Sad and contemplative young woman in her bed by the window

How to Build Self-Confidence When you Have None

ChatOwl Mental Health

Reading Time: 5 minutes

There are ways to build your self-esteem from scratch… And, surprisingly, they are easier than you think!

For some, having low self-esteem is something that can be so deep-seated that it is difficult to overcome. Low self-esteem can stem from childhood experiences like prolonged separation from caregivers, neglect, and sexual and emotional abuse.

Developing low self-esteem later in life usually happens from things like prolonged or disabling illness, loss of career, getting divorced, being involved in a dysfunctional relationship, or feeling very little control in life. Lacking feelings of control can stem from being a victim of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and various types of discrimination.

What are the Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem?

Low self-esteem is also more prevalent in people who have a predisposing mental condition or disorder. But it is often hard to figure out which is perpetuating the other. The one thing that people with low self-esteem appear to share is their belief that the world is a cold and hostile place. And they often see themselves as the victim. 

That can make them complacent and withdrawn, resulting in not taking advantage of novel opportunities and experiences. And they also feel as if controlling things in their life is not possible because they are powerless. All the factors mixed tend to drown people with low self-confidence in a downward and self-fulfilling prophecy spiral.

The good news is there are simple ways to help you build your self-esteem from scratch, regardless of how old you are. And if you take steps to turn things around, picking yourself out of the hole you might find yourself in, is entirely possible. Just take it slowly, be persistent, and believe in yourself. And you will see the inner confidence that you’ve always had below the surface emerge.

“Negative experiences don’t create fears, doubts, anger, grudges, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, jealousy, stress, or depression; one’s repeated negative interpretations of them do.”

Edmond Mbiaka

Make Two Separate Lists:  One of Your Achievements and one of Your Strengths

It is an excellent idea to enlist a good friend or family member to help you compile two lists of all the things that are good about you. For someone with low self-esteem, it might be challenging to find ways to praise yourself.

So asking someone who knows you best to help is a good idea to be realistic. Once you have compiled all the goodness you possess, keep the list in a safe and convenient place so that you can reflect on it daily. And keep it where it is available to read when you are feeling low.

Engage in Positive Self-Talk and Think Positively About Yourself

When you have low self-esteem, it can sometimes be accompanied by self-loathing. And when you have self-hatred, you typically engage in negative self-talk and have negative thoughts about who and what you are. When building your self-esteem, it is essential to remind yourself that even though you have problems, you are a valuable person and worthy of love, like everyone else. 

You deserve to feel good about yourself, not to put yourself down and make yourself feel bad. You wouldn’t allow anyone else to treat themselves that way without stepping in to help.

So give yourself the advice you would give to someone else who was down on themselves – and take it. The law of attraction states that you get what you put out into the universe. So stop putting negative thoughts about yourself out there, and things will turn around.

Young female athlete exercising push-ups with in a gym.

Change Things About Your Appearance That you Don’t Like

People with low self-esteem rarely put effort into the way that they appear to others and what they look like. Stop thinking that you don’t deserve to have nice clothes, get your hair done, and hit the gym to take care of yourself. Putting some time and effort into making yourself look good on the outside will do wonders for the way that you feel inside.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

You are what you eat, and not getting enough good food can lead to things like anxiety and depression. Your body and mind need proper vitamins and nutrients to think clearly and to stabilize your mood. Make it a point to eat properly and supplement when necessary, especially when you aren’t getting all that you need in your diet.

Get Good Quality and Quantity of Sleep

Sleep is often an underrated component of good physical and mental health. Not getting enough good quality or the correct quantity of sleep can lead to anxiety and depression. Ideally, you should get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

And try to limit things like screen time before bed that can disrupt your sleep. Don’t eat close to bedtime, because it can result in waking up during the night and ruining the quality of your sleep. And keep the room quiet and peaceful so that you can fully go through the circadian cycle that helps you stabilize your mood patterns and keeps your immune system healthy.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise will not only help your appearance, but it will also help to boost your mood. Getting your heart rate up for just about ten minutes a day will help to stimulate the release of dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for euphoria and feeling good. When you feel good, it is easier to feel good about yourself. And it is also an excellent way to overcome feelings of anxiety and depression that can make it challenging to live a happier life.

Do Things That you Enjoy

People with low self-esteem often don’t think about things that make them happy. They feel as if they aren’t deserving of good things the way that other people are. Prove yourself wrong, and engage in those things you love most. Take time for you and find out what makes your heart sing – life is too short to deprive yourself of things that make you feel alive and worthy.

Make Goals and Keep Them

Nothing feels more empowering than setting goals and meeting them. The key to goal setting is to be realistic and placed them in succession. The more you achieve goals, the more successful you will feel. And that will lead to an increase in your confidence and self-esteem.

Set a goal to do one small thing every day and stick to it. Even if it is just getting out of bed on time, making positive changes in incremental steps is an excellent way not only to increase your self-esteem but also to feel more in control of your life and surroundings. 

Pay it Forward

A sure way to make yourself feel good is to be kind and generous to others. Perform one act daily to lighten someone else’s load. Something as small as helping an elderly lady with her groceries in the parking lot can make you feel really good about yourself. And it will also remind you that you are a good person and worthy of love and good things.

Avoid Toxic People and Places

Don’t punish yourself by hanging out with people who put you down or don’t make you feel good about yourself. Also, avoid doing things that make you miserable, no matter how obligated you feel. You have the right to say “”no” to things you don’t want to do.

And you have the right to also be around people who bring out the best in you. Love yourself enough to surround yourself with people who are supportive and appreciate all of your goodness. 

There are many reasons that people suffer from low self-esteem and confidence, but you don’t have to. Transforming your outlook and how you feel about yourself is easy if you take steps to feel more in control of your life and its direction. Simple steps you can incorporate daily will lead to a much more confident and healthy you.

And they will lead to a person who will start taking opportunities, chances when presented, and living life to the fullest. If you need help finding inner strength, the professionals of Chat Owl are here to help. We can help you with tips and tricks to find your inner self-love and confidence and the healthiest you possible. 

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