5 things I personally do (or have done) that help me build confidence.
1. Be on your own.
Be single. Move away from home. Take solo trips. If any of these make you uncomfortable and you refuse to do them, you are setting yourself for co-dependence which in my opinion takes a BIG shot at confidence. The message you are giving yourself is that you can’t do it alone.
Moving away from home after college and experiencing that I could make it on my own was a mega confidence booster.
Today – eating solo, doing activities alone, and enjoying my own company is a regular confidence booster. If you don’t like hanging out with yourself, who else will?
Photo from my solo trip to Mendocino.
2. Take a trip out of your comfort zone.
The 2 trips I have taken that were notably out of my comfort zone were going to the Amazon and Sierra Leone. Both pushed me mentally and physically. I remember being thirsty and not having access to clean water. Bugs…huge bugs EVERYWHERE. I imagined getting lost and not being able to find my way home forever.
I learned that after being uncomfortable for a few days, eventually you surrender and realize everything is fine. My biggest takeaway was knowing that I don’t need the things I thought I needed. I’m not going to die if I only eat stale bread everyday. I’m not going to die if I smell like cow poo and haven’t showered in a week. Soap/shampoo/dishwashing liquid – Soap is f*cking soap and I was happy to have it.
Less needy and not giving a shit = confidence booster. Having these experiences also makes me incredibly grateful for what I do have.
More photos from my trip to Sierra Leone here.
3. Treat yourself like you want to be treated.
Many of us will see a picture of ourselves and cringe, or blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong. My go-to response to myself when something didn’t go as planned is, “Great, you messed up AGAIN!”
First, that is not true. Second, it is simply a habit (I made that story up when I was a kid). Third, how would I feel if someone else treated me that way? If my significant other cringed and pointed out what he thought was wrong with me? Some people allow that in their lives because they don’t know how to treat themselves better.
Anyone who’s going to be in my life has to treat me with the same respect that I treat myself.
I like to practice self love. I do things like ask myself, “What would make me happy today?.” Breakfast at my favorite French café? Done!
I also get in the habit of complimenting myself and say things like, “Damn, I’m good!” or, “Wow, I’m proud of myself.” And I really believe it. 🙂
When I exercise I feel strong physically, but more so mentally. I feel great when I hike to the top of a mountain or master a new yoga pose, but the underlying thing that REALLY boosts confidence is the ability to motivate myself to get off my butt and do something good for my body.
5. Dress cute
My mom gave me this piece of advice when she was pregnant with my sister. She said she felt depressed and realized all she could do was try her best. Dressing up made her feel better.
Making an effort to look and feel good is a sign of self-respect, and a by-product is that other people appreciate it too!
If I’m having a haggard day, I put on make-up, curl my hair, and wear heels.
I’d love to hear from you guys. What are some ways you build confidence?