Self-confidence: why are we suffering from low self-esteem, and what are useful tips to change it?
BY ANASTASIA SHKRETOVA, STAFF WRITER
Of course, you are. You are more than good. You are the best at whatever you’re doing.
How does our psychological state form? Why do we sometimes punish ourselves instead of simply accepting our nature?
Let’s define it a little bit. According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, self-confidence is a belief that one is capable of successfully meeting the demands of a task. Merriam-Webster defines self-esteem as a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities. Often, people lose the skill to accept themselves and love themselves just the way they are—which are signs of poor self-esteem.
Your daily experiences also matter. A person’s thoughts and feelings about themselves could also be based on their daily routine life. Ups and downs in your relationships with people whether it is romantic, friendly, a grade on an exam, even your conversations with strangers—all of that temporarily impacts how you can feel about yourself.
An article by the University of Texas at Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center explained that healthy self-esteem is our ability to be aware of ourselves and still accept who we are. This means being able to acknowledge our advantages and weaknesses and still feel love for the person that we see in the mirror.
There is also a thing called an inner voice. According to one psychological theory, we all have an inner child, parent and adult. As the character Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says in “The Little Prince,” “All grown-ups were once children … but only a few of them remember it.” Every fear you have is your inner child’s fear. If you want to find out what your inner child is afraid of and how you can help it, try some practical psychological tasks.
First, try a small meditation. Close your eyes, slowly inhale with your nose and slowly exhale with your mouth. Repeat twice.
Now, imagine you`re standing on a field with a big fairy forest behind it. The weather is just the way you like it. Everything is the way you like it.
Now, you see a light, which goes somewhere into the forest. You follow that light, because you know that it is safe and you will find an answer there. You see that the light stops somewhere and makes an open space.
You stand, and in a few seconds see little you. You are 5 years old. Look, how beautiful and pure you are. Hug your inner child. Tell your inner child how much you love him or her. Ask your inner child about your fears and needs. Promise your inner child to do everything he or she is feeling lack of.
Now take three deep breaths and come back. Your unconscious mind process has been set.
Next, take a piece of paper and write down the answers to the next few questions:
- What do you feel?
- What is little you afraid of?
- What are the ways for your inner child to be saved and loved?
- How can you accomplish it?
Read the two last answers aloud. Put the answers somewhere where you can see them constantly.
What else can you do to improve your self-confidence and self-esteem?
Shut down your inner critic. We all have one. It is someone inside of us who tells us that we made an awful presentation, or that we could get a better answer in that conversation and we don’t look good enough. Tell your inner critic that you did everything you could and that you love yourself no matter what.
Improve your self-compassion. Accept your emotions. We all have moments of being sad, distracted or angry. It’s okay to have those feelings. Let them be. Forgive yourself. You had reasons for making mistakes and you had reasons to act that way.
Do not hesitate to ask for help. If you feel like you are not in control of something in your life or that you cannot hold to something anymore, find help. It can be teachers, friends, family, psychological services, workshops, etc. Do not let yourself drown in your problems when there are people willing to save you.
If you don’t like something, speak. Not everyone can understand if you are feeling uncomfortable. Do not be afraid to tell others that you do not want to do something. Do not be afraid to speak about your emotions.
JUST LET YOURSELF BE THE WAY YOU ARE. You are unique. You are amazing. You are beautiful, and you matter. Do not pay attention to those who want to change your inner you. Love yourself. Accept yourself. Being your true you is the best way to live the happy life.
Psychologist and body-oriented therapist Irina Baturo shared these tips to help improve your self-confidence:
“Fake it till you make it.” Imitate confidence, competence and an optimistic mindset. It echoes the underlying principles of cognitive behavioral therapy as a means to enable a change in one’s behavior.
Write down some statements. What makes you hesitate or doubt yourself from the outside—others views, words? Analyze it in a week.
Write down your achievements. When the inner voice doubts it, convince it otherwise.
Take care of yourself:
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day
- Sleep for 7-8 hours
- Provide yourself with a balanced nutrition.
- Observe personal boundaries but also be able to say “No.”
- Keep a balance between work and rest.
Confidence is the state gained through experience. Meet with your fears more often, make mistakes and try on. Confidence is your ability to rebuild your world, even if it means turning in the wrong direction or losing everything.
Stop comparing yourself to others. In any comparison, someone is better.
Communicate with positive, strong people. Negative and pessimistic people will always suppress your desires.
Do not inflate the problem—it is just an emotional coloring.
Never waste your energy or your precious time thinking about past actions. This will prevent you from going forward. Know how to forgive yourself. Never speak negatively about yourself.