self-confidence and loved being alone.
- Set small and large goals for myself.
Have you ever had a huge project at work or school to complete? If yes, how did you feel after you finished it? Was it a laborious task that yielded a sense of achievement once you completed it?
Setting goals for myself has helped boost my confidence levels tremendously. By goal-setting on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis, you’re improving your time-management skills, working hard toward a specific accomplishment, and putting your time and effort into something meaningful to you.
I set goals for myself by utilizing a planner. Every morning I write down tasks that I must accomplish, the deadlines for each one, and how I plan on completing each task.
For example, if today is Monday and I have to finish a presentation for my physics class by Friday, I would write down “Outline each topic and subtopic of presentation” on Monday, “Start on first 3 PowerPoint slides” on Tuesday, “Finish the rest of the slides” on Wednesday and Thursday, and “Present PowerPoint” on Friday. This way, I’m essentially divvying up the task into smaller, more manageable ones, making it less overwhelming as the week goes by.
In addition to goal-setting, I also keep track of routines that I would like to get accustomed to. A prime example of this would be tracking how many glasses of water I drink each day and what my daily goal is. Another way you can implement this into your daily life is to count how many hours of sleep you get each night and the number of hours you plan on obtaining. See how well you perform compared to your daily goals and reward yourself for every tiny milestone.