DIY Confidence Boosters
- Remember that you are special and unique, and that you deserve as much consideration from others as you give to them.
- Don’t judge yourself only on the things you feel you did wrong or that need improvement. By all means learn from your failures, and be ready to do better next time. But notice your strengths and the things you’re good at as well.
- Think - what do your friends and loved ones like about you? Ask them if you have to! Try to reinforce those qualities and be even better at those things.
- Never compare yourself with others. Everybody is different and you have good qualities that no other person has.
- Don’t put yourself down; nobody’s perfect.
- Accept that it’s normal to make mistakes. If you make one, take responsibility for it, apologise, and try to put it right.
- Having friends who are positive about life’s challenges can influence you into seeing life in the same light, and eventually help to build your self-esteem.
Boosting the Confidence of Others
- Judge people on their own terms, don’t compare them with others. If your child usually gets five or six out of ten at school, then eight is an achievement. Who cares if cousin Freddie always gets nine?
- Praise effort and achievement, but keep it in proportion. Wild enthusiasm for everything feels insincere, and it leaves you no way to acknowledge the bigger improvements.
- If you have to criticise, be accurate, polite, constructive and specific. “You missed this deadline” rather than “You’re always late”.
- Challenge negative beliefs - where you can do so honestly and effectively. If someone says “I always fail”, remind them of a time they did well.
- Help others to keep problems in perspective, and to find realistic ways to resolve their difficulties.
- Encourage them to identify their own good points; be specific as to what you like about them. ‘Thank you, that was really thoughtful’ instead of just ‘thanks’.
- Encourage them to accept that the nearest thing to ‘perfect’ is usually ‘the best you could do at the time’.
If someone’s self esteem is very low, you may think they need help from a professional. You can tactfully suggest this, but trying to force someone into any kind of therapy will be counter-productive.
Just do your best to remain understanding and supportive until they are ready.