Stop Internal Criticism
Most people with low self-esteem have an internal dialogue in their head telling them they are not good enough to receive positive things in life. As a result, they forgo opportunities and life enhancing experiences, preferring to not attempt them. Critical self-talk is a great inhibitor. It can prevent people from branching out and growing, stop them from having positive relationships, and cause them to put up with negative situations.
The best way to stop critical, confidence killing chatter in your head is to confront your inner voice with a more positive one. Whenever you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, or suffering from self-blame, turn the dialogue around. Replace it with the opposite of your initial, negative thought.
It can take a while to get rid of internal criticism, so persevere. Imagine you are standing up for someone you love, and hopefully, eventually, this will turn out to be true, as you will achieve self-love.
Promote Good Points
It is time to toot your own trumpet. You will probably need to begin this in a small way by yourself or with a friend. Make a list of physical features you have that you quite like. Ignore those you are not keen on, and remember to silence your critical voice if it interferes.
Follow this by writing a list of good points about your personality. Perhaps you are kind and forgiving? Or a loving pet owner or tender of plants?
The third list should be about achievements. These may be anything from credentials, to things you have done you are proud of. Perhaps you studied hard and gained a degree, or lived through a difficult time and got successfully through to the other side?
Affirmations are positive reminders of who you are, and what you are, and what you are to become. Take a look at the three lists you‘ve made and pick a variety of positive points about yourself. Write them down on separate pieces of card with a large felt pen, and place the pieces of card where you will see them often.
The inside of cupboard doors you open a lot, are ideal places, as are a fridge door, and places on walls that are eye level. As well as items from your lists write affirmations about what you are evolving into. For example, ‘I am a confident person with high self esteem.’
Break the Mould
Engaging in a new activity can be a great way to gain confidence. Anything physical which gets your adrenalin buzzing will help you feel better about yourself. Running, bowling, exercise classes, yoga, aerobics or Tai Chi are all examples of the type of activity that will build self-confidence.
Alter Daily Patterns
It probably will not suit your lifestyle to alter the entire day, or indeed be possible. However, make a few changes to your normal pattern of daily events, and do things slightly differently. This will help you access the ability to change your thought system more easily, from negativity into positivism.
The reason this works is that it is when people are already going through change that they are open and able to absorb different experiences, and integrate new behaviours and thoughts.
By following the above tips, you will be able to build confidence to a high level. Once you have learned the processes involved in confidence building you can use them in the future if you feel your self-esteem slipping.