Hello, once again!
Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about something that I have trouble with at many times in my life; self-confidence, or rather, lack there-of.
Self-confidence plays into many aspects of mental health disorders, but for some reason it is a factor that is often overlooked by many people in the mental health community.
I’m sure many college and high school students can relate to the sensation of feeling like they aren’t enough with the pressures of graduation, job applications, and reputation on their minds!
I can say from personal experience that these pressures add to the destruction of a person’s self-confidence.
At times, I find myself looking in the mirror, disappointed with different parts of myself, and I’ve realized that this kind of thinking is toxic to my mental health and sense of self-worth.
But to be a little more specific, let me give you an example.
For a long time, my self-confidence has struggled as a result of my acne. I have had an aggressive form of cystic acne since late middle school that has negatively impacted my mental health. Often more than not, I look in the mirror and all I see are the blemishes that cover my face, and at times my acne gets so bad it makes it difficult for me to go out in public or attend events with friends. Even the most expensive foundations and makeup products don’t always conceal the bumps.
Over time, I have used my acne as an excuse to convince myself I am unattractive, and it’s severely lowered my self-confidence. I am always afraid that others will notice my acne and judge me or dislike me because of it. Alternatively, I worry that people will claim that I wear too much makeup and make assumptions based upon that.
It’s exhausting, for anyone, to worry about what other people think of you and then to tear yourself down every chance you get.
That is exactly how my acne makes me feel and I’m tired of damaging my self-confidence over something so insignificant. I want to work on developing my confidence in the hopes that my story will inspire other people to do so as well.
Like anything improving your self-confidence is a journey and one that I hope to work on in the next few months to come.
I know that I am not the only one who struggles with insecurities that weaken my self-confidence.
Psychological research by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Psychology Today suggest that low self-confidence is usually a manifestation of commonly diagnosed disorders such as depression or anxiety.
As someone with an anxiety disorder I can see how my self-confidence might suffer as a result.
I have come up with a list of ways for to work on self-confidence in the hopes of improving the way I think about myself while encouraging others to do the same.
I hope those of you who struggle with self-confidence as a result of your insecurities or mental health disorders can use these tips to change the way you view yourself.
How to Work on Self-Confidence:
- Make the choice to transform the negative thoughts you have about yourself
This suggestion might seem somewhat obvious, but it is also something many people struggle with the most. I often find it easy to give into the negative thoughts in my head that tell me I’m not good enough and I’m sure many of you can relate.
I find it helpful to avoid these negative thoughts by taking a step back and counteracting them with positive ones. When I find myself in moments of attacking my self-worth I take a few breathes and try to treat myself the way a close friend or trusted family member might.
This is helpful because it allows you shift the perspective you have about yourself from negative to positive.
If you are having trouble practicing this, it may be helpful to text a friend or family member who can remind you of the wonderful things about yourself that you struggle with thinking of. You can also go to social media and ask your friends and family members to send some positive characteristics about yourself. Write them down and store them in a jar in your room to read as a reminder to be confident in who you are.
- Spend some time doing something you enjoy
Take a little time each day to do what you love. It can be as simple as reading a good book or painting during a study break. Doing something you love helps motivate you to believe in your talents and remind you of your strengths.
If you aren’t sure what you love—that’s okay! Take some time to discover your interests and try to take some time to turn those interests into hobbies. Find yourself watching a lot of beauty gurus on YouTube? See if you can come up with your own makeup-looks and create an Instagram account dedicated to it!
Don’t rush yourself, it’s okay if you don’t know who you are or what you like. What’s important is having the courage to find out!
- Create a mantra or positive affirmations
Once you start thinking poorly of yourself it becomes easier to slip into the routine of self-bashing and negativity. I know because it’s a cycle I’ve trapped myself in at times. It’s helpful to write down and repeat positive affirmations or mantras to reframe the way you think about yourself and the situations you are in.
The simplest mantras are sometimes the most effective. I personally gravitate towards shifting my opinion on negative thoughts I have had in the past. Strangely enough one of my positive affirmations is actually based off the phrase repeated in Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling book The Help, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
I reworked the phrase as my own to tell myself; You are smart. You are beautiful. You are important.
If you have some difficulty creating an affirmation feel free to grab some inspiration from my Positivity Pinterest board to help you out!
These are just some of the tools I use to help strengthen my own self confidence and I hope they can help you do the same. I plan on coming up with other posts and suggestions related to self-confidence in the future.
I highly recommend taking a look at Psychology Today’s article 8 Steps to Improving Your Self Esteem or Good Therapy’s article for more recommendations on how to work on self-confidence in your own life.
More to come soon!
Do you have strategies to working on your own self-confidence? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to share this article to spread the word!
As always, remember to make your mind a priority and take care –