Author Topic: 9 Habits to Build a Strong Sense of Self And become more confident and secure  (Read 139 times)


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9 Habits to Build a Strong Sense of Self
And become more confident and secure in who you are.

by-Deborah Lara

1. Live By Your Own Principles, Values, and Standards
Living from your authentic self means living a life that’s your own and not driven by the standards, norms, and expectations of others. To develop true inner confidence and live from your authentic self, you alone must define what’s important to you, what you believe, and how you want to live.

If you the approval of others didn’t matter to you…
How would you actually want to live?
What would you care about?
How would you spend your time?
What would you believe in and express?
How would you present yourself?
What would you do for a living?
What would you buy or not buy?
How would you spend your free time?
Who would you spend it with?

2. Grow From Adversity and Welcome Novelty Into Your Life
Overcoming adversity — whether you chose the challenge or life thrust it upon you — is an important part of developing your character. Through the process of navigating new challenges, you nurture skillsets, strengths, and virtues. You develop self-trust, inner resolve, and new levels of awareness.

A few ways to do so…
Choose to take on new challenges and change intentionally: Go on a solo trip to a foreign country, change careers, enroll in an educational program, start a new relationship, start a business, learn a new language or art form.
Seek out perspectives and ways of living that are different from your own: If you’re left-wing, read about right-wing perspectives. If you’re a Christian, learn about other religions or atheist perspectives. If you’re white American, learn about Black American history.
Lean fully into challenges and adversity that you’ve chosen: Raising children, sustaining a marriage, completing graduate school, developing your vocation, leading a team, growing old.
Adapt to unwanted adversity, learn from it, and reinvent yourself: An unexpected illness, a global pandemic lockdown, a job loss, financial hardship, marginalization or oppression.

3. Practice Enforcing Boundaries With Yourself and Others
Boundaries are psychological and emotional lines we draw with ourselves and others in service of our well-being. To do so, we have to first understand what our principles are and how we want to live. Then, we do the hard work of enforcing boundaries so that we can live by those principles.

Some boundaries to consider…
How you will and won’t spend your time and energy.
Who you will or won’t engage with and when.
What your thresholds for your well-being and self-preservation are.
What types of communication and behaviors you will or won’t tolerate.
What types of interactions you will or won’t engage in.
What activities and projects you will or won’t participate in.
Whose emotions you will or won’t take on and when.
What sacrifices you will or won’t make for your relationships.
What thoughts and opinions you will or won’t allow to influence you.
How you will or won’t communicate and behave toward others.

4. Work Toward Long-Term Commitments With Meaningful Endurance
There’s a special kind of reward we get when we work hard at something we care about and believe in. It’s not about the actual outcome, it’s about who we become in the process of trying to achieve it. We build character along the way: grit, resilience, discipline, honesty, humility, courage, self-control, perseverance, leadership, and — you guessed it — inner confidence.
Examples of commitments you can set…

A committed partnership.
A far-fetched career goal.
Starting your own business.
Having and raising children.
Working toward cause or mission.
Losing weight or improving your health.
Getting an education or continuing education.
Learn to speak a new language.
Learn to play an instrument.
Learn to dance.
Learn to play a sport or martial art.
Invest in long-term therapy or coaching.
Write a book or create a podcast.
Conquer a long-standing fear.

5. Develop an Internal Locus of Control and Take Responsibility for Yourself
Having an internal locus of control means that you believe you have influence over the outcome of your life no matter what happens to you in the external environment. While you cannot control what happens to you, you can control how you respond to it. This liberates us to feel like we truly own our own lives.

Some examples…
In a relationship that you are dissatisfied with the dynamics, change yourself instead of trying to change the other person.
When someone says or does something hurtful to you, instead of blaming them and making them responsible for your emotions, manage your own emotions, set boundaries, and even end the relationship if appropriate.
When an injustice happens to you of some kind, instead of complaining and blaming the system, use the emotions to take meaningful action that makes a difference.
When a setback or unexpected adversity happens to you, instead of falling victim to it, take it as an opportunity to learn and grow from it.

6. Spend Time Alone Doing Things You Love and Develop a Relationship With Yourself
Much of inner confidence comes from developing intimacy with yourself, finding solace in yourself, and coming to enjoy your own company. Spending time alone allows you to get to know yourself outside of the influence of others. It allows you to understand who you are as a separate individual.

Some ways to do so…
Go on a solo trip somewhere that you might be curious to discover.
Develop a solo contemplative practice like meditation or journaling.
Go to see a movie, play, concert, or restaurant by yourself.
Spend time isolated from people and devices just thinking and reflecting on your thoughts, emotions, and memories.
Spend time in nature or with animals on your own.
Learn or engage in a creative or artistic pursuit that’s just for you, like playing an instrument, dancing, painting, or writing.
Trying something totally new without brining anyone you know along for company or comfort.

7. Measure Yourself By Internal Qualities and Characteristics
In our culture, we tend to measure ourselves by external standards, such as how much money we make, our wins at work, our physical appearance, our status in society. Internal qualities, however, are more enduring harder to be taken away. We also have much more control over the internal than external.

Some examples of this could be…
Measuring your attractiveness more by your character which improves with age, than by your physical appearance which deteriorates with age.
Measuring your worth more by your humanity which can never be taken from you, than by your job title and economic status which can be lost in the blink of an eye.
Measuring your success more by your process which is largely driven by your efforts, than by your results which are influenced by numerous external forces.

8. Learn to Self-Regulate and Self-Soothe
Inner confidence requires a high degree of emotional awareness and emotional maturity. By learning to regulate your own emotions moment-to-moment, you become a grounding force for others in your life. You exude an inner balance and harmony that becomes contagious, and people will come to feel more calm in your presence.

This process includes…
Taking responsibility for regulating your emotions instead of projecting them onto others or expecting others to soothe them for you.
Being aware of your emotions — especially the respective sensations in your body.
Attuning and responding well to the emotions of others, while not being influenced by them — especially their stress, anxiety, and fear.
The ability to calm your body and temper your emotions — especially stress, anxiety, and fear — in interactions with others.

9. Learn to Self-Validate and Let Go of the Need for External Approval

Do you ever find yourself seeking out the opinions of others to guide your decisions? When you do make your own decisions, do you question yourself when others disapprove of them? When you’re feeling down or insecure, do you seek out attention and validation from others? If so, this habit is about learning to offer yourself your own reassurance, approval, and validation.

How to practice…
Instead of asking other people what you should think or do, try first tapping into what your own internal guiding system is telling you.
Instead of looking for others to validate a decision you’ve made, reassure yourself and practice tolerating the disapproval of others.
Instead of doing the next trendy thing in society or doing things a certain way to get attention and likes from the masses, practice doing things your own way whether you get attention from others for it or not.
Instead of seeking attention, guidance, approval, or reassurance from other people, begin practice giving those things to yourself.

A Final Note
Truly confident and secure people are living life on their own terms and taking responsibility for themselves. They work hard to develop their inner character. They live from their authentic selves.
You have the power to create that confidence within you, too. Learning to live from your authentic self is a demanding process, but one that will touch and enhance nearly every area of your life.

Source: Medium Daily Digest