How To Build Confidence & Self-Esteem Health & Wellbeing

Low confidence and self-esteem are both very real barriers to leading a happy, healthy lifestyle. Both can affect the way you see yourself and prevent you from trying new things or taking up new opportunities.

Confidence & Self-Esteem

In this article we will explore confidence and self-esteem in depth and look at ways in which you can improve both both in your professional and personal life.

What is confidence?

Confidence relates to how sure you feel of yourself and your ability to do something. For example, a person who is confident in their ability to speak to a stranger on the phone will feel secure when put in the position. Conversely, a person who doesn’t feel confident in this area may feel anxious at the prospect of doing it, sometimes to the point where they avoid it altogether.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. This can be positive, or negative, or a mixture of the two. Higher self esteem means we are more resilient and able to deal with challenges when they arise. Low self esteem can make taking on challenges a struggle and may prevent a person from breaking out of their comfort zone or believing in themselves enough to try something new.

What causes low confidence and self-esteem?

Low confidence and self-esteem can occur for many individual reasons. Bullying, abuse, or trauma can have a real impact on how you see yourself and how secure you feel in your abilities. Similarly, stress, bad experiences and difficult life events can lower self-esteem or confidence and cause a person to feel negative about their life and future.

What are the consequences of low self-esteem and low confidence?

Low self-esteem and confidence can be really upsetting for a person. It might mean they are more likely to suffer from anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression and it may also prevent someone from making friends who having successful relationships. Low self-esteem can also stop a person from performing well in a job, or in school, because of fear of failure. Some individuals who suffer with low self-esteem may turn to self-destructive behaviours like drug or alcohol abuse.

How do you improve your self-esteem?

Working to improve your self-esteem and confidence is important for your mental health, well being and quality of life. There are many steps you can take to improve both, however there is no one size fits all solution. In most cases, a gentle approach which is kind to you is best, as too much pressure may feed negative emotions and make your feel worse.

Here are 3 tips that may work to improve your self-esteem:

Take Note of The Positives

Often, low self-esteem can be bought about by dwelling on the negative aspects of your life or negative self-talk. To combat this, focusing on positive things and celebrating the good things in your life can make a lot of difference to the way you think of yourself.
Start small and deliberately with this. Set yourself a goal of accepting compliments rather than brushing them off or making a self-deprecating comment. Celebrate your successes (big or small!) and praise yourself! It may help to make a list of everything you’ve achieved and reflect on this. If you find yourself dwelling negatively on any aspect of these, gently divert your attention to focus on the positives instead – but don’t be too hard on yourself!

Set Yourself Small Challenges

Achieving set goals can help you feel better about yourself and motivate you to continue pushing yourself. Again, start small with this. Don’t set yourself a big, unmanageable challenge. Instead, set a small goal and, if necessary, break it into smaller goals to make it more manageable.

For example, you may decide you’d like to walk more and so start by setting yourself the goal a taking a walk every other day for 20 minutes. When you have achieved this, you can build on this. But be sure to congratulate yourself even on the small wins. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Practice Self Care

Self-care (looking after yourself) is really important. If you don’t sleep very well, have a poor diet or abuse drugs and alcohol it can have a very big impact on the way you feel day to day. Practicing self-care can be anything from going out for a walk everyday to having a bath or meditating.

Self-care looks different for different people. For example, some individuals enjoy yoga for the peace, calm and mindful movement. Others may practice self-care by taking care to carry out tasks such as brushing their teeth or taking regular showers.

Above all, it’s important to not be too hard on yourself when working on these aspects. Building confidence and self-esteem takes time and kindness, so slow down and don’t try and walk before you can run.

Building Confidence & Self-Esteem with BBO

If you need support with building confidence and self-esteem, the team at Building Better Opportunities can help. We don’t just support you in finding a job, we work with you on your very own personal development plan which takes into account all areas of your life. This includes welfare support, employment support, access to training and help with health and welfare.

In working with one of our advocates, we can help you find the support you need in Stafford & South Staffordshire for a more balanced, fulfilled life.
To find out more, please contact us or find a drop in session near you to speak to one of our advocates.