Recognize your skills.
Recognize the skills that you have and the good things about yourself. There are lots! You may not always recognize them but they are there. One way is to look for the things that you don’t struggle with or to look for the things that people compliment you on (even if you aren’t very good about accepting the compliment). When you look at the things you do well, you’ll feel more comfortable doing other things too.
Set goals for yourself and meet those goals. Actually go out and do things. Just thinking about what you want to do will only make you feel worse about yourself for not even starting them. Once you do make a goal, work hard to achieve that goal. Keep in mind, however, that these should be reasonable goals. Malcolm Gladwell famously posited that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so if you think you’re going to learn 8 languages and become a ballet dancer in 5 years, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak.
Learn from failure.
Instead of viewing your failures as failures, view them as learning opportunities. You did something wrong so that you know for sure it’s wrong and now you’ll have an easier time knowing what’s right. Everything that goes wrong in your life is an opportunity to learn, so embrace it.
Try, even when you feel like you can’t or shouldn’t.
Sometimes we feel like we shouldn’t do something new because we might do it wrong. This is a bad mindset. Instead, give yourself permission to try something, even if you might get it wrong. If you never try new things, you’ll never be able to make progress
Talk to people that love you.
If you’re really having trouble seeing all the wonderful things about yourself, you can always talk to someone who loves you. Tell them that you’re having a hard time and they will find a way to bring you a better outlook. Sometimes we have difficulty seeing the best things about ourselves, but the people that really love us will never struggle to see those things.
Take breaks when you need them.
If a situation or a task is just too overwhelming, feel free to take a quick break to catch your breath and remind yourself that you can do this. Even if the break is just inside your head, it’s okay to stop and acknowledge that you need a minute to build back your determination.
Do something you believe in.
Another thing you can do to help yourself believe in yourself is to do something that you believe in. Do something that you know is incredibly important and that you know needs to be done. Getting good grades in school so that you can become a doctor, protecting your younger sibling from bullies, taking part in a protest for your cause: it doesn’t matter what you believe in, just believe in it. You will be so caught up in knowing that it has to be done that you will just do.
Have realistic expectations.
Like we said above, having really unrealistic expectations for yourself and your abilities can really harm your view of yourself. But having unrealistic expectations about how a situation will go can also hurt how you look at yourself. The same can be said for having unrealistic expectations for what other people do (thinking that everything they do is perfect). Stop, realize that some things will go right and some things will go wrong, and you’ll feel much better.
Recognize yourself in others.
Recognize that just like you make mistakes, everyone else makes mistakes too. And just like everyone else does awesome stuff sometimes, you do awesome stuff too. Everyone is equal and we are all worthwhile. We all have something to offer. Stop seeing yourself as different or separate from other people and you’ll have a much better opinion of yourself.
Stop putting yourself down.
Everyone says bad things about themselves sometimes in their head, but if you let it become common, frequent, or really mean, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. You really can become your own worst bully. Fight this urge by saying two good things about yourself every time you catch yourself saying something bad. Think positive things about yourself as frequently as you can and do your best to stop saying bad things altogether.
Focus on moving forward.
Stop getting stuck in the past and focusing on when you “used to be good” or the mistakes you made back then. No matter if you think you were better then or worse, the only thing you should worry about is doing well in the future. You can’t change the past but you can have a better future, so put all of your energy into that, instead of worrying about what you can’t change.
Procrastinating is setting yourself up for failure. When you have less time to do a task, you’ll rush and miss things. Instead, do things on time so that you have the extra time to really do your best!
Use criticism wisely.
Don’t ignore all criticism that is given to you but also don’t carry your entire view of yourself or a situation on the opinion of other people. A lot of the time we feel like everyone we know expects something of us or thinks something about us, but if you really think about it you’ll usually find that only 1-3 people have actually said these expectations to you. You’re imposing that view on the rest of society and creating an unhealthy mindset for yourself. Figure out who those naysayers are and ignore the heck out of them!
Build your self confidence.
Poor self confidence is what usually makes it hard for us to believe in ourselves. If you want to believe in yourself and the things you do, you’ll need to build your self confidence.
- The most basic way to build your self confidence is by changing how you think and talk about yourself. Stop beating yourself up. Every time you catch yourself thinking or saying something bad about yourself, stop. Say a few good things about yourself and then think about healthy ways to work towards fixing things that you want to improve about yourself.
- Another way to build your self confidence is by proving to yourself that you can take on any challenge and giving yourself things to be proud of. Good ways to do this include traveling or volunteering.
Love yourself for who you are.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not or be upset with yourself for the things that you think are wrong with you. You are you and you can’t really be anyone else. You can try to change certain things about yourself, improve yourself in ways that really matter to you, but you won’t be happy if you force yourself to be someone or something that you are not. Try to love yourself for what you ARE and you’ll find yourself living a much easier life.
Take care of yourself.
Take good care of your body and your spirit. The more you treat yourself badly by eating unhealthy foods or being really lazy, the more you’ll think that you aren’t worth caring about or putting effort in to. Keep yourself clean and healthy, and wear nice clothes to help show yourself that you are worth taking care of.
Do things that are hard.
If we only take the easy route, it can be easy to think that we aren’t capable of doing things that are hard. Prove to yourself that you can take on challenges by doing just that: take on challenges. Do things that will be rewarding, even though they’ll be hard work. You can do it!
In helping others, we can often get a better view of what we’re capable of. It will also help you feel better about yourself. Helping others brings a wonderful sense of fulfillment and you will find yourself more confident than ever.
Don’t sweat your insecurities.
Everyone is insecure. Absolutely everyone. If Jennifer Lawrence can do what she does, even though she’s self-conscious about how she looks, then you can live with your insecurities too. They’re inevitable but that doesn’t mean you have to let them dictate your life.
Speak up for yourself.
When things are happening around you and you have an opinion or know a better way to do something, speak up! Don’t just let your life happen around you. Take active part and be in control of the situation. This shows you that you are capable of being in control and leading others.