Build Confidence: Be the Best Version of Yourself

Self-confidence is fragile — and the trust you have in and with yourself can break in a moment. A judgmental comment. A mistake at work. Romantic rejection or a photo on Instagram can chip away at your confidence to the point where you start to fill these fractures with doubt and insecurity.

A foundation built upon feelings of unworthiness, criticism, and poor self-image isolates you from wonderful life experiences! A void of self-confidence can turn into more than just feeling sorry for yourself; it can rob you of joy and affect your mental wellbeing with serious consequences. The following explores the cause and effect between low self-esteem and mental health. Last but not least, we’ll cover how to kick those nasty hangups and flourish with grace and beauty.

Low Self-Esteem & Mental Health 

Low self-esteem can be so debilitating that although it’s not truly categorized as a mental health condition, it still has a strong connection to symptoms of mental illness. To define it, “mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood,” according to The National Alliance on Mental Illness. In that case, how you value and perceive yourself is pretty closely linked to your mental health and emotional welfare. Here’s how your mental health can decline when your confidence hits rock bottom: 

  • Depression: Hating yourself or feeling worthless is likely to instigate sadness and discouragement. You may think happiness and success are just not in the cards for you, and you’re just destined to a dull and purposeless life (not true!).
  • Anxiety: A perception that you’re not good enough or that you’re incapable may trigger anxiousness over life tasks (like finding a job) and desires (like finding romance). You could experience social anxiety if you think you’re unlikable and then hold yourself back from meeting people and forming relationships that give your life real meaning.    

Genuine confidence isn’t easy to find and maintain. It’s natural for self-doubt to creep into your life now and then. But when insecurities start to chip away at your spirit and cause crippling mental distress, you’re creating more distance between you and your potential physical health and happiness. Rather than temporarily mask self-hatred and hopelessness with a glass of wine (err bottle), make this the start of your journey toward discovering your strong sense of self. 

3 Ways to Start Living with Confidence 

The ability to be a confident person is actually a life skill. Although it may seem to come more easily for some than others on the surface, for most, it takes training and conscious practice.

Engage in Positive Self-Dialogue

It can be easy to fall into a habit of negative thinking; seeing the glass half full takes effort and can be uncomfortable for a conditioned pessimist. Over time, negative thinking goes on autopilot, and self-confidence declines as a side effect. Challenge the voice inside your head and shatter your defeatist attitude. As the pieces break apart, rebuild your confidence with pep talks and positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are a powerful tool for redefining your truths — how you see yourself, the world, and your place in it. This can be known as the Law of Attraction: what you think, feel, and believe shapes your reality.

Positive affirmations can have different purposes like these:

  • Stressful or high-pressure situations (like a job interview): “I’m the perfect candidate for this job. This interview is an opportunity for me to shine. I stand out above the rest.”
  • Vulnerability (like on a first date): “I am one-of-a-kind. I have so much to offer. Dating is an adventure and I’ll find the right one.”
  • Self-Awareness (when self-doubt dominates): “Here I am again at my own pity party. I will not let my negative thinking win. I believe in positivity. This is not who I want to be.”
  • Gratitude (when you start to complain): “I have so much to be thankful for. I am loved. I am healthy. It’s a beautiful day. I am blessed.”

Take time for some deep introspection — where do you struggle with your confidence the most? Then create your mantras. Repeat them to yourself in the mirror as a morning ritual. Write them on a Post-it note. Even download an app. It’s uplifting conversations, especially with yourself, that will manifest into self-assurance.

Find & Appreciate Your Originality

There’s no one in the entire world who’s like you. What sets you apart is exactly what makes you beautiful! Weaknesses give you character, and imperfections create authenticity. Humans aren’t meant to be replicas of one another. Your uniqueness has a place in this world; you just have to embrace it. Let your individualism radiate! 

Self-compassion, however, is an essential part of being confident. A piece by The New York Times explores how self-compassion encourages you to still acknowledge flaws and limitations through a realistic lens, while accepting them with kindness. Compassion also goes hand in hand with resiliency. If you get knocked down, you know how to not beat yourself up over it: accept the circumstance — maybe even take ownership — get back up and don’t let the fall define you as a person. 

Dare to truly love who you are! Here’s some tips to help you win over your inner critic:

  • Believe that you are one-of-a-kind worthy of adoration and compassion.
  • Reflect upon your past experiences and how you’ve overcome them to be who you are today.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others and looking for ways that you just don’t measure up.
  • See yourself through the eyes of your loved ones and find a friend in YOU.

Take a Chance at Feeling Good About Yourself

Low self-esteem can paralyze you and hold you back from the joys of life. It sounds simple, but courageously taking baby steps toward doing things that make you feel good (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) can help raise that level of self-esteem.

There’s an element of opening yourself up — to the possibility of happiness and the possibility of disappointment. But with the right perspective, taking the chance to put yourself out there is empowering. And the reward of building or restoring confidence is worth the risk. Here are ideas to help you start moving toward a strong, confident sense of self:

  • Exercise: Working out fires off those feel-good endorphins. Make that post-workout high and energy boost a part of your daily routine. Not only will you feel physically good, but you’ll feel good mentally knowing you’re doing something healthy for your body.
  • Overcome Your Fears with Courage: Your fears can freeze you and put your life on pause. Are you stuck? Are you going through the motions without any growth or excitement? Go outside your comfort zone and face your fears. Don’t be afraid to fail! In fact, set out to fail. Become comfortable with failure even. This is an opportunity to discover something powerful from within; a growing can-do attitude and sense of accomplishment are an asset to your confidence.
  • Be Selective with Your Tribe: Surround yourself with people who support, encourage, and uplift one another. Confidence is contagious! But so is pessimism. Eliminate those who bring toxicity to your life (like judgment and criticism) and focus on forming relationships that bring you up, not down.
  • Be Alone: You can be alone and not be lonely. Learning to find comfort in solitude can grow independence, which is a major confidence booster. Take yourself out to eat. Go to a movie or even travel solo. Doing things on your own (and enjoying it!) is empowering. See your self-esteem soar as you become more independent.

Confidence Support Team

Sometimes it takes more than repeating positive affirmations, appreciating your eccentricities, and opening yourself up to feeling good to uplift your confidence. In therapy, a professional counselor serves as your coach who works with you to look deep within and take action. It may take overcoming a painful past or learning what kind of self-care you need. Just know that a therapist is your partner in beginning to believe in and trust yourself. Start your journey toward confidence with a partner at ThriveTalk. Overcome your adversity, set goals, dream big and embrace your authentic self!

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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