If you lack confidence, it can affect your day-to-day activities, holding you back from doing what you want to do. There are ways to deal with this and learn how to become less self-conscious.
1. Looking after Your Skin
While we all know appearance isn’t everything, feeling confident in our bodies is an essential step to overcoming low confidence levels. If you have skin problems, you might feel like everyone is looking at you, even though they probably aren’t. Getting treatment for this may be easier than you think.
For example, dark spots on skin, which can be caused by genetics, sun exposure, medication, or pre-existing medical conditions, are often easily treatable. It can involve a range of prescribed treatments or over-the-counter medications.
Feeling confident with your skin’s appearance can be the boost you need to hold your head up high and go for that job or promotion, meet up for a night out with friends, or whatever else you’ve been putting off doing.
2. Counteract Negative Thoughts
We all get negative thoughts sometimes, but if they affect your confidence and prevent you from doing the things you want to do, you need to challenge them. Try carrying a notebook in your bag and whenever you think this way, write down a time when you did something that disproves this negativity.
For example: if you think you can’t go for a job interview because you won’t get the job, remind yourself of a time you attended an interview and got the job. You might even find it useful to make a note of all the things you did right in that interview.
As you continue to write in your notebook, you will eventually have pages of positive experiences you can read back to yourself whenever you need a confidence boost. These don’t have to be life-changing things. Small things such as cheering up a friend, helping a neighbor carry something heavy, or hitting a personal best on a 5k run are all things you can write down to counteract negative thoughts about feeling useless or unable to achieve anything.
Exercise can be a great way to boost self-confidence. Unless medical reasons prevent you from doing moderate to intense exercise, you’ll find that the longer you stick with an exercise plan and push yourself to build it up gradually, the more confident you will feel as you achieve your goals and work towards new ones. You may feel self-conscious when you begin, but after a while, your self-esteem will increase as you see the results. Again, this isn’t about the importance of appearance, but how you feel about yourself.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
If you weigh up your successes and failures against other people’s, you will often be disappointed, and this will cause you to lack confidence in yourself. When people share good news and successes, they are less likely to share how long it took them or the failures they had on the way. It’s also impossible to make a fair assessment when you compare yourself against others. We all have different obstacles, experiences, and commitments.
So, even if it seems like someone must be better than us because he or she gets all the success in life, it’s more likely to be a combination of the person being in the right place at the right time, with a unique set of experience of which you are unaware. You can’t replicate someone else’s life; all you can do is focus on accepting yourself.
5. Step out of Your Comfort Zone
Remember when you were learning to swim, and you clung to the sides of the pool? Or perhaps you only felt safe on a bike with training wheels or having a parent holding the back. Eventually, you had to let go and swim in the deep end or cycle without help. It was out of your comfort zone then, but now it’s not.
As adults, we forget to step out of our comfort zone, but it’s essential to get over what makes us self-conscious. Taking the first step is difficult, but the more we do something, the easier it gets, and it becomes difficult to recall why it seemed so scary in the first place.
Becoming more confident may mean having to do things that seem daunting. However, changing the way you think about yourself and doing what you can to reduce self-consciousness can help you challenge and overcome negative feelings. It may take time and a lot of self-talk and coaxing, but it can be done.