BY VIRONIKA TUGALEVA MARCH 16, 2015
When we trust ourselves, anything is possible. People who take the time to honor their talents, speak their minds, and bring their best ideas into fruition get feelings of fulfillment that can only come from living an authentic life.
This, at the core, is what self-confidence is really about — trusting yourself, standing by your own side.
As you know from your relationships with other people, trust is built one day at a time. With each deep conversation we have and each struggle we overcome together, we gain more confidence in each other.
This is exactly how self-confidence is built, too: one day at a time.
Here is a list, by no means exhaustive, of everyday opportunities to build self-confidence. I guarantee you that if you take yourself up on these every single time they come along, you’ll feel a sense of deep personal power and integrity in no time.
1. Look with love.
When you look in the mirror, you have the opportunity to choose love over judgment. Next time you’re looking at yourself, divert your attention away from the hairs, blemishes, wrinkles, or whatever you obsess about and, instead, look into your eyes with the same depth you’d look at someone you love. Then, give yourself a big smile. It might be strange or awkward at first, but over time, you will build trust and intimacy with that person in the mirror. Like all great relationships, you have to start somewhere.
2. Slow down and spend time with yourself.
When you’re just rushing through your to-do list, you get no quality time with yourself. It’s important to take as much time as you can, every day, to slow down and be completely present. There are so many ways to do this. You can practice mindful eating, take a bath, do yoga, or take a walk in nature. Whatever you do, allow yourself to do it fully and enjoy every moment.
Reflecting on your thoughts every day is the equivalent of taking the time to have a deep conversation with someone you love every day. By journaling, you build the habit of trusting yourself and of being trusted. Over time, you will naturally be drawn to your journal in hard times, as well as in times of inspiration. You’ll also allow yourself to be more honest about what you want and what holds you back. This valuable self-awareness is essential toward making important life choices and growing as a person.
4. Stop being scared of saying no.
When you say “yes” to every request people make of you, you stretch yourself too thin and give less than your best. Learning to say “no” builds integrity and strengthens your relationship with yourself, as well as your relationships with others. If someone asks you for a favor and you can’t do it wholeheartedly, let them go find someone who will. You both deserve that. Sometimes “no” is really the kindest word.
5. Sleep on it.
If someone triggers you, take some time to cool off before responding. By choosing to communicate in peace instead of in conflict, you save yourself from the inevitable anxiety anyone can get when she says or does things in times of high emotion. In the long run, you’ll free up all that mind space you devoted to ruminating on your mistakes to ruminating on your brightest ideas.
6. Do something nice … quietly.
When you see the opportunity to perform an act of kindness, whether it’s picking up a piece of trash or helping someone carry something down a set of stairs, do it. Then, keep it to yourself. You’ll feel good about what you’ve done and, as a bonus, you’ll get to feel proud of yourself for it, without needing to wash down that pride by seeking approval from other people.