6 Ways to Help Your Confidence Blossom5/01/2016
Lately something that has been truly difficult for me has been to create and maintain a good sense of self-confidence. I don't know if it is just me, but it can be SUCH a difficult thing to do. When I was younger, I thought that it was something that would get a little easier as I got older, but the truth is that it is just as hard, if not harder.
Something that I've noticed is that when my self-esteem is bad, it seems to have a negative effect on everything else in my life- my grades, my fitness, my health, my relationships and even my spirituality. Everything else seems to suffer when I don't feel my best.
Because I see springtime as a time to change, grow and to feel our best, I decided to share my favorite ways to feel confident- both as a reminder for me and as a help to any girl who, like me, struggles at times with being confident. Hopefully I can start doing these things a little more, and so can you :)
1. STOP Comparing
This is such a difficult thing for me to do even though I know how ridiculous it really is. Comparison truly is a thief of joy and is never a good thing. Because each human is so completely unique and different from anyone or anything else, comparing is LITERALLY POINTLESS. Our bodies, our talents, our relationships and our entire lives are so unbelievably different, we cannot spend time worrying about the things we lack that others happen to have. Each time you look at somebody else and are tempted to compare their talents/clothing/bodies/testimonies/relationships to yours, stop and remember how unique you are. Like I said, this can be difficult but with repeated practice, it is totally possible.
2. Clean Up Your Social Media
I LOVE facebook, snapchat and Instagram. I really do. But let’s be honest, it can really, really mess with the way you see yourself. Far too much time is often spent on social media, comparing bodies/lives/clothes/money/etc. Ten years ago this wasn’t a problem at all. But, as if women and girls needed another reason to feel insecure, social media came along. Because people only put their very best selves on it (not to mention all of the photo-shopping, airbrushing and editing that goes on), it is so easy to wonder, “Why don’t I look like that/have a perfect life like that/go on cool trips like that?”
It is important to realize that often, real life is not what is actually portrayed on social media. Even then though, it can be so hard to change this mentality. So, here’s what you do. Go on your main social media platform (for me it was Instagram) and take a good look at the people you follow. If there is anyone who you feel prone to comparing yourself to (no matter how awesome/pretty/good you think they are), and click ‘unfollow’. I did this and literally unfollowed almost 50 different accounts! I also tried to start replacing those with good, real, uplifting accounts that make me feel happy, hopeful and positive (@faithlikefee, @nourishandeat, @mytimetoblossom and @womenirl are just a few accounts that are authentic and uplifting to me).
According to a study published in Health Psychology, when you are having an off-day, the best way to boost your mood and self-esteem is to work out. Fitness is something that has totally helped boost my confidence. There is just something so wonderful about pushing your limits and working super hard at something physical. Maybe it's the endorphins or maybe it's because I love the overall gym atmosphere, but I feel so good whenever I have a good workout. It can be anything- a simple walk outside, a run, a spinning class (my favorite) or some heavy weight-lifting. Physical activity can help you in many areas of your life, including building your confidence.
4. Pamper Yourself
Although the importance of appearances is emphasized way too much in our society, feeling pretty isn't a bad thing at all. As a matter of fact, feeling beautiful is pretty darn important if you ask me! That doesn't mean you should even have to do anything drastic/expensive/unnatural, but treating yourself to a little pampering can be an awesome thing and can help boost your confidence a little. This can be anything that helps you feel good! For me it is usually getting my hair done or getting a simple gel manicure (check Groupon for the best deals on all of this stuff). You can even have set up your own little spa night at home. Let yourself feel beautiful :)
5. Do something for somebody else
100% of the time when I am feeling down about myself, it is partially due to the fact that I am only thinking about myself! Comparing yourself to others, dwelling on the negatives and feeling sorry for yourself are actually very selfish things!
Even when especially when you are feeling the worst and most down about yourself, stop and look for somebody to help. Talk to somebody who seems to need a friend, do your visiting teaching, go to the temple, take somebody some cookies, or anything else that helps you "get away" from your negative thoughts for a while. I know that the words President Monson spoke are true when he said that, ""unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is
little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually
shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves
in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives."
6. Make a List
This is something I did for awhile and I promise, it totally helped. Here's what you do: start a list, either on your phone or a piece of paper or wherever. Then once every day, write down three things you like about yourself that day. They could be big, important things (I helped somebody, I accomplished something big, I bore my testimony to someone) or little things (my hair looked good, I cleaned the kitchen, etc). Keep doing this for as long as you can.
Hopefully some of these things will help you as much as they've helped me. I know from experience that no matter how bad you are feeling, it is completely possible to change and to view yourself as the beautiful, divine, unique child of God you truly are.