Mann klettert an Hauswand in großer Höhe

In four steps to improved self-confidence

Not everyone is a daredevil who boldly and fearlessly stands in the way of any challenge that life has in store for him. And that is no problem at all. Maybe you are more considerate in your actions and always need some time to adjust to new situations. But you should learn to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. This is because your self-confidence is closely linked to your self-esteem, i.e. the appreciation and recognition you give to yourself. And only those who get along well with themselves can lead a happy life. Healthy self-esteem is created through interaction with your environment, but it is also linked to the values you live by. So if you want to strengthen your self-confidence and self-esteem, you have a lot of things to work on.

If your self-esteem and self-confidence get out of balance, this leads to insecurity and despondency, and in the worst case even to outright hatred and contempt for yourself. If you constantly feel an inner dissatisfaction, you should make an effort to actively work on your self-perception. This guide offers you suggestions and support to try to break the cycle of insecurity and self-deprecation, or simply to become a little bit more courageous and self-confident. The path to better self-esteem can take a lot of time and effort. But don’t let that stop you. You are definitely worth it! [1]

The reasons for a lack of self-esteem?

Woman, Self confident

People build their self-esteem on very different areas of life. However, some tendencies can certainly be observed. For men, for example, professional success and the financial situation are the most important factors. Women on the other hand define themselves more through their social environment, but physical attractiveness also plays an important role in their self-perception. [2] There are always many factors which together are responsible for your self-esteem. Like a cupboard with different drawers, each of which conceals a part of your personality. You can decide for yourself how often you open which drawer. If you are dissatisfied with one or more factors over a longer period of time, you will quickly become self-deprecating. However, your self-assessment has little to do with your actual performance or the perception of outsiders. You should always remember that it is deeply subjective and make sure that you also show love to yourself.

Tracing the past – fathoming out deeper-seated problems

Often, the reasons for a lack of self-confidence go all the way back to childhood. If a child does not feel valued by his or her parents, he or she will develop problems in granting himself or herself a corresponding value. Even if attention and praise are only ever tied to good performance, this can lead to difficulties later in life. Children adopt their parents’ attitude of entitlement, but often set their expectations of themselves so high that they can hardly be met. As a result, they are frustrated and their self-esteem suffers considerably. Such structures from childhood frequently continue into adulthood. Often the people affected are not even aware of them themselves and are buried under a mountain of excuses and self-deception. But it can be worthwhile to explore these very structures in order to prepare the way for change. [3]

Four steps to strengthen your self-esteem

Step 1: Try to take care of yourself

First of all, it is important that you give yourself a place with your feelings, needs and wishes. Mindfulness training can help you to perceive mental and physical sensations and react to them accordingly. If we don’t take time for ourselves, we often don’t even notice where the shoe pinches and why we don’t feel comfortable in certain situations. The first step to strengthen your self-confidence is therefore to pause and practice mindfulness. You should integrate fixed periods of time into your everyday life. One way of training mindfulness is for example meditation. Especially for the beginning, guided meditations, for example the sound massages of sonamedic, can help you get started. The most important point of mindfulness training, however, is that you meet yourself benevolently. Only in this way can you effectively approach your goal of strengthening self-perception and self-confidence.

Step 2: A benevolent companion at your side

One of the best things in life is a good friend who will stand by your side in difficult situations. No matter how bad you feel and what you have screwed up, he will always find nice words and encourage you in your work. Unfortunately, such a confidant is rarely on hand and we are alone with our self-doubts. Therefore it is important to establish a friend to whom you symbolically transfer the benevolent part of your personality. Your favourite cuddly toy might be suitable for this, but you can also bring such a companion to life in your imagination. Actively seek contact with your new companion, let him or her speak to you as benevolently and appreciatively as only your best friend could. Plan time for the conversations with him. Creating a benevolent companion is a trick to give your appreciative and understanding side enough space. [4]

Step 3: Do not be too critical of yourself

Inner Critic, Balance Act

The antagonist to the benevolent companion, which unfortunately is often given far too much importance by people with low self-confidence, is the critic. This part of your personality embodies the grumbler and detractor who never lets you be satisfied with your performance. People in whom this part of the personality is particularly pronounced often place far too high demands on themselves which are hard to achieve. The critic always drives to work and effort, idleness and laziness are frowned upon. He mercilessly convinces us that we have not made enough effort, that we are undisciplined, that we do not meet the demands we make on ourselves.

