When times are hard, don’t let your confidence suffer because life events can take a tremendous toll on your self-esteem. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when everything seems to be going wrong or when you’re experiencing loss. Unfortunately, taking a hit to your self-concept can often initiate a harmful cycle of negativity that’s hard to break free of, and depression can take hold.
Stand Tall and Proud
It’s true. Your posture can have a direct effect on the way you feel. Slouchy encourages mopey or tired feelings while standing tall and walking with the purpose to help you to feel strong. Not only will you feel better and more in control, but you’ll also appear more approachable to others. The effects can feed off of each other, helping you to gain energy from increased social interaction and to feel genuinely more sure of yourself.
Make Some Lists
Seeing statements in writing can have a great deal of impact on our emotions. They serve as a reminder and as physical evidence of what you may already know but sometimes forget. I’m a firm believer that writing lists can be therapeutic and healing. Choose your own kind of list or write several. Yours can be a record of your proudest achievements from your past. These reminders are a quick way to feel more capable and competent. You may also wish to write a gratitude list to put things into perspective or even a list of what you’ve done today, as we sometimes lose track of the energy we put forth just in our everyday life.
Shut Down Negative Self-Talk
Nothing kills your self-esteem like your own trash talk. Don’t feel bad. It’s common to get down on ourselves during challenging times. We all do it. However, it takes proactive and intentional effort to overcome those thoughts. Take a look at your lists for inspiration on replacing those bad thoughts with helpful ones. Don’t let the negativity become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Channel Your Heroes
One way to add some swagger to your step is to think of the qualities you admire in others and try to exhibit more of those in your own life. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be yourself or that you should put on an act. On the contrary, I recommend choosing characteristics you already possess and simply wish to portray or enhance on a more regular basis. This small exercise can have a big impact on your self-view.
While these suggestions may seem insignificant, they truly can make a difference in the way you present yourself to the world and in how you feel about yourself. Try a few on for size to see if you notice a difference. It’s worth a shot!