If you’ve ever driven or walked in heavy fog, you know you can’t see very far ahead. You don’t know what’s coming at you, you can’t see what you might hit if you keep going, you might not even really know if you are on the right road at all.
Being in an unhappy relationship is like that. You can try to keep going, even though you know it’s not good or safe, but then you don’t know from second to second what is about to come crashing into your life – more likely than not bringing stress and disaster.
It can feel like you’re trapped, because where can you run if you don’t know what dangers are around you? You do have choices, though.
You can continue muddling through the fog of unhappiness.
You can get out of the fog and move on to a brighter, sunnier place that isn’t wrapped in thick fog.
You can figure out a way to feel safe while still in the fog.
A lot of people just stay trapped and feel sorry for themselves, and complain to anyone who happens to wander into their fog, but that, staying in an unhappy state, is in itself, a choice.
Take Action and Embrace Positivity
If that’s where you are right now, trapped in an unhappy relationship, do something positive for yourself. I’m not saying leave the relationship. I’m not saying stay in it. Only you can decide that part. I’m saying, there are things you can do to bring positivity into your life, and you should take action and do the positive things – for yourself – that feel right to you.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Low self esteem is like an invisible bully you unleash on yourself.
To kick its butt – if you ever want to have peace – you have to recognize it and see the fear behind it.
Then you have to look inside yourself and see the good, and maybe accept that there’s some bad, and then just accept that the fear is unfounded.
Building Self Confidence to Defeat Low Self Esteem
One exercise I love for improving self esteem is writing a pleasure list.
Think about what makes you happy, and what makes you smile – then write these happy things down.
Examples are loved ones, pets, places you enjoy, hobbies or sports you like, your favorite flowers, or a favorite funny TV show.
Keep the list handy, so when you start to feel down or you’re having a day that makes you feel like your self esteem is nonexistent, you can pull out the list and reread it to bring your spirits up.
If you’re fighting depression, it can be hard to think of things that make you happy, so in that case, add a couple things you do to help others to your list if it feels hard to think of anything that makes you smile.
Self empowerment and self confidence begin with removing, or strengthening, the parts that feel small and weak within yourself, so you can create a strong self image to use as a healthy foundation for building a healthier, happier future.
Your self image creates the way you look at and measure not only yourself, but also your role as a friend, spouse, parent, employee, and every other role you have in this life.
A Bad Self Image Puts Healthy Relationships at Risk
If your self image is negative – if you lack self love and self respect – it puts you at risk of ending up unhappy and lonely – no matter how many people are around you or love you.
Your self image is how you see yourself and your role in this life – and it can be incredibly hard to change if you have a negative sense of self because it is our natural reaction to (generally external) events that happen in our lives.
No one else can develop a more positive sense of self esteem for you, it requires determination and effort on your part, but it is worth the effort.
When you begin to increase self confidence, it feels like a window is opening inside of you, letting in sunshine and positivity.
(It’s not a real window – obviously – it’s just an emotional sense of well-being.)
A poor self image doesn’t blossom into full fledged self confidence overnight – and it is unlikely to happen in a big, life changing “zap.”
Your self image most likely didn’t get damaged from a single tiny incident, so it takes more than a single tiny incident to restore.
Depression Is Only One of the Dangers of Poor Self Esteem
According to the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Center, there are several consequences of poor self-esteem:
Problems developing friendships
Problem in romantic relationships
Impaired academic performance
Poor performance at work
Heightened vulnerability to chemical dependency
Avoiding the pain of these situations can give you a pretty powerful reason to want to increase your level of self respect, but knowing you need a healthy self image doesn’t tell you how to build confidence so you can get one.
Luckily, there are tools to help you recognize unhealthy patterns and to improve your self confidence.
Tools for Developing a Healthy Self Image
You can use positive self talk, journaling, and visualization to help yourself from within, in addition to asking for help from others, to help increase your willpower and to keep you focused on building a better self image.
