Self-confidence wasn’t always the picture of who I am. I was the little girl that hid behind her mother’s dress. I was the teenager (and young adult) that walked around with her head down instead of proudly looking forward. I was the woman that constantly thought she had a big ass, because I got teased when I was in middle school for having “curves”. Yep… I was that girl/woman.

Note the word WAS…

With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes self-confidence and attitude of “I don’t give a damn” of what others think about me. Thank gawd for that!

Today, I walk with my head up high, love the body that I’m in, and generally feel like I rule my own roost like it’s nobody’s business (because it isn’t).

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone.

Despite my self-declared wisdom, there’s some things I’ve done over that years that have helped boost my self-confidence and give me that sense of knowing that I’m great no matter what society throws at me.

If anything, I hope that sharing these things with you will give you a start in improving your own sense of self. The trick is to go beyond reading this article and start putting some of these things into action.

Action is key!

Exercise

I’m grateful that this practice has stuck with me since I was a teenager. My first loves were bodybuilding and cycling. Over the years, my fitness has dug me out of some pretty deep dark places. I’ve also tried so many different things. Hiking, walking, running, squash, volleyball, badminton, softball, skiing, snowshoeing, and of course yoga, to name a few.

Some people think they have to stick to the same activity day in and day out, but if you’re anything like me, you need variety.

The one major benefit that’s come from my yoga practice is that it’s increased my sense of acceptance and of compassion for myself. Yoga is a humbling practice and allows us to meet ourselves exactly where we’re at in our live, accept what can’t be changed, and gives us the fortitude to work towards changing what we can.

Surround Myself With Great Friends

I’ve never been one to have a huge group of friends. I know and care for a lot of people, but 1 to 2 close friends is all I’ve ever needed or wanted.

In times in my life when I haven’t had this, I’ve always felt alone. Loneliness and no friends led me to the ridiculous belief that no one wanted to be around me. In reality, I was the one not taking action and making the effort to keep my friendships alive or to get out to places where I could meet new people.

To this day, I only have a few very close friends, but every time we get together, every time we have fun, act silly, have deep conversations, I feel confident, alive and full.

Accept Compliments With Gratitude Rather Than Embarrassment

When’s the last time you honestly accepted a compliment and allowed it to make you feel great about yourself? Or accepted the compliment without thinking that the giver must want something in return!

Most times, when someone gives us a compliment, it’s because they mean it. If someone tells you that you look terrific today, don’t assume that you don’t look terrific on other days. Don’t go over the 100 things that you think are not terrific about you. Don’t question the compliment by saying “really?”.

Just accept it. Believe it. Let it boost you up.

In turn, start giving people compliments. In life, the more you give, the more you receive, and that includes a good compliment.

Dress for Success

When we look good, we feel good. I don’t mean looking good in the eye of the unrealistic societal expectations. I mean looking good according to your true definition of looking and feeling good.

Personally, I feel great when I wear a nice pair of jeans, some high heels or fancy boots, and a dressy shirt or t-shirt. On other days, I feel great wearing my yoga pants.

What I do know, is that I don’t feel good when I stay in my pyjamas all day.

When I worked outside of home, I almost always wore jeans to work. Dressy jeans, nice shoes or boots, and a nice top, but still… jeans. It made me feel good.

Now that I work from home, I still take the time to dress up. Because of my line of work, it’s often yoga pants, but on the days I don’t have to teach or record videos, I make sure that I dress up, put on my makeup and face the day like a boss.

When I stay in my PJs, I feel lazy, unproductive, and in the end, I don’t feel very good about myself because of it.

Help Others

Let’s get this straight and out there right now! You are not the centre of the universe! Yes… if you want to get philosophical about it, you are the universe, but let’s leave that for another chat.

If all you’re doing is focusing on yourself, you become the centre of all that is, all the problems that exist, including your poor self-confidence.

Yes, do take time to care for yourself, but also take the time to help others. When we help others, we realize that our problems are not the end all be all of our universe. We realize that people need us, despite our inequities. We realize that people are in worse off situations than we could ever imagine. We also realize that we an make people smile.

By helping others, we usually feel good about ourselves and what we’re doing.

It doesn’t have to be a big task or a huge volunteer effort, but start with something.

Over the years I’ve volunteered in many ways. Teens against drunk driving, yearbook committee, student council in college, president of the daycare’s parent committee, hockey team manager, hockey team fundraising, and the list goes on.

As much as these things have taken up my time, they’ve also allowed me to feel great about helping others. I encourage you to find one thing you can do to help others.

How Do You Do It?

There are definitely other things I could add to this list, but these are some of the major ones. Do you lack self-confidence? Have you come from a place of lack into a place of abundance when it comes to your sense of self? What tips and tricks do you use to help boost your self-confidence? Comment below and let me know.