It’s a brand new year and there is no reason that 2019 can’t be your year to shine! If you struggle with your self-esteem and self-confidence you are not alone. Many people feel that they aren’t worthy of all of the wonderful opportunities that await them. The good news is that you can take steps starting today to begin building up your self-confidence and feel better about yourself. Once you believe in yourself, you’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish. Check out this list of nine ways to start building your self-confidence in 2019.
1. Keep a Running List of Your Achievements
It can be easy to become mired down by the things in your life that don’t go the way you had anticipated. But if you focus on the silver linings, that is the things that do go well, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you really do accomplish. If a to-do list that is growing increasingly longer is weighing heavily on your shoulders, try to keep a “done” list. Mark down what you have managed to get done each day instead of what you haven’t done. This act will help you begin to feel better about your achievements on both a day-to-day and a longer term basis.
2. Take Care of Your Appearance
It can be hard to feel good about yourself when your hair is messy, you’re wearing yesterday’s t-shirt and your pants are too tight in all the wrong places. Take a look in your closet and pull out a handful of outfits that make you look and feel great. If you don’t have any, check your budget to see if you can afford to pick up a few pieces. They don’t have to be expensive. Shower daily, brush your teeth, and make sure your nails are clean and trimmed. Taking a few minutes each day to comb your hair, put on makeup if you wear it, and put on clothing that fits you well and looks presentable can do wonders for your self-image.
3. Take Care of Your Health
If you feel down in the dumps about yourself, it could be that you are not taking good care of your body. Making good food choices can help you feel better. So can getting in some exercise each day and making sure to get enough sleep. Don’t let your self-care end with your physical health, either: If you have depression, anxiety, stress, or any other mental health issues, address them. Make time for relaxation, meditation, or journaling. Engaging in self-care can raise your self-confidence.
4. Clean Up Your Surroundings
If your home or bedroom is messy, taking a bit of time to clean it up will do a few things. First, it will tell your mind that you are important enough to clean up for. Don’t save all of your cleaning for company; you deserve to live in a pleasant environment. Secondly, it will give you something to write on your list of accomplishments. Spending even 10 minutes per day cleaning up will make a visible impact in your living environment and can help you feel great.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes people get into a rut and this can lead to feeling bad about yourself. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone at least weekly, if not daily. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off due to nervousness (then put it on your list of achievements!). Schedule a day out doing something unusual for you; maybe you can visit an ethnic restaurant in town to try new foods or even plan to go parasailing. Or you might decide to learn how to speak another language or how to change the oil in your car. Set small goals for yourself and watch your self-confidence soar.
6. Squash Negative Thoughts
It is normal and common for negative thoughts to crop up from time to time, but it’s important to pay attention to this negative dialogue so you can nip it in the bud. Think about what your brain is telling you. If it’s not something that you would say to a close friend or a loved one, then make the effort to phrase it in a way that would make you feel okay about saying it to someone else. Come up with a ritual, such as snapping your fingers or stretching when you notice negative thoughts so you can associate that with stopping your thought process and focusing on something more positive.
7. Spend Time With Positive People
Just as you should not allow your mind to be filled with negative thoughts emanating from yourself, you should also not allow others to ruin your positive attitude. If you have friends or acquaintances who tend to drag you down with their negativity, decide to minimize the time you spend with them. At the same time, reach out to find people who are going to be a more positive influence on you.
8. Boost Your Self-Confidence with Kindness and Generosity
One of the best ways you can raise your own self-confidence is by raising someone else’s self-confidence. Do this by always having a kind word for someone else. Don’t focus on somebody’s weaknesses; instead, talk about their strengths. Extending kindness to others will help you to see yourself as a generous, loving person, and that can make all the difference when it comes to your self-confidence.
9. Choose a Habit to Change
Realistically speaking, there are going to be things about yourself that you want to change. Since it would be counterproductive to focus on all of the things you’re doing wrong, choose just one habit that you would like to change. Make it a small one. For example, maybe you would like to get into the habit of flossing your teeth at night, making your bed, or going for a ten-minute walk before you get to your office. Don’t take on more than one small habit at a time. Focusing on one will allow you to see some success (write it down!) before moving on to another. If you can change one small habit every month or two, you will have changed your life in six to 12 ways before 2020 comes around. That’s something to feel great about!
Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.