No matter who you are, chances are that you’ve probably experienced a time when you felt less than enthusiastic about the way you look. The truth is that no one has triumphed over self doubt. We all have days when we feel like we’re off our game, like we’ve lost our groove, and like we want to crawl back into our bed until our problems magically disappear.
Wherever it comes from, everyone has moments when they feel like they’re not enough. It’s completely normal to experience spells of insecurity from time to time. What’s important is that you use occasions like that as a reminder that it’s time to give yourself a little boost of confidence to start to see yourself in a new light.
When it comes to confidence, we understand that things are usually much easier said than done. That’s why we’re sharing our best advice for how to become the most authentically confident version of yourself that you can be.
Cut The Comparison
When it comes to pinpointing what keeps taking a hit at one’s confidence, social media tends to be a common culprit. If you’re not careful, it can become a big black hole of self-deprecation and comparison. Constantly seeing the filtered version of someone else’s life might be the worst way to feel good about your own.
But when we’re scrolling through our feeds, it’s important to remember that we actually have no idea what’s going on in someone’s real world. Social media tends to be where we post all of our best pictures, taken at the most flattering angles, when we’re doing the most interesting things. It’s pretty rare that you’ll see someone post a picture of their overflowing laundry hamper or the unattractive snapchat selfie they just sent to their best friend. Any of our real life struggles are often kept to ourselves, safe from the public eye. Don’t let yourself compare someone else’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes. When we’re externally focused on what everyone else is up to, we’re naturally more likely to compare ourselves. And that my loves, is a game that we’ll never win.
Create a positive and inspiring environment on your social feeds by following the people who you can count on to keep it real. Surround yourself with the individuals who are living their best lives by embracing their imperfections and loving themselves for everything that they are – because they’ll likely encourage you to do the same. While we’ve been conditioned to hate our stretch marks, cellulite, bloated bellies and other “imperfections”, they’re all completely natural and nothing to be ashamed of. At the end of the day, there’s no single standard of beauty. The truth is that there’s beauty in all of our uniqueness and it’s about time that we embrace it.
Celebrate Your Victories
It’s so easy to think about everything that we’re not, instead of everything that we are. We are often sucked into a neverending shame spiral, getting caught up in the narrative that we’ll feel more confident when we get what we don’t have currently – be it the dream job, the ideal relationship, or even the perfect body.
Building confidence is sometimes as simple as letting go of the unrealistic expectations we’ve set out for ourselves. Give yourself some grace and trust that the universe will make things happen for you as they’re meant to happen. Once you recognize that everything is happening in the perfect time and in the perfect way, you’ll feel proud about how far you’ve come rather than uneasy about how far you still have to go.
At the end of the day, it’s sometimes easier to focus on all of the things that we still need to accomplish, rather than giving ourselves a pat on the back for the things we’ve gotten done. But, feeling proud of your accomplishments can be a huge boost for your self-esteem. So don’t forget to take a moment each day to celebrate your wins – the big and the small – whether it’s getting a job promotion, acing an assignment, or even making the most aesthetically pleasing charcuterie board for a night in with the girls. Give yourself props for your progress and remind yourself that there’s still so much more to come.
Repeat A Mantra
Positive self-talk is a powerful tool that can really help you tackle your negative thoughts and switch the discourse. When your mind starts to wander to a place of insecurity, try to change the narrative and counteract those thoughts with affirmations like “I am beautiful the way I am”, “I love me for me” and “I am worthy of happiness”. Think of it as a way to give yourself a little pep talk whenever that nagging negative critic pops up in your mind again.
While actively changing your mindset takes some practice, keeping a positive affirmation front of mind can prevent you from immediately defaulting to thoughts of doubt and criticism. Putting a positive spin on what might previously have been negative self talk is a step in the right direction of accepting yourself for who you are. Plus, if you start to repeat it to yourself often enough, you might even start believing it. Trust us on this one.
Be Your Own BFF
Think about your best friend in the whole entire world. Chances are that you want the absolute best for them. You would do anything to make them smile on a bad day and you would drop everything to make time for them if they needed you. One way to boost your confidence is to start treating yourself the exact same way you’d treat them.
Talk to yourself how you would talk to your best friend. When you catch yourself falling victim to negative self-talk, ask yourself if that’s something you would say to them. If not, take the opportunity to reframe the way you speak to yourself in a way that’s more supportive and caring.
Take your own advice and put yourself first, just like you’d want your best friend to. Honor your needs the way you’d hope they’d honor theirs. If you need an early night, a day off of work, or a long hot bath – take it! Whatever it is that you need, let yourself put it at the top of your to do list for once.
Finally, set aside some quality you-time. You make sure to schedule regular hangouts with your best friend, so why not do the same for yourself? During that time, do what makes you feel good. Whether it’s doing a long skincare routine or participating in a workout class to get your body moving, get it on the calendar and don’t let anything get in the way. That time is yours to show yourself what kind of best friend you can be.
Dress The Part
Sometimes when your self-esteem is low, shifting the way you see yourself physically is exactly what’s needed. Start by visualizing yourself as the most confident version of you. What would you wear? How would you present yourself everyday? When you get dressed every morning, put on anything that will help you start showing up for yourself. Think about what’s going to make you feel your best and let go of anything that doesn’t fit into that category.
When you’re wearing what makes you feel beautiful, you’ll find yourself standing a little taller, feeling a little better, and walking with (you guessed it!) a little more confidence all day long. So wear that bold lipstick that you always get complimented on, wear that dress that hugs your curves in all the right ways. Heck, wear that pair of jeans that makes your butt look so good that even you can’t stop checking yourself out in the mirror. Before you know it, you’ll be recognizing yourself as the incredibly gorgeous individual you’ve been all along.
What makes you feel most confident?
xo, The Pretty Little Hangers Team