*Updated May 20, 2020
7 Reasons and 7 Tips to Raise Your Self-Confidence
I want you to feel that you deserve the best out of life. I think I deserve the best. Don’t you?
As you may have guessed, it’s not always that easy.
So often, we believe that we don’t deserve nice things, kind people, or love in our lives. Just take a look at this screenshot of Google with the search “why don’t I deserve happiness”:
Yikes. There are a lot of people out there who feel they don’t deserve happiness. They lack self-confidence and self-worth.
It’s easy, especially after years and years of telling ourselves that we don’t matter, we’re putting others first, we’re doing service to the world, it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make, we’re giving up my happiness for the greater good…
They’re all excuses.
Because the truth is that you deserve the best, too.
Let me say it again for those in the back:
You deserve the best, too.
When we tell ourselves that we don’t deserve the best, we accept less and less. We settle. We become content with mediocrity, routine, and complacency.
We allow our self-esteem to take hit after hit, and it never really recovers.
So let’s take a look at WHY we do this to ourselves, some benefits of building our confidence back up, and how to do it!
If you’re looking for proof that you deserve more than you currently have in life, you’re probably a naturally judgmental person, even if the primary person you judge is yourself.
Tell me, do you do this?:
When we see people who are less “complete” than we are, or struggling more, we have a tendency to say,
“Phew! At least I have it more together than that person!”
Society teaches us that things happen to people by their own making.
- You embarrassed yourself? You’re uninformed.
- Failed at something? You weren’t properly prepared.
- Got divorced? Probably a narcissist.
- Aren’t enjoying your time off? You’re clearly trying to be miserable.
It happened because YOU DESERVED IT.
And the worst part is that we believe it of ourselves as well. Whenever something goes wrong in our lives, we begin to doubt.
“What did I do to deserve this?”
We immediately ask ourselves.
Maybe it was the woman who, after suffering a miscarriage, asked herself if the Universe made it happen to her because of the abortion she had when she was 19.
Or maybe it was the person who was fired from their job, who asked the Universe, “Did it happen because I pushed too hard? Advocated for myself? Asked for the best?”
We allow the bad things that happen in our lives to be directly related to something we did in the past.
But the key idea here is:
When we judge ourselves, we’re allowing our thoughts to degrade our value.
And as this happens again and again, our confidence and self-worth begins to decline.
Benefits and Importance of Self-Confidence in Life
So what are some reasons to build your self-confidence back up again? There’s actually a lot!
1. Less Fear in Life
When you have high confidence (not to be confused with arrogance or cockiness), you understand the inner workings of motivation and judgment, and you’re actually LESS likely to be afraid! You’re not as worried about what people think of you, and you’re even not worried about failing, because when you know your own self-worth, you know that failure is only a stepping stone to success.
2. More Joy
Isn’t this what we’re all after in life? More things that really fill our cup and give us the best fuzzy feelings?
Joy comes from gratitude, and when you have high self-esteem, you likely have positive thoughts about yourself and those around you. That gratitude and positivity translates into more mind-blowingly AWESOME things that happen in your day, even if it’s just appreciating your child’s creativity, or savoring the meal your partner made for dinner. Self-confidence helps to build joy in our lives.
3. Coping with Stress
Yep, handling stress in your life is a whole lot easier when you have a high self-esteem. You know that you can take on anything, because you’ve been there before and you’ve survived, and possibly even thrived in the face of stress! You stay calm under pressure and handle stressful situations with a clear mind. You don’t get rattled or phased. When you know what you’re worth, you know that stress is a part of life, and you can either run from it, or you can handle it to the best of your ability.
4. More Energy
Even mild depression can have a major effect on your energy through your day. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you get tired easily, are less likely to try something new, and probably don’t want to socialize.
But when your self-worth is high, your energy is high! You naturally feel motivated to tackle the day’s events, because you know you can handle it.
5. Making others feel good about themselves
When you stop seeing life through the lense of judgment, you begin to realize how others have value too. Being around someone who is naturally self-confident is like being around an energy source. That person has filled their own cup first, and their extra can overflow to those around them.
Having a naturally positive outlook on life puts others at ease and can help them feel good about their own strengths and even their weaknesses.
6. Better Leadership
And as someone who raises the energy vibration of those around them, a self-confident person is a natural leader. They understand relationships (and even if they don’t, they’re open to learning), they approach conflicts with rational thought, and they help others see the positives in a situation.
A true leader is someone who not just manages people, but inspires them and gives them motivation.
7. More Success
In increasing the relationship you have with yourself and with others, you’re going to find more success in life! Self-confident people are more successful, not because they just naturally are successful, but because they aren’t afraid to take risks, and they aren’t afraid of failure. (More on this later!)
These are the benefits, but how do we even begin to raise our self-worth and believe that we deserve the best?
Step 1—Change Your Perspective.
So those self-confident people, what’s so different about their perspective? Intrinsic value. (What is Intrinsic Value?) This is an ethics and finance term, it seems, but one that works well here.
Intrinsic value means that something has value in itself, not because of anything it contributes outside of itself.
For example, arts and music in the schools are sometimes justified because students who experience art and music often have higher test scores in math and language. But are music and art not valuable in and of themselves?
As mothers, we often justify our worth by what we give to our children. But are we not worthy for who we are in and of ourselves, outside of our children’s caregiver?
I have value inherently—not because of what I offer other people!
