The other day, I came across an article that promised to give women instant confidence and self-esteem in 4 easy steps. Now don’t get me wrong— I highly support all measures to improve self-esteem. However, I’m just a bit skeptical that you can see results in a few hours of time.
The truth is that it takes a lifetime to build self-esteem. You can’t build confidence and self-esteem by listening to a speaker or reading an article about self-esteem. If only it was that easy! Confidence and self-esteem are developed by the consistent actions and behaviors of an individual over a period of time.
So what can you do if you’re struggling with confidence?
Get to know YOU better. There’s no way around this one; the key to building self-esteem is getting to know you and understanding what you need to be happy. Are you in touch with who you really are and what you need in life to be fulfilled? Are you aware of your skills, talents and passions and are they a part of your daily life? I call this “living your life with genuinity”(my own term). Once you live your life true to you, you will feel comfortable and confident in your own skin.
Set a goal and accomplish it. It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? You would be surprised at the number of women that go through life without actually defining certain goals they would like to reach. The thing is that every time you are able to focus on a certain task and meet that expectation, you gain a little more confidence. You feel a little more certain that the next goal you work on can also be met. No matter what the age, you never outgrow the need to raise and set the bar to reach another accomplishment.
Incorporate exercise into your life. I’m a pretty firm believer that exercise is key for every woman that wants to feel good about herself. You don’t have to aspire to attain the perfect body— you just need to move on a daily basis. The feeling of becoming physically stronger actually makes you feel mentally stronger. On top of that, the endorphins released during exercise only add to that good feeling. Suddenly, you are walking a little straighter with confidence. You feel good about you!
Face your fears. In order to feel good about you, get outside your comfort zone and really stretch yourself! This is where self-esteem gets a real boost. What’s ironic about this is that you might stay with what’s safe in life because you don’t want to fail; which you feel would lead to you feeling bad about you. However, the opposite is actually true— the more you stay safe, the less confident and self-assured you become. It doesn’t feel good to know you don’t have the guts to challenge yourself. If this sounds familiar, push yourself to take the plunge. The process of facing your fears is a huge step into self-esteem territory.
Find your voice. Take a good look at your life. Are you a pleaser? Do you try to make everyone happy? Do you feel people take advantage of you at work, or in friendships? Then you need to address this immediately and learn how to have healthier physical and emotional boundaries. Until you do this hard work, you will struggle with self-esteem. Your ability to be able to articulate what you need, without worrying what others think, is imperative to your confidence level and self-worth.
This is what I want you to remember: building self-esteem is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight. It comes with having experiences coupled with consistent work to better understand “YOU”. It happens when you have a vision of what you specifically need to be happy and you then take action to live that life.