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Transforming Negative Habits for Greater Self-Esteem and Confidence


Middle aged woman resting her chin in her hand and smiling

Why Habits Are So Important In Boosting Your Self-Esteem and Confidence


I'll be the first to admit, I had habits that were not conducive to being confident. I always felt like I belonged in the back or on the bottom. It was my comfortable place of unaccountability; because when no one sees you, then the blame goes to someone else if things go wrong...or so I thought.


Most of the time, we underestimate our habits. More correctly, we underestimate the power our negative habits have over us, and the impact they have on our self-esteem and confidence. No one is 100% conscious of their actions all the time. But if we want to feel better about ourselves or need a boost in self-assurance, our habits may be something we can try to change.


Confidence and self-esteem are determining factors of success. They’re also a huge part of attaining genuine happiness. Establishing deeply honest confidence in oneself and boosting self-esteem usually requires work from the inside. People who take the time to do this often discover that habits are the building blocks of either a mindset for success or a vice. When we lack confidence in ourselves and have a frail self-esteem, it can be due to our habits, or how we habitually think of or see ourselves.


Habits have a remarkable way of affecting our outlook and self-image. In other words, what we find ourselves doing consistently out of habit or even our habitual way of thinking always affects us. Our habits can either boost self-worth or keep us down in negativity.


Below are the top 10 bad habits that hurt our confidence and self-esteem.


1. Being A People Pleaser and Not Prioritizing Ourselves


It's a common truth that you can't make everyone happy. Even if you somehow manage to, it won't do much for your own self-worth. Trying to please everyone doesn't necessarily make you a better person; it often means constantly putting others before yourself. People who always aim to please end up neglecting their own needs, then feel resentful as a result.


The pressure to keep everyone happy can be overwhelming, and the fear of disappointing people can become all-consuming. Sometimes we end up not knowing who we are and simply keep following the crowd. The result is that we end up having no voice at all or lack self-identity. For women, these things are crucial for us to have greater self-esteem and confidence.


It's important to remember that it's okay to prioritize our own well-being and happiness too. Set boundaries and learn to say no, when necessary, without feeling guilty about it. Taking care of yourself is not selfish; it's essential for building a sense of worthiness.


2. Constantly Comparing Yourself to Other People


woman with apple and woman with sandwich

As women mature, we often find ourselves caught in the trap of comparison. It's easy to fall into the habit of measuring our worth against others, it's all too tempting to compare ourselves on social media. We believe we should have a perfectly groomed husband who slices strawberries into our champagne and runs our bubble bath, well rounded over achieving children and the award winning Pinterest worthy styled house. But constantly comparing yourself to others can hinder your confidence and self-esteem. It's time to let go of this destructive pattern and embrace your uniqueness.


Instead of looking outward for validation, focus on cultivating who you need to be to be happy and an asset to your family. Celebrate your individuality and strengths and recognize that everyone has their own journey and struggles. Surround yourself with positive influences, practice gratitude, and set realistic goals to build a healthy sense of self-worth.


Remember that no one else can be you, and that is your power. Embrace your journey with its ups and downs, knowing that each experience shapes the amazing person you enjoy being. Let go of comparisons and start nurturing a healthy self-image. You deserve to shine brightly as your authentic self!


3. Having an Unhealthy Social Media Fixation


Social media has undeniably added value to people's lives by helping us feel connected and informed. However, it also has the potential to control our habits and impact our mental well-being. Many individuals find themselves unable to stop scrolling through news feeds or comparing their lives to the glamorized images they see online.


This can lead to heightened anxiety and psychological challenges, particularly for women. It’s important to recognize when your social media habit starts affecting your life negatively and take steps to replace this bad habit with a productive one. Consider taking a break from unhealthy scrolling and focus on activities that bring you joy and help you build positive routines.


Remember, it's okay to step back from social media if it's impacting your well-being. Taking proactive steps to control your social media usage can help alleviate any negative effects on your mental health.


4. Refusing to Go Out of Your Comfort Zone Can Hinder You From Having Greater Self Esteem and Confidence


typewriter with cancel typed out

As we start to settle in life, it's natural to be drawn to what is familiar and comfortable. As wives, mothers, supportive friends, and productive employees, we work hard to create our comfort zone. However, embracing change and stepping out of our comfort zone can lead to personal growth and new opportunities. It's important to recognize that challenges and discomfort are a part of the process and facing them head-on can lead to a more fulfilling life.


