Ultimately a lack of confidence stems from a lack of believe in yourself and your own worth. Unfortunately, there’s no magic switch that can make you suddenly recognize that you are awesome (wouldn’t that be nice!). But if self-worth is something you struggle with, there are a couple of exercises that are extremely helpful to reinforce self-worth.
One is to write down 10 personality strengths you admire in yourself. This can be a challenging exercise – but it’s a great reminder not only that you have great good within yourself, but also that you do have the power to recognize that good. Remind yourself of this list the next time you’re feeling insufficient.
Another (maybe easier) exercise is to ask ten people to identify what they admire most about you. (A variation on this, if you’re feeling shy, is to make such a list on your own, asking, for example, “What is one good thing my spouse/parent/child/best friend would say about me?”)
Asking others what they admire about us is a particularly helpful (if slightly embarrassing) exercise for a number of reasons. It reinforces what you already know about yourself, but are unwilling to accept from yourself. It’s easier to hear, “You are extremely generous” from a friend than from yourself! And it’s also a reminder that you are the only person taking yourself for granted – those around us who we touch every day, on the other hand know how important we are!
Whichever of these exercises you practice, it’s very important that you write your list down, and keep it handy. Then, when you’re questioning yourself, your abilities, and your value, you can turn to it as a powerful motivator and an extra boost of self-confidence, reinforcing your strengths in the face of criticism and doubt.