Getting through high school can be an incredibly challenging time. Adding to the tough mixture of stress from schoolwork and drama in friendship groups and social circles, is also the ever-developing identity – high school is a pivotal time in the development of self. The first aspect of one’s personality to suffer from all of these changes is often self-confidence.
But how can you build confidence?
- Put yourself forward for new opportunities. Remind yourself that experiencing failure does not mean that you are a failure. Most experts in any field would agree that repeatedly trying and failing is necessary for development, and is inescapable if you are to fully participate in the world. Trying new things can allow you to develop new understandings of yourself and your abilities which you could not realise otherwise: put yourself forward to join that debating team, or go for that leadership position you always wanted, or apply for that job you don’t think you have a chance of getting.
- Make sure you take care of yourself. Are you overworked? Constantly tired? Burnt-out? It can be difficult to allow positive self-talk when you are always feeling low. Know that it is healthy to take breaks and do things that you love alongside the tricky work you’re slogging through. Join a sports team, or go and walk in nature after you’ve spent an hour studying, or go and get a coffee with friends. Have fun!
- Affirm yourself. So many people live with constant negative self-talk which is so internalised that they may not even be cognisant of it. You are probably your own harshest critic! Work on becoming aware of the ways that you think of yourself. Practice complimenting yourself, or affirming something about yourself which might be an insecurity. If you practice this consciously, such positivity and self-image can shift to the subconscious.
- Notice the goals that you meet. As well as acknowledging your inevitable failures, make sure you notice and celebrate the successes in your life. These could be the smallest of victories, or the things that you have worked tirelessly towards of which you are most proud. Make to-do lists where you can divide up your work, and relish that feeling of accomplishment as you tick each item off. An idea floated in this article is to use “did-it” lists, a method of reflecting on your achievements which will affirm you of your abilities and give you the opportunity to celebrate them.
So how will building confidence help you? Not only will you reap the benefits of heightened self-confidence in your current daily life, but it will also help you in the future, as you navigate the world of work and employability. These days, employers are looking for well-rounded people with a range of attributes. The self-confidence that accompanies putting yourself forward for new opportunities will allow you to constantly develop your skills and your ability to articulate these skills.
It is worth acknowledging that sometimes, nothing you do can seem to help your self-confidence or negative self-talk. In these cases, consider seeing a professional counsellor or psychologist: recognising that you need help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You are not alone.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: 3 Facts You Should Know About Your ATAR, Tips for Supporting Your Child in Year 11 and 12! and Will anyone care about your ATAR in a year?
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