10 Proven Ways to Build Confidence When You Have Low Self-esteem
Having a low self-esteem translates in many parts of your life. It’s easy to say “just be confident” or “just be yourself” but how do you do that?
In this post, you will find tips on how to be confident and boost your self-esteem no matter where you are on the spectrum.
Before we start, know that confidence isn’t in us from the get-go. It is built over time. No one is born being confident. The people you see with confidence started from a low place too and so can you!
I had low self-esteem too
I was once deeply insecure too. You see, I was never one of those girls who would walk with their heads up and with a flare that made everyone’s face turn. I was shy, walked with my head down most of the time. I was even afraid to talk. I looked at the mirror and felt disappointed at my body. To be real, I didn’t very much about myself.
I told myself “Why can’t you just be skinny like other girls?” Every picture of me hid sadness in me. Sadness that no one else could see but me. I felt like everything was wrong with me.
I nitpicked everything about my body and told myself I wasn’t good enough. Sounds familiar?
I used to watch so many videos and every read article about how to be confident, but most of them would tell me to dress nice, wear makeup which isn’t my forte, and impress others which I didn’t care about (and you shouldn’t). But how did I become confident without all those things?
Confidence isn’t about looking a certain way, it is about who you are on the inside.
“Who you present on the outside is a relflection of what you think of yourself on the inside.“
That for me is confidence. It is true that outward appearance does play a factor in this psychologically. That said, dressing nice just to feel confident means nothing if we are still wallowing in self-pity.
Want me to make it clearer? Confidence is built within. So how do you build confidence, you ask? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading! Here are 10 tips that will help you boost your self-esteem in a humble way.
1. Limit listening to the outside voices
I know this sounds counterintuitive, but how many times have you let outside voices dictate how you should act? Many of us do it without even realizing it. Think about when you want to make a decision, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it your mom’s voice? That friend who always shoots you down? Pay close attention to what is limiting you.
Know who to take advice from and listen to your own intuition first before asking for advice. Most of the time the answer is within yourself.
2. Spend a lot of time by yourself
The way you can listen to yourself and your thoughts is by spending time by yourself, alone. I know it sounds scary. It’s a bit awkward at first. You’re thinking “I’m already with me 24/7 and 365 days a year, what else is there to learn about myself?” Let me tell you, you evolve every day.
You might think you are the same person you were every day, but you were just shaped by the experience you had yesterday. Something within you is not the same.
When we spent too much time with others, we start to become like them without realizing. But we build true confidence by stepping outside of the norm. This is why being alone will give you a greater sense of independence and therefore boost your self-esteem.
Of course, don’t go cold turkey on your friends and family to be in solitude. We are meant to be with others. But during your down time, sit with yourself and reflect on who you are. You can journal, go for a walk, dance, sip tea quietly on in front of your window just looking outside (that’s personally my favorite). Point being, just sit still and enjoy a moment of solitude.
3. Take care of your body
The body in which you carry yourself says a lot about you, believe it or not. There is a reason why people who stay active are among the happiest. Grab my 7-Day Get Active challenge guide below to get started.
Take care of your body by exercising, eating right, drinking water. When you do those things, you start to become more confident in your body. Before I started exercising, I was always walking with my shoulders hunched down. I shrunk myself because I had a low self-esteem.
“The more you treat yourself with grace and thank your body for what it does for you, you will start to find great strengths in yourself.“
Ever since I make exercising in my daily routine, I have never been happier and fulfilled. I now walk with confidence that I even surprise myself at times. Even if you are starting small, making those steps everyday will transform you in ways you never even imagined.
While you’re at it, be kind to your body.
4. Know your identity
Ask yourself what is something that you cannot live without, something that would make life not worth living if there is none of it. For me, it’s believing in God. Before I fully gave my life to Christ, I was always jumping from one trend to another. I was living mindlessly in the world, with no idea of who I was outside of those things.
I chased the trends and lived for the approval of others and it felt like a burden waking up every day and having to think about what someone else would think of me. It is draining and also not good for your self-esteem and your wellbeing.
“The moment you start knowing who God is, is the moment you start knowing who you truly are.”
We all have our own opinions, but if you’re always seeking others’ opinions of you before your own, that will lead you in a very very bad place. I know that because I have been there myself.