You must be careful to keep this part of your personality under control. Consciously pay attention to what the critic says in which situation. Of course, the critic can also have a positive effect, serve as an incentive and motivate us. But it is important that you do not give him too much space. Do not demand anything unattainable from yourself. Acknowledge things that you have achieved. [5]

Step 4: Leave room for the lazybones

We all know him. He is the part of our personality that turns off the alarm clock in the morning so that we can sleep another two hours. He is the part that makes sure that you keep putting off things you have set your mind to do. And it is also an important part of your personality, which you should not demonise, but which you should give enough space to. Because you need these times of regeneration and doing nothing, which the sluggard so often tries to sneak in when he thinks he is getting shortchanged. You should consciously allow yourself these times. But don’t let the lazybones take you by surprise. Sneaky pauses, when you actually have something else in mind, are not very relaxing, but at least you always have a guilty conscience. Accept idleness, but assign it a permanent place in your life. [6]

Step 5: Finding the right balance

Now it’s important to find the right balance between benevolent companion, lazybones and critic. Each of these personality parts has its right to exist. Pay attention to how they communicate with you, where they intervene and consciously reject them where they are harmful to you.

Six simple tips for better self-confidence

Positive diary

Tip 1: Praise yourself

A man’s praise in his own mouth stinks? Not at all, because you should allow yourself to recognise your own achievements. So do not be afraid to say it even if you are satisfied with yourself. [7]

Tip 2: Positive cards

You can write the most beautiful sentences and thoughts that your benevolent companion or people in your life direct to you on cards and distribute them at certain points in your home. In this way, you will always be reminded to approach yourself in a positive way.

Tip 3: The right role models

Role models are important. But don’t try to orientate yourself towards role models that seem unattainable for you. Especially in the media world many people sell themselves as perfect, successful and consistently good-humoured. But always remember that you will only get a glimpse of the actual reality here. Problems and inconveniences rarely occur in this world of self-expression.

Tip 4: The positive diary

Allow yourself fixed times in your everyday life to look back positively on the week and your successes. This doesn’t mean that you can’t deal with your problems, but always make sure you are benevolent. It might help if you write down these events in writing. In a positive diary, even small things have their place. A nice chat with a friend or a steaming cup of coffee in the morning can already be recorded here.

Tip 5: Set and evaluate sub-goals

Try not to work only towards targets in the far distance. Set yourself clearly defined sub-goals that are achievable for you with a realistic expenditure of time and without neglecting the lazy person. Treat yourself to a little reward every now and then for achieved goals. If you fail to achieve something, you can try to take stock and find the cause. Maybe you had too much in mind after all? Or maybe you needed a little more time than you originally planned. Try to take account of the new findings in your next goal. [8]

Tip 6: An upright body posture

Posture also influences your self-perception. In a study, test persons should assess themselves, both with bent and restrained as well as with upright posture. Although the latter did not directly change the participants’ assessments of themselves, the subjects were much more confident in their opinions. Therefore, try to maintain an upright and self-confident posture and body language. [9]

Child, Superhero, Self confidence

Scientific sources

1) Waibel, Eva Maria: Erziehung zum Selbstwert. Persönlichkeitsförderung als zentrales pädagogisches Anliegen. Weinheim, 2017. Seite 133 – 136. Online

2) Statista Research Department: Woraus ziehen Frauen ihre Selbstsicherheit. 2008. Online

Statista Research Department: Woraus ziehen Männer ihrer (Frauen) Meinung nach ihrer Selbstsicherheit, 2008. Online

3) Potreck-Rose/Friederike: Von der Freude den Selbstwert zu stärken, zehnte, erweiterte Auflage Stuttgart 2014, Seite 95 – 101. Online

4) Potreck-Rose/Friederike: Von der Freude den Selbstwert zu stärken, zehnte, erweiterte Auflage Stuttgart 2014, Seite 32 – 35 Online

5) Potreck-Rose/Friederike: Von der Freude den Selbstwert zu stärken, zehnte, erweiterte Auflage Stuttgart 2014, Seite Seite 48 f. Online

6) Potreck-Rose/Friederike: Von der Freude den Selbstwert zu stärken, zehnte, erweiterte Auflage Stuttgart 2014, Seite 62 – 66 Online

7) Potreck-Rose/Friederike: Von der Freude den Selbstwert zu stärken, zehnte, erweiterte Auflage Stuttgart 2014, Seite 39 Online

8) Potreck-Rose/Friederike: Von der Freude den Selbstwert zu stärken, zehnte, erweiterte Auflage Stuttgart 2014, Seite 84 – 93 Online

9) BRIN ̃OL, PABLO/ Petty, Richard E./Wagner, Benjamin: Body posture effects on self-evaluation: A self–validation approach, Universidad Auto ́noma de Madrid, Ohio State University, 2009. Online




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