Self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence… We come up with a lot of phrases to mean relatively the same thing. We definitely struggle a lot with this in our society. In different ways maybe, but the general theme returns over and over again; feelings of not quite being “enough.” I ask people all the time, “What does enough look like to you?” Few people can answer the question, though most will say that they just know that whatever this illusive “enough” is, they do not possess it. So how do we change this? The way we see ourselves, the way we feel about who we are and the person we are becoming? Here are a few ideas to get you started on your journey to self-acceptance and feelings of “enough-ness.”
1. Use Positive Affirmations.
I know, some people think these are cheesy, but I swear to you they work. Sometimes I think these are difficult for people, because they feel they do not believe what they are saying to themselves. My advice on this is to try to find affirmations that you believe to be true or at least possible. A few that I like are:
-I am courageous. I am strong and confident. I am at peace with myself and the world around me. I am strong and powerful.
-I am able to let go of fear and trust that I am safe. I am worthy of all things beautiful.
-I am grounded and centered. I am grateful for my beautiful life. I move through my day with consciousness, grace, and love.
2. Find your strengths and lean into them.
Figure out what you are good at and do more of it. Whether this is running, listening to others, working with children, etc. We feel best about ourselves when we are doing things that we enjoy and that we feel competent at.
3. Let go of the past.
We tend to beat ourselves up with regrets from things that we can do absolutely nothing about now. We replay things in our minds and think of how we might do something differently given the event of the ability to go back in time. We obviously know that this is not an option, but we continue to be stuck on this. Repeat after me: It is done and over with. There is nothing left to be done. Take the lessons learned and let the rest go.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
And most things really are small stuff. Not everything, I get this, but most things. Ask yourself, will this still matter to me in five years? If the answer is “no” then let it go. Even better, learn to laugh at yourself and things that just don’t go as planned. I’d rather be laughing than crying, every time.
5. Accept compliments.
It may seem simple, but if you are a person who typically brushes off compliments and has trouble saying, “Thank you,” when someone gives you a compliment, start working on not only accepting the compliment but really mean it when you say, “Thank you” and internalize it.
6.Embrace mistakes and failures.
This can be challenging, I know. But when we are able to recognize where we missed the mark, we can work on improvement. If we run from our failures and try to blame others or find ourselves so embarrassed by these things that we cannot see them fully, then we lose an incredible opportunity for growth. Mistakes are necessary and important for forward movement.
7.Be kind to everyone.
Really. Life is too short to be an asshole. Even if someone is disrespectful or rude to you, respond with kindness. Hold doors open for people, offer to give people rides, smile. You’ll be surprised how often a little kindness goes a long way and really helps you feel good about yourself.
8. Change your posture.
Carry yourself like you own the place, wherever you are. Shoulders back, stand up straight, head held high, chest open. Even if you don’t feel it. Walk with purpose. When you look confident, you feel confident.
9. Find support from people who love you.
Open up. Talk to your friends and family and the people you trust. You are NOT burdening them! Tell them your struggles, ideas you have, and share your joys too! We feel best when we feel loved and supported by others.
10. Practice Gratitude.
Yes, you’ve heard this from me before. Sorry. But there are so many studies out there about the power of gratitude to literally improve every area of your life. So, not shocking, confidence will improve as well. Every single day, all day long, write down or say out loud things you are grateful for. Even if you catch yourself being negative. Finish the thought with, “Well, at least I’m grateful that…”
So there you have it. There are more. But start with these and watch your confidence improve. Or choose to work with me and not only will I share the rest with you, we can come up with a plan together for any of these that you struggle with, tailoring them specifically to you.