In the hectic hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to get lost and lose track of yourself.
You may feel like you don’t know where you’re going, or you may feel like everything you do is somehow wrong. Don’t worry. These feelings are very common, but they can be overcome. Self-assurance is attainable for anybody.
If you want to become a happier, more capable person, then take a look at these seven useful ways to start feeling more self-assured starting today.
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1. Accept Past Mistakes.
Nobody’s perfect. You’ve likely made a few mistakes in your life’s journey, and that’s ok. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed, angry, or regretful, but you shouldn’t let your past failures dictate your current self-perception.
Everyone has done plenty of things that they regret. While you may think that you’re the weird one, you’d only be the odd one out if you hadn’t done something wrong.
According to Dr. Nichole F. Bernier at psychologytoday.com, it’s important to remember that your past mistakes rarely amount to the stuff of nightmares. You cannot erase the past. Until someone invents a time machine and is reckless enough to release it to the public, there is nothing you can do to change history.
The only thing that you can change is how you react to the past. Instead of allowing your past mistakes to convince you that you’re not good enough for happiness or undeserving of love, you should simply forgive yourself and figure out how you’re going to do better from now on.
Time only moves in one direction — forward. To cultivate self-assuredness, you need to ensure that the majority of your thoughts, feelings, and actions revolve around making your life as happy and fulfilling as it possibly can be.
2. Practice Self-affirmation.
No matter how positive, successful, or real with yourself you are, you’re going to experience negativity at some point. It’s just a fact of life. You will have days that feel like absolute garbage. It’ll seem like nothing’s going right, and you might be stuck thinking that it’ll only get worse.
When you come to this crossroads, you have two options. You can either give in to despair and slip even deeper into self-doubt and darkness, or you can remind yourself of what’s going right, how you are great, and how you know that you’ll get through it. In order to get out of the muck of negativity, you’ll have to reaffirm your character and values.
Self-affirmation is simply the act of intentionally reminding yourself of your personal values, beliefs, and circumstances. In terms of self-assuredness, self-affirmation is most effective when you remind yourself of all of the positives in your life, and it’s very important to tell yourself that you matter.
One common way to self-affirm is to make a written list of all of the positives. Some people say it all out loud too. If you’re in public and don’t have anything to write on, then even self-affirming in your mind can help immensely.
It’s easy to lose sight of your self-worth, so it’s very important to intentionally tell yourself how much you rock from time to time.
A collaborative study in 2015 by many esteemed psychologists and neurological professionals from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, and the University of California found that self-affirmation actually changes how your prefrontal cortex functions, leading to positive behavioral outcomes. This fascinating study can be found in full at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
3. Keep the Right Company.
This study by the University of Oxford at about.sainsburys.co.uk shows compelling evidence that people who always eat with others are statically more likely to be happy.
What does this mean? It means that to live your best life, you need to spend time around others, but not all company is the same. The people in your life play a huge role in how you feel. If everyone you spend time with is a Negative Nancy, then their bad vibes will surely rub off on you.
Anyone who outright insults or belittles you should have been ditched yesterday. Sure, you may not be able to physically separate yourself from some of these people, especially if they’re a roommate, boss, or coworker, but you can still throw them out of your mind and strip them of their power over you.
When that thorn in your side makes a snide comment or tries to act against you, don’t let it cut too deep. You just have to remember that their perception of you does not affect your true value in any way. Honestly, their eagerness to insult or belittle you speaks more to their poor character than anything. If anything, you should pity them.
Another way to gauge how your company affects you is by making you question your ethics and morals. If your friends are constantly doing things that you deem immoral or indecent, then your continued association with them will lead to cognitive dissonance and self-doubt.
You’ll feel much more self-assured when you surround yourself with friends whose sense of decency and justice align with yours.
4. Develop Concrete Goals.
Have you ever stepped onto an airplane with no idea of the destination? Of course not! That would be absolutely crazy. Just thinking about it induces anxiety. The whole time, you would feel lost, and you’d have no idea how long you’d have to wait or what the destination would be like.
