Realizing Your Potential: 15 Tips for Nurturing a Positive Self-Image
It can be difficult in this day and age to keep your self-confidence up. You may not have people around you tearing you down, but everyone is their own worst critic. However, constantly belittling yourself achieves nothing except making you feel worse, and that’s not a healthy mindset to take. Instead of beating yourself up all the time, here are some great tips to start developing and fostering a positive self-image.
- Doing Something Creative
One way to feel great about yourself is to engage in something creative. I can put the flow of energy back into your life and will stimulate the brain since you’re trying out something new. And because creative activities had no hard, fast rules, you can pretty much do anything you want. As long as you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, then there’s no bar to meet in what you make in the end. Write a poem, paint something wild, or just bang out a few notes on the piano. You can’t go wrong with putting your energy out there.
- Exercise a Little Bit
You may not feel like you want to move around, but getting some exercise can actually brighten your mood a little bit. It gets the blood flowing, it moves more oxygen around the body, and will get the serotonin flowing. This is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of well-being, so even just a brisk walk is enough to work. You may want to look at Moms Into Fitness to see what you can do a few hours a week to start feeling better about yourself.
- Stop Worrying About Others’ Thoughts
You can’t control what other people think about you so you shouldn’t waste so much energy concerning yourself with their thoughts. It may feel like eyes are on you all the time, watching what you do, but once you stop caring about them, you’ll actually feel more confident and embrace any challenge that comes your way. Make choices based on what you want, not what other people expect from you.
- Celebrate the Small Victories
Give yourself a pat on the back for the small things you do accomplish during the day. Did you get out of bed on time and make yourself some breakfast? Great job! Did you put your laundry away instead of leaving it on a pile on the floor? Excellent! Letting yourself feel good for the things you have gotten done is the fastest way to build your self-confidence again.
- Push the Boundaries of Your Comfort Zone
Once you feel comfortable in your own skin, it’s time to push the boundaries again. Try something new, like meeting new people or trying out a new hobby. Do as much as you’re comfortable with and see if you enjoy it. But allow yourself to make mistakes too and don’t withdraw when you do. Testing yourself to see what you’re capable of will build your confidence.
- Move Past Your Past
A lot of people with self-confidence issues tend to dwell on mistakes they’ve made in the past as proof that they’re not good people. Well, it’s time to let go of all that baggage weighing you down. It will only keep you trapped in low self-esteem. If you can, seek the advice of a trained counselor to help you come to terms with and move past these issues.
- Avoid Negative People
You may have become friends for certain reasons in the beginning, but if they’ve become Negative Nancys in your life, then it’s time to let them go. Keeping this kind of person around you at all times is not going to help you move on or to improve. They’ll always put you down or take advantage of you, and that’s not what you need in your life.
- Look For Supportive People
On the upside, with these negative people gone, you can start restructuring your friend circle with more positive people who are interested in supporting you. Look for people that make you feel good about yourself and won’t let you backslide into negative thinking.
Look for people in new hobbies that you’re trying out who are encouraging you in your efforts. You’ll be surprised to find that they have a lot of good things to say about you that you may not even know about yourself.
- Accept Failure as Natural
No one is born perfect, so it’s natural for everyone to make a mistake. It may feel like you have to be absolutely perfect on your very first try, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. Instead, shift your thinking to see failure as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes so that you can do better next time. Failure means that you’re at least making an effort to try, and that’s better than not trying at all.
If you do feel a bit overwhelmed after a particular failure, step back and give yourself a break from it all. This will give you time to think things over and approach things from another angle.
- Creating Personal Boundaries
Knowing what your boundaries are and making them known to other people will set yourself up for success. Don’t be afraid to inform people when they’ve crossed those boundaries too so that they know to back off. If they continue disrespecting your boundaries, by controlling or manipulating you, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and tell them to stop. If they care about your well-being at all, they will stop. If not, then they are not people you want in your life.
- Redefine Success
There is no clear-cut standard of what success looks like. Instead, you should figure out what success means for you so that you can start the road to building your own confidence. By setting the bar for yourself, you can build your self-esteem because you’re not trying to live up to the ideals of someone else. That gives you more wiggle room to achieve what you set your mind to, allowing you to take those baby steps towards a better self-image.
- Listing Your Accomplishments
Things about all the things that you’ve accomplished in your life, no matter how big or small or ordinary. Finished high school and college? Did you get good grades in a particular class? Have you volunteers or donated to charity? These are all things you’ve done or been through that you chose to complete instead of giving up, and deserve all the praise.
By making a list, you’ll also see that you’ve done quite a lot in your life and that you’re not just wasting your life away.
- Everyone Makes Mistakes
The only people who are “perfect” are those people who have learned a lot from their mistakes or those people who are lying about getting it right on the first go. You’ll never wants going to work for you unless you try, and the mistakes will help you to grow into a better person because you’ll learn how to do things better. Don’t let the mistakes get you down; just look at them as hurdles to doing better the next time around.
- Focus on the Mutable
You can spend a lot of energy dwelling on the things you can do nothing about, or you can take all of that energy and redirect it towards the things you can change. In the former, you’ll be doing a lot of thinking but not actually changing the situation; in the latter, you’ll be making a change for the better. Even if it’s just something about yourself, changing your mindset or your response to things is much better than making no change at all. You’ll only end up going in circles and waste all that energy you have.
- Be Nice To Yourself
As was stated before, everyone is their own worst enemy, so to start building your self-esteem, give yourself a break and learn to be nice to yourself. Speak to yourself in the same way you would to any friends you have who are feeling down about themselves. It can be a really hard thing to start doing at first because you’ve trained your brain to only think a certain way, but with practice, it becomes a lot easier.
Challenge any negative thoughts you have about yourself by pointing out a good characteristic you know about yourself, such as being their for friends when they need help, for example. Soon, those negative aspects you focus on will start to shrink in the back of your mind until they disappear altogether.
It can be really difficult to build your self-image from the ground up, especially when you don’t have a good foundation. But like building a house, you have to clear away all the negative stuff in order to work with a clean slate. Having a good support structure and sound materials to construct your self-confidence out of will definitely set you on the right path to seeing yourself in a new light.