Do you ever think about things that feel difficult to achieve or things you’ve written off as lofty and unrealistic goals? Likely, some careers or achievements spring to mind—it feels difficult to be a millionaire, a ballerina, a film star, or a Steve Jobs-level genius—but none of those things truly reflect the depths of your soul. Sure, it may be difficult to become those things. But it’s also difficult to be kind to yourself and even more challenging to feel confident in your own skin. More than 70% of women and girls struggle with valuing themselves.
Building self-confidence can be an arduous endeavor, but it is always a worthy one. You deserve to feel good in your skin, and you deserve to feel confident in yourself wholly—mind, body, and soul. Let’s walk together through some of the steps you can take to build self-confidence so unshakable, even those big dreams don’t feel so unattainable.
Affirm your awesome
Whether you write them on your mirror, a post-it, or set them as the wallpaper on your phone, write down a phrase (or a few) that makes you feel powerful. Read it to yourself several times a day and, at least once every single day, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and verbally tell yourself those words of affirmation.
Being mindful of how you undermine your authority before you even examine it can be a great place to start building affirmations for increasing confidence. If you’d like a little nudge getting started, here are some words of wholesome support you can offer yourself:
- I am not too much effort.
- I deserve good things.
- I can do hard things.
- I am enough.
- I hold my own power.
CV for confidence
Practice selling yourself to yourself by writing a resume. Not the kind you’d send to an employer, but use the same language skills that allow you to turn “answered the phone” into “managed ingoing and outgoing communication in a professional and organized manner” to reframe the way you think about your emotions and strengths. Ask those you trust most in your support network to share what stands out about you or what words they would use to describe you. Use that compilation as a shortlist to help you get started. Focus on the traits that make you a good friend instead of a good employee. Then, be that friend to yourself.
Say no when you mean it
As luck would have it, no is a complete sentence. It’s not one you have to justify or explain, but it is one you should use liberally. Savor those “yes’s” for the things that resound in the depth of your bones, and get comfortable with the “no’s” that help you establish boundaries.
Not respecting your own limits is the first way to betray yourself and your budding confidence. Practice forgiving yourself for the times you said yes when you meant no and then change that pattern. If you only say yes to the things you believe in, you can give them the energy and commitment they deserve while doing the same for yourself. Your confidence will blossom with your effort to exercise your ability to respect yourself in compassionately declining others’ requests.
Look the part
Your clothes, makeup, and even your hairstyle can help you feel more confident in yourself. If the way you present yourself to the world helps you feel authentic and powerful, others will notice. Instead of choosing styles that reflect the current trend of the image you think you should portray, listen to your heart when you make those choices. Allow your wardrobe and physical appearance to reflect the things that make you feel imbued with confidence, and you will exude just that.
Don’t stop at the things you put on your body, though. While your aesthetic can have a powerful impact on your self-confidence, so too can projecting it with body language. Roll your shoulders up and back, hold your chin high and walk with certainty. Use your body like punctuation when you walk into a room. If your energy and posture say I belong here, no one will think to question that wordless confidence.
Lean into your curiosity to expand your self-confidence. When someone dictates how you should act or implies you should feel a certain way, question it. Don’t shy away from exploring ideas or thoughts. It isn’t necessary to challenge these statements or implications, but it is imperative that you get curious about the ideas other people present over your life and agency.
If you learn to trust your instincts to ask questions, there will be certainty in not just the answers but the exploration as well. Don’t be afraid to push back or ask for more when presented with a concept that leaves you wondering. Trusting the urge to do so is as much a confidence booster as mastering the ability to express it.
Whether you are chasing your confidence boost in the wake of a big realization or it’s just a persistent lingering ache, you are worthy of the effort it takes to build the self-confidence you deserve. And you do deserve it.
Take a step, no matter how small or how many, into your power.
If you need support in growing your confidence alongside your decision to address concerning problems with alcohol or drug use, we will be right here with you all the way.