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10 Ways to Build Self-Confidence and Love What You See in the Mirror

i love meHow do you feel about yourself? Self-esteem can be hard to come by. Although we’re all born with complete lack of self-awareness, stuff happens along the way as we grow up that makes us begin to question ourselves.

We start to compare ourselves to others and wonder, am I as good as they are? Do I measure up?  Self-confidence goes hand in hand with fitness and health to help us live out the best possible version of our lives that we can. Here are a few things I’ve learned about building self-confidence, and ways you can practice to begin to feel better about yourself.

Stop Judging Others

I used to constantly judge other people in my head: from what they wore to how they talked to what they did. I realized one day that because I was judging others, I was also projecting that THEY were judging ME.

Once I learned to let judgements of others go I began to think less and less about what the world thought of me. I also stopped engaging in drama and gossip, which had the exact same effect. Do others judge me? I’m sure they do, it’s human nature. But I don’t think about it, so to me, it doesn’t exist.

Take Care of Yourself

There is a quiet confidence in knowing that you are strong, healthy, and the best version of yourself. By exercising, eating healthy food, relieving stress, getting enough sleep, dressing yourself well, etc, you will show others that you are someone who is worthy, and this is how they will also treat you.

Don’t Internalize Judgements

People are going to talk about you, it’s inevitable. And the more successful you become, the more they will talk. A crucial skill in self-esteem is being able to see judgements for what they are – someone else’s perception through their own projection of you. There is no truth, only your truth.

If someone told you or others that you were a mailbox, would that hurt you? Would you think, wow, am I a mailbox? How dare they think I am a mailbox! No, it would be ridiculous to you because you know this to not be true. Think of others’ judgements of you in this context.

Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones

This takes some practice, but negativity is like a sinking anchor to your self-confidence. Every time a negative thought comes into your mind, imagine it evaporating away. You can do this by taking your negative thought and replacing it with a positive one. So “I hate my body!” becomes “I’m so grateful to have a healthy body”. Related: surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and make you feel good about yourself.

Read here about the difference a positive attitude makes in fitness.

Think of Can’t as a Bad Word

How many times do you tell yourself you can’t? What would you be able to achieve if you really explored all the things you say you can’t do, and found ways to make them happen instead? This especially comes in handy for busting through your excuses not to eat right or exercise.

Avoid Identifying with a Single Trait

Do you find all of your self-worth in the fact that you have a doctorate, or because of your big muscles, or because you have a large amount of money, etc? What would happen if suddenly you lost that quality or it didn’t matter anymore?

Know that you are worthy as is, the way you came into this world, at the basic core of who you are. Having and enjoying the other qualities is great, but don’t center your self-esteem around only them.

Why NOT me?

Recognize that those who achieve their goals and dreams are no different than you except instead of thinking, but why me? they thought, why NOT me? Sit with that question for awhile and examine any answers that come up. You are just as capable of success and achieving your dreams as Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Give to Others

Maybe nothing else on this list is more important to self-esteem than giving to others and helping where there is need, indiscriminately. This is a guaranteed way to like what you see in the mirror.

Stop Comparisons

The minute you stop comparing yourself to others, the minute you will feel instantly better about yourself. This is one of the reasons I took all my “fitspiration” images off my vision board. As the quote goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.

You would have been perfectly happy with your car until you started noticing the car that everyone ELSE was driving. Suddenly your comfortable, reliable little car wasn’t shiny enough, new enough, fast enough. Same goes for your body, your accomplishments, your entire life. And therefore…..

Say Thank You

Gratitude is the gateway to self-confidence and happiness. When you stop the comparisons and start feeling grateful for the things in your life, your entire world will change. If you suffer with poor body image, try looking at yourself differently and saying thank you for the good your body brings you. Do this every single day until you begin to believe it!

Do you struggle with self-confidence? How do you deal with it?

  • mathilde

    thanks for that article! i’ve got to work on that self estim but little by little i’m improving :) i specially love the image of the mail box, really funny but so true !! i’ll keep that rigth in mind ;)

    • Deanna Schober

      I used the “mailbox” thing to get me through some very hard times :) Thanks for stopping by!

  • 2dash3creations

    I love your blog! thank you for all the tips. I would love to be able to tweet individual posts, but i don’t see that option

    • Deanna Schober

      I’m so glad you enjoy the blog! You can share individual posts on twitter by clicking the tweet button over there on the left side in the vertical banner :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Janet

    Beautiful! Thank you. I will read this every day!

    • Deanna Schober

      Good! I’m glad it helps, Janet.

  • Sandy23

    I really needed this right now!!! Thank you very much!!!

    • Deanna Schober

      You’re welcome! I’m glad it helps!

  • tiegan

    I love your site – I am new to trying to change my life for the better, and I use your site like I use a cookery book – read it all avidly, and take the most appropriate bits from each article to help me on my way. No big changes yet, but a gradual change in my way of thinking about food, fitness and body image – for the better! Thankyou so much, it is just what I need, those quick fixes just do not work, and having just turned 50 really want to improve my quality of life. Keep up the good work, you both rock!!

  • Deanna Schober

    Thanks so much!!!

  • Sonya Batanas

    finally a realistic approach to well being thank u

  • Kate K

    I am soooo hard on myself & I found this very inspiring. I WILL become a more confident person with a positive outlook. Small steps but I’ll get there, thank you :))