by Catherine Pratt
Recently, I was asked the following question about how to build confidence and self esteem. I thought I'd share this question and my response as I'm sure there are many people who are going through the same situation.
How do I even start to build confidence and self-esteem? I did things in the past I wished I hadn’t.
That's a big question but it's really not as overwhelming as it might seem at first glance. It's just a matter of taking it step by step.
Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. has a great quote which says,
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can"
And, this is exactly how you start to build confidence. Start where you are and by raising your awareness you slowly step by step become more and more confident. It can actually be a pretty exciting journey as you let go of past hurts but still use the knowledge you have gained from them as stepping stones to becoming the absolute best you can be.
One of the biggest secrets is knowing and understanding that you’re the one in control of your life and you have complete power of what you think about. Change your thoughts and you can change your life.
To answer the part of your question where you ask, "I did things in the past I wish I hadn’t", I responded to someone else who was going through something similar. Here's my response to that person: "How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself"
I think if you read this, it will answer some of your questions on this part. Definitely let me know if you still have questions after reading it.
So, what else do you do to start to build confidence?
There's a number of different ways to look at this. One way might be to start looking inside of yourself to figure out why you don't have high self esteem. Does it link back to events that happened when you were a child? For example, did someone tell you were ugly or not very smart or not good enough? If there is, then you can work on starting to heal that part of you.
It's also a matter of forgiving yourself for things you did in the past. You need to remember that you did the best you could at the time. If you could go back and do it again, you might not make the same decision but that's only because you have more information now. At the time, you did the best you could. We go through experiences so that we can learn and grow from them. The next time something similar happens, you will have a much better idea on how to deal with it.
Forgiveness also involves forgiving anyone that you feel hurt you in the past. Let the hurt go and just keep the learnings from the experience. As the quote by Dr. Michael Beckwith says, you need to get to the point where you can say, "thank you for giving me that experience". You have probably become much stronger and wiser for the experience.
You could also look at what's working and what's not working in your life. In the areas that aren't working, is it because you have limiting beliefs or outdated thoughts? Lots of times, we develop strategies when we're young, like not standing up for ourselves, in order to keep us safe. These strategies might work when we're young but not when we're grown up. It's just a matter of being aware of what thoughts you have and what kind of results they're causing in your life. I have an article called, "How To Change Your Thoughts" which explains what I mean more. You also might be interested in looking at, “Changing Core Beliefs”.
So, you need to be aware of what you feel needs work and then once you know that, you can work on the “how” you’re going to do that.
But, you’ve actually done the hardest step which is realizing that you want to make changes. Your mind is open and willing to start building your self esteem. That’s a huge step you’ve made. It’s now just a matter of starting the journey.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Hope that helps a little bit anyway. I have lots of articles on my site which deal with different aspects of building your confidence. Maybe take a look at some of them and then if you have more specific questions, I can try to answer those for you.
Thanks for your question.