Positive self talk: Give yourself a break! Instead of saying negative, self-deprecating things about yourself, like, “I’m such a clutz,” or “I’m so stupid.”
Focus on the things you do well – and make a point to say something about your positive aspects, at least inside your mind, and never speak the negative.
If you catch yourself thinking or saying negative things about yourself, make a conscious decision to stop.
Journaling: Use the same approach to daily journaling that was mentioned above, but instead of speaking the positive words about yourself, write them – even if it’s only one positive sentence every day.
If you’re really depressed and down on yourself, to where you can’t think of one positive thing to say, you can seek help from a loved one or a professional, or find some positive self image quotes and write them in your journal.
Visualization: Visualization is a powerful tool in building a positive self image, or anything you want out of life.
You can use the positive things you write in your journal as the basis for visualization, or use a guided meditation, or plan out your own self guided visualization to increase your self confidence.
External help: While asking for help can be the hardest thing to do when you’re self image is damaged, it is a powerful tool if you feel able to ask for help – and there is always help available if you reach out for it.
Help can come in the form of a loved one who helps you see the good in yourself, or a professional counselor.
There are so many reasons to take action and avoid the risk of depression and loneliness that comes from having a damaged self image, but the real and best reason is that you will feel better if you build a healthy sense of self and increase your self confidence.
Visualization is quite simply using your imagination. You create a scenario in your mind, just like a day dream and imagine yourself as part of it. It’s important to know that people visualize differently. Some peoples’ visual clarity is vibrant, full of color and as real as everyday life. For many others, when they close their eyes, they see darkness. This is completely normal, there isn’t anything wrong with these people, and it certainly does not mean that they can’t visualize. It’s just that they visualize at a deeper part of the mind, a part that they can’t mentally ‘see’ when they are awake. But pretty much everyone has woken up after having a dream and can recall pictures of what they were dreaming about. This proves that everyone certainly has the ability to visualize, just like everyone else. Again, it’s just that it happens on a different level of consciousness that isn’t normally seen while you are awake. Even though the pictures may not be seen, they are still there, and most people can “feel” that the picture is there and at some level are aware of it. The good news is that the more you practice, the more likely you are to start seeing those pictures with greater clarity and awareness.
The key thing to realize about your mind is that it doesn’t think in words. You mind actually uses visual imagery to communicate or think. We can use visualization as method for directly communicating with our mind. By imagining something as vividly as possible it’s sends a clear message to your mind, directing it’s inner resources to make your dreams a reality.
Why does Visualization work?
Visualization works because the mind doesn’t really know the difference between regular waking reality, dreams or consciously directed visualization. The mind understands all of these experiences as if it were a true waking experience. We use our conscious selves to determine the difference between normal waking reality and the dream world, but to the subconscious mind, they are one and the same. Think of visualizing as a mental practice that over time will enable you to perform the visualized acts in real everyday life. So if we use this powerful visualizing ability that we all possess, we are utilizing all of our inner resources to help us succeed. At the very least, no one can claim that visualizing hinders a performance, so there certainly isn’t any harm in it. Please keep an open mind and give it a try as we go through the exercises.
How to make Visualization extremely effective
There are some things to be aware of about visualizing that will improve it’s overall effectiveness. To make sure that your visualization is as effective as possible, we have to make it as sensory intensive as possible. This means that visualizing should include much more than just visual stimulation. We also want to imagine our other senses; touch, smell, hearing and taste. The more senses included in the experience, the more believable the experience will appear to your mind, improving it’s effectiveness. Think of it as if we are trying to recreate reality within our minds, in a way fooling ourselves into thinking that we truly had the experience. The advantage in working with visualization reality over normal reality is that we get to write the script ourselves, allowing us to create a scenario precisely the way we want it to be.
