A Daily Checklist to Help Improve Your Self-Confidence

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If you’re one of the millions of people who struggle with low self-confidence each day, you already know how much of a toll it can take. Feeling bad about oneself leads to a litany of negative physical and mental health effects, including social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-neglect. While virtually all humans feel some form of low self-esteem at some point in their life, demographics play a role. Women and adolescents are more likely to exhibit low self-esteem, while race, ethnicity, sexual identity and socioeconomic factors also contribute.

So, in order to be happy, healthy and successful, we know that it’s extremely important to foster feelings of positive self-love each and every day. But how do we do that? There are thousands of different ways, but one of the simplest is to implement routine micro-adjustments into your everyday life, including the following suggestions. Rather than making broad, brash life changes—such as getting plastic surgery, making a massive move or quitting your job, for example—these are easily implemented, daily rituals that will slowly but surely help you build yourself into a more confident human being.

Create Your Own Self-Love Mantra—

Mantras are simple words or phrases repeated, either out loud or in your head, to help you reach a state of focus or calm. In moments when you’re feeling less-than, you can repeat a self-love mantra in your head to help you return your thoughts to a place of positivity. Yours can be something super-simple—I love myself or I am worthy of love—or something longer and more specific to your unique situation. Write it, read it, repeat it.

Start the Day with a Confidence-Boosting Routine—

Your morning routine sets the tone for the entire day and has the power to kick you off in a happy, confident mindset. In the morning, make sure you build in little micro-activities to boost your self-esteem before you head out the door, like reading a few positive affirmations or taking the time for a 15-minute meditation session. Play your favorite music as you get ready and wear clothing that makes you feel amazing.

Make Your Free Time About Self-Care—

Being a happy, healthy adult really comes down to one thing—taking good care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Make sure to build in daily self-care rituals, such as burning calming candles, taking relaxing bubble baths, eating healthy meals and taking the time to check in with yourself a few times a day. This will make you feel more in-tune with your mind, body and self-confidence level so you can adjust as you go.

Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Amazing—

There really is truth to the old cliché “when you look good, you feel good.” The transformative effect of a power suit or an evening gown is like nothing in the world, so make sure you’re spending time experimenting with fits, styles and colors so you know what translates to self-confidence for you. It also helps to shop with retailers that promote inclusiveness and body-positive clothing to surround yourself with positivity from every angle.

Support Your Spiritual Side—

Sometimes the harsh, hard-hitting reality of the world can wear you down and make you feel unworthy. Taking healthy breaks from the focus, demands and stress of the material world can be reparative and can lead to a more positive self-image. The key is to do this in healthy ways that lead to growth and not to find solace in destructive behaviors such as drugs or alcohol. Consider yoga, meditation and support groups to help you get in touch with your spiritual side and to help calm the mind on a deeper level.

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Talk to Someone Who Builds You Up—

It doesn’t matter if it’s your closest friend who’s happy to listen selflessly or a professional therapist who’s trained to do so, it really helps if you keep in touch with people who validate your feelings and help you explore them on a deeper level. Prioritize your communications with people who build you up and make you feel secure rather than those who may take pleasure out of chipping away at your self-confidence.

Do Something Physical—

There’s no better way to feel strong and self-confident than by taking a long run or bike ride. Not only will you feel the immediate effects of adrenaline and a runner’s high, but you’ll experience the long-term effects of physical health and a more positive self-image. The important thing is to focus on small, attainable activities, such as doing a daily 20-minute workout routine or taking a walk around the block, and building up from there.

Avoid the Trap of Self-Optimization…—

Don’t mix up financial success, a busy schedule, hard work or getting stuff done for self-confidence. Doing this can trick your mind into an obsession with self-optimization—putting every single second of your life towards work or self-improvement. Ultimately, this will leave you feeling stressed, burnt out and uninspired. Give yourself at least an hour a day of idle time to watch TV, browse Instagram, play video games or do nothing.

…But Set (and Reach) Daily Goals—

An obsession with self-optimization is not healthy, but neither is stagnancy or laziness. Be sure that you’re doing big and small things each day to reach your goals and set yourself up for success later on. Follow the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) goal-setting technique to ensure that you meet and exceed each one.

Learn to Be Easy on Yourself

 Even if you don’t realize it, your self-confidence greatly affects every action you take and every decision you make. The most important thing you can do to achieve higher levels of self-approval is this: Learn to treat yourself the way you treat others. Give yourself passes, practice empathy and be patient with every goal you set. Over time, you’ll slowly build yourself into a self-assured and poised individual.