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How to Build Confidence

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Do you have to feel confident and fully love yourself before you date? No, but having a base of self worth will help you have more success in dating.

It's hard to build something solid on an unsteady foundation. Your sense of self is the foundation for your relationships that you build. A good general dating rule is to not expect someone else to do what you are not willing to do yourself. When it comes to your sense of self, if you don't have a little self love or at least practice some self care, are you really going to believe that others will love and care for you? If you don't give yourself respect, others often don't give you respect.

Genuine confidence is an attractive quality that people often look for in a person they date. It helps them feel safe in your presence. If you are struggling to love yourself, here are some things that can help:

1. Start Noticing Your Successes

It's easy to be hard on yourself and point out all of your mistakes and flaws because you know yourself intimately. Sometimes it's necessary to train your brain to notice the positive. Each time you do something well or have a success, no matter how small, tell yourself good job. Even if it's just getting out of bed. Have you ever noticed how people do this for little kids? They brush their teeth--good job! They tie their shoes--good job! My sweet niece claps for herself after she does something. Unfortunately, as we grow older, we start to take these things for granted and we forget to celebrate our daily successes.

At the end of each day, and even throughout the day, focus on things you accomplished or did well. Maybe it was making it through the day, maybe it was managing stress in a difficult situation, or maybe it was being able to notice a success, or take some deep breaths. No matter how insignificant you may think it is, recognize it.

2. Practice Self Compassion and Acceptance

Have you ever had compassion for someone or been kind to a friend? Do you do the same for yourself? Do you forgive yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes and see these mistakes as part of the learning and growing process? Remember to be kind and patient with yourself. Allow yourself grace and room to make mistakes. Let go of the things you can't change.

3. Take Time for Self Care

Think of something you enjoy doing or something that helps you feel more confident or at peace. Make sure you fit those things into your life. Take care of you. Do something nice for yourself, take a shower, take time for a hobby, or go to bed early. Take breaks when needed.

The more you care for yourself, the better you will feel. Taking care of your physical needs by getting enough sleep etc. can help you feel better.

Spend time with yourself, getting to know and be comfortable with you. If you are not comfortable being alone with you, you can't expect others to be either. And when I say alone with you, I mean just you--not on the phone with someone, or watching TV, or with a pet, or listening to a podcast or music, but just you. Practice meditation or spend time in stillness with your thoughts. If this feels uncomfortable for you, therapy can help this space feel more comfortable.

4. Make a list of qualities you like about yourself. If you can't think of any, pull from a list like this one:

5. Do Something Nice For Someone

While helping others is mostly about the person you are helping, it can also benefit you. Service can help you feel better. It can give you a sense of accomplishment. Focusing on positive traits in others also helps you get into a more positive mindset that can carry over toward yourself.

6. Work On Accomplishing an Achievable Goal

Working on goals help create a sense of accomplishment. It helps give you something to be proud of. Make sure you give yourself credit and celebrate when you do this. You can also learn a new skill. One thing to remember when learning a new skill is to be easy on yourself when learning because as Thomas Edison said about inventing the lightbulb “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” At first you may feel less confident in the beginning learning stages because you are new at it, but if you stick with it for a bit and give yourself credit for trying, confidence can grow. Also, make sure your goals are small enough that you can be successful at achieving them. Don't overwhelm yourself.

7. Spend Time Around People Who Build You Up and Support You

It can make a world of difference who you spend time around. If someone is making negative comments about you or tearing you down, this is not a healthy person for you to be around. Feeling safe is a huge step to building self-esteem. Be in places and with people who make you feel emotionally safe.

8. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

When we do this, we are usually comparing our worst with someone else's best. Don't worry about what others are doing. You are on your own journey. Don't worry about others' opinions so much.

9. Set and Stick To Boundaries

Having boundaries is a huge part of self care. If you let others push you into something you are not comfortable with this can lower your feelings of self worth. On the other hand, the more you set and stick with your personal boundaries, the more confidence you can build. Respect yourself and require others to respect you and your boundaries if they are going to be spending time with you.

10. Find Your Value in Stable Things

If you base your worth on things that are unstable in your life, your self worth will fluctuate with them, like a leaf in the wind. Don't base your worth on fleeting things such as looks, others' opinions, whether or not someone likes you, or material things you own. Think about who you are at your very core. Your personality traits, what you have accomplished, your worth as a human being and as a child of God. What you base your self esteem on cannot depend on someone else. It must come from within you. Sometimes it can help to ask others what good traits they see in you in order to help you see the good things others see in you, but don't depend on others' opinions of you.

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