Embracing the unknown allows us to discover new aspects of ourselves and cultivate a growth mindset. By breaking free from the confines of our comfort zone, we open ourselves up to exciting possibilities and experiences. It's normal to feel hesitant, but by pushing through these barriers, we can achieve a greater sense of self-expression and strengthened confidence.


We are all meant to grow with time. We are never meant to stay in one place forever and stagnate there, especially if we're not happy. Open yourself up to new challenges, try new things, and pursue your passions. Studies show that being good at something can really help boost a person's confidence, and if you never try, you can never be good at anything! If you’re not happy with where you are in life or haven’t found your place yet, you always have a chance to change that. Don't be content with unhappiness. Don’t limit yourself by never trying.


By being open to change, we motivate ourselves to live authentically and pursue our passions with confidence. Stepping out of our comfort zone may be challenging at first, but in the end, it can lead to personal satisfaction and eliminating the dreaded "If I could go back I would" syndrome.


5. Having No Boundaries Affects Your Self-Esteem and Confidence


Building healthy relationships with others is essential for our well-being. However, failing to establish boundaries can lead to negative consequences. Without clear boundaries, we may find ourselves feeling drained, withdrawn, or lacking the confidence to assert our true selves. This bad habit can affect our lives in numerous ways, impacting our mental and emotional health.


I know a woman who walked away from a well-paying job with growth potential because she was unable to set boundaries when it came to the way people "joked" with her. She could not bring herself to say, "I don't think that's funny or commenting on my body is inappropriate."


We must get over the stigma that setting or enforcing our boundaries will make things worse. I can tell you from personal experience that is not true. Making your boundaries known sets the expectation of what will or will not be tolerated by you.

Setting boundaries allows us to maintain a sense of self while interacting with others who have different backgrounds, preferences, and opinions. By respecting our own needs and limits, we can prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed or losing sight of our values. Embracing this positive change can lead to improved relationships and a greater sense of empowerment in all aspects of life.


6. Not Forgiving Yourself For Past Mistakes


middle aged sad woman sitting on the floor

Understanding that not forgiving ourselves for past mistakes is a common struggle, especially for women, we carry these burdens as if they are badges of honor. The impact of unforgiveness on self-esteem and confidence cannot be understated, as the relentless self-criticism can lead to a perpetual cycle of guilt and shame. Finding ways to break free from this cycle requires acknowledging that the mistakes are part of the journey and do not define our worth. Embracing self-compassion and actively practicing forgiveness towards oneself can provide a path towards healing.


It's important to recognize that holding onto past mistakes does not serve anyone well, least of all YOU. By reframing these mistakes as lessons learned rather than permanent stains on our character, it becomes possible to move forward with a newfound sense of clarity and purpose. Ultimately, understanding that forgiveness is an ongoing process can empower us to reclaim our own narratives and rewrite our stories with grace, wisdom, and resilience.


7. Not Celebrating Progress or Your Small Wins


It's easy to downplay our small wins and not celebrate our progress, thinking that it's not significant enough to warrant recognition. However, this negative habit can be detrimental to our self-esteem and confidence. By dismissing the smaller achievements, we unknowingly diminish their value and impact on our overall journey.


Every step forward, no matter how small, deserves acknowledgment and celebration from you. Not celebrating your progress can lead to a cycle of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction with your self-improvement journey. Embracing each milestone, no matter how minor it may seem, cultivates a positive mindset, and develops empowering behaviors.


Ultimately, celebrating your progress allows you to appreciate the journey and recognize the growth you've achieved along the way. It's essential to break free from the notion that only major milestones are worth celebrating – every step forward is a reason to acknowledge your hard work and dedication. So, take the time to honor your progress and embrace each small victory as an integral part of your success story.


8. Deflecting Sincere Compliments Because We Feel Unworthy or Pressure


Deflecting compliments can have a detrimental effect on our self-esteem and confidence. When we consistently brush off praise, it creates a cycle of feeling unworthy and uncomfortable with positive attention. This behavior puts unnecessary pressure on us to produce evidence of our perceived inadequacy, reinforcing negative self-beliefs. By accepting compliments graciously, we affirm our worth and belief in ourselves, which in turn boosts our self-esteem and confidence. Embracing compliments allows us to internalize positive feedback and cultivate a more positive self-image.


