In today’s world, self-confidence is often challenging to cultivate (and even harder to retain). Knowing how to elevate your own self-confidence in healthy and productive ways is one of the keys to discovering happiness. Do you know where to start?
The Social Media Effect
Social media has done plenty of good things for society. It’s helped connect long-lost family members, keep old friends in touch, and provide methods of building online communities around shared interests. From a business perspective, it’s given small businesses the opportunity to reach large audiences. In this sense, it’s leveled the playing field and opened up competition in key markets.
But for all the good that social media has done, it’s also had an adverse impact on reality. It’s twisted the way people view themselves by warping the perception of what’s going on in the real world.
For many people, their Instagram or Facebook profile is an artificial highlight reel of their lives. The collection of images and content shared is aspirational and hopeful – even boastful. But often times, it’s overinflated or fake.
In an article titled My ‘Perfect Life’ on Social Media is Putting Me In Debt, the author, who chooses to go by the name Jasmine, makes some startling confessions that are unfortunately all too common.
Despite having 5,000 followers and a seemingly ideal life, her life is actually a total mess. She has $3,400 in credit-card debt and makes many of her life decisions based on how it will look online.
“I have a side of my apartment that I photograph, and it’s perfect. The other side is always a mess,” Jasmine writes. “I buy a lot of things to maintain my image . . . I even consider it important to always have a fridge full of La Croix and coconut water for my pictures. Writing this makes me realize just how insane it all is.”
This may seem silly, but is it really a big deal? The answer is yes.
When one person posts a social highlight reel, it’s intriguing. When everyone you follow is posting “glamorous” snapshots, it can easily make you feel like your life isn’t matching up – like you’re missing out on something that everyone else has.
The average person checks their social media profiles dozens of times per day, which constantly reinforces the idea that “you aren’t as happy as they are” or “you’re falling behind.” The result, at least in many people, is higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism, and low self-confidence.
5 Ways You Can Foster Self-Confidence
The good news is that you don’t have to live life like this. There are practical and healthy steps you can take to foster self-confidence and become comfortable and satisfied with what you have. Here are a few simple suggestions to get you moving:
1. List Off Your Strengths
Take some time to make a list of your strengths. Little things, small things…anything you can think of. These could be physical, intellectual, or personality-related. If something comes to mind, jot it down.
2. Affirm Yourself
Once you have a list of your strengths, use this list to affirm yourself on a daily basis. Read them off and speak truth to yourself. In doing so, you actually hardwire your brain to think positive thoughts.
3. Be Comfortable in Your Skin
People often use the phrase “comfortable in your own skin,” and it has a lot of literal truth to it. If you aren’t comfortable in your skin, you’re going to lack the self-confidence to do many things in life. If you want to go all-natural, more power to you. If you want to use makeup, make sure you find a product that makes you comfortable.
“Makeup does a whole lot more than just cover up blemishes – it actually gives women the opportunity to embrace who they are and accentuate the features that make them beautiful and unique,” Milani Cosmetics explains. “Choosing the right cosmetics products can provide a huge boost in confidence.”
4. Set Achievable Goals
Self-confidence is often rooted in progress and results. One way to boost your confidence is by setting achievable goals and chasing after them. This gives you an opportunity to accomplish tangible objectives, which drives your belief in yourself and gives you the motivation to pursue bigger and better things in the future.
5. Do Things That Scare You
In addition to setting achievable goals, you should also do things that scare you. What you’ll discover is that the things that scare you really aren’t that intimidating at all. Once you accomplish them, you’ll feel good about yourself and realize that you can do many of the things you’ve been putting off for years. Do this enough times and reasonable challenges will actually stop scaring you. Instead, they’ll start to motivate you.
Learn to Love Yourself
Social media is only part of the problem. While it might be a good idea to log out of your Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat profiles, it’s even more important that you lean in and address the real issue.
It’s time to realize that you are a unique and special person with worth and value. Your life might not look like everyone else’s, but why would you want that? You bring things to the table that nobody else can – and you should find joy and meaning in that.
When you learn to love yourself, everything else will fade into the background.