1. Identify your negative thoughts : Your negative thoughts might sound like this: “I can’t do that,” “I will surely fail”, “no one wants to hear what I have to say.” This inner voice is pessimistic and unhelpful and will hold you back from achieving high self-esteem and greater self-confidence.
2. Turn your negative thoughts to positive thoughts : As you pay attention to your negative thoughts, turn them around to positive thoughts. This may take the form of positive affirmations, such as “I am going to try it,” “I can be successful if I work at it,” or “people will listen to me.” Start with just a few positive thoughts a day.
3. Refuse to allow negative thoughts to occur more often than positive thoughts : Eventually, your positive thoughts should be given more “brain space” than your negative thoughts. The more you counter your negative self-thinking with positivity, the more natural this will become.
4. Maintain a positive support network : Connect with those close to you, whether they are family or friends, to keep your perspective uplifted. Furthermore, stay away from people or things that make you feel bad.
*Someone you call a friend may actually make you feel bad, if they constantly make negative remarks, or criticize you.
* Even well-intended family members who weigh in with their opinions about what you “should” be doing can be destructive to your self-confidence.
*As you cultivate your own positive attitude and take steps to achieve your goals these naysayers may become more evident. As much as possible, limit your contact with them while you build your self-confidence.
*Take some time to think about which people in your life really make you feel great. Make a goal to spend more time with people who are supportive and uplifting.
5. Eliminate reminders of your negativity : Avoid spending time around things that can make you feel bad about yourself again. These might be reminders from the past, clothing that no longer fits, or places that don’t fit with your new goals of gaining confidence. Though you may not be able to get rid of every negative source in your life, you can certainly think about how to cut your losses. This will go a long way in building your self-confidence up.
*Take the time to sit down and think about all of the things that are bringing you down, from mean friends, a career you don’t much care for, or a living situation that is almost unbearable.
6. Identify your talents : Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, and then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Express yourself, whether it’s through art, music, writing, or dance. Find something you enjoy and cultivate a talent to go with your interest.
*Adding a variety of interests or hobbies to your life will not only make you more confident, but it will increase your chances of meeting compatible friends as well.
*When you’re following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect, but you’ll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence.
7. Take pride in yourself : Not only should you feel proud of your talents or your skills, but you should also think about the things that make your personality great. It can be your sense of humor, your sense of compassion, your listening skills, or your ability to cope under stress. You may not think that there’s anything about your personality worth admiring, but if you dig deep, you’ll realize that you have plenty of admirable qualities. Focus on them by writing them down.
8. Accept compliments gracefully : Many people with low self-esteem have difficulty taking compliments; they assume that the person complimenting them is either mistaken or lying. If you find yourself responding to a compliment by rolling your eyes, saying, “Yeah, right,” or shrugging it off, you should reframe your response to compliments.
*Take it to heart and respond positively. (Saying “thank you” and smiling works well). Let the person giving the compliment know that you really appreciate it, and work to reach the point where you are able to truly accept the compliment at heart.
*You can add the compliment to your list of positive attributes about yourself and use it to bolster your self-confidence.
9. Look in the mirror and smile : Studies surrounding what’s called the “facial feedback theory” suggest that the expressions on your face can actually encourage your brain to register or intensify certain emotions. So by looking in the mirror and smiling every day, you might feel happier with yourself and more confident in the long run. This will also help you feel happier about your appearance, and to accept the way you look.
*Other people will likely respond to you well when you smile at them, so in addition to making yourself feel happier, you may get a boost in confidence due to the feedback you get from other people as well.