One of the most important skills to learn in life is the ability to love yourself and take pride in the simple fact that you are you. This is especially important when you’re job-searching and interviewing for new positions. You need to be able to honestly state the advantages of having you in the workplace. However, despite how seemingly simple this sounds, people have a real and lasting struggle when it comes to accepting anything that remotely resembles self-confidence. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to hone in on your shortcomings, rather than embrace the things that genuinely make you great.
This is such a popular mindset, that it was even given a name by philosopher Abraham Maslow: the Jonah Complex (or the fear of greatness). Without getting too heady about it, though, there are some simple steps that we should all take every day to improve our outlook of ourselves and boost our self-confidence…
Find things in life that you take pride in
First of all, it’s important to recognize that the things that make up a person’s identity are largely composed of the things that they are proud of, and the things that they are ashamed of. In the pursuit of self-confidence, focusing on the things that you are proud of is a key element to finding things to do every day that you enjoy and make you feel happy.
The source of this pride can vary indefinitely. It could be a job you love, a loving relationship, taking care of children, a game that you’re good at, creatively expressing yourself, or even just wearing your school colors. No matter what the specifics are, find what you are proud of, and build other parts of your life around that.
Avoid things that create stress and anxiety
Focusing on the things that bring pride to your life (or making those things) is a major part of building self-confidence, but it is only half of the battle. You also need to recognize when you are being dragged down by things that are stressful and producing anxiousness. This doesn’t mean running from problems that you are inevitably going to need to face and come to terms with, but it does mean recognizing certain triggers that evoke wildly negative reactions.
These triggers vary, depending on the person. For example, a person who struggles with mental health concerns commonly may trigger negative emotions when alcohol is introduced.
Don’t let hygiene slide
On a practical level, nothing wears down your self-confidence like failing to take care of yourself. Ironically, self-doubt is a bit of a cycle that can perpetuate itself in this way. When we are feeling low about ourselves, then it can be easy to skip out on healthy habits, such as eating well or having a hygiene routine. The problem is that, when we skip out on those things, it only makes us feel worse about ourselves.
No matter how low your self-esteem is on a given day, always remember to get up and do the necessary things to take care of yourself. Even just taking a quick shower is going to make you feel at least a little bit better.
Be sociable, even if it makes you uncomfortable
It can feel great to be alone. Everyone needs time alone to wind down and process their thoughts in peace. However, isolation also allows us to build a dangerous comfort zone where we neglect to connect with other people. Humans are social creatures, and social health is a major part of feeling like we belong within society. For this reason, make sure to get out and into social situations that help you meet new people.
The other reason that this can be great for your self-esteem is that it requires you to consider how you present yourself, and how you promote yourself to other people. This provides excellent insight into how you view yourself, which is an important step to building further self-confidence.