Try to think of your life as a plane. If you’re just flying around without a destination, then there’s a problem. If you fly long enough, then you’ll eventually run out of fuel and crash far from anywhere that you’d actually want to be.
In order to avoid living like an aimless airplane, you need to develop and pursue achievable goals. Your goals should be realistic, relevant, and measurable.
Professor Timothy A. Pychyl at psychologytoday.com asserts that your sense of wellbeing is directly tied to the completion of your goals. If you don’t think that you can realistically achieve something, then tweak the criteria until it’s a goal that you’re reasonably confident about. Unachievable goals will only make you miserable. Furthermore, goals need to be specific and measurable.
Instead of setting a goal to read more, you should try to specify the number of books or pages in a specific span of time. Maybe you could read one book per month, or maybe you’d plan to read at least nine short stories by the end of next week.
Your goals should generally reflect your dreams and values. By setting attainable goals, you can better see where you stand in relation to the things that you want or value, leading to a greater sense of self-assuredness.
5. Understand the Stakes.
Self-assured people are willing to try new things and take on challenges. Sadly, much of our self-doubt is a result of an innate fear of failure. This may make sense when your life is on the line, but in most cases, it’s simply irrational.
At harperwest.co, Psychotherapist Harper West explains that the fear of failure is often rooted in a fear of shame and a fear of rejection. While a new experience, trial, or challenge may seem scary, you just have to remind yourself of the consequences of failure.
We don’t live in the Neolithic age where failure might have lead to being eaten by a saber tooth tiger. In most cases, the worst thing that you’ll experience is a temporary embarrassment or disappointment.
You might not get the job, but at least you’ll make it out of the interview alive. You might mess up on stage, but nobody is going to remember it in a week. If someone shames you or rejects you for messing something up, then they probably aren’t worth your time and emotional energy anyway.
Once you realize that you really have nothing valuable to lose, you’ll be much more confident trying new things and breaking out of your comfort zone.
6. Learn to Be Humble and Open.
An in-depth study by Professor Anna Maria Zawadzka at researchgate.net finds that humbler people have better relationships and are more geared to fulfill their goals.
As stated earlier, your relationships and goals play a huge role in how you assess yourself. If you have better friends and achievable goals, then you will certainly feel more self-assured, so a little humility can really pay off.
So…what does humility entail, exactly? Being humble doesn’t mean that you have to bow your head whenever someone insults you.
Humility isn’t some sort of admission of worthlessness. On the contrary, humility is power. To be humble, you simply need to be open to new knowledge, and you need to accept that you may not always be right.
Part of being self-assured is understanding that even if you don’t have all the answers, you are willing to accept new information while learning to improve yourself. By being humble, you assess yourself more honestly, leaving you in a better position to act in accordance with your personal goals and values.
7. Break Unhealthy Habits.
You can’t feel good about yourself when you’re doing something that you know is bad. Whether you play too many mobile games, smoke cigarettes, lie or do anything else that doesn’t align with your values, you’re bound to feel intense emotional discomfort.
While you don’t need to quit your vices cold turkey, it’s important to identify and do something about the bad habits that make you feel the worst. If you’re constantly feeling guilty, then how can you feel good about yourself?
If you constantly do things that go against your values and takes you further away from your ideal self, then you need to develop detailed goals to stop that behavior.
For those who want a deeper understanding of the power of habit, this incredible article published by the Harvard Medical School goes into great detail about identifying, understanding, and replacing bad habits.
Everyone deserves to be self-assured. Although achieving happiness is not as easy as snapping your fingers, these seven tips can help you on your journey to a more positive life.
As long as you remember your value, plan for your future, and act in ways that align with your morals and ethics, you will grow into a more confident person every day.
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Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am the face behind Everything Abode! I am a lifestyle and wellness writer based out of Vancouver Island. When I’m not writing or exploring mountains and beaches with my furry rescue, I love spending time learning creative ways to manifest a healthy home. Thanks for stopping by!
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