5 Activities for building confidence | Self-confidence vs Self-esteem

activities to build self confidence - actually anna
*This post is in collaboration with The London Speech Workshop

5 activities for building self-confidence. When I say we all need a self-confidence boost every now and then I think a lot of you can relate. Self-confidence is an interesting thing if you think about it. I’ll go more in-depth about self-confidence in the next paragraph, but let me first tell you something about my own experience. As you’ve probably read in my last post about starting your day with a positive mindset, I want to share more personal experiences on my channels and make this brand more coherent.

I remember myself as a child having a healthy dose of self-confidence as most children do. I’ve always been a chatty, spontaneous child with a lot of energy and a dozen new ideas each day. When children in primary school started bullying me I didn’t quite understand why they did it. And started to think there was something wrong with me. I was different in the sense that I spent most of my time in a gymnastics gym trying to make it to the Olympics.

And when I quit my elite career at age 13 I was completely confused about the non-gymnastics world and lost that one thing I knew I was good at. For my full story please check out my podcast The Normal World. It took me a lot of time, strength, and dedication to rebuilding this lack of self-confidence. And maybe my self-esteem and self-worth also needed some rebuilding. I’ll explain the difference between the three in the next paragraph.

In daily life, self-confidence is an interesting one, as I already mentioned before. Some things you do without even thinking about it and other things might take a lot of effort. Public speaking or going to a job interview could be among those things. I recently did a taster session with The London Speech workshop, which offers bespoke courses to give you that self-confidence. More about them also in my list of activities for building self-confidence.

self-confidence vs self-esteem

According to the Oxford learners dictionary – a dictionary I always go back to since my business English teacher pointed it out to me – there is a difference between self-confidence and self-esteem. While self-confidence is about having confidence in yourself and your abilities, self-esteem refers to whether you’re happy with your own character. To make it even more complicated I’ll throw a third one in the mix: self-worth. Self-worth is about whether you feel confident in yourself regarding you’re a good and useful person.

To summarize this: self-confidence is related to your abilities, self-esteem is about who you are as a person and self-worth is all about if you think you’re worth it. I think it’s good to have these definitions clear to distinguish what you’re struggling with and how you could potentially improve it. Now, I know I’m not a therapist and I won’t pretend that I am. But as you could read in the intro of this blog post I did and do have my fair share in struggling with the three of them. Next, I’ll share a list of 5 activities for building self-confidence that really helped me and I hope will also help you.

5 activities for building self confidence

1. Challenging yourself

One way to build your self-confidence is by challenging yourself. Some people think or say that you should stay in your comfort zone when you’re insecure. On the contrary, I’d say! Push yourself every now and then outside of your comfort zone to create personal growth and build your self-confidence. Of course, if you do this for the very first time it’s best not to pick a very ‘challenging challenge’, so to say. But maybe something that is a little bit out of your comfort zone and builds from there. As you might know, I absolutely love climbing both indoors and outdoors.

Outdoor climbing is very different compared to indoor toprope climbing. And when I hadn’t done lead climbing for a couple of years, I would panic while trying it again. I had never experienced this before and at first, I was like I’m not going to do this again. Slowly I tried to build my self-confidence by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, but just enough that I wouldn’t panic. Until I felt comfortable and pushed myself a bit more outside my comfort zone again. Slowly but surely I would be oke with lead climbing again.

2. Confidence building exercises

I can understand that pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is already a big step. If it’s too much to start with you can also start with confidence-building exercises. In this post from Clever girl finance, you can read about small things you can do or start implementing in your daily routines. And remember you don’t have to succeed the first time around. These exercises make you aware of the things you might want to change first in order to recognize them, so you can adjust them when necessary. So you might want to have a look at the article and do a google search to create your own list of activities for building self-confidence.

3. Take a course

As I already mentioned in the intro for this post I recently did a taster session with The London Speech Workshop. I mentioned them in my 2021 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide post last year. The London Speech Workshop offers custom courses tailored to your specific needs. This could be from help with public speaking, how to get a better first impression during a job interview, accent softening if you’re not a native English speaker and more. In the taster session, you can set your goals and discuss with your coach what you want to achieve.

I thought that the taster session was just a get to know each other kind of session, but it’s actually your first lesson. I already got so many tips & tricks on how to improve the things I want to work on. You first read a whole bunch of words, sentences, and a piece of text out loud. Which is kind of interesting if you have dyslexia like me, but in the end, we got there. For me personally, we worked on some different things regarding pronunciation. But we also covered intonation, pausing during sentences, and how to get the things you say across with more feeling. I thought it was already very interesting and the coach I had was very knowledgeable.

If you’re interested in boosting your self-confidence in any of these topics I’d highly recommend checking out their website. A prewarning their courses aren’t cheap, because they are bespoke and on a 1 to 1 basis. You can always book a taster session to see if it’s something you like. During the global pandemic, they also launched a 10 week mastering the British accent, which is a more affordable alternative.

4. Travel by yourself

A specific, but highly effective, example of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is to go traveling by yourself. In 2014 I went to America to work at a summer camp for 3 months and after that spent one week in New York City by myself. This experience gave me so much self-confidence and I still sometimes think back about it thinking: “I did that!”.

Of course, you don’t have to go all the way to America for 3 months but think about going on a solo travel journey for some time. It could also be a couple of days close to home. What I found is that you do things you didn’t think you could. Just because there’s no one else there that’s going to do it for you. You get to know yourself so much better and you find out you can do so much more than you thought you could.

5. Catch your negative thoughts

If you have a lot of negative thoughts about yourself it can definitely boost your self-confidence, but also your self-esteem, and self-worth when you catch those negative thoughts before you start to believe in them. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can really help with this. Try to train yourself in catching those negative thoughts or the way you speak to yourself when you do. Monitoring yourself can be an easy way to start with this process. Just set an alarm a couple of times during the day at random times. When the alarm goes off write down what you were thinking about yourself or saying to yourself at that exact moment. This way you get a good overview of the things you are saying to yourself without even thinking about it, but help to sustain a negative image towards yourself.

Don’t forget to share your activities for building self-confidence in the comments below, so we can help each other!

Signature Annaleid from Actually Anna

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