Can I pull this off? Ugh, my legs are too stubby for this skirt. Are they looking at my hair? They probably see how frizzy it is today. Should I say something funny? Wow, I just sounded so ridiculous…
Thoughts like these may float through your head on a daily basis, undetected in the forefront of your mind. You probably brush them off, as they are just an everyday part of your inner dialogue. Sure you may feel uncertain of yourself sometimes, but how low can you go before you hit the proverbial pavement? It is perfectly normal to negatively self-analyze—we all do it—but when your self-talk begins to affect your well-being and hurt your confidence, it’s important to find ways to bring it back. Low confidence levels can be harmful in more ways than one, and can even damage your physical health. There comes a time when you need to fire up your willpower and commit to a few self-confidence-boosting strategies. Here are a few ways you can hack your confidence:
Surround yourself with positivity
Have you ever been caught in a negative thought spiral while at your favorite place or surrounded by your favorite people? Probably not. When you surround yourself by what makes you happy, whether that means going on a beautiful nature walk or spending quality time with your best friends, your mindset allows you to be content in the present. If you are in a happy place, it is easy to stave off negative thoughts. It especially helps if you’re around people who don’t let you forget how beautiful, funny, or talented you really are. The positivity you’ll receive will help remind you of how awesome you are, and how great it feels to love yourself.
Eliminate (or reduce) downers
Inversely, being around negative energy will only make you feel worse about yourself. There will always be a person in your life that’s on a mission to make everyone around them feel as low as they likely do, including you. It’s crucial that you identify these kinds of people and make an effort to avoid being around them when you don’t have to. You can do this by paying close attention to your attitude when you’re around another person. Are they always talking about their body issues? Are they always pointing out the flaws in others? Do they ever point out your flaws? If they are presenting a negative outlook on themselves and others, you are much more likely to begin doing the same. If they are not willing to support your journey toward self-confidence, kick that confidence-killer to the curb and keep walking.
Make a positivity list
When on any introspective mission, it always helps to make lists. Lists are a great way to organize your thoughts and compartmentalize your goals. When on a mission toward self-confidence, you may want to create a list of all of the great things you have going for you. What makes you smile? While you’re in a good mood, start listing everything that is going well in your life. Doing so will not only help you focus on the things that uplift you, it will also serve as a tool to use for any future low points. On days when you’re feeling especially unsure of yourself, you can always refer to your positivity list and remind yourself to keep your head held high.
Distract and diffuse
At some point or another, everybody goes through failure or finds himself or herself at the receiving end of a malicious remark. It is in these moments where it is especially important to protect your inner-confidence by distancing yourself from negative thoughts. Thought distraction is a simple start. Immerse yourself in an activity that will keep you busy, like running in the park or browsing funny videos online. Another way to get out of your head is through thought diffusion, which you can achieve through mindfulness and meditation techniques by focusing on your breath. Remain in the moment and tell yourself to accept the conditions around and within you. In doing so, you can find some very necessary silence for those self-defeating thoughts.
Fake it ‘til you make it
If all else fails, you can always fake your way to the confidence of your dreams. When you look at the mirror first thing in the morning, flash yourself a big smile and tell yourself, “You’re looking hot today.” Whether or not you believe it, keep doing it. Wear clothes that you always say you wish you could pull off. You can totally rock that outfit—put it on and strut out the door paying no mind. Walk with attitude. Even if you’re not feeling too hot, let those you pass think that you know you’re fabulous. Just be sure to keep on smiling; in fact, smile at everyone you see. They are very likely to smile back, making you feel good about yourself, or at the very least increasing the positive energy in the room. Doing little things like these will make a difference, and you’ll begin to notice that your confidence will start building naturally.
By Melissa Espinal