How to Restore Self-Confidence
Since prehistoric times, when men were supposed to be hunters, our society still imposed certain expectations that men have to fulfill. It has still been expected that men have to be achievers and providers for their families that cause great difficulties in men in the current time of financial crises. These difficulties are especially hard if a man finds himself identifying too much with the role of achiever and provider, while at the same time facing the loss of a job or financial insecurity. Thus, building self-esteem exclusively on external factors shows inadequate and drowns men into the stream of self-doubts and low self-esteem. If a man can use this kind of challenge as an opportunity to build healthy self-confidence, then he will restore a genuine belief in his inner competences and reach a greater level of strength. The article “How to Build Unstoppable Confidence” lists 13 tips that can help men to restore their confidence and feel themselves as the master of their own life.
How to Restore Self-Confidence
1. Start Small – Start with something you can do immediately and easily. When we begin with small successes, we build momentum to gain more confidence in our abilities. Each completed task, regardless of how small, is a building block towards a more confident you. What are some small actions you can take immediately to demonstrate that you are capable of achieving goals you’ve set for yourself? For example, clean out your closet, organize your papers, pay all your bills, or just make that call to that girl already.
2. Create a Compelling Vision – Use the power of your imagination. Create an image of yourself as the confident and self-assured person you aspire to become. When you are this person, how will you feel? How will others perceive you? What does your body language look like? How will you talk? See these clearly in your mind’s eye, with your eyes closed. Feel the feelings, experience being and seeing things from that person’s perspective. Practice doing this for 10 minutes every morning. Put on music in the background that either relaxes you, or excites you. When you are done, write a description of this person and all the attributes you’ve observed.
3. Do Something that Scares You – As with all skills, we get better with practice and repetition. The more often we proactively do things that scare us, the less scary these situations will seem, and eventually will be rid of that fear.
4. Socialize – Get out of the house or setup a lunch date with a friend. Socializing with others will give us opportunities to connect with other people, and practice our communication and interpersonal skills.
5. Set Goals – According to a study done at Virginia Tech, 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals. And the people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetime as people who don’t. By setting goals that are clear and actionable, you have a clear target of where you want to be. When you take action towards that goal, you’ll build more confidence and self-esteem in your abilities to follow through.
6. Do Something You Are Good At – What are you especially good at or enjoy doing? Regularly doing things that you are good at reinforces your belief in your abilities and strengths. I (Tina) can be very efficient with completing errands or administrative work. Whenever I have a few hours filled with ways in which I’ve maximized my time, I feel highly productive and this boosts the confidence have in my abilities as an organized and efficient person.
7. Get Clarity on Life Areas – Get clarity on the life area that needs the most attention. Your self-esteem is the average of your self-concept in all the major areas of your life. Write down all the major categories of your life, e.g., health, relationships, finance, etc. Then rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each area. Work on the lowest numbered category first, unless they are all even. Each area affects the other areas. The more you build up each area of your life, the higher your overall self-esteem.
8. Help Others Feel Good About Themselves – Help somebody or teach them something. When you help other people feel better about themselves and like themselves more, it will make you feel good about yourself. See what you can do to make others feel good or trigger them to smile. Maybe giving them a genuine compliment, helping them with something or telling them what you admire about them.
9. Create a Plan – Having a goal alone won’t do much. Get clarity on your action items. One of the biggest reasons people get lazy is because they don’t have a plan to achieve their goals. They don’t know what the next step is and start to wander off randomly. When you’re baking a cake, it’s a lot easier to follow a set of clear instructions, than randomly throwing ingredients together.
10. No More Comparisons – Stop comparing yourself to other people. Low-self esteem stems from the feeling of being inferior. For example, if you were the only person in the world, do you think you could have low-self esteem? Self-esteem only comes into the picture when there are other people around us and we perceive that we are inferior. Don’t worry about what your neighbor is doing. Accept that it’ll serve you more to just go down your own path at your own pace rather than to compare yourself. Pretend you’re starting over and begin immediately with the smallest step forward.
11. Get Motivated – Read something inspirational, listen to something empowering, talk to someone who can uplift our spirits, who can motivate us to become a better person, to live more consciously, and to take proactive steps towards creating a better life for ourselves and our families.
12. Getting External Compliments – As funny as this point suggests, go find a friend or family member and ask them “What do you like about me?” “What are my strengths?” or “What do you love about me?” We will often value other people’s opinions more than our own. We are the best at beating ourselves up for things not done well, and we are the worst at recognizing what we’ve done well in. Hearing from another person our strengths and positive qualities helps to build a more positive image of ourselves.
13. Affirmations & Introspection – Use affirmations, but in the right way. Some people think that when they’re in a slump, using positive affirmations will help them get out of it. I love affirmations, but I’ve realized you have to use them in the right way. Sitting on your couch and saying “I am highly motivated and productive” does nothing. Say something like “I am sitting here being very unproductive right now, is this the ideal me? What would be my best self?” Your affirmations have to be the TRUTH. Once you’re honest, take the first step towards doing the thing, no matter how small.
Apart from these tips, it is important for every man who struggles with a low self-esteem to understand the thinking patterns he inherited or adopted from his early childhood. When a man with a low self-esteem understands how perfectionism, his needy nature or hipervigilance of what others say or think, affects his own behavior, he will be on the path of getting free of limiting beliefs. It becomes easier to recognize how self-sabotage works, such as escaping from taking charge of his life and blaming others, or devoting the most of his time to career instead of finding a balance between private and business life, or pleasing others instead of making a genuine relationship, etc. On this very point, when he becomes aware how these patterns work, a chance to introduce positive changes and build a healthy self-confidence expands.