Include yourself in the visualization
So what is the one thing that is always present in all of your waking life experiences? It’s you! You are always there, always present during any of your experiences. So this means that we also want to include ourselves in the visualization process. Sometimes we can get caught up in visualizing a goal, we create a visual movie complete with smells, audio etc. but we forget to include ourselves in the picture. So remember to also include yourself when you are doing your visualizations. It makes it more like a real experience that has happened to you in the past.
Now consider if you just visualize yourself in the movie as a passive character. Just there sensing what is going on around you. That really doesn’t include everything that you normally experience is it? Normally, while you are experiencing things in life, you are thinking about what it happening, reacting and feeling emotions. Well guess what? We want to include these as well. So when you create your visualizations be sure to include yourself acting, reacting, thinking about what you are experiencing.
The most powerful, and probably the most important thing about visualizing is to really feel the emotions. I mean really intensely, don’t worry if it feels silly, or childish, just do it. If you are visualizing kissing a girl in the rain, don’t just experience the kiss itself, also feel the rain running through your hair. Feel the intensity of the emotions of that passionate kiss, really feel everything just as if you were really in that situation. I promise that the more energy you put into these visualizations the more success you will have in achieving your goals.
Visualization is for everyone, particularly successful people.
The human brain thinks in visual imagery
Visualization is effective even if you have trouble ‘seeing’ the mental picture – just think the thoughts and feel the emotions
The brain can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination or visualization
Remember to include the following in your visualizations.
Visual Intensity, Clarity and Vibrancy
Include yourself in the action.
Intellect (What are you thinking during the visualization?)
Emotions (What feelings are you having during the visualization?)
Rather than chat about my thoughts on building self confidence, for tonight’s post I just want to share these five inspiring quotes and a few words about why I love each of them. I hope you’ll find them to be great confidence booster, and that you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did.
5 Self Esteem Quotes
“Self-trust is the first secret of success.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you don’t believe you can do something, you won’t be able to. It’s believing in yourself and trusting your own inner knowledge that guides each of us to – or away from – personal success.
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.”
– Les Brown
Does anyone really know you better than you know yourself? No one can know every thought, every nuance of character that slides through each of our minds, so no one else’s opinion of us really matters a bit. You know in your heart who you are, block out the voices of others that ring in your ears if they bring you negativity and false judgement.
“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anyone or anything.”
– Ayn Rand
Don’t waste your life and your heart chasing after or waiting on someone who does not even love him or herself and who is incapable of loving you – if they don’t love themselves, they won’t ever truly love you – they are incapable. That also goes for you – if you want to be capable of loving someone else, recognize what is good ad lovable in yourself, and let it blossom before you draw someone else into a loveless relationship.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you won’t do anything with it.”
– M. Scott Peck
Learn your worth – walk away from the TV or computer games, or whatever your “escape” thing is – and show yourself what you are capable of – learn what you – what your time is worth – then make a beautiful, positive impact on the world, because you owe it to yourself to do that.
“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”
– Margaret Thatcher
It’s true – if you do the right thing even when it’s hard, it touches you to the core of your being, and that goes the opposite way too, though. If you do the wrong thing, it leaves a charred mark on your spirit that takes a long time to heal – if it ever does.
Pretty much everyone has something that makes them feel a little bit, or a lot, quivery and weak in the core of their being – some thing they’re afraid others will judge them harshly for – or make fun of them for – or that they feel is missing in themselves that makes them put themselves through a sense of loss and pain.
What Is Self Confidence?
Self confidence is being aware of and believing in yourself, your innate powers, and your abilities, both inborn and learned.
It is also not being afraid to speak up when you know the answer, or to ask a question when there’s something you don’t understand.
It’s knowing that no matter what anyone else thinks, or you might imagine they think, it’s irrelevant in comparison to your own knowledge of your self worth.
Finally, it is feeling okay about yourself – and if you have that, the world feels pretty great.
If you don’t have it, it’s time for you take some steps so you can, because it’s a game changer, in a good way, and THAT, is the whole reason for this site.
