There are lots of reasons you may have lost your confidence or simply lack it altogether. The good news is you’re not alone. The even better news is that it’s possible to gain (or regain) it, and keep it!
5 ways to build you confidence this winter
1. Figure out what’s eating you
For some people, being overweight can have a serious impact on their confidence. If this sounds like you, it’s time to do something about it. Start by visiting your doctor or clinic to find out what your ideal weight should be, and how you can go about achieving it in a healthy and sustainable way.
If there are other factors affecting your confidence, try to get to the bottom of them. Once you understand them, you can begin to tackle them. Are you overly shy? Do you struggle with your mental health, and/or suffer from anxiety or depression? Do you have anger issues? Have you suffered a major life setback, like a death, divorce, retrenchment, illness or other trauma? With the help of medical professionals, you can begin to untangle these issues and work towards healing.
2. Back yourself up
Do you ever get to the end of a month, year or work cycle and feel like you’ve achieved nothing? It’s far more likely that you’ve actually achieved lots of little wins, but haven’t given yourself credit for them. Each time you accomplish something good, no matter how small (or big), write it on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. When you’re struggling to feel confident or empowered, read through the notes.
3. Surround yourself with the right people
People who love you and want the best for you are one of your strongest defences against a lack of confidence. They’re the people who have faith in you when you lack it yourself, so turn to them whenever you need your reassurance levels topped up.
4. Think of your past successes
Be they work-related or personal, recounting successes you’ve achieved in the past is an excellent reminder of what you’re capable of. Having trouble calling something to mind? Talk to a close friend or relative and ask them to remind you of something great you’ve achieved.
5. See a counsellor
Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to have a money tree growing in your garden to get help with a psychological issue. Moreover, needing help doesn’t make you weak or ‘damaged’. Admitting that you need help takes strength and bravery, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with consulting a professional.
Getting to the bottom of your self-esteem issues may not be possible on your own. A professional will help you identify where the problem lies, and guide you towards effective ways of treating it.
Options for free and affordable support and counselling in South Africa
FAMSA Western Cape is an NPO specialising in relationship counselling. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is Africa’s largest health support and advocacy group. Focus on the Family Africa is an NPO that nurtures and protects families in Africa through counselling, outreach and trustworthy resources, and Lifeline offers 24/7 telephonic support for anyone facing any kind of personal struggle including depression, suicidal thoughts, being the victim of a crime, facing work-related stress like retrenchment or retirement, diagnosis of a disease, or any other kind of challenge.
You can also find your nearest Marie Stopes centre and make an appointment online. We can guide you through any sexual healthcare matter or crisis you may be facing, including unplanned pregnancy, STI issues, and abortion and post-abortion care.