Life is not always easy. The stresses and challenges of modern life make it a real challenge to meet these demands with self-confidence. Fortunately, there are a multitude of helpful resources out there to assist those of us that need it. So, how do we build self-confidence?

Here are some suggestions that I’ve researched that will be the most probable to help:

Set new personal and professional goals

While the goals should be realistic, our dreams help us with identity and the meaning of life, particularly during times when we’re facing some of the hardest in our lives. A good way to gain motivation and boost our self-esteem to face our most challenging is to reflect on our greatest past achievements in our lifetimes. For example, if you had been given an award for your exceptional work performance or for making a difference, think about how it made you feel to be rewarded and recognised for your efforts.



Limit negative thoughts

No, we can’t help those negative thoughts that pop into our heads. However, we don’t have to allow ourselves a great deal of time dwelling on them, as they can discourage us from pushing through. There’s an old saying – “misery loves company” – which highlights the realisation that negative thinking can get progressively worse and consequently have an impact on our self-esteem. To sum it up, try focusing your attention on something positive, exciting or motivating to get your mind off the negative thinking.



Worry less about what others think

At times, we can put too much into what other people say and think about us, and it can end up hurting our self-esteem, particularly if it’s extremely negative. When someone gives a negative or critical opinion remark about you, try to be more objective in how you view the criticism, so it can be helpful without damaging your self-confidence. Also, criticise yourself less. Placing our happiness in the hands of others can be problematic. A healthy self-esteem can’t simply come from the validation of other people who tell us they like us.

Ask for help when you need it

Sometimes, we simply need to ask for help. Has there been a family death? Are you going through a divorce or a bad breakup? Counselling has been very effective at helping a broad range of people. A sign of mental health is asking for help when you need it. So, when it feels like life is becoming too much, ask for aid. The Mental Health Association of Malta has information and resources on mental wellness. Talking to family members that you trust in confidence may also help when you share your feelings.



Get back up

When it feels like the knocks of life have us down, we have to get back up again to succeed. Some of our greatest achievements in life that make us feel like we’ve accomplished something great all started with trying again after multiple failures. A good way to understand the importance of getting back up again is by observing babies when they’re learning to walk. When we first started standing and tried to take the first steps, we’d constantly fall, yet we’d get back up and try again until we succeeded. So, apply that mindset in life, for it is an innate impetus within us all.