There is a common misconception that confidence is something you either have or you don’t. But confidence isn’t something you’re born with; it’s something you build through wisdom and experience. Confidence is what happens when your negative self-perception is overcome by evidence of your achievements. For some, this comes easily. Others, however, struggle with understanding how to gain self-confidence.
When we have high self-confidence, however, we can go through life without worry of failures or setbacks. Confident people accept that they don’t know everything and can’t get it all right, but they’re also fully aware of their strengths and the value of their achievements.
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There are plenty of ways to become more confident, but we’re going to suggest something radical: Date yourself.
Building Self-Confidence Starts with Loving Yourself
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. For better or worse, you are stuck with yourself, exactly as you are, from now until your final moments. There is no diet, no meditation retreat, and no surgery that can separate your mind from your body. Every night, you will go to bed with yourself, and you will wake up with yourself each morning. You can’t break up with you. Sorry.
But if all this is true, do you not owe it to yourself to love yourself? Learning how to gain self-confidence is about valuing yourself as a person the way you’d value a cherished friend or romantic partner. We have become so accustomed to depending upon the validation of others for our own happiness. Humans are social creatures; we crave companionship and fear being alone, and that’s okay. No one is suggesting you cut off all ties to people and retreat to the woods!
Confidence is what happens when your negative self-perception is overcome by evidence of your achievements.
Instead, we suggest you start carving deliberate time out of your life to romance yourself. Spend time doing things you want to do. Learn about yourself. Become comfortable with solitude. Treat yourself the way you would treat a significant other because, in a way, you are the most important significant other you’ll ever have.
The more familiar you become with your strengths, dreams, and interests, the more comfortable and accepting you’ll become with your flaws. You’ll begin to realize that you don’t need other people to deem you worthy to be worthy. You’re already worthy.
How Do I Date Myself?
Dating yourself is no different from dating anyone else. Find things you want to do and go do them. Branch out and try things you might not feel comfortable or willing to explore with other people. Do things that interest YOU, not what you think would interest other people. If that means taking a four-hour bath with bubbles that reach to the ceiling and eating rocky road ice cream right out of the carton, so be it!
Here are some other self-dating ideas:
Dinner and a movie
The old standby for couple dates works just as well for single dates! Try restaurants you’ve never been to but want to try and go see the movies you want to see, whether other people care about them or not.
A weekend stay-cation
Stock up on self-care supplies—bath oils, supplies to cook delicious meals, a nice bottle of wine, or anything that makes you happy—and spend a weekend enjoying your own company in the comfort of your own home.
Go out on the town
From museums to parks to bars and beyond, there is always something going on somewhere. Go find the things that interest you! Don’t know what interests you? Branch out. Try something new.
And some final tips for optimum self-romance:
Dress to impress. This doesn’t necessarily mean renting a tuxedo, just that you should wear what makes you feel best about yourself. Groom ahead of time, wear your favorite outfit, put on makeup if you wear it. When you look good, you feel good.
Treat yourself to gifts. Who doesn’t love surprises from loved ones? Granted, it won’t be much of a surprise if you buy it yourself, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting yourself something special once in a while, even if that something special is just ice cream from your favorite roadside stand.
Kiss yourself goodnight. Maybe not literally, but develop a nighttime ritual that puts a premium on self-love. Drink a warm, soothing cup of tea. Whisper an affirmation to yourself as you lay down to sleep. Remind yourself that you are special and loved every night.
Don’t expect your self-image to change overnight. Learning how to gain self-confidence takes time. You need to love yourself first and that takes work. Like any relationship, let your relationship with yourself develop organically. In time, you’ll wonder why you didn’t love yourself sooner!
If you need a little self-confidence boost, try our Fabulous Journey: The Pillars of Self-Esteem. It’s part of our Sphere package.