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These days, with countless companies making millions off of exploiting people's insecurities, it can be hard feeling good in your own skin. Here are nine tricks I use that can help you conquer your insecurities, and feel more confident in yourself.
1) Say one nice thing about yourself every time you see your reflection.
It's so important to remind yourself of your good traits whenever possible. When you're standing at the mirror, look into your eyes, and give yourself at least one compliment. It could be anything about yourself; your looks, personality, accomplishments. As long as it's positive, and it's about you, then it works. Speak it into existence, doesn't matter what volume, as long as it's out loud.
2) Try not to verbalize the negative.
This may seem difficult, but I cannot stress enough how important this step is. Nonconstructive negativity is so dangerous. What I mean by nonconstructive is something that you can't work on or change (ex. if you think your outfit doesn't look right, and you're able to change your clothes, then that negativity is constructive).
When you're alone, don't give your negative thoughts more power by saying them aloud. It's hard to be fully objective about yourself, so you can confide your insecurities in someone you trust, but when you say bad things to yourself it doesn't help anyone.
3) Accept compliments (and put them back out into the world).
I've met too many people who seem to feel like accepting compliments is somehow inherently selfish or stuck up. This just isn't true. When someone gives you a nice compliment, say "thank you." This small phrase can do so much for boosting your confidence. When you accept compliments like this, you internalize that positivity more than when you try to resist it.
And don't forget to compliment others when you can, because everyone likes to feel good!
4) Try to walk with a confident stance.
If you've ever heard the phrase 'fake it til you make it', that's what I'm talking about here. Although this might sound a bit silly, I've found that it works wonders on diminishing anxious thoughts. Just put on music that pumps you up, then walk with your shoulders back, and head held tall.
5) Play with your look.
If you're feeling insecure about your appearance, there's no harm in playing around with new styles to see what makes you feel more you. Dyeing or cutting your hair, trying new make up techniques, or switching up your wardrobe are all things you can do to find that person. Self-exploration is key to becoming more confident in yourself, whether that exploration is physical, mental, or spiritual.
This isn't to say that you need to change in order to feel more confident, just that it's okay to change as you find out more about yourself.
6) Do good things for others.
You should always perform good deeds no matter what, but when you do good things for others, you naturally build your own morale as well. A lovely side effect to a lovely act. You could volunteer somewhere, hold the door open for people, go around town, and pick up litter. It's good for your soul, and good for the world.
7) Surround yourself with people that make you feel good.
If you're feeling down, talk to someone you trust who makes you happy. Your feelings aren't a burden, and someone who really cares about you will always be happy to help. Be open to their advice if they give it, and allow yourself to grow. If a person makes you feel bad, you don't need any other reason to stop talking to them.
8) Keep a journal of things that make you happy.
Buy a notebook, and keep notes of all the things that make you smile. Write down moments that made you feel confident. That way you can look back at the journal during times of insecurity, and remind yourself of those moments when you felt better, and why.
9) Go to therapy.
Even if you feel like you don't need it, if you are able to access a counsellor, go and talk to them. I'm am a big advocate for everyone going to therapy if you get the chance. Most schools will provide an on-campus counsellor that is included with tuition, which is a great resource for anybody.
If you aren't a student, and aren't in a position to invest in a therapist, then there are a number of free online, and call in help lines that can help you through tough times.
The ultimate point of this article is that you have to put yourself first sometimes, because you deserve to feel happy and confident. Everyone has good in them, you just need to work on seeing it for yourself. I love you all, take care of yourselves.