Self

5 Tiny Habits That Will Make You More Self-Confident Than 98% Of People

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What is inner strength? Having inner strength allows you to pursue your dreams and goals and live your life to the fullest. 

A person with inner strength:

  • Loves themselves (feels deeply their value, and lovableness and loves their body, mind, and spirit).
  • Can bend with change and embrace it.
  • Can say 'no' when it feels right without regret second-guessing.
  • Knows who they are — what they like and what they don't — and how they feel.
  • Can ask for help when they need it.
  • Is open to learning and is curious.

How do we get inner strength? The answer is learning how to build our self-confidence.

RELATED: 10 Scientific Ways To Massively Boost Your Confidence

Here are 5 tiny habits that will make you more self-confident than most people:

1. Knowing what you feel

This is primary — essential to knowing, loving yourself, and having a strong core. Pay attention to the area below your head! The information about how you feel is in your body. What sensations are in your chest and your belly? Are you tense, jittery, or nauseous? Ask yourself, "What sensation do I feel in my body?"

Then, try this exercise: Identify which feeling that physical sensation is connected to — are you mad, sad, glad, scared, or some derivative of one or more of those? Once you can identify a feeling, you find out if you accept or reject that feeling. ("I don't like it that I'm still sad about my breakup. I should be over that by now! It's been 5 years.")

Having inner strength means embracing all your feelings as good because they're part of you and you're amazing! Feelings aren't bad, they just are. Think of it this way: Little kids don't stuff their feelings or censor them. When they're really sad, they cry. When they're happy, they run around yelling with joy. They don't worry what others think — and you shouldn't judge your emotions, either!

2. Having boundaries

So you can identify how you feel! Awesome! You start to know yourself and begin growing a strong core. Once you learn how you feel, you can create boundaries — saying 'no' when you don't want to do something.

   

   

Some folks say "yes" to everything, partly because they think more people will like them and they'll get some of that good feeling about themselves aimed in their direction. They get stuck in "my value has to come from outside me". They're not loving who they are.

We all need outside affirmation as we're growing up (we're mammals — we're relational). But if we get good enough parenting (not perfect, says the research), we grow a strong inner core that says we're wonderful. We feel solid and happy with ourselves.

When you feel good about yourself, it's not as hard to say "no" when something doesn't feel right. Being able to set a good firm boundary comes from a strong inner core. You don't worry about being rejected. You want to speak your truth. 

RELATED: 10 Things You're Doing Because You're Finally Starting To Love Yourself

3. Bending with challenges

Life brings us challenges — sometimes unexpected, maybe painful. Can we bend with them, can we go with the flow and let ourselves move with them, feel the feelings, and adapt to what's happening without breaking?

These times are amazing growth opportunities. We get stretched, maybe going beyond what we have imagined we can endure. But as we move through a challenge, even getting help along the way, we discover that we have amazing resilience. We expand our capacities. We grow more inner strength.

4. Being open to learning and asking for help

When someone is open to learning they are saying, "I'm not threatened that you know something I don't, I'm curious. Tell me so I can discover that too and enrich my life. And while we're at it, I will validate you by listening and absorbing what you know."

When you're stuck and don't know how to make yourself feel better or create something in your life, can you ask for help? 

   

   

Some folks feel that they need to do everything themselves. It's a sign of weakness to ask for help. But if you are good with you, you won't have a problem reaching out and finding that person or source who can add wonderful things to your life.

RELATED: 15 Make-Or-Break Ways Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

5. Answering this question: Do you love yourself? 

Are you good loving friends with your body? Do you love your body as it is? Do you ask your body what food it wants to eat, what exercise feels good, and what rest it needs? Or do you ignore what your body is telling you? Do you stay disconnected from the messages it speaks to you? 

Life becomes so much more fun and easier when we have a loving relationship with our bodies. Look at how far your body has taken you up to now! And still truckin'! When we make friends with our body and appreciate it, our body responds in kind and we feel happier. This helps grow inner strength.

Do you love your mind? Or are you at war with your thoughts? Do your thoughts race around in endless cycles of negativity? Do you hate it or can you calm your thoughts and find peace? Knowing how to relax your head, to accept that sometimes our mind needs tender loving care too, goes a long way to supporting your inner core.

And do you have a spiritual connection that feels awesome? Many people gain much strength from their relationship with the spirit or whatever it is that feels right to them. This is an amazing source of inner strength that helps create calm loving and accepting you as you are.

Having a strong inner core is possible! 

Sometimes it takes a little work, but it's completely doable. And that moment when you arrive and you realize that you're amazing, you're loving yourself, you're at peace, you have the energy and passion to pursue your goals

RELATED: Men Go Wild For Women Who Do These 3 Little Things

Ann Naimark is a marriage and family therapist who has been in practice for over 30 years. She's the author of A Touch of Light, Opening to the Love that is You and All Creation.