5 Steps to Regain Your Self-Confidence

Contrary to popular belief, self-confidence isn’t something you build, but rather something you find. Society has put the focus on ‘building’ confidence, however that key word is the root of the problem. The word “build” implies that you are creating something that isn’t already there. We already have the capability of self-acceptance but with societal pressures, it becomes difficult. The key to regaining self-confidence is to believe that you already have the ability to love yourself. To me, the definition of a confident person is one who is able to accept the uniqueness of others without allowing that to take away from their own intelligence, wit or beauty.

Remember that no matter how much advice another person gives you, loving yourself starts with you. With that being said, take these tips with a grain of salt and use it as a guide rather than a manual.

  1. 1. Increasing your sense of self-awareness

    Confident people tend to have a high sense of self-awareness. They’re able to take a step back and reflect on their lives from an outsider’s point of view; noticing the unhealthy habits that make you feel insecure is the first step to regaining your self-confidence. Try asking yourself: What are some of my unhealthy habits that would make me happier and healthier if I got rid of them? Do I like how I’m choosing to spend my time? Do I feel like myself around these groups of friends?

    Being honest and openly asking yourself questions that you tend to avoid is essential in becoming more self-aware. Sociology says that the ‘self’ develops as a result of our social experience; by being more mindful and intentional in the decisions you make, you will consequently become a more confident person overall.

  2. 2. Getting to know yourself

    Getting to know yourself means learning to fully accept who you are - your unique traits and your flaws.

    It’s okay to feel like you don’t know who you are or what the heck you’re doing in life. The good news is that we have the rest of our lives to figure that out! When discussing this with a first-year student at McMaster University, she noted, “The longest relationship you will have is the one with yourself.” A lot of the time we forget to invest in our most meaningful relationship - the one with ourselves.

    Give yourself the opportunity to grow and learn about who you are by scheduling in some “me-time”. Whatever it is that you decide to do, remind yourself that you’re doing this for you and no one else. You’ll start feeling more comfortable being by yourself and therefore come off as more confident when you are with others.   

  3. 3. Accepting subjectivity

    In my sociology class, we learned that Charles Horton Cooley used the term ''looking-glass self'' to explain that we see ourselves as we imagine others see us. With all due respect to Charles, we’re going to throw that out the window! Don’t look at yourself through other people’s eyes because only you know yourself best. At the end of the day, other people’s opinions of you do not change or define who you are.

    Once you accept the fact that you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so much weight will be lifted off of your shoulders. A second-year student at the University of Toronto shared, “The best advice I have ever received is to not care about the opinions of those who I would not take advice from.”

    You have a short life to live so instead of wasting your time thinking about what others think of you, consider your opinion of yourself - that’s the only opinion that really matters. Accepting that beauty is subjective and that it really is in the eye of the beholder will allow you to stop taking things too personally. Rather than focusing your energy on people who do not like you (for whatever reason), pour that time and effort into those who value and appreciate you, or better yet yourself! 

  4. 4. Training your mind: affirmations, music and gratitude

    Affirmations: Manifest the most confident version of yourself by speaking positively about yourself out loud. You are what you put out into the universe, so do this until you believe it. You are as beautiful as you believe and as smart as you believe, so why not believe that you are extremely beautiful and outstandingly smart?

    Listen to uplifting music: Rihanna, Lizzo, Cardi B and Megan thee Stallion are a few examples of female artists who radiate insane amounts of confidence. A tip I have is to channel their confident energy until you can embody your own!

    Practice gratitude: Imam Ali once said, “The richest of the rich is one who is not a prisoner to greed.” Being satisfied with who you are and what you have is the major key (credits to DJ Khaled) to being confident. (Who knew that Imam Ali and DJ Khaled would ever be referenced in the same point?)

  5. 5. Being kind to yourself - things to remember:

    - Treat yourself the way you treat the person you love the most.

    - Self-love is a journey. Don’t rush. 

    - Happiness doesn’t come forced so don’t beat yourself up when you have an off day.

    - Real self-confidence includes accepting that it’s okay not to be okay or confident all the time. Let yourself feel whatever it is that you are feeling with no guilt or shame.

    - Being kind to yourself also means knowing that you deserve healthy relationships. Only voluntarily spend your time with people who you feel like yourself around.

By increasing your self-awareness, getting to know yourself, accepting subjectivity, training your mind and being kind to yourself, you will begin to understand your worth. Take it one day at a time. If you take anything away from this, let it be to never feel ashamed of who you are. Never try to be someone you aren’t for someone else. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have someone not like me for me than for someone I am pretending to be. This journey is one you will venture on by yourself, which makes it that much more special. It’s never too late to start loving yourself, so why not start now?