HOW TO PRACTICE SELF-COMPASSION AND BUILD A STABLE SENSE OF CONFIDENCE
Being kinder to yourself pushes you to make positive changes
BY HIRANMAYII AWLI MOHANAN
Feeling really, really good about yourself undoubtedly ranks at the top of the long list of life goals that include being healthy, happy, and fulfilled for many individuals. And that comes with gaining confidence, which typically entails raising your self-esteem a subjective assessment of your deservingness. Self-esteem is weak because it depends on outside validation, such as compliments at work or likes on an Instagram post. Comparison, feelings of alienation, and criticism come in when things don’t go as planned. Building confidence allows individuals to take risks, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. In this article, we will discuss how to practice self-compassion and build a stable sense of confidence.
1. Identify Your Inner Critic
The first step in practicing self-compassion is identifying your inner critic. This voice in our heads is the one that tells us we are not good enough, smart enough, or attractive enough. Once you identify your inner critic, you can start to challenge its negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations.
2. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment and accepting your thoughts and emotions without judgment. It is a powerful tool in practicing self-compassion as it allows you to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them. Mindfulness can also help you build a stronger sense of confidence by allowing you to focus on the present moment rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
3. Practice Self-Care
Practicing self-care is an essential part of self-compassion. Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally can help you feel more confident and resilient. This can include activities such as exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
4. Reframe Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts can be detrimental to both self-compassion and confidence. When negative thoughts arise, try to reframe them in a positive light. For example, instead of saying “I’m not good enough,” reframe the thought as “I am doing the best I can, and that is enough.”
5. Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for, no matter how small. This can help you build a sense of confidence and resilience, knowing that there are positive aspects of your life that you can appreciate.
6. Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals can help build confidence as it allows you to achieve small successes that lead to larger ones. When setting goals, make sure they are achievable and measurable. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way, no matter how small.
7. Practice Self-Compassionate Self-Talk
Finally, practice self-compassionate self-talk. This involves speaking to yourself as you would to a friend who is struggling. Offer words of encouragement, support, and kindness. This can help build a stable sense of confidence as it allows you to see yourself in a positive light.
8. Put a Hand on Your Heart
Touching your heart or your cheek “is probably the most widely used, simple, and physiologically transformative experience toward self-compassion. (You’re likely already doing it when you receive bad news, you may instinctively put your hand on your heart!) This self-touch lowers cortisol levels. Also, when you rub your chest, specifically, you may activate your vagus nerve, the main nerve of your parasympathetic (or “rest and digest”) system.
In conclusion, self-compassion and confidence are essential qualities that are necessary for leading a fulfilling life. By identifying your inner critic, being mindful, practicing self-care, reframing negative thoughts, practicing gratitude, setting realistic goals, and practicing self-compassionate self-talk, you can develop a stable sense of confidence and self-compassion. Remember that building these qualities takes time and effort, but with practice, you can cultivate a positive and resilient mindset that will serve you well throughout your life.