How to Love Yourself When Your Confidence Is Low

Woman feeling self love.

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Confidence is an important part of self-love and loving yourself. When your confidence is low, it can be hard to move forward and feel good about who you are. However, there are steps you can take to increase your self-esteem and love yourself more. Below are 20 tips on how to love yourself when your confidence is low.

Don't Compare Yourself to Others

Comparison is one of the biggest enemies of self-love. When we compare ourselves to others, it's easy to become discouraged and start believing that our best isn't good enough. Instead, focus on your own journey and celebrate your successes without worrying about how they stack up against someone else's achievements.

Remember that everyone has their own unique story and life experiences, so try not to place too much emphasis on what other people are doing.

Set Boundaries

Boundaries help us stay in control of our emotions and behavior while showing respect for ourselves and others. This is especially important when dealing with people who don't have our best interests at heart.

If a particular situation or person makes you feel uncomfortable, be assertive about letting them know what behavior is acceptable and what isn't. Setting healthy boundaries will also help protect your energy, allowing you to save it for things that make you truly happy.

Practice Body Neutrality

We live in a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on physical appearance, and it's easy to fall into the trap of constantly judging our bodies. Instead, practice body neutrality, which means viewing your body as an instrument to be taken care of instead of something to be judged or criticized.

Take time to appreciate your body for all its amazing abilities and talents rather than focusing on any perceived flaws or imperfections. This will help you develop more positive feelings about yourself and your physical form.

Practice Inner Child Work

We carry our childhood experiences with us throughout our lives, and sometimes these can affect how we feel about ourselves today. Inner child work is a form of self-exploration that helps bring unresolved issues from the past to the surface in order to heal them.

This could involve talking to your inner child out loud, writing letters to yourself, or engaging in exercises such as play therapy or creative visualization. Working through any negative emotions connected with your childhood can help you build more confidence and self-love in the present.

Forgive Yourself

Remember that mistakes are part of life. Everyone makes them and we all need to forgive ourselves in order to move on and grow. Instead of berating yourself for past failures, focus on what you can learn from the experience and how it can help you be better in the future. Let go of any guilt or shame you may feel and make room for self-compassion, understanding, and love.

Be Patient With Yourself

Self-love isn't something that happens overnight. It takes time to build, and it's important to be patient with yourself as you go through the process. Give yourself grace when things don't go according to plan and remember that you are worthy of love even if it doesn't come easily at first.

Above all else, believe in yourself and your ability to create meaningful change in your life. Practice positive affirmations that remind you of your worth and potential.

Don't Expect Others to Make You Happy

It's true that relationships with other people can be incredibly rewarding, but it's important to remember that we don't need anyone else to make us happy. When you learn to love yourself unconditionally and find contentment within, you will no longer rely on external validation or approval.

Make sure that any relationships you have in your life are based on mutual respect and unconditional love instead of codependency or one-sidedness.

Don't Base Your Worth on Other's Opinions of You

It's easy to get caught up in the opinions of other people, but it's important to remember that their thoughts and feelings about you don't define your worth. Everyone has different values, beliefs, and perspectives, so try not to take what they say too personally.

At the end of the day, only you know yourself best and have the power to decide how you want to live your life.

Deal With Oppression/Stigma

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by self-doubt or insecurity due to systemic oppression, it’s important to find ways to cope with the stigma. This could mean connecting with other people who share similar experiences, educating yourself on your rights as a marginalized group member, and advocating for change in the community.

Remember that you are capable of overcoming any obstacles placed in your path, and you have the strength to make progress no matter what situation you may be facing.

Identify Your Strengths

When your self-confidence is low, it’s easy for the good things about you to become minimized. You may overlook your strengths and focus on your weaknesses. Therefore, it’s essential to reflect on your skills, talents, and achievements.

Write them down and focus on what you excel in. You’d be surprised by how much you have to offer. Make a point of celebrating yourself, and don't be shy to praise your accomplishments. Over time, this will inspire you to take on new challenges and boost your self-confidence.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

The way you talk to yourself has a significant impact on your level of self-confidence. Therefore, it's essential to master the art of positive self-talk. It means replacing negative and self-defeating internal dialogue with affirmative statements.

Every morning, as you start your day, internalize the good things about yourself, and remind yourself that you matter. You can also create positive affirmations, which are self-affirming statements to help yourself believe in your abilities. For instance, you could say something like, “Today, I can handle anything that comes my way because I am capable and deserving.”

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is showing kindness and concern to yourself when things are not going well. Michelle Landeros, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Therapist Pages gives the following advice to clients: "Remind yourself that you are not alone in feeling inadequate or unworthy. Everyone has moments of insecurity and self-doubt, and a lack of confidence does not make you any less capable or valuable."

Get Creative

"Find a creative outlet for self-expression" notes Joni Ogle, LCSW, CSAT of the Heights Treatment. "Engaging in activities that allow for creativity such as writing, drawing, pottery, painting, music or photography can help to express yourself and facilitate self-discovery" she explains. "Aside from creative activities being a great distraction from negative thoughts and feelings, it can also be a way for you to connect with yourself and others with the same interest in a meaningful and productive way.|

Accept Your Flaws

Nobody is perfect, and that's the first thing you should accept. Flaws cannot be erased; they are part of what makes you unique. Instead of being ashamed of them, embrace them. Acknowledge that the pressure society puts on us to be perfect is unfair and unrealistic.

If you don't accept your flaws, it's easy to let them take over and affect your confidence. Understanding that nobody can carry the burden of perfection will help you become self-accepting, and this will help you love yourself for who you are.

Practice Gratitude 

Gratitude is a powerful practice that can shift your focus from your weaknesses to your blessings. Take time each day to write down a few things you're grateful for in your life, such as your health, your relationships, your achievements, or simply the beauty of nature.

This simple practice can help you cultivate a more positive mindset and a deeper sense of appreciation for all that you have.

Surround Yourself With Positivity 

Surrounding yourself with positive people who support and encourage you is crucial for building your self-love and confidence. Seek out relationships that make you feel good about yourself and avoid those that bring you down or make you feel negative. Similarly, try to fill your social media feeds and daily input with positive messages, quotes, and affirmations that remind you of your worth and potential.

Challenge Your Negative Self-Talk

When we feel low in confidence, our inner critic can become louder and more persistent. We may hear negative thoughts like, "I'm not good enough" or "I'm a failure" on a regular basis. However, it's important to challenge these thoughts and ask ourselves if they're really true.

"Keeping track of all the negative thoughts you have about yourself through journaling, for example, can help in correcting negative self-talk" notes Jenae Stainer, LCSW of Bespoke Treatment. "This helps you have a better awareness of what you say to yourself and how your self-evaluation is negatively affecting your self-image and overall mental health. Once there is clear documentation of negative self-talk, you can start challenging those cynical statements with positive language that emphasizes your strengths and achievements."

See a Therapist

Sometimes, self-care practices and positive affirmations aren’t enough to work through deeper issues of low self-confidence. This is where therapy can be incredibly helpful. A licensed therapist can help you work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to your lack of confidence and provide you with tools to improve your self-esteem.

These are just a few tips for building self-love and confidence. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if needed. Whether it's talking with a trusted friend or family member or seeking professional assistance from a therapist or counselor, having support can make an enormous difference in helping you foster greater self-compassion.

4 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Arlin Cuncic, MA
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.