Furthermore, deflecting compliments can hinder our ability to recognize and celebrate our own accomplishments. By acknowledging the validity of the praise we receive, we can overcome the habit of downplaying our achievements. Accepting compliments with humility helps us shift from a mindset of scarcity to one that honors abundance in both recognition and personal growth. Ultimately, by allowing ourselves to receive validation from others, we contribute to building a healthier foundation for our self-esteem and confidence.


8. Allowing Negative Thoughts and Emotions To Take Control


When I was in the seventh grade, my teacher Mr. Richardson, used to always talk about "stinkin thinkin". He told us that it will make us believe we will fail, if we hear someone laughing or whispering it's about us or we're not good enough. He said those are lies we can choose to believe or choose to reject because we have power over our thoughts. After 37 years, I still remember that life lesson.


Negative thoughts and emotions have a sneaky way of infiltrating our minds and taking control of our day. They can seep into our self-esteem, turning simple setbacks into monumental failures. It's important to recognize that allowing these toxic thoughts to dominate only serves as a confidence killer, hindering us from reaching our goals and full potential. Instead, consciously choose to redirect your focus towards positive thoughts. Remind yourself of your strengths and past successes and visualize the outcome you want.


By actively replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations, you can shift your mindset and regain control of your day. Remember that it's okay to acknowledge negative emotions, but don't let them overpower the brighter aspects of your life. Embrace gratitude for the small victories and practice self-compassion when facing challenges. Cultivating a habit of overcoming self-doubt will not only uplift your mood but also empower you to approach obstacles with optimism. It will take time and practice, but you have to ability to change the narrative from negative to positive thinking!


9. Not Surrounding Yourself with People Who Are Encouraging and Understanding


woman using mobile phone and ignoring friend

Surrounding yourself with people who are not encouraging and understanding can be a negative habit that hinders personal growth. Whether it's a family member or a long-time friend, their lack of support can create an environment that stifles your potential. Instead of embracing your dreams and aspirations, they may undermine your confidence and discourage you from pursuing your goals. They may say they are trying to be a good friend, by keeping you grounded, but you have to use your intuition to determine if this person is being sincere or do they have a crabs in barrel mentality, pessimistic attitude or inner jealousy. An essential lesson in life that I learned is just because someone wants you to be their friend, doesn't mean they want to be yours.


It's vital to recognize the impact of such toxic relationships on your well-being. By surrounding yourself with positivity and understanding, you create an environment where your personal development is encouraged. Seek out individuals who uplift and inspire you, as their encouragement will fuel your pursuit of greatness. Let go of those who do not support your journey and embrace those who genuinely want to see you succeed. Surrounding yourself with people who are encouraging and understanding is an essential step towards maturity, growth, and success.


10. Lying to Yourself or Repeatedly Breaking Promises to Yourself


We can all admit that in high school, there was a life changing event that made us promise ourselves we'd NEVER speak to that backstabbing ex-friend again or if we didn't get caught cutting class to avoid a test, we would study every day to get on the honor roll. While we can look back at our high school faux pas and laugh, as adults that approach is no longer acceptable.


Lying to yourself or repeatedly breaking promises to yourself is a negative habit that can erode your self-esteem and confidence. When we deceive ourselves or fail to follow through on commitments, we diminish our sense of self-trust and integrity. This pattern can lead to a downward spiral of self-doubt and disappointment, ultimately impacting various aspects of our lives such as cherished relationships, career opportunities and personal development.


Breaking this cycle starts with acknowledging that it's okay to make mistakes but also recognizing the importance of holding ourselves accountable. By identifying the underlying reasons for this behavior, we can work towards building healthier habits and restoring our self-confidence. Remember, each small step forward adds up over time, leading to a more positive mindset and a stronger sense of self-worth.


Transforming Negative Habits for Greater Self-Esteem and Confidence-Conclusion


IIn conclusion, our bad habits have a significant impact on our confidence and self-esteem. Whether it's people pleasing, negative self-talk, or social media obsession, these habits can hold us back from reaching our full potential. However, by recognizing and addressing these behaviors, we can take meaningful steps toward shifting to a more positive mindset. It's important to remember that change is possible, and small adjustments in our daily thinking and routines can lead to significant improvements in how we view ourselves. Let's commit to breaking free from these detrimental patterns and nurturing a more positive and confident mindset for a brighter future.


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