Building Self Confidence
Don’t expect self confidence to blossom like a rose overnight – (though I hope it will for you.)
For most people, especially if starting with a damaged self-esteem, it takes a series of successes to wake up a positive self image.
However, just like a house or a multi-million-dollar corporation isn’t built overnight, a great sense of self isn’t built overnight.
How to Build Confidence
Make a list of things that are positive about yourself and your life. If you’re really bummed and struggling, make a fake list. There’s nothing wrong with a fake it till you make it approach, especially when it comes to putting positive thoughts in your subconscious mind.
That’s why I suggest writing it down, in list form. You have to think it in order to write it, then you see your hands writing the words.
Then, put your positivity list where you can read it several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning and right before bed, but the more times you read it each day, the better it’ll work.
How to Be More Confident
If you’re really struggling to boost your self esteem and self confidence, go out of your way to help someone else – whether it’s with something big or small, just do what you can, it has the same effect on your psyche regardless of what it is.
The act of helping someone else creates an almost unbelievably positive feeling, so make sure you add it to your list so you can recall the deed and the feeling at any time by simply reviewing your list.
This works because if you are helping someone else, then you aren’t thinking about anything that’s bad in your life.
Two Great Self Confidence Quotes
“Nothing builds self esteem and self confidence like accomplishment.”
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.”
Self improvement starts with self empowerment and leads you to a new, more fulfilling life. There has to be that one moment where you stop and go, “Oh wow! I can do this!” or “I am worth it!”
Give yourself permission to be awesome, then just do it! Your power is already inside of you, waiting as potential, like stored energy, so go ahead and use it.
Consider the tidbits of information below and then tell me what you’re doing to empower yourself to rewrite your life story – or don’t tell me – and just go live your best life because you deserve it!
Visualization is a powerful tool that you can use when you’re ready to take control of your life.
I remember hearing and reading statements like that in the past, and until I reached the point where I was ready, deep down, to move on to something better, happier, it sounded like – well – bunk – to me.
Then one day, I was reading a book, and while it wasn’t a book about visualization, it discussed how to effectively visualize, and explained the steps, and I gave it a try – just like that, visualization made sense to me.
Whether you are thinking about love relationships, relationships with your friends, or familial relationships, you can’t have truly healthy relationships without learning to love yourself first.
That, in turn, means self empowerment is the first step, and the key, to learning how to develop healthy relationships.
Self respect comes to visit you when you begin to let your inner strength grow and you take control of your life.
Building a better life – building the life you want to live – is all about action – and if you don’t take it, chances are you’re going to stay stuck right where you are.
Self confidence is like the cherry on top of the dessert. It’s your prize for your hard word.
It’s your reward for taking action and choosing self empowerment and for rewriting your life story so it turns out the way you want it.
I just finished reading a book by author Maulin Hendriks, How to Control Your Thoughts: Mind Control Techniques to Change the Way You Think and Attract Success and Happiness, and I wanted to share a little bit about it here because its theme fits so perfectly with my goal of sharing positive things here.
This book is not super long – a quick to read piece of mind-candy – to boost your spirits and brighten your mood. How to Control Your Mind is a reminder to recognize negativity and it offers a handful of effective tips for breaking the pattern of negativity in your life.
“Find the opportunity in every difficulty.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book, because it fits so cleanly with my personal philosophy in life. I used to get stuck in self-pity, and sometimes it still catches up with me, but not as much, because now whenever I start to feel overwhelmed – or maybe underwhelmed is a more accurate word – I stop and force myself to create something positive.
“Don’t let the negative forces of this world slow you down or leak into your thoughts. -Accept, push through, and rebound.”
I also loved this about the book, How to Control Your Thoughts: Mind Control Techniques to Change the Way You Think and Attract Success and Happiness, because it recognizes that negative things outside of yourself are going to be affecting you, but you can choose how to respond, how to react, and you can move forward by making a conscious choice to focus on the positive.