Top Tips for Boosting Your Self Esteem
Having low self-esteem is no fun. Not only does it make you retract into yourself and become less outgoing and less likely to succeed, but it also means you’ll be less happy with who you are.
The reality is that ‘you’ are the only constant in your life. Friends, relatives, jobs and health will come and go.
But if you don’t like who you are. If you can’t live with yourself. Then you’ll be stuck with that and you’ll never be fully happy.
So how do you go about changing this and building yourself up? Let’s look at some powerful, transformative strategies.
Make Notes of Positives
It is often said that humans have a tendency to focus more on failures and more on insults and to give less mental energy to wins and successes. This is of course a negative trait and will only lead to an imbalanced view of the world and ultimately, a lack of success and happiness.
To get around this, make a conscious effort to focus on positives. Focus on the things in life that make you happy and that you are grateful for, but also focus on the things that you have accomplished already, your old wins and all the positive comments that people have made.
Think of one of each of these things every day and commit some time to focusing on it!
Find the things that you aren’t happy with about yourself and then focus on improving them. That might mean losing weight, adding muscle or fixing up your style so you feel more attractive.
Whatever the case, simply the act of starting to make positive progress can often be enough to make you start to feel better and happier.
Surround Yourself With True Friends
Often our low self esteem is really the self doubt of other people that has been projected onto us. Unfortunately, this is simply human nature and it is something that many people do entirely unintentionally.
The best way to combat this? Surround yourself with people who won’t do that. That means true friends who believe in you and who support and encourage you no matter what.
True friends are the people who you spend time with to feel much better. You should come away feeling empowered and uplifted.
If your friends are making you feel small or low, then they probably aren’t real friends.
Why Kindness and Generosity Make You Seem Confident
Many of us will mistakenly associate confidence with aggression and even cruelty. Unconfident people are all those bullied kids, the friendzoned guys and the trampled-upon office worker. Confident people are the jocks, the ‘bad guys’ and the ruthless CEOs. Right?
Often, being aggressive demonstrates nothing more than a lack of self-esteem and a defensiveness. Meanwhile, being genuinely kind, friendly and generous can make you seem incredibly confident.
Friendliness is the easiest of these to understand. When you are friendly, that means you are outgoing and willing to approach people as friends.
This means you must be somewhat extroverted and confident and it means that you aren’t just looking for a way to ‘get ahead’. You’re hanging out with nothing to gain, of your own volition, because you’re confident enough to do that and because you don’t need anything. Do you see the difference?
Likewise, when we are generous, this suggests we have ample resources. It suggests that we are not worried about our scant supply and it suggests that we are easy going.
Even just smiling is a gesture that puts us out there and lets us be vulnerable. And by doing that, we again demonstrate a lack of fear or anxiety.
Finally, complimenting people, supporting them and building them up can massively improve our apparent confidence. That’s because it suggests we aren’t threatened by their success and we don’t have anything to prove ourselves.
It’s as though you’re saying, I’m doing well and so I’m glad to help you do the same and to welcome you when you get here.
Conversely, when someone is cruel or jealous, it often suggests they have low self-esteem and they need to be that way to make themselves feel better.
How to Convey Friendly Confidence
To see for yourself just what a difference all this makes, try exercising this the next time you’re in a social setting. Walk up to someone in a bar and instead of asking for their number or dancing near them and staring at them, try introducing yourself in a friendly manner.
Now introduce yourself to their friends, chat with them and try to have a good time.
You won’t believe how confident, up-together and attractive all that makes you seem right away. It makes a massive difference and guess what? It makes you feel good too. So start being confidently kind!
Bodylanguage for Confidence
There are many different things that will both influence your confidence and also be influenced by your confidence. Confidence is often a somewhat circular subject matter and this can often make it hard to know where to start.
This is the case with body language. Being confident gives you better body language. But having better body language also makes you more confident!
What Does Confident Bodylanguage Look Like?
Confident body language basically involves looking relaxed and calm. Many of us assume that confident body language will necessarily involve looking menacing or intimidating, but the reality is that this makes us look defensive.
Likewise, attempting to look aloof or cool will simply make you look like a try hard. Remember the kids at school who smoked in their leather jackets and were just kind of tragic?
Being truly confident means you have nothing to prove, it means you aren’t overly concerned what other people think and it means you’re able to relax because you feel unthreatened.
