5 Ways To Build Self-Confidence
1) Get Rid Of Negative People In Your Life
Be it your best friend, boyfriend, mom, or sibling, removing negativity from your life is a key factor to becoming a healthier you. This is a hard process. It involves actually believing in yourself and believing you deserve better. Do you feel you deserve better? If you nodded, and can name a few people right off the bat that are having a negative effect on your life, then they have to make an exit off your stage. Others may give you the side eye if you say you kicked your mom or whatever relative out of your life because they were too negative mentally, but you shouldn’t care what others think.
Is it unconventional to the picture perfect ideology of family? A bit, yeah. However, if a family member is a direct cause and contributor to your unhealthiness and negative thinking, there is absolutely nothing wrong with removing them. Consider a you that is living to your fullest. Does that version of you have that negative person in their life? Negativity holds you back more than almost any road block. Telling yourself that you’re ugly, fat, not good enough, and unlovable over and over ingrains in your membrane. Negative people can also be reinforcers of those feelings; people often will begin to reflect your personal negative thoughts in how they speak to you, or how they treat you. It can be subtle, or it can be overt depending on your situation. Recognizing that will be a large part of determining who it is that needs to leave your life. Do you want to feel stuck in this negative mindset a year from now? Five years? Do you want to live under a grey cloud of your own creation...Or in a sunny oasis of opportunity?
2) Hang Out With Yourself
You may be thinking, “If I already don’t like myself why would I want to hang out with me?” Well, think about that question because you just answered it. Taking the time to hang out with yourself and learn who you truly are, and becoming comfortable with that person is one of the surest ways to build self-confidence. I’m an Ambivert, meaning I have qualities of both an Introvert and Extrovert. I love my time with a few small group interactions sprinkled in to my schedule so I can feel social, but mostly my bedroom is my haven.
With that being said, shouldn’t that mean I should absolutely love myself? Imagine a scenario aka my past twenty-four years that I didn’t have love left for me. I was miserable. My time consisted of judging others and desperately wishing I’d one day have something that resembled those cutesy Instagram couples, because let’s be real, we all look to social media for inspiration. Hardly any of my time alone consisted of focusing on me. It wasn’t that I simply focused on me, it was that I focused on what made me happy. What makes you happy? What’s exciting to you right now? What makes you dread starting your day? If you want to start having confidence, you need to start asking those questions. Get real with yourself about why you don’t like you (This may cause tears), but if you don’t want to take this step then you won’t find a way to rectify your path. Having fun with yourself(I’m not talking masturbation...although you could do that, but think more substantial) will lead to self-confidence.
3) Change Your Hair
What does hair have to do with confidence? Well, like how you dress, your hair sends out a message. “But you just said you don’t care what others think?” That’s right. You don’t have to care what anyone thinks. However, if you wish to attract someone with your newfound confidence to ultimately start a new chapter in the book of your life(still with me?), then realize that your hair, as well as your clothing paints a picture about you. Is that picture ‘I don’t care about how I look’ or ‘Hi, my name is ____. Would you want to go grab a cup of coffee by chance?’ Now, it’s okay if you want your look to say ‘I don’t care about how I look,’. Just dress that up a bit more. If you feel like rocking sneakers, Bitch you better have the freshest kicks. Those sweats better be lint free and that hoodie needs to fit your frame.
Changing your hair can be an extra boost that puts a pep in your step for a good opportunity. Remember “Celeste In The City”? How about Amy Schumer in “I Feel Pretty”? Or any movie ever that had the protagonist undergo a makeover? They have one plot in common: If you believe you belong in the shadows that’s where you will stay. If you trickle in confidence into your everyday life then good things begin to happen to you. I’m not telling you that you have to change everything about you; that’s not the key to self-confidence. But you should switch up your appearance if you feel like that could open you up. You catch my drift?
As silly as it sounds they really work. When I was at my most insecure (for many years) I kept hearing “Fake it til you make it.” Hell, even Rihanna divulged that trick to Oprah in an interview post her Chris Brown era. I distinctly remember having this dreadful weight on my shoulders about hoping for the day that I didn’t have to fake it anymore. A friend that took much the same path I did let me get all of that baggage off of my chest. The scary premise of the conversation at the time was I was terrified that I would develop an eating disorder(again-ish) even more toxic relationship with food and exercise than I had at the time - If I didn’t exercise that day then I would have a small panic attack or if I ate something “bad” then I’d say extremely unsavory things about myself. At that particular moment I told him that I didn’t think I’d ever cross that line of actually living my life and not be totally ashamed of my body.
The more I educated myself on how idiotic and toxic the mentality we’ve developed around what it means to be healthy and fit, the more I realized how warped society and the media has made us feel about ourselves. We as humans want to be happy, loved, and successful. But can you truly have any of those things if you don’t believe in yourself?
5) Follow Body Positive People
There are countless body positive posts all across social media. There are tons of Instagrammers that are known for their fitness niche that have Transformation posts about how obsessive, miserable, and malnourished they were in their efforts to look like they had the perfect body. It’s okay to strive for having a toned and defined body. But stop to ask yourself, is it worth being mentally thrown for a loop during that entire process? I’ve been there for years. I tried my best to eat an apple, drink a protein shake and call it a day. Eat as little as possible for as long as possible to see the scale drop. Get on the scale multiple times a day. Get off with a pit in my stomach when it went up even the slightest. Do you think I was happy? Do you think I was successful in my many failed weight loss attempts? Are you? Do you know people like this? I do, and it saddens me because we all have beauty inside of us that isn’t about looks. And it’s more often than not that the most beautifully genuine, kind spirited, and wise people are the ones that don’t understand how extraordinary they are.
As I sat writing this morning (at my bar job when I should’ve been working) kids were playing in the falling leaves while their parents watched them on that gorgeous sunny morning. You notice one thing when people-watching these relationships; The kids aren’t bogged down by insecurities, doubts, or negative self talk. Why should we be as adults? Why should we let others’ opinions of us rule how we live our lives? Want to hear the funniest part that you’ll likely facepalm yourself at? Most people don’t care about rolls on your stomach or the cellulite on your thighs. We think they do, and have that reinforced by media, and the “ideal image of health” being pushed at us, when being healthy is really a very personalized definition. Some people one hundred percent care about dating people with those very real, human “imperfections”.
Would you want to be in any sort of relationship with those people who don’t love you for all of you? Do you want to be defined at the end of your life as the woman or man that couldn’t get past the bullshit to be who they could’ve been? Do you want to be eighty sitting in a rocking chair while watching kids play in the leaves and wishing you could go back and do it all over again? The great Marshmello said in his song “Silence”, “I’ve been quiet for so long. I found peace in your violence. Can’t tell me there’s no point in trying.” Are you going to stay quiet? Are you going to continue to not try?
Live your life, sweets.
Pro Tip: You can’t expect anyone else to love you if you don’t love you.