How to Improve Self Confidence: Get Control of Your "Thinking Habits"
When trying to improve your self confidence, it’s important to both know what self confidence is, and to understand what causes low self confidence in the first place. If you search for self confidence online, one definition you will find is: “belief in oneself or one's own abilities.” So it basically comes down to what you think about yourself. A lot of people talk about how different people or situations makes then feel unconfident, but the real issue is never on the outside it’s on the inside. Although external influences can definitely contribute to poor self confidence, you are the one maintaining it.
According to the University of Buffalo Counseling Service, focusing on failure and negatives, expecting the worst possible outcome and judging yourself too harshly can be some of the reasons behind low self confidence. It’s important to note that all of these are negative thinking patterns. Thinking patterns are habits, and it’s just as easy to be in the habit of thinking positive things about yourself as it is to think negative things. All it takes is a bit of practice.
Every time you think negative thoughts you reinforce your habit of negative thinking. This goes for what you think about yourself and others. When we judge others harshly, we are left with no choice but to judge ourselves. Most people I have known that have love self esteem tended to also be very critical of others, noticing their every flaw. Even though this is usually a defense mechanism, it sends a message to your subconscious minds about what is acceptable and what is not.
When you are working to improve self confidence, you need to think about the habits and patterns that are enforcing the way you feel right now. Pay attention to how you feel in different situations, and especially the thoughts that come with your feelings. Are you making judgments about how “good” you are as a person based on how you perform in different situations? For instance, do you feel that losing at something or not getting the attention you want makes you worthless? Does winning make you feel better about yourself and your life? Or maybe you don’t even try to do anything because you’re afraid of not succeeding?
All of these are common ways of thinking for someone with low self confidence. In order to build your self esteem, you must change your thinking patterns and basically do the opposite. Focus on what is good about you just as you are. Tell yourself that winning or failing doesn’t change who you are as a person. Try to imagine the best possible outcome instead of the worst. Try to notice what you like about other people rather than what is wrong with them. When you feel yourself thinking negative thoughts, just be aware of doing so and then try to shift your thinking, not beating yourself up about slipping into the old habit.
Every time you succeed at something, small or big, take the time to praise yourself. Start every day by standing in front of the mirror, telling yourself something positive. Last but not least; in order to improve confidence you need to be kind to yourself.