The first step to building your self-confidence and self-worth and believing that you deserve the best in life is knowing that you have value inherently, outside of what you contribute to other people, your job, your community, or society.
Step 2—Say: I am enough!
Intrinsic value also can help us change the narrative.
What if we didn’t need to advocate for ourselves? What if we decided we had nothing to prove?
When we stop pushing to give, be more, do more, have more… we also stop judging.
Not all at once, of course, but over time, as you believe that you have worth when you are in your pajamas, sitting on the couch, watching Outlander and eating Cheetos… that is TRUE LOVE.
Self-love, that is.
Believing that you are enough assumes the best in yourself, and you also begin to assume the best in others.
- You embarrassed yourself? It happens to all of us… How can I help?
- Failed at something? The greatest of us are those that have failed the most.
- Got divorced? It takes courage to end a toxic relationship.
- Aren’t enjoying your time off? Do you need to talk? Do you want a hug? If you’re feeling depressed I can give you some resources!
Read these quotes and let them sink in…
Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.Brene Brown
All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.Brene Brown
Step 3—Create your own reality
Neuroscience tells us that the neurons that fire together wire together. In other words, when you consistently believe that you don’t deserve the best, you’re going to feel and act as if you don’t deserve the best. And worst, it becomes a habit.
In other words, self-sabotage is a real thing.
And it can be as simple as not taking that better job because it’s a little outside your comfort zone.
These are the things that prevent you from having what you truly deserve, from achieving your full potential.
Your mindset determines what you get out of life, and here’s the kicker:
If you’re not satisfied with what you have now, you’re not going to be satisfied when you have “the best”.
The trick is to practice gratitude, compassion, meditation, and non-attachment in order to separate our happiness from the outcome.
This also means dropping the things that don’t serve you:
- judgment (exactly what we discussed earlier)
- stress & worry
Drop the “bad” stuff. The happier you are with your life, the more you are telling the Universe that you are happy and want more of the things that you want!
It’s SO important to THINK, FEEL, and ACT as if everything you’ve ever wanted has already come true.
Step 4—Practice Confidence-Boosting Activities
1.) Take a Walk.
I know, the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down and depressed is to get up and exercise.
But exercise is the best way to stabilize your hormones. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good chemicals. I’m not telling you to go run a marathon or spend 2 hours at the gym. Just 20 minutes of walking is enough to get your blood moving and increase your mood! How cool is that?!
2.) Say Hello to Strangers.
Maybe choose to take your walk through a park, or in the morning on a Saturday or just before sunset any day of the week. A lot of other people may be out walking their dogs or playing with their kids at the park.
When you pass them, practice saying hello. You don’t have to stop to have a conversation. You don’t have to smile at them. Just make an effort to greet everyone you pass. (If you live in some cities like New York where there are a lot of people and everyone keeps to themselves, I know this may be a difficult task.)
Greeting people allows you to engage in human contact without much other expectation. It’s simple, it’s over in a flash, and there are no strings. Some people may even smile back at you, which always lifts my mood.
3.) Practice power-stances.
Standing in powerful poses can alter your brain chemistry. Did you know that?
Take a few minutes and watch one of my favorite TED Talks by Amy Cuddy, about Body Language. When I taught high school, I made my classes watch it and respond, but it’s educational for people of all ages.
This sort of thing requires no fitness level or yoga to practice successfully. If you take two minutes at the beginning of your day to stand or sit in powerful positions like those in the video, it could drastically change the outcome of your day. I do my power stances in the shower. Seriously.
4. Give someone a compliment
Practicing being a self-confident person also means being free with positivity. Whether it’s someone’s clothing, tattoo, their smile, their great work ethic, tell them that you admire whatever it is.
Sometimes it’s easier to give others a compliment before you try it out on yourself
5. Give yourself a compliment
Standing in front of your mirror in the morning, find one thing you like about yourself. It can be something with you body (I love my broad shoulders and my arms, because they are strong and help me carry my children!) or it can be something about your mind and spirit (I love how creative I am, I never have a shortage of creative projects to work on!)
Saying that thing to yourself, no matter how small, can be a huge step in building that self-worth.
6. Learn how to take a compliment
This is a tough one. Someone compliments your blouse and what do you blurt out?
“Oh, this thing? Yeah, I got it from the clearance rack at TJ Maxx! It was, like, 4 bucks.”
Downplaying your strengths, your style, your amazing score at TJ Maxx DOESN’T SERVE ANYONE. When someone compliments you, take it with grace! Say “Thank you!” and move on.
7. Write down what you are grateful for
Having gratitude reminds us what’s important in life. Feeling grateful for something can help you focus on the positive and leave the negative behind.
This is something you can practice every day. I write down 5 things I am grateful for every morning, and it helps me stay out of my head, in the present moment, and prevents fear from creeping in.
Conclusion—Being a Self-Confident Person and Believing You Deserve the Best
So remember, you don’t need to prove yourself that you deserve the best. But if you need some motivation, remember this:
When we give to ourselves and fill our own cup first, we can then have enough to give to others. When your energy is high and you feel fulfilled, you inspire others!
You deserve to live a healthy, fulfilling, balanced life! You deserve the best life has to offer.
The steps to getting the BEST out of life and building your self-confidence:
- BELIEVE that you deserve the best
- DECLARE that you are enough
- CREATE your new reality through positive thoughts and feelings
- TAKE ACTION on confidence-boosting activities
I believe I deserve the best life has to offer.
And so do you!
What do you need out of life right now?