Have you ever struggled with your self image? I have, I have a lot. In fact, currently I still struggle. Self confidence can play a big part in your life in numerous ways. Low self esteem can ruin a relationship, a friendship, and it can stop you from achieving goals and living life. It eats at you from the inside, and you feel crippled; powerless.
So let me just tell you, that I’ve been struggling with self confidence for quite awhile. A lot of this could be caused from my past and the things I’ve been through, and the same could go for you. It could even be something in the present that is effecting your thoughts and your self image. so I thought I’d share some tips and tricks that I’ve been trying out and/or know that work for me. These also work for depression, which is also something I still struggle with today.
1) Exercising. This one has always probably been the top thing that helps me out when my mood goes sour, or I start feeling down about myself. Honestly, sometimes I don’t even think it’s the getting active part that helps me, but instead being outside and having the surroundings of nature. Otherwise I know that sometimes when I pop my music in, and go for a quick jog, that helps me get back on track too. Taking a quick walk every day can be empowering, and you may be able to start noticing a difference in mood.
2) Have a date with nature. This one kind of goes with the one above. However, I know that this one really helps me a lot whenever I feel down about myself, or just sad in general. I often fight with depression and this is one of my anti-depressants. If you have the time, and the money, do some research and find someplace in your state that might seem cool to visit, and go do it. You’d be surprised at what you can find nearby. If you can’t do that, go find a nearby forest, or mountain, or abandoned area and just sit there for awhile, or go exploring. For me, the environment has an odd sort of healing power. So far, I’ve went hiking on a mountain, seen some waterfalls, and even discovered some nice lakes that aren’t super busy.
3) Kick away the negative thoughts. This isn’t an easy one. I still struggle with this, it takes practice. The trick is that you have to catch yourself in the act of talking down, and you have to kick it to the curb. There are many different ways that people do this. But a big thing with this one, is you have to tell yourself the complete opposite of what you’re thinking. If you’re trying to run a mile and you start to get discouraged, say, “Cmon, I can do this!”
4) Dress Up. You don’t have to wear a tux, or a dress. I mean, you can if you want too. But this is more about what makes YOU feel good, and dressing up however you want. Whether it’s dressing sophisticated, wearing a fursuit, or just pajamas.
5) Think positive. This goes with number 3. Another hard skill to learn, but with practice you can start to get better at it. Basically, kill any negative thoughts you have and replace it with better ones. I know this sounds ridiculous, but if you practice, it can seriously work wonders. I’ve been attempting to do this with my art. “My art sucks”, is my thought, but then it’s followed with… “But if I practice, I’ll get better!”
6) Make Goals. I don’t mean huge goals, like winning the lottery, traveling the earth in 360 days, or hand feeding a shark; but smaller goals that you can accomplish in a short period of time. People have this mindset to make huge goals, and then set themselves up for failure and get discouraged. Instead, set smaller ones once you achieve that one, continue achieving more of them. Eventually this will build up your confidence, and you can strive towards bigger goals.
7) Be sociable. People suck sometimes, I get it. But having more friends, or being more sociable with family can certainly uplift your mood. Try to be in more sociable settings and open your mind. I’ve struggled with this one for awhile but I’m working on it, and it certainly helps once you find people who are willing to help.
8) Make a list. Start writing a journal about yourself. Express all your negative thoughts. Then go back to it, and start writing down all your positive traits. (You have some, I promise you.) Eventually you will see that you have been limiting yourself.
9) Take up some hobbies. Having a hobby works wonders, and can really help sidetrack your mind. Start exploring different things. I’ve been recently trying to get into leatherworking and more art//writing.
10) Groom yourself. This one sounds really weird to say, but it still needs to be said. Keeping yourself groomed helps a lot. Trim your hair, keep your teeth sparkly clean, shampoo and condition more often.
11) Be kind. This can be a hard one, because I know all too well that some people do not deserve kindness. Or, someone hurt you so bad, that you start to become cynical toward everyone. Once you knock this habit, and start being kind to strangers or even forgiving others in the past, you’ll have a weight lifted off of you.
12) Stand tall. Having good posture can make a difference. People who stand tall appear to be more confident and it’s seen as more attractive.
13) Increase competence. You want to do something but you lack the skill. How do you fix that? By practicing. Set aside 30 minutes a day to do something that will help you work toward this skill.
14. Volunteer. This one can make a big difference. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities and you can pick and choose which ones you would enjoy. For me, I love environmental volunteer work, or working with animals. But you can do more by spreading holiday cheer, helping with humane societies or a fundraiser.
Just remember, everyone has flaws, and that’s okay. That doesn’t make you any less beautiful, or any less attractive. YOU are amazing, never forget that. If you ever need an ear, I’m here.
Remember that sometimes you may falter, but you will pull through. You are an amazing person, and there are people that love you for all that you are.