By Leena Kundnani
Self-esteem or self-confidence is a quality that attracts us to others. From the quietly-confident doctor whose opinion we trust to the charismatic confidence of an inspiring speaker, self-confident people have qualities that everyone admires.
Self-confident people inspire confidence in others; be it their bosses, their colleagues, their customers, or their friends. Being self-confident is extremely important in almost every aspect of our life, yet sadly, so many of us struggle to find it.
Building your self-esteem is the first step towards a better life. After all, if you are self-confident, you will be able to respect yourself. And only when you respect yourself will you be able to respect others and improve your relationships with others.
The good news is that you can easily develop self-esteem. However, you need to keep in mind that true self-esteem isn’t acquired overnight. Rather, it is a gradual process and you need to build on it with dedication.
You need to constantly remind yourself that you are a good human being and are worthy of respect and love.
Here are 7 steps you can use to build your self-esteem.
We have often heard the saying “Clothes don’t make the (wo)man”. While this is true, it is also true that how you dress does affect how you feel about yourself. The manner in which you dress impacts the way you feel about yourself.
This is because no one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you are well-dressed, you feel more confident and self-assured. So use this strategy to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance.
Remember, this doesn’t mean that you need to wear designer or branded clothes or be dressed as a mannequin all the time.
But simple things such as bathing daily, wearing clean clothes, and wearing what you are most comfortable in help a long way in boosting your self-confidence.
Along with personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self–esteem and self- confidence. It is only natural that you feel insecure and unattractive if you are out of shape.
People who are fit and healthy automatically are more confident than their counterparts. Working out regularly helps you to improve your physical appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive.
Working out also creates positive momentum that you can build on for the rest of the day.
Maintain a Good Posture
Have you observed that self-confident people always walk with their backs straight and their chest forward? Similarly, a person who lacks confidence is likely to walk or sit with slouched shoulders.
It is true that the way a person carries herself goes a long way to show whether they are confident or not. By practising good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident.
So go ahead and show the world that you are confident – Not only will you feel more alert and empowered, but also make a positive impression on others.
Just as it is with posture, the pace at which you walk goes a long way to portray and build your self-confidence. People who are self- confident walk quickly.
Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Experts believe that walking even 25% faster makes you look and feel more important.
A self-confident person isn’t afraid to speak up and voice her opinion. On the other hand, a person who lacks self-confidence is tongue-tied and is afraid to speak up in a group. They are afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid.
However, this fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. It is surprising but true that most people deal with the exact same fears. It is a good idea to make an effort to speak up in group discussions.
You could start this in groups you are more comfortable in, such as with close friends, and then extend this to your colleagues. Speaking in public will also make you more confident in your own thoughts.
Celebrate Your Successes
A person who lacks self-confidence believes that she is good at nothing. But this is not true. Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities.
Experts believe that having an inferiority complex is a state of mind in which you’ve declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized.
Everyone is good at something, to discover the things at which you excel. Focus on your strengths and your talents, and give yourself credit for the same.
You could be good at art, music, or writing. Express yourself through these means and develop these hobbies. Everyone is born with talents and strengths. You only need to identify yours and develop and excel them.
Following your passion and your hobbies also work as a stress buster and have a therapeutic effect. This is because when you do something you enjoy, it makes you feel more confident.
Last but not least; be thankful for what you have. Focussing on what we lack also lead to an inferiority complex.
Remember… all of us lack something or the other. By consciously acknowledging and appreciating what you do have helps you combat the feeling of being unsatisfied.
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