The one thing that’s holding us back from achieving our full potential is often not an external barrier. Most likely, it’s our lack of confidence in ourselves. We have too much insecurity. We doubt if we could do something, and we feel that we don’t deserve anything.
Even among experts, there is what is called ‘the impostor syndrome.’ They feel like they’re just lucky they were able to reach that point in their lives. And they’re scared that sooner or later they’d be found out that they were pretending they knew what they were doing.
But why is it that most of us lack this belief in ourselves? Maybe it’s because we are too conscious of the molds that society has imposed on us. We forgot that we’re unique individuals, each with a different set of abilities and values. Understanding these would give us better knowledge of ourselves and the belief that we can go about our lives successfully in our own way. Let’s go through some guidelines to boost your self-esteem.
Mind your hygiene.
People are so obsessed with physical appearances. And yes, you have to accept this. No matter how others say that your character is more important, the truth is, the first thing that people you meet will see is how you look. Of course, eventually, you could get to know each other more. But how you would interact in those first few seconds would largely rely on physical appearances.
You don’t have to be the most handsome guy in the room, but people will look at how you groom yourself. Being ruggedly handsome doesn’t mean unwashed. Get your nicotine-yellowed teeth whitened. There are simple steps in using a teeth whitening kit. Clip your nails. Get it done in a nail salon if you want to be vainer. Don’t drench yourself in perfume. The smell of strong perfume and sweat could be nauseating.
Be humble to admit ignorance.
Don’t act like you know everything. Don’t think that you need to know everything either. Be humble enough to admit when you’re not aware of something.
If you want to have the confidence to mingle at parties, update yourself with current events. Read or watch the news instead of just getting your information from your social media feed. It’s one thing to echo the opinions of others and another to have informed opinions. As long as you know how you formed your opinion, you won’t be worried about holding your ground.
When you discuss with your colleagues or friends, don’t insist that everyone should accept your opinion. It doesn’t mean you’re inferior if they disagree with you. It only means you all have different perspectives.
Be honest with yourself.
Raising your self-esteem means you know your capacities and limits. Be honest if you feel that you’re not capable of doing something. It doesn’t make you less of a person. Rather, look for a task that you know you’re good at.
Also, you need to be honest with the reasons you’re doing something. You shouldn’t force you to do things you don’t like to please other people. Your self-esteem would be greatly affected if you would aim to please everyone around you. You are letting others define who you are because you’re viewing yourself through their lenses. And it’s more difficult because each of them would have a different lens. You’d go crazy if you want to meet all of their expectations.
Instead of aiming for popularity, go for meaningful relationships instead. Limit your concern to the people close to you. They wouldn’t mind your imperfections and would gladly accept you for your individuality.
Learn to accept mistakes.
You could only be confident in everything you do if you know that whatever the outcome would be doesn’t define your entire existence. You would make mistakes. That’s ok because everyone makes mistakes. Your ability to learn from them is what could define your life. Accept those that had already happened. Instead of wallowing in the past, plan and try to do better in the future.
Stop competing with others.
People say healthy competition is productive. Competition could never be healthy unless you never felt like you competed in the first place. No two people have the same backgrounds, the same strengths, and weaknesses. Competition would never be equal. Instead, strive for collaboration.
There is nothing to gain if we keep low esteem of ourselves. It’s not being cautious. It’s being cowardly, afraid to venture out of the safe zones we’ve built in our minds. Our belief in ourselves is what determines how we would go through our life. Would it be a breeze? Or would we feel that we are always carrying a burden, struggling against an obstacle? It’s a simple choice.