For instance, while some people might think that having their arms crossed makes them seem aloof and indifferent, the reality is that it makes them look guarded and uncertain.
In contrast, if you have your arms apart and your legs apart, you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable. This instantly makes you seem far more confident because you aren’t concerned about threat from others and because you’re allowing yourself to take up lots of space!
Look comfy and you look calm. Look calm and you appear confident!
More Signs of Confidence
There are other signs that you are confident that go beyond comfort of course. One example is the subtle indication of ownership. There are many ways you can subtly imply ownership but the most common is touching. If you lean against a doorway, or if you put your arm across the back of the sofa, it creates the impression that you feel almost as though you own that thing.
That’s why leaning on a wall or doorframe is a surefire way to communicate a lot of self-confidence.
The same actually goes for touching people. And this is why touching someone on the shoulder can make you seem much more confident – especially if it is done in an encouraging and non-threatening way.
Remember though: body language is best read as a whole. It’s not so much a matter of each individual aspect of your body language that will convey a sentiment as it is the entire package.
How Being Passionate Makes Your Charismatic
Charisma is possible the truest and most impressive aspect of confidence. If you’ve ever met someone who has true, natural charisma, then you’ll know what this is like.
They talk in a way that makes everyone want to listen. They are engaging, attractive, magnetic and just generally enthralling in a way that many of us only dream we could be!
If you can’t think of anyone in your own life, then watch Will Smith being interviewed, or George Clooney, or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
These people are highly charismatic and it is immediately apparent. But how can we emulate that? How can we capture that lightning in a bottle and use it for ourselves?
The Key to Charisma
As luck would have it, there is actually a relatively simple and proven formula to charisma that you can simply emulate.
And it comes down to gesticulations. You see, all the people who are rated as highly charismatic have been found to gesticulate more than average while they talk.
This means they will use their hands to convey a lot of what they’re saying and they also tend to move around more as they speak.
This makes them seem charismatic because it creates a situation where their bodylanguage is reflecting what they’re saying and creating a single, congruent message.
Compare this to someone who speaks enthusiastically but all while crossing their arms and looking very stressed!
If you want to convey that same charisma then, you need to move around and gesticulate as you talk.
But guess what? You can’t just fake this. If you do, you’ll become self-conscious of your hands and your gestures and that’s a situation that’s now even worse than where we started!
Instead, you need to let it happen naturally and the way you do that is by being highly engaged in what you’re saying. And the way you do that is by being passionate about what you’re talking about.
When you are truly passionate, you can’t help but gesticulate because you’re so excited for what you’re saying.
It comes out of you in every way possible and all self-doubt and all concern fades away – because what you’re saying seems so important that you’ll be 100% focused on it.
This is why finding something that you’re truly passionate about it highly important. When you are truly passionate and excited, confidence and charisma happen naturally.
How the Right Role Model Can Enhance Your Confidence
Choosing the right role model can improve your life in a vast number of ways.
In fact, this is an incredibly potent tool for improving the way you come across to others.
The problem? Many of us have either no role models at all, or we have the wrong role models.
In either case, we’re comparing ourselves to the wrong people. Social comparison theory from psychology tells us that we’re always comparing ourselves to someone.
In fact, this is how many of us assess our own happiness and our own success.
That is to say that we don’t judge what we have on its own merits, but rather we judge it by comparing it to what others have. You feel good because you have a widescreen TV. But then you feel bad because you realize the neighbor has an even bigger one!
If we weren’t comparing ourselves to others all the time, we’d be more content!
Problem is, most of us are comparing ourselves to the heavily doctored and carefully selected images that are put out on social media and to the celebrities that are practically entirely fabrications. No wonder we’re low in esteem!
So the scenario might well be that your sense of self-worth is coming from a comparison you are making between yourself and a celebrity who is heavily airbrushed and a billionaire.
The Right Role Model
Carefully choosing a role model can change this. It can give us realistic aims while still providing us with some motivation and the right goals to set about improving ourselves.
The right role model will be someone who is perhaps more successful than us in terms of their career or the way they present themselves. But at the same time, they are also similar to us and what they represent is just within our reach.
By being this way, we are pursuing someone who provides us with that little bit of incentive and motivation but at the same time, confidence and inspiration in terms of what we can become.
In short, you’re looking for someone who is like you but just a little ahead.
