'Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top': Advice on how to gain self confidence

I have always struggled with self worth, but, lately, believing in myself has been even more difficult.

What makes self-confidence even harder to obtain is when others criticize you for the very thing you are struggling with — your self-esteem. Have you ever had someone tell you, “I cannot be with you if you don’t stop feeling bad about yourself” or “It’s draining to be around you because of your low self confidence” or even call you “crazy” because of it.

Yes, that has happened to me. And, trust me, if you are a friend or significant other and you say this, it does not help. That’s like telling somebody, “Whatever you do, don’t imagine an elephant.” Chances are, at that moment, you won’t be able to help it but think of an elephant. And that’s what happened to me. I tried to force myself to stop thinking badly about myself out of fear that this person would leave me if I didn’t. In turn, trying to force myself not to think badly about myself only made it worse.

My self-confidence soon plummeted even further — because I had someone who made me feel like there was something wrong with me because of the way I felt. And, since I already felt like something was wrong with me in the first place, you can imagine how much worse I felt.

So, after reaching what felt like the bottom for me, I realized that I needed to dig myself out. I knew that I needed to feel better about myself. I needed to do that for myself — to be able to live a full life — and not for anyone else.

For anyone who is working on this, there is one thing I’ve learned. It takes time. When you spend your whole life with low self-confidence you can’t just *poof* have it be gone in a moment. That’s what I tried to do — and trust me, it did not work.

So I’m not going to set a time limit. Instead, I’m going to take one day at a time.

Lately, whenever I've felt down, I've played the song "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor on repeat because when she sings, "Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top," it makes me feel a little bit better.

I know that a lot of people struggle with self worth. Here's some advice my friends gave and what they
do that helps them believe in themselves:

• Cara Jade: "I set daily, short, and long term goals... Everyday I work towards those goals. If I don't meet them, I take that opportunity to reflect on how I can make it happen, and use it as motivation!"

• Misty Bennett: "Meditate, do things for yourself, listen to good music, and trust that you know you are okay just as you are!!!"

• Barb Shea Pote: "You just do. Every day tell yourself you are 'a delight,' as my 17-year-old daughter says of herself. What you tell yourself (good or bad) becomes your reality."

• Melanie Montgomery Wilson: "By focusing on others, I find that I draw the attention away from myself and, in turn, I begin to feel good about what I am doing which leads to feeling good about myself — hence believing in myself and my own self worth."

• Katie Ogg Belliotti: "Start a new hobby and incorporate it into your routine."

• Ariah Smith: "Take one day at a time. Remember the sun will come out no matter what kind of day you're having."

• Alora Wallace: "I pray because sometimes it's hard."

• Randall Harries: "I believe in myself because I know that if I can't, I can't expect anybody else to believe in me either."

• Sherry Thornton: "Never give up. Do as much as you can when you can. Take each day as a challenge that you can accomplish. Always remember that no matter what you do or don't do, the world will go on."

• Tonya Flowers: "Spend time with a good friend laughing and drinking wine."

• Kenny Davis: "Don't ever give up on yourself. Don't set expectations too high or too low."

• Chris Nelson: "Spending time with others helps. Being alone with your thoughts is tough."

What I have found helps me is to write down the way I'm feeling or talk to others about it instead of bottling it up inside. Find a person you can trust who you know won't judge you.

I have also found that writing down all the things that I like about myself has done wonders as well.

And I have been trying, whenever I start to feel bad about myself to think, "If your friend was telling you he or she felt this way, what would you say? You wouldn't berate them like you do to yourself." So, instead, I try to talk to myself like I would to anyone else who told me he or she was feeling the way I am.

I'm working on trying to view myself as a good person who makes mistakes — instead of internalizing every mistake I make and calling myself a "bad person" because of it. I need to realize that everyone makes mistakes; it's called being human. And I need to stop beating myself up
whenever I do make a mistake.

Also, for people with low self-confidence, you need to realize that just because bad things happened to you, that doesn't mean you deserved it. That's something I struggle with.

Ryan Howes, Ph.D, psychologist, said on Psych Central that people with low self-worth think that "good things that happen to them are a fluke, bad things are what they truly deserve and end up reinforcing their shame."

He added, “When people can take a non-distorted look at themselves, they’ll see they’re like everyone else, with strengths and weaknesses."

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