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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Warren

The Journey to Self-Confidence

Have you ever felt the sting of jealousy when someone seems to feel truly confident and free to be themselves? Although it is not often talked about, comparing perceived levels of confidence is incredibly common. While self-confidence looks different on everyone, it is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. Being self-confident doesn't have to mean that you love public speaking, or that you admire every aspect of yourself. It could be as simple as mastering the art of saying "no." We can also expect our confidence to shift at times. One day you might feel comfortable and happy in your skin, and the next you may be engaging in more self-doubt. Overall, confidence means stepping into who you are, accepting, and trusting yourself without focusing on what others think of you. Discovering your confidence comes with finding what works best for you.

The Journey to Self-Confidence

How to Improve Your Self-Confidence

A first step to improving self-confidence is to ask yourself “why not?” If you think you

shouldn’t wear that outfit out, ask yourself “why not?” If you think you can’t post that picture on instagram, ask yourself “why not?” Are you changing your mind because you believe others will judge you, won’t like you, or won’t agree with you? Once you answer this question, you can focus on making the final decision based on what you actually want. Continuously doing things

with the intention of making yourself happy, not others, will build your self-confidence (1).


In a world where an ideal female beauty standard is promoted everywhere from

advertisements, social media, and movies, it is not surprising that 92% of teenage girls want to

change the way they look (2). Negative body image is a leading factor in low self-confidence,

and leads to feelings of shame, guilt, and self-consciousness. The process of combating negative body image can vary from person to person, but a social media cleanse is a helpful step. Take control over the content you're consuming, and make sure to unfollow accounts that bring out habits of comparison or self-criticism. We can be intentional about following accounts that encourage body positivity or body neutrality, which emphasize separating your self-worth from your appearance. Utilizing positive affirmations in our journals or posted on our mirrors can be a way to integrate truth into our belief systems over time.


Another great way to build confidence is through socializing with friends and family.

Supportive relationships offer feedback and encouragement, as well as release the happy

chemical of domaine, all improving feelings of self-worth and confidence. On the other hand,

spending time with yourself can actually boost confidence as well. Take the time to get to know

yourself better, and maybe even ask yourself questions. Additionally, spending time alone gives

you the opportunity to make decisions for yourself and do things without the interference of anyone else’s opinions. Again, it’s about finding the rhythm that works best for you and meeting your personal needs!


General Self-Confidence Tips

Stop comparing yourself to others! This is easier said than done, but focusing on things

that everyone else can do better than you will only hurt your self-esteem. It also paints an inaccurate picture of who you are and what you're capable of. You are so much more than what your inner critic says about you and someone else's highlight reel! Instead, try to focus more on celebrating your strengths and accomplishments. Step into gratitude about the things that are going well. Everyone is running their own race, and life is not a competition. Be kind to yourself! Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness and gentleness, especially when you make mistakes or ‘fail.’ Recognize that being imperfect is part of being human, and actually makes you unique. Learning and growing from our mistakes is a valuable aspect of life.


Practice positive self-talk! Mean, hurtful, and judgmental self-talk harms your confidence. When you listen to the voice that says something is “too hard” or you “aren’t good enough” for something, you begin to believe it over time. Positive self-talk can help you take on new challenges and realize your strengths. Instead of saying “this is impossible”, reframe that thought to “I can do hard things” or "I can accomplish this in time."


Lastly, know when to say no! It is helpful to set boundaries with people and/or activities

that can harm your self-confidence, or is something you simply don't want to do. This does not mean avoiding everything that makes you uncomfortable, but instead respecting your limitations. If a friend always puts you down or makes you feel judged or uncomfortable, set a boundary with spending time with them. This is not selfish, but actually shows strength and self-care.


Your Confidence Journey

Finding self-confidence is not easy, but small habits every day can go a long way.

Remember that everyone’s journey in life is unique. Don’t compare your confidence to

somebody else’s. Your strengths are your own. You are the only you, and you bring your own kind of goodness to the world. Don’t forget to take the time to celebrate you, and anything you did that means something to you. Even if you baked a delicious cake and are proud of yourself for how it turned out, celebrate. You are worth it!


Written By: Ali Green, Social Media Intern

The Grove Counseling & Consulting, LLC


References

1. Horn, Melissa Walker. “Confidence Looks Different on Everybody • Suger Coat It.”

Suger Coat It, 7 Feb. 2021, sugercoatit.com/confidence-different-everybody/. Accessed 6

Aug. 2023.


2. Heart of Leadership. “Statistics on Girls & Women’s Self Esteem, Pressures &

Leadership Heart of Leadership: Lead. Your World.” Heartofleadership.org, 5 June 2015,

heartofleadership.org/statistics/.

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