And don’t follow false idols. Remember that even the people who you respect a whole lot are only human and they have their faults too.
Remember that behind the Instagram account is a real-life person who has their bad days too!
How to be More Independent
If you want to be more confident, then you also need to be more independent.
After all, self-confidence is all about having faith in your own ability and your own decisions. If you don’t know how to be alone, or don’t feel you can do things without the help of others, then you won’t have true confidence!
The problem is that many of us struggle to be alone, or to do things for ourselves. Part of this comes down to a sheer lack of practice. If you went straight from living with your parents, to living with a partner, then you may never have truly experienced fending for yourself. And living with friends isn’t necessarily much different.
Likewise, some of us will spend all of our spare time with others, to the point that we don’t have much identity or much purpose when left to our own devices. If you can’t stand the thought of spending an evening alone, then you need a quick boost in independence. So how do you get it?
The first way to be more independent is… to practice!
One of the best ways to do this is to drop yourself in at the deep end as it were. That means packing a bag and heading off on a trip alone for a couple of weeks. The more of an adventure this is, the better. So that might mean backpacking and talking to strangers, or it might meaning travelling somewhere where no-one speaks the language.
It might just surprise you what you’re capable of when left to your own devices!
Another way to practice is just to avoid the temptation to call for help the next time something goes wrong. DIY is a great place to experiment with this. Has the toilet stopped flushing? Do you have a hole in the wall that looks unsightly? Instead of calling for help, bring up YouTube and try to sort it yourself. This is hugely empowering and can do wonders for your esteem, as well as making you far less dependent on others.
Find Your Identity
Simply spending a little time alone is also a good idea. Even if you live with a partner, try top spend time apart just to pursue your own interests.
Finding a hobby is actually one of the most important things you can do to boost your independence, as this way you’ll always have something to entertain your thoughts.
How to Communicate More Confidently
We have many opportunities to demonstrate our confidence or otherwise, but perhaps the most obvious example is when we are talking to an individual or a group.
Those who have low self-esteem or confidence are likely to mutter, to stutter and to avoid eye contact. Those who are highly confident and sure of themselves will speak loudly and proudly.
So with that in mind, how do you go about communicating as confidently as possible and helping to ensure your message comes across well while also making you look sure of yourself and of what you’re saying?
The first tip is to talk more slowly. When we are nervous, we will often speak more quickly without even realizing it. This is a result of neurotransmitters being released which slow our perception of time and which encourage rushing.
Simply slowing down then will greatly increase your sense of calm and authority. Not only that, but by giving people longer to hang on to what you’re saying will let your words have more impact and drama.
This also suggests a trust in what you’re saying – it shows you aren’t worried people will stop listening – whereas rushing makes us seem like we’re worried people are just going to move on!
Watch any big celebrity talk on TV and you’ll notice they tell lots of stories and they always build suspense and use rhetorical questions. They’ll use repetition and leave big gaps. This takes huge confidence, but if you can pull it off, then you’ll have an audience eating from your hands!
Make Eye Contact
One of the most important things you can do to demonstrate confidence as you speak is to maintain eye contact. This is true if you’re speaking with just one person and it shows that you aren’t afraid to meet their gaze and to speak to them as equals.
It’s also true if you’re speaking to a crowd however, in which case you need to look at everyone and to ensure they are all following and included.
Finally, remember that communication is only somewhat verbal.
More of what we mean is conveyed through body language and this is why it’s so important that your body language reflects what you’re saying.
Be passionate and let your arms do the talking along with the words you’re saying.
You’ll appear more honest, more confident and far more engaging!
How to Deal With Toxic People
If you have chronically low self-esteem, then there’s a good chance that this came from other people.
The nasty thing about insecurity, jealousy and low esteem is that they are contagious. If you aren’t confident in yourself, then it will often cause you to become destructive and mean.
You might put other people down in order to feel better about yourself and you might try to prevent others from fulfilling their potential because you don’t want to be left behind – even if this is happening in an unconscious way.
At the same time, low self-esteem can mean you talk other people out of taking chances or following their dreams. This is not out of malice: in this case it simply comes down to the fact that you don’t have much faith in the ability that anyone has to change their fate.
Chances are that you’ll know people like this in your life and that they could be the reason for your low self-esteem and confidence. Most upsettingly, there is a better-than-average chance that this came from your parents.
