I may not be the most self-confident girl in the world. But if it the journey that counts, how far you come from having no self-confidence to being quite self -assured and to have a lot of self-esteem, these are my tips to grow self-confidence.
Many people loose or either has never had any self-confidence when growing up. May it be cultural factors, abuse or any other cause, I have come to know many women who have worked their way through growing self-confidence from zero and that includes myself.
Until I was about 25 years old, my self-confidence is not something I evaluated.
I knew that I was bright at certain things and I kept doing what I was good at. But at the same time, I completely shied away from anything new and risky. I worked hard at my job but I didn't dare dream of anything big.
Also when it comes to the outer look and body confidence mine was in a deep sleep. During the last few years, I had been on this journey of waking up my self-confidence and pushing myself to dream bigger and achieve better.
It didn't happen overnight. However, today, I am happy with who I have become and what I have achieved (and there is a long journey ahead). But most of it is all thanks to being able to feel confident, inside out!
Spring Cleaning the Negativity
It is a poison. People carry it around and distribute among friends and family, pass on to the next generation, without even knowing that they actually bring down someone by spreading negativity.
It can be in a form of feedback, or advice to hold you back. The person who is planting this negativity may have the best intentions in their heart. But it is poisonous at the end of the day.
The sooner you recognize the negativity which comes in your way, take them down. If it is someone you love, you can explain to them that the negative ideas they bring into your life are damaging and if they really love you they will stop doing it whether they understood the actual concept or not. But when someone doesn't stop bringing you down, it is when to cut the thread. I have done this, with friends and family and it is not easy. It takes a lot of emotional discipline, but life is far too short to be living with someone else's skepticism and fear.
I have done this, with friends and family. it is not easy. It takes a lot of emotional discipline, but life is far too short to be living with someone else's skepticism and fear. As for love, I think I love myself before anyone else.
Listen! Not to them, but to your own voice!
The world is full of opinions. Everybody has an opinion about you. Growing up we all remember how all our peers had views on the way we do everything, study, work dress, eat, sleep, the list goes on. May it be your school mates or colleagues or friends and family everyone has a great amount of opinions to offer. Some people mostly keep these to themselves but others cannot help but broadcast. So it is easy to be a sounding board and let all these external opinions shape the way you are as a person.
I have been in this trap for too long to remember. I remember how everyone used to tell me that I am quite bad looking, my dark skin is such a disadvantage and I should try a fairness cream to sort myself out.
If it wasn't for my die hard passion for fashion and determination to have a career in fashion, I would not have dared to be in front of a camera yet alone posting my photos on a public platform. But I have come to realize how absolutely delightful life can be when you stop the noise of world's opinions coming in.
My strategy is to consider someone else's opinion about myself as a piece of free newspaper on the road side. I am not getting one for myself. I do not need it. If I need someone else's opinion then I will carefully select a wise intelligent person with kindness for advice. So no free newspapers for me!
Embrace the Fear
I would say this is by far the most challenging exercise and I think of myself as a working progress. We all have fears, whether it is the fear of heights or fear of failure or fear of embarrassment, to a certain extent we all live with our fears every day.
Once an upon a time I had set up myself the impossible task of completely getting rid of all fears and to be fearless. However, as time goes on I learn that fear itself is a defense mechanism that is built into us as human beings to survive. So fight to defeat all fears is not only impossible but painstaking and harsh for oneself.
So I have instead started making friends with fear. I think of it as a part of my mind which likes to protect me from the dangers. So I listen to it. I reason with it. I take it into the calculation when I make decisions but I am no way letting the fear run its own course.
When I have a fear, let say in running a business the fear of failure is common and it is realistic to consider the risks and their effects. So I take a notepad and write down my fears. What is the worst case scenario and what is the likelihood of that happening. Now that the fear is out in the open I can plan some contingencies, some insurance for the worst case scenario. So I still go ahead with my projects and this time I am prepared and instead fear stopping me it actually helps my self-confidence.
Work on Yourself
The saying that 'you can never be overdressed or overeducated' is a good one. May it be for your career, your business or even for your hobbies, more knowledgeable and talented you are, the more confident you grow over time.
Some of you may think that this goes without saying. But it is a part of personal growth, which ultimately leads to having more self-confidence so I thought it is worth mentioning.
One principle I have always believed in is that if you want to be successful, you need to work for it. If you truly want to believe that you are good at something, you of everyone else have to know wholeheartedly that you are indeed good at something.
Of course, people say 'fake it until you make it' but unless you want to be 'faking it' for a lifetime, you need to actually work on yourself to 'make it'. So hard work is a key ingredient of growing self-confidence.
A Pat on the back
This is the one that I am most guilty of. Self -confidence relies so much on acknowledgment and most of it is self -acknowledgment. You can work very hard and achieve a lot of goals but if you don't stop to reflect on your own progress and give yourself a 'Well-Done!' all that hard work and success get no opportunity to support your own confidence. So even if you think what you achieved is a minor milestone, stop for a second that acknowledge that you have achieved it. Because, if there is anything about true self-confidencece I have learnt is that it comes within!