By: Grace Gufler
The longer I work as a therapist, the more I realize how important self-confidence is. In my experience as a therapist, low self-confidence seems to be a universal struggle that humans experience at least once in their lifetime; regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, SES, education, and so on. Why do we struggle with self-confidence so much? In my opinion, one of the many reasons a person may experience low self-confidence stems from our self-talk. In other words, that ongoing stream of consciousness narrated by our inner voice. A person’s inner voice is often incredibly critical of themselves and can be cruel, judgmental, and seems to be incapable of vocalizing a positive statement or compliment at times. Everyone’s inner voice is different, and the tone of this voice can change day-to-day because it is impacted by our mood, environment, and other external factors. If you are someone who wants to work on improving your self-confidence, try the three journal exercises below.
- What Did I Do Well Today?
This is a great journal prompt for days when our inner voice seems to be a constant stream of criticism and negativity. This exercise will help establish some balance to our inner voice by providing space in which you recognize and celebrate your achievements, big and small, of that day. Remember, personal daily achievements do not have to be huge successes, it is important to celebrate small successes as well.
- What Strengths Did I Use Today?
For this journal exercise, make a list or reflect on what personal strengths you used during your day. This is a great exercise for anyone who struggles to recognize positive attributes or finds it difficult to name things they like about themselves. For this prompt, it is important that you name the strength, how that strength helped you, and how you can continue to use and develop this strength in the future.
- What are 3 Things I Like About Myself?
This journal prompt is a difficulty for a lot of people, and you may feel uncomfortable or silly doing it at first. I encourage you to stick with this and continue to practice this exercise to improve your ability to recognize your positive attributes. Throughout the day we are often focused on the things we dislike about ourselves and rarely recognize the things that we do like. For this exercise, you can include both physical and mental aspects of yourself. This exercise will help improve awareness of positive attributes, positive self-talk, and level of comfort in celebrating yourself.
Negative self-talk is one of the many reasons people struggle with low self-confidence. Practicing positive self-talk is not an easy task and these journal exercises are a great first step towards improving your positive self-talk and, therefore, self-confidence. If you are struggling with low self-confidence and would like to learn more ways to improve self-confidence, reach out to one of our therapists to schedule an appointment.