Look at you. You’ve made it this far, haven’t you? No need to be insecure. Just the simple fact that you’re reading this means you’ve at least accomplished something in your life. Sure, it’s easy to get down on yourself sometimes. But there are so many reasons you have to be confident, and so many ways you can help yourself know it.
1. Only compare yourself to your past self
If you keep comparing yourself to others, of course you’re going to feel insecure. There’s always going to be someone out there better than you (unless you’re a world record holder or something, in which case I doubt you’re reading this).
The only person you should compare yourself to is…yourself. Look at who you were yesterday, a month ago, five years ago. Then look at who you are now. Then, think about where you’ll be tomorrow, a month from now, or five years from now. Keep building on who you were, and who you are, to become the person you want to be.
2. List your life’s accomplishments
Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished in the face of adversity. And again, don’t compare this list to someone else’s. I walk with a mild limp, which sometimes gets me down. But when I think of the fact that doctors told my parents I would never walk, every step I take feels like an accomplishment. I’ve also earned two degrees and gotten married to the most amazing person I’ve ever met.
Okay, enough about me. What have you done in your life that you have to be proud about? If I can be proud of being able to walk to the fridge for another Mountain Dew, you have to have something of your own to proudly brag about.
3. Be honest about what brings you down about yourself
Everyone has qualities they want to improve. There’s nothing wrong with admitting shortcomings. There is something wrong with acknowledging your shortcomings without doing something about them.
If you know you’d feel better about yourself if you could lose some weight, don’t just wish it would happen; put a plan in motion to reach your goal. Don’t just wish you finished college when you were younger – look for a way to fit in night classes at a local community college.
It’s never too late to improve yourself, until it is, and you’ll never get the chance to do better.
4. Admit past mistakes, and work toward fixing them
While we’re being honest with ourselves, let’s look at some of the mistakes we’ve made in our lives. Everybody messes up once in a while, and that’s okay. But just like it’s not okay to become complacent about our shortcomings, it’s also not okay to keep making the same mistake over and over again.
Making a mistake can be a turning point in your life – the moment when you realize you could be doing better. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that one mistake leads to failure. Realize that failure, when taken advantage of, is simply a pathway to success.
5. Smile more
It sounds simple, and maybe a bit silly. But smiling is not just a reflex to a positive stimulus; it can actually be a positive stimulus. Try it. You can actually trick your brain into believing you’re excited or happy about pretty much anything.
When you wake up and face the day with a smile, you’re more likely to feel positive about everything around you, including yourself.
6. Dress to impress
Just like smiling can make you feel better almost instantly, dressing “to the nines” can have the same effect, especially on your self-confidence. I am definitely not the most confident person in the world, but when I don a three-piece suit, I feel like I can take on anything.
Even on a daily basis, wearing slacks and a sweater rather than jeans and a sweatshirt can change your entire perspective of the world, and of yourself.
7. Face the world – literally
Put your phone away for once. Look straight forward when you walk down the street, or even when you’re sitting outside waiting for a friend. Greet strangers with a friendly, sincere smile. Make eye contact when conversing with people.
Stop staring at your shoes as you shuffle through the world. You’ll find the rest of the world to be much more pleasant than the ground. And you’ll feel more confident as you have a perfect view of your surroundings.
8. Live by the Serenity Prayer
Not George Costanza’s prayer. That just leads to insanity later. You know the one:
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Some things in life can’t be fixed, and we must let them go. Some things can be fixed, and we must be the people to fix them. Some things, we’re just so passionate about that we would do anything to change them, but no matter what we do, our efforts will be in vain.
Having command over these issues in your life means you are in complete control, and can be confident to make improvements in your life and your world.
9. Live with integrity
Reinforce your words and ideals with actions. Don’t be that person that complains about the government but doesn’t vote, or the person that thinks sharing a Facebook post will help save the endangered rhinos.
If you believe in something, act on it. It’s much easier said than done, I know. But once you get moving, it’s hard to stop until you reach your goal. Strive for excellence and you’ll feel excellent.
10. Be kind to others and yourself
Being nice to others for the most part guarantees that you’ll get it in return. Although you shouldn’t simply be friendly just to get it back, a byproduct of this is that you’ll feel great when others are nice to you.
Not only will you feel great about having others be nice to you, you’ll also put yourself in a position to meet new people every time you step outside. This could lead to bigger opportunities, close friendships, and relationships that could last a lifetime.
11. Think positively about others and yourself
Along with being kind to others, find positive aspects of everyone you meet. Thinking positively about others has many benefits. For one, focusing on the good allows you to see the struggles they overcame and makes you appreciate them more.
Secondly, the way you think of others is subconsciously how you think others think of you; if you only see people in a positive light, you will begin to magnify the positives in your own life.
Lastly, thinking positively about others reflects well on you, and will lead to better connections and opportunities.