Isn’t it just a matter of “faking it until you make it”? Isn’t that how we should cultivate self-confidence, the key to success? Every year, millions of books preach this rant.
We’re told to put on a happy face, dress in the latest fashion, and give ourselves daily pep speeches in the mirror.
If you’re like me, you’ve read dozens of self-help books in an attempt to catch the confidence bug. You may have even attempted to channel your inner Tony Robbins by covering your apartment in tens of thousands of positive post-it notes.
However, you do not feel more confident after a week of positive. You’re more perplexed in many respects.
Building self-confidence is an individual process, not a formulaic one. It has to feel natural and at ease. It should fit like a pair of sweatpants rather than skinny jeans.
This implies that in order to develop ourselves, we must first understand and accept ourselves.
This post is for you if you’re bored of decorating your home with inspiring phrases or adding another self-help book to your collection. I’ll teach you the six steps you need to boost your self-esteem and self-acceptance. Let’s get this adventure started.
1. Accept Who You Are
You’ll never be able to compensate for your fear with enough applause or awards. Before you add more accessories to your personality, you need to own who you are and learn to stand tall in your shoes if you want to gain self-confidence.
After all, being confident isn’t about having the most bling; it’s about feeling at ease in your own skin.
If you want to boost your self-esteem, you should take the time to acknowledge and appreciate your unique characteristics.
Take some time to learn about your talents and limitations, and be content with where you are now, even if it isn’t where you want to be.
Accepting yourself––your strengths, shortcomings, and even your quirks––is the first step toward self-confidence. It demands you to embrace your entire existence in many ways. In essence, it’s giving your entire self to the world and expecting nothing in return.
2. Accept That You Will Be Terrified (and That’s OK)
When we were younger, we all participated in spelling bees. We’d pay close attention and hope that we wouldn’t forget any of the letters. Our legs knocked, our peers stared, and sweat beaded our brows as we shouted our guesses.
This was a torturous situation for everyone. It was terrible to have to scramble letters in rows in front of our entire class.
Fear isn’t cured by self-assurance. It’s not a special blend of pixie dust that renders us impervious to adversity or difficulty. Fear is, in many respects, the only way to feel self-assured. Isn’t it wonderful news? It’s not the most exciting news, but it’s reassuring.
Consider that for a moment. You must face your fear if you want to get that promotion. Even if your voice cracks, you must belt out Aida if you audition for a Broadway lead.
Because of fear, all of these times are magnificent. You would never know the delight of victory if there was nothing to face––no obstacle to overcome.
When we embrace our fear and allow it to propel us forward, we gain self-confidence.
Related: Steps to Increasing Your Confidence
3. Make Peace With Your Past
Take a breath and gaze back for a bit. It’s a powerful thing to be where you are now rather than where you were previously.
There’s something quite energizing about looking through old images. We may be embarrassed by our fashion choices and amused by our outrageous hairstyles.
We do, however, feel a sense of nostalgia as we travel back in time. We can’t avoid our path when striving to attain our goal, for better or worse.
If you want to improve your self-esteem, you must be willing to accept your past, even the bits you wish you could forget. You may want to burn the negativity and move on, but in order to do so, you must make peace with your past and present.
Making peace with who you were, who you are, and who you will become is what self-confidence is all about.
Accepting your experiences, taking responsibility for your mistakes, and figuring out how to go forward with healthy behaviors are all part of the process.
4. Be Happy for Others
Celebrating someone else and removing the strain from yourself is one of the most effective methods to boost your self-esteem. Enjoy a friend’s or colleague’s excitement.
We all want to see others happy, but it’s easy to become envious. It can seem like popping another bottle of champagne for a friend is a tedious task at times.
You’re not alone if you find it difficult to celebrate others. You’re not being selfish; you’re being self-aware, and there’s a tremendous difference between the two.
It’s tough to congratulate your friends or coworkers when you can’t even accept the person who greets you each morning.
Many of us were reared in homes where acknowledging our strengths was equated with arrogance. We learned to avoid the limelight and to take no credit for a job well done.
There’s nothing wrong with being reserved, but if it reflects on people around you, it’s a problem. You’re not humble; you’re putting a damper on someone else’s celebration.
Allow others to shine, and be their biggest supporter. When you build others up, you celebrate their accomplishments rather than criticizing their flaws.
It helps us celebrate our own accomplishments and create self-confidence when we take the time to be pleased with others around us.
5. Be Willing to Put in the Work
If you’re trying to absorb and gain self-confidence through the pages of another best-seller, I have one piece of advice for you: put the book down and go lift weights, run on the treadmill, or stretch.
Here’s the deal: gaining self-assurance isn’t simple; it takes effort. It isn’t found in a Flintstone vitamin; rather, it is obtained through sweat.
Everyone must exercise in order to build self-confidence, but not everyone will exercise in the same way or at the same speed. It’s important to remember that developing self-confidence isn’t about beating the competition.
It’s about accepting yourself for who you are, growing as a person, and learning to trust your own knowledge and abilities.
6. Don’t Let Your Childhood Scars Write Your Story
We all have scars from our childhood, but we don’t have to carry them into adulthood. Your self-confidence was influenced by your own experience, even if you had a great childhood.
No one can claim your narrative, yet we can all relate to some type of childhood adversity.
Our psyche, self-perception, and ability to generate self-confidence have all been influenced by our childhood experiences[1
However, we will be able to live our lives genuinely if we are willing to perceive ourselves holistically. It’s just as vital to know where you’re going as it is to know where you’re going.
When you receive praises, take the time to jot down everything that comes to mind.
Do you brush them aside? Do you rely on them for your entire sense of self-worth? Write down your reactions and then think about why you felt that way.
This exercise can be done with a therapist, a trusted friend, or even by yourself. You’ll be able to have a better understanding of yourself and won’t be thrown off by compliments or criticisms if you’re willing to go back in time and treat your scars.
You’ll be able to experience life without fear and, eventually, write your own tale with self-assurance if you’re grounded in who you are.
If you want to boost your self-esteem, keep in mind that it’s a process. To get to the end of the race, don’t rush to the finish line.
You’ll have everything you need to be more self-confident if you take the time to accept yourself, fail forward, appreciate the trip, and give yourself grace along the way.
Take today to figure out who you are and who you want to be while maintaining your individuality.
You won’t have to fake it until you make it if you use these tools––you’ll be able to make it without losing yourself in the process.
- Psychology Today: 8 Reasons It’s So Hard to Overcome a Tough Childhood