Are you starting off the New Year with an athletic resolution? Maybe you want to get stronger or run faster and further, or maybe you want to incorporate more movement in your daily life. If this sounds like you, it’s important to remember that your mental health is equally as important as your physical prowess. The idea of New Year’s resolutions might be going stale but there’s no denying the motivation it inspires — to be better; to improve; to grow. And self confidence is a great way to go about it. Learn to be your best friend to live a happier, healthier life.
The hustle and bustle of the holidays can often leave little time to recuperate before you’re back to your daily routine. But the new year doesn’t have to be stressful. Along with resolutions like getting in better shape and starting new hobbies, you may have resolved to work on your self confidence. [And although I’m a huge advocate for self confidence, I’m also incredibly hard on myself more often than not. You probably are too.]
We live in a world where we are constantly striving for more and more. We look around and see people our own age achieving remarkable things. So if you struggle with self confidence (we all do sometimes!), this post is for you. Here we’ve outlined ways to help improve self confidence, learn to love yourself, and how to better deal with the blows we experience.
Do a 1-minute Check In
Pausing in the middle of the day to focus completely on ourselves allows us to refocus in the midst of the chaos and stress of our daily lives. By taking one minute out of your busy day to do this, you’ll sneak in practicing mindfulness, which reduces fatigue, improves concentration and memory, and alters your brain structure to weaken biological connections for fear and stress. Practice this whenever and wherever you feel less than. Be still, focus on your breathing then ask yourself these questions:
- What is my energy level right now? Tired, exhausted, alert, engaged…?
- How does my body feel? Am I relaxed, tense, hungry, in pain…?
- What emotion(s) am I feeling right now? Excitement, ambivalence, fear, relief, etc.?
Practise Going Outside Your Comfort Zone, a Little Bit At a Time
There are always opportunities to try new experiences. What is it that you want to improve about yourself? What do you want to change about your life? We are not saying that you have to do something daring (unless you want to), but try something that you have never done before. And guess what happens? You have just chalked up another success. Add it to the pile and keep going.
As children, we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclinations to dream big are squashed. Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. We never stop learning (unless we choose to). As you learn and develop new skills, your confidence grows. Learning is the ultimate self confidence “pick-me-up” as it enhances you as a person.
Reward Yourself with Positive Self-Talk
This might seem crazy, but it works. The idea of using positive affirmations is that you fill your mind with positive thoughts until you believe them. We suggest changing “I’m going to be successful” to something more manageable, like “I will persevere until I succeed.” Whenever you consciously choose to believe you are enough (rather than accepting any thoughts that say you aren’t), reward yourself. For example, “I just told myself that I am good enough and I’m doing the best can- that’s awesome! I’m doing a great job.” Being mentally tough and speaking positively to yourself, you can learn how to override fears and help deal with anxiety. Be positive, because the way you talk yourself influences your neurobiological response to it. When you say, I know what to do here or see things as a challenge rather than a problem, you’ve turned your response into a positive one.
Tackle Toxic Relationships
Is there someone in your life who’s draining all your positive energy without giving anything back? Build up the courage to talk to them about how you’re feeling, and see if you can redress the balance in the relationship. Sometimes, the only solution is to cut ties completely, but sometimes you can salvage things just by talking it out. Give the person a chance (maybe they have things in their life that you know nothing about), but don’t feel guilty if you have to draw the line and walk away.
Even if some of the suggestions seem silly or get you out of your comfort zone, Try It! Wonderful things happen when you put yourself out there. If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to? Start Today!