The number one way to raise a happy and confident child is to love them unconditionally and to believe in them 100% and support them 100%. You need to be confident in yourself to do this.
So, what do you do now if you’re trying to fix your low esteem but you’re surrounded by people who are dragging you down?
The Best Advice
The tip you’ll often read is that you should simply cut off contact with toxic or destructive people.
I’ll say that you should take this advice if anyone is being purposefully cruel or belittling. You don’t have time in your life for malicious people.
But if someone is doing it unintentionally, you shouldn’t just write them off: chances are they simply need help.
What you do in the meantime is to surround yourself with more people who are positive, supportive and who do love you unconditionally.
And you always remember to view what the toxic, negative people say through a lens of logic and reason. If they are putting you down, is it because they have a genuine point? Or is it because they themselves have low esteem?
Finally, try to build them up too. That means you should ask them why they feel the way they do and do everything to support them.
You can pull each other out of this funk, that is what friends are for after all!
How to Get a Physique That Will Make You Confident
If you struggle with low confidence and esteem, then you should see a therapist such as a cognitive behavioral therapist. They will be able to talk you through the deep seated issues that are causing you to feel low in esteem and will build you back up.
This is the most fundamental and effective way to address what is really a very serious mental health issue. But in the meantime, that isn’t to say that there aren’t smaller and easier changes you can make to boost your esteem.
And sometimes, this means focusing on the external aspects. It means looking at surface level aspects of your self that you might not be happy in.
The bottom line? Transforming your physique can offer a massive confidence boost.
That’s because it will impact on the way that other people react to you, it will fill your system with more positive hormones and neurotransmitters to make you feel good about yourself and it will mean you can take care of yourself physically.
So how do you do it?
The Best Physique
In order to get the kind of physique that will make you feel highly confident, you need to focus on an aesthetic physique.
Whether you are a man or a woman, you want a body that you can feel good about and that will make itself known even through clothes.
For guys, that means focusing on the inverted triangle physique. That means wide shoulders, big arms and a narrow waist.
This makes you look physically intimidating and it is a shape that women are naturally inclined to find attractive.
For women, it means developing the hip to waist ratio. This suggests strong genetic material. They should also try to develop a tone physique, so that they are proportionate while slim.
In both cases, the best way to accomplish this is with a combination of resistance training and cardiovascular training. And that can even mean combining the two in a manner that is known as concurrent training.
The point is, you shouldn’t focus simply on one or the other. Men who only focus on weights will risk looking strong while still carrying a gut. Women who focus only on CV will find they actually don’t burn fat as quickly as they would if they combined it with weights. And in fact, women who squat are so well proportioned that it has become a meme!
How to Walk With Confidence
Have you ever seen someone walk into a room and immediately demand attention and respect? This is a truly quite amazing thing to witness and it demonstrates an incredible amount of confidence and poise to be able to pull off.
Partly, this comes down to the way we walk. Even this seemingly innocuous activity can drastically change the ‘vibes’ that we give off, and so it’s important to recognize what kinds of signals we’re putting out.
Walking with confidence is something that isn’t easy but you can develop it over time if you know how.
Walking with confidence does not mean swaggering your shoulders like those kids that want to be gangsters. It doesn’t mean being aggressive and it doesn’t even necessarily mean walking quickly or walking with ‘purpose’.
What it means, is walking as someone who is very confident and very happy and comfortable with who they are.
And as is so often the case with body language, this often comes down to the direction you’re looking and just how much space you take up. Walk with your chest pointing upwards and your chin slightly raised and you will beam happiness and confidence.
Walk in a hunched manner with a shuffle and you will find you look naturally shy and retiring.
Often what is recommended is that you imagine a ray of light is bursting out your chest as you walk – which can transform your entire stance.
One more important tip? Smile as you walk. Smiling is one of the signs of confidence.
The Hard Part
Simple. Done and done!
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. Because I imagine you’ve been walking for a long time. Probably since you were about 1…
Which means some habits will be deeply ingrained and they can be hard to shake.
And remembering to do these things is very hard indeed. It comes down to mindfulness and of being a little bit aware of how you act and what you do.
One way to instill this new behavior then is to look for a trigger or a prompt. A good one is passing through thresholds and doorways. In other words, every time you walk into a new room, remember the chest trick!
Another way is to practice mindfulness in general. This is a powerful and very useful skill that makes us more aware of ourselves in a non-judgemental way.