Thankfully to the grace of God, He took me out of that constant vicious cycle when I was at my lowest. He gave me purpose, a reason to live, a reason to smile in the morning knowing that I am loved by Him despite how messy and imperfect I am.
5. Spend the majority of your time doing the things you love
Many of us are doing things because we “have” to. We go to class because we have to. We try to get good grades because we “have” to. We study a subject because we “have” to. But what if you played life at your own term? I’m not saying don’t go to class or don’t get a good grade but ask yourself who you are outside of those classes.
Sometimes we are scared to do what we truly want because we are afraid of judgement. We won’t be validated if we pursue photography instead of business.
We sacrifice our own happiness for the approval of others. Snap out of it. Don’t you realize the great power that comes with doing what you love? All the amazing things you could do.
Let’s go back to childhood. Remember what you did a lot as a kid. What did you do back them that excited you? What are you doing now that makes you lose track of time? This is how you build self-esteem; by repeating doing what you love to do.
Find out what it is and start doing it more, even if it is just for 10 minutes each day.
6. Know that you will fail at life, but keep going anyway
We don’t pursue our passions because we are afraid that we will fail. But, remember how you got a grade lower than an A on your class assignment for the first time and you thought your life was over? Yep, but you’re still here. You got through it. And you will get through whatever comes your way.
“Don’t be afraid of failure, be afraid of never trying.“
You might think you made the worst mistake of your life but looking back you will laugh at yourself and remember the lesson you learned from it.
No one has it all figured out. People don’t show you their failures, so don’t feel alone when things don’t go your way.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others
Let’s be real. Social media is fantastic at making us feel less adequate. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements, a highlight reel of everyone living their best life. It’s so easy to spend hours on there without even realizing that time is passing by.
First of all, take a deep calming breath.
Realize that your path is not the same as everyone else. You were made for a sole purpose. You are you for a reason and even though it is hard for you to believe right now; you are so special and dearly loved by God alone.
You have your unique gifts, and this is why you need to focus on developing it rather than going through a rabbit hole of comparison that will lead you nowhere.
It’s easy to admire people on the internet, without realizing that we too are special we are in our own way.
So take that uniqueness in you and make of it something great.
8. Dive into personal development
Watching educational videos, reading books, listening to podcasts that inspire you (not some gossip podcast) will elevate your mindset by far. The moment I started spending less time on YouTube videos watching entertaining video that did not bring one cent of benefit to my life, the more I started to see the growth in myself.
It is true that the songs you listen to, what you read, the shows you watch will start seeping into your life. So be careful of what your eyes are looking at and what your ears are hearing. This is something most people aren’t aware of.
To truly be confident is to learn something that will help you elevate your mindset. It all starts in your head. When your mind is in the right place, you start to act more confident. You start to radiate positivity and soon, you will slowly start to see the change in yourself.
9. Compliment someone else
This is the trait of a confident woman. When you know who you are, complimenting others will bring you more joy than even the person receiving the compliment. It shows a sense of security in you. It means you are secure in your own greatness and beauty.
Complimenting someone else doesn’t take anything away from you. It doesn’t mean you are less pretty than the girl next to you or that she’s better than you. On the contrary, it shows that you know your worth and this is what a confident woman does.
Make someone’s day by telling them that you like their sense of fashion or the way they are kind to others. Genuine, heart-felt comments like that, although it might make someone feel good, it will build great character in you.
10. Be more kind to yourself
The reason why some people have low self-esteem is because we try to be so hard on ourselves. We nitpick everything that’s wrong, everything that we want to change. But start looking at what you’re good instead.
“If only you could see how others see you, you will never be the same.“
Pat yourself on the back when you accomplish even the smallest thing. Celebrations aren’t just for birthdays and every holiday of the month. The more you celebrate yourself, the more you will grow confident in yourself.
“Perfectionism is a ladder you will only fall from if you keep trying to climb on it.“
You can’t just be confident. You have to build confidence. And it comes with time and patience. Don’t expect to wake up one morning and have all the qualities I listed here. It took me months, years and everyday I am still working towards it.
Just remember that confidence is not just for other people, it is for you too!
Did you learn something new? Did this article move you? If so, please share with others who would benefit from this. The world needs more confident and secure women. Comment below a trait you want to work on.