If you’ve entered 2020 with resolutions to eat healthier, practice more self-care or simply be more confident, then you aren’t alone. Millions of people struggle with self-esteem every day. With the arrival of a new decade, people everywhere are looking to reclaim their self-esteem and boost their confidence.
Yet, by January 12, many have already given up on their commitments to themselves. So, how can you stick to your resolutions and boost your self-esteem when it seems like the odds are stacked against you?
The key is to make small changes at the start. Unrealistic expectations and unsustainable changes are the main culprits behind why resolutions fail. So, if you can create small habit changes in your day-to-day life, then you’ll be more likely to stick to your resolutions and truly become more self-confident.
Here are a few simple ways to cultivate small, but meaningful change and improve your confidence this new year.
1. Speak kindly to yourself.
You wouldn’t call your best friend a failure or your mom fat, would you? Why do so many women find this an acceptable way to speak to themselves? The words you speak to yourself have a huge impact on your life.
Even when you make mistakes, miss a deadline or forget to go to the gym, you should still make an effort to give yourself grace. Every day, wake up and tell yourself you’re beautiful, smart, capable, strong and worthy—because you are, even if it’s hard to believe at first.
Even when you make mistakes, you should still make an effort to give yourself grace.
2. Find a reason to smile.
As you begin to reaffirm yourself with kind words, add a smile. The mere act of smiling can trick your brain into happiness, lowering stress and boosting your immune system, mood and self-esteem. Even if you have to look in the mirror and fake a grin, you’ll be on your way to boosting your confidence. Soon, you may even glance at the mirror and catch your reflection genuinely smiling back.
3. Do something for someone else.
Performing random acts of kindness without expectation of anything in return can also boost your self-esteem. Doing something kind for someone else makes you feel good. Whether you pay for the person behind you in line or simply open the door for someone, helping others is sure to put a smile on your face.
Even giving someone a compliment can boost your self-esteem. By being the good in humanity and seeing the good in others, you can begin to appreciate yourself and your small part in the grand scheme of things.
4. Surround yourself with positive people.
The people closest to you matter, especially when it comes to how you feel about yourself. If your friend group consists of people who put themselves and others down, then it might be time to find new friends. Judging those around us is a natural human tendency, but you should try to distance yourself from it as much as possible.
Choose to surround yourself with positive people who encourage each other and make you appreciate all the good things about yourself and life in general. Spend more time with people who value you, and less time with those who point out your flaws.
5. Compare yourself to you.
There’s no better way to rob yourself of confidence than to compare yourself to others. No matter where you go or what you do, you’ll probably be able to find someone you perceive as doing something “better” than you. Maybe you think their smile is straighter, their hair is curlier or their clothes are better. Who cares?
The only person you should ever compare yourself to is you. Strive to be a better version of yourself and look back on how far you’ve already come. Nobody can be a better you than you!
6. Take the stairs.
Even a little bit of exercise can boost your self-esteem. In the short term, it enhances your mood and promotes a more positive mindset. Over time, it can help you feel more confident in your physique, strength and the way your body feels in general. Exercise also provides a sense of accomplishment, especially after a long, sweaty run or yoga class. So lace up your shoes and get moving to give yourself a much-needed confidence boost.
7. Get out of your own way.
Sometimes, the biggest thing keeping you from being confident is you. When you make the mistake of not believing in yourself, you’re the only one who pays the price in low self-esteem and failed attempts at success. But, even if you’re knocked down nine times, get up 10!
Remember that you’re stronger and more beautiful than you realize, and just about anything is possible if you simply work to build your confidence. As you enter this new decade, commit to new habits that will make you believe in yourself again and flourish into the person you were always meant to be.
Is developing better confidence one of your priorities for the new year? What habits can you adopt to bolster your self-esteem?
Image via Margaret Stokman