5 Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem & Confidence Without Shaming Or Blaming Your Past

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How To Build Self-Confidence, Stop Being Insecure, & Reduce Self-Blame & Shame
Self

If we could only read minds, we would notice that almost everyone, everywhere, is insecure.

It’s a trendy commodity, apparently. However, learning how to build confidence and get over your insecurity takes more than a misery-loves-company search for empathizers.

It’s important to understand how insecurities come into play in the first place and how they become so ingrained in the psyche along with blame and shame.

Why do some people with average looks and talent exude such high self-esteem and self-confidence that make them successful?

And why do others with who seem to have that star power struggle to find their place in the world?

RELATED: 7 Hidden Signs Someone Is Insecure (And How To Get Over It)

Perhaps schools should be teaching children self-love and how to overcome insecurity alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Imagine the mindset and optimistic ambition of young adults entering college with a healthy sense of self-worth instead of a negative inner critic with low self-esteem!

Sadly, insecurity is rooted in a toxic shame that starts in childhood.

When a child isn’t seen for who they are or is criticized and judged at a "core" level, toxic shame and blame are the results.

  • “You’re stupid.”
  • “You’re too emotional.”
  • “You’re fat.”
  • “You were an accident."

It’s a frightening statistic that 7 out of 10 girls believe they are not good enough in some way.

They don’t feel good about their bodies and they don’t feel they measure up in school or relationships.

What they yearn for is the opportunity to come alive — to be seen for who they are and supported in their uniqueness.

When they witness or experience negative attitudes toward them, they internalize those scripts and keep them alive as they grow.

But, overcoming your insecurity doesn't have to involve years of therapy or a scapegoat in order to feel better.

So, if you want to boost your self-esteem while avoiding shame and blame when you're insecure, here are 5 things you need to do.

1. Interrupt the critical inner voice

Easier said than done, obviously. But sometimes you have to put the conscious voice in charge — and sometimes out loud.

  • "Stop!"
  • "That’s not true."
  • "That’s just insecurity blabbing!"

You can’t turn the pattern around if you don’t stop it first.

2. Challenge your long-held beliefs and insecurities with rational, realistic statements

Talk to and about yourself the way you would talk to a friend feeling the same way.

  • "I take very good care of my body so that I can be healthy and naturally beautiful."
  • "I have reached my quota every month of my first year here. Obviously, I can succeed in this job."
  • "People come to me with their problems, so they must value my thoughts." 

3. Work on your optimism

A study by Yuan and Wang found that, when subjects shifted their view of events with potentially negative outcomes, the threat value of those events was reduced.

Subjects made that shift by "attributing" the cause of the negative outcome to something outside themselves.

By taking the blame off themselves and externalizing it, they were better able to carry positive self-esteem into the next risky situation.

Of course, there are healthy limits to this practice.

The objective isn’t to blame someone or something else when self-accountability is warranted. It’s simply to reserve space for belief in the probability of a positive outcome.

RELATED: Beware! If Your Man Does These 15 Things, He's Majorly Insecure

4. Keep a self-esteem file

Think about the way you choose what photos to keep. You build a favorites file with those snapshots and selfies that make you feel good about yourself.

A self-esteem file is similar but is comprised of affirmations of your qualities, skills, and behaviors.

Did someone write you a "thank you" note and rave about your kindness? Keep it.

Did your boss send out a memo bragging about the stellar job you did on a project? Into the file.

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Collect compliments, comments from social media, statements about your beauty, goodness, and likeability.

Anything that reminds you that you are awesome, valuable, wanted, and needed goes into the file.

And when you need a shot of reality, tell your inner critic to take a hike, and pull out your self-esteem file.

5. Surround yourself with supportive people

It was precisely the unsupportive people in your upbringing who planted the seeds of insecurity in you.

The supportive people will help you figure out how to overcome insecurity by affirming what is good and unique about you.

They will be your "voices of truth". Stay close to them.

Insecurity has deep roots and a long history. And so much of it begins at such an early age that the child doesn’t know it’s happening.

They don't have the mental maturity or life experience to be critical of what they are experiencing and learning.

The tragedy is that the beautiful child grows up with a treasure chest of aptitude and boundless dreams shackled by toxic shame.

S/he wanders through life with a hole of insecurity that leaks all that potential like helium draining from a rising balloon.

But there is always hope where there are awareness and a desire to break the shackles.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Be More Confident, Have High Self-Esteem & Feel Secure In Your Relationships

Lisa Lieberman-Wang is a relationship expert and creator of the neuroscience Neuro Associative Programming (NAP). If you need help finding your truth and living an authentic life, reach out to her or send her an e-mail.

This article was originally published at Fine to Fab. Reprinted with permission from the author.