Therapy-Talk Articles

Improve your self-confidence

Self-esteem is the love and care we give to ourselves. Self-regard is measured not by how others perceive us but by the opinion, we have of ourselves and by our ability to meet the challenges of life. The important thing is how worthy we consider ourselves to be.

Low self-confidence can lead to feeling isolated, useless and worthless as a person. People with poor self-esteem reject any compliment and are wary of praise, because they think that they do not deserve it. On the other hand, they accept any criticism without questioning it, because of their own sense of low self-worth. This misperception of their worth is reinforced by outside criticism and it becomes a vicious circle.

The opinion you have of your ability to deal with the situations that life presents you with, will give the extent of your self-esteem. A healthy self-concept does not imply that we are always perfect, because this attitude creates arrogance and narcissism.

To improve self-confidence is important to have a realistic view of oneself:

The first step to develop self-confidence is to be able to reflect on both the qualities and the limitations of our personality.

The second step is to accept these negative aspects of our nature, without trying to deny them or repress them; to try to analyse objectively when someone makes a comment or criticism; to take it as an opportunity for growth. If the feedback is unfair, we can rule it out.

The third step is to take responsibility for it, if you discover any aspect of your conduct that you want to change. It can seem like hard work at the beginning, because it is like exercising a muscle rather than changing a habit immediately.

Above all, try to be compassionate and accept that perhaps some aspects of your character can be improved, but avoid excessive perfectionism. Dare to look at yourself without fear and with the confidence of having value as a human being with your own talents and limitations. In this way, you can integrate the various aspects of the personality that sometimes are in conflict and create an internal struggle.

How to develop your self-confidence and a positive attitude:

  • Discover your personal interests and hobbies. Find activities that you can do alone or in a group that bring you a sense of wellbeing.
  • Try to listen to your body. Clarify your needs and desires.
  • Create opportunities for professional development and economic independence.
  • Develop your creative side and channel this energy that often is inhibited. Play with colours, materials, music or any artistic expression that feels right for you.
  • Learn how to ask for and accept help from your immediate circle.
  • Explore the critical messages or prejudices that you hear in the community, family or friends and notice how these undermine your personal concept or self-esteem.
  • Identify negative thoughts and learn to replace them with positive statements. Discover how these thoughts influence your state of mind and behaviour and try to change them with a positive attitude.
  • Be assertive in your personal relationships. Learn how to set limits and say “no”. Free yourself from the sense of guilt for not being what others expect of you, especially if that is not what you want to be.
  • Learn to love and accept your qualities and weaknesses.
Improve your self-confidence

Inma Romero

Related Articles

Managing stress

The power of thoughts

Symptoms and factors that help to overcome stress

Bullying or psychological harassment