Let’s start by looking at what confidence truly means. Confidence is when you know your own self-worth, you trust yourself and you have a healthy, positive self-image. Sounds great right? But if you lack self confidence, you’ll doubt that you can do hard things—and that includes weight loss.
On the flip side, people who work to develop confidence, and are mindful to work on it daily, have a more positive outlook on life and believe in themselves. When it comes to weight loss, this is kind of like getting a headstart on your goal and trusting yourself to reach it.
Of course, it’s hard to feel confident when you’re not happy with the way you look and feel, which is why you’re on a weight-loss journey to begin with. But in order to succeed—harnessing self-confidence while you are losing weight is absolutely key.
Not to worry, we are here to help. Here are 5 strategies for building self-confidence while losing weight.
1. Build internal confidence
When building your confidence, it’s important to know that there is a difference between internal and external sources of confidence. When you reach your goal weight, your self-esteem will probably improve, but if you happen to gain some weight back, your confidence may fluctuate along with your rising and falling weight. That’s what is considered external confidence.
It’s important to develop and nurture internal confidence—that can’t be shaken—despite external factors that change outside and around you. Building internal confidence will help you maintain a sense of peace and pride even when things don’t go your way.
One of the best ways to nurture inner confidence is to work on self-talk and challenge negative thoughts. Your internal voice is extremely powerful when it comes to motivating yourself to change and could make all the difference when it comes to steadily building up confidence.
Strategies for honing internal confidence are:
- Acknowledge your skills and talents and reflect on them often
- Know your worth
- Believe that you are strong and smart enough to develop new skills and overcome future challenges
- Live with integrity and do what you say you will do. This one is particularly important to your weight-loss journey because once you train yourself to follow through on just about anything in life, that value will trickle down into your personal health goals too.
2. Make a list of your successes at the end of each day
There’s no better way to truly believe your self-worth than taking time out to count the ways. While you’re working on building confidence, commit to journaling about your wins.
At the end of each day, spend a few minutes writing down everything you did well or succeeded at that day and then read each item over again and reflect on how you feel and how proud of yourself you are for accomplishing so much in a single day.
This is a surefire way to becoming a much more confident you. And just imagine how you’ll feel once your weight-loss wins start to appear more and more frequently in your journal! You’ll be much more likely to keep going.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
It’s pretty hard to level up your self-confidence by doing what you’ve always done. The old adage, “Do one thing each day that scares you” applies particularly well to folks that are trying to build self-confidence.
One way to get out of your comfort zone is by simply saying “yes” to things you’d otherwise avoid like attending a party where you don’t know anyone or speaking in public. You’ll probably still experience some level of anxiety during these experiences but the reward afterward—and the more you get out of your comfort zone—is enhanced confidence.
4. Makeover your body language
Think of people that you perceive as self-confident. Rarely are they slouching or have a feeble handshake. Before you even noticed how they carried themselves, you were probably struck with an err of confidence because they’ve honed their sense of self for so long that now, their energy exudes a certain confidence that nearly precedes them.
Rewind 10 or 20 years and that same person may not have been quite so self-assured. These traits are most often learned and practiced behavior—and you can embody them too!
Here are 5 ways to makeover your body language:
- Whether you’re sitting, standing or walking, stand up straight with your shoulders back and remember to focus on good posture as often as you can.
- Use a strong and firm handshake
- Make eye contact
- Speak up and don’t be afraid to be firm and clear in your communication.
- Apologize less and accept compliments with, “thank you!”
5. Practice self-love and compassion
The path to becoming more confident doesn’t mean you won’t have moments of insecurity and doubt—you always will. An important ingredient to a strong sense of self is being kind to yourself and giving yourself the space and grace to make mistakes and have all kinds of days—not just good ones.
When you start to realize that shaming yourself for missteps only pulls you down further and that being compassionate with yourself allows you to rebound faster but reinforces how you love and feel about yourself—confidence will follow naturally.
The way you treat yourself will also be reflected in the way that others see and treat you so this tactic in particular is an all-around slam-dunk for developing confidence.
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