Ask Amanda: How to Build Your Self-Confidence
posted on March 24, 2017 | by Amanda Holstein
I’m 22 years old and lately, I’ve been feeling kind of down and have been losing self-confidence. I look at myself in the mirror and don’t like what I’m looking at. I feel like I have no purpose in life whatsoever. I’m shy and scared to speak in front of crowds. How can I build self-confidence and boost/build up my self-esteem?
Thanks so much,
First of all, I want you to know that this is the time in your life when feeling insecure and unsure about yourself/life, in general, is totally normal. In fact, I think it’s a good thing because those feelings are what trigger you to start discovering who you are and what’s important to you. And that’s what your twenties are all about. Try your best not to get discouraged about feeling the way you’re feeling. That will just add unnecessary stress on top of what you’re already going through!
I know it may seem like everyone around you has their shit together or is super confident, but I PROMISE you, they aren’t! Especially at your age, everyone around you is trying to figure it out just like you are, they just may be hiding it better. So don’t feel like there’s something wrong with you or that you’re totally alone in this. It is SO TOTALLY normal.
Now, as for what to do to build self-confidence, here’s what I recommend:
Surround yourself with people who lift you up.
It’s important to start recognizing who around you is bringing positivity into your life and who is just bringing you down. Don’t waste your time with people who make you feel bad about yourself. Be honest with yourself about who makes you feel proud to be you and who makes you feel shitty. Then, surround yourself with only those who lift you up.
Compliment yourself often.
It’s so easy to focus on the things we don’t like ourselves, but taking the time to recognize what you love about yourself is so much more important. Just because there are some parts of yourself that you’re not happy with, that doesn’t make those amazing parts any less special. Whether you want to sit down, light a candle, grab pen & paper, or just say these things to yourself in your head, take the time to truly compliment yourself. Tell yourself what you like about yourself — no one needs to hear it but you so be honest and don’t worry about being humble!
Don’t look outwards for approval, look inwards.
It’s common for us to look to our surroundings for approval and let these external things determine our self-worth and, therefore, our confidence. Whether it’s what others think of you, how you’re doing in your career, how you look in the mirror — these are all external things. No matter how “good” they are, will never be able to give you self-confidence. Loving yourself and having that inner confidence can only come from within. So focus on yourself, what you believe to be true about yourself, what you know about your capabilities, and don’t wait for others to give you the thumbs-up.
Do what makes you truly happy.
Ask yourself what truly makes you happy. It can be anything, big or small. From listening to certain music to being outside to painting to talking with your sister — whatever it is, write it all down. Are you spending your time doing these things you love? Make these things a priority. Do whatever it takes to make yourself happy and that will help give you the strength to build your confidence.
I hope this helps my dear! Good luck!