The state of your mind dictates many aspects of your life, including your health, the success you achieve in your career, the love and stability in your personal life, and much more. Negative thoughts lower your level of confidence, which in turn harms your mental state.
A lack of self-confidence plagues many people, though it comes in different levels. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Some people have no confidence at all, while others may only exhibit a lack of it under certain situations like on dates with the opposite sex. The good news is that you can do a lot towards building your self-confidence.
By integrating positive thinking into your life, you can slowly push out these negative thoughts for good and heighten your level of confidence.
The first step is believing that you are worthy of confidence, and that means having a healthy self-esteem where you love who you are without reservation or conditions. If self-esteem is a major issue, a good therapist can go a long way to helping in this regard.
Here are five effective ways to change your mindset and become a more confident individual. No matter where you are on the spectrum of self-confidence, whether very low or somewhere in the middle or even near the top, these steps will help you reach that next level.
The first step in building confidence is to truly become in touch with all your great qualities, talents, abilities, and attributes. Who are you? What makes you a good person? What do you excel at? What is in your heart? What kind of friend are you? Are you funny? Honest? Caring? Giving? Answering these questions and literally making a list is a great beginning to identifying those things that build our confidence.
How you think about yourself actually has a great deal to do with your confidence level. Many are negative thinkers by habit, one that has become ingrained in us over the years, possibly starting in childhood. Make a list and begin to reinforce this list to yourself daily. Include aspects of your appearance, your talents, activities that you’re good at, and who you truly are. Anytime you feel upset or are thinking negative thoughts, take out this list and remind yourself of your best qualities.
While too much self-praise could lead to pride, a healthy dose of self-praise on a regular basis can be extremely useful for building confidence. Positive affirmations push out negative perceptions and create a stronger self-image. You should habitually praise yourself for doing something well or for a new behavior that you want to encourage. It may seem strange telling yourself, “Great job!” or “I like myself,” or “I’ve got this!” but this is the kind of positive thinking that helps you feel better about who you are. If you are a more visual person, it may be helpful to write down a list every day of all your achievements. Meditate on the items on your list before bed, and congratulate yourself for all the achievements of the day.
3. Acceptance of Compliments
Many people with low self-esteem brush off and negate compliments with statements like, “I messed up my painting here and here,” or “My shirt isn’t that great, it’s just the first thing I grabbed.” Other people will seem to receive the compliment but then internally tell themselves why it isn’t true. But compliments are confirmation from other people about your admirable qualities. You should accept the compliments with grace by simply saying “Thank you,” or “I so appreciate you noticing,” so that your mind continuously affirms your positive traits. Stay conscious of each time you negate someone’s compliment, and try to catch yourself before it happens.
4. Creative Visualization Exercises
Creative visualization is becoming an increasingly popular way to help people obtain their goals. The concept calls for you to repeatedly visualize the outcome of your goal. If you are an actor, you might envision yourself holding an Oscar. If you are aiming to build your confidence, you may want to envision an action that represents confidence from your own perspective. It could be something like leading a meeting with top executives or asking for a raise. Through creative visualization, you are building confidence by mentally preparing yourself for your desired outcomes.
5. Prioritize Positive People
Sometimes the biggest supporters in our lives can become the most overlooked, either because we start taking them for granted or we’re not really paying attention to what they offer or what they have to say because it clashes with our internal opinion of ourselves. But these are the people we most need in our lives to encourage us forward to where we want to go and to pull us back from falling down into potentially bottomless pits of negativity.
Conversely, if you have a friend or acquaintance who continually brings you down, whether intentionally or unintentionally, you may want to consider whether that person should remain in your life. Even if the person is family, you may need to separate yourself from them if their words or behavior towards you tends to be a destructive influence rather than a positive one.
Remember, building your confidence is not going to happen overnight, but integrate these tips into your life and over time you will see change. The most important point to keep in mind is that positive thinking is key to building confidence. Whenever you feel the negative thoughts creeping in, turn them around into something positive.