Do you find that your weight has caused you to have lower self-esteem in your social, personal and professional life? If so, you’re not alone. Having high self-esteem can seem impossible when you don’t feel that how you look is a reflection of who you are, especially when you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. If you have low confidence because of your weight, here are 5 simple steps to start changing that.
Focus on your positive traits
People dwell more on their failures than their successes, and that inner critic can be harsher than any other person in your life. There are many things that you unique and beautiful in your own way. If you are unhappy with your weight or body shape, shift your attention to physical characteristic you do like. Maybe it’s your lovely skin, eyes, or smile.
Of course, physical characteristics are not (and should not be) the sole measure of your self-worth. Think back on some of the major successes in your life. What are some strengths, or positive characteristics in our personality that contributed to you achieving these? Are you a good problem solver? Are you honest? Do you help others?
All of these are admirable qualities, and part of what makes you valuable and deserving of self-confidence. Reminding yourself of these positive traits can help give you a more positive perspective when you feel your confidence wavering.
Do away with negative self-talk
Feeling uncomfortable with your weight can have the snowball effect of making you question yourself in other areas. Notice time when you tell yourself that you’re not good enough or putting yourself down. Occasionally we all have doubts like this or worry about whether we will be able to face certain challenges.
When those kinds of thoughts become less a one off moment of doubt, and more a daily habit of negative self-talk, insecurities can develop that are hard to shift. Shift thoughts that use the phrases “I should” or “I can’t” and try replacing them with “I can” or “I will.” For example, “I should be able to lose weight” could be shifted to “I can bring healthy lunches to work every day this week.”
For example, “I should be able to lose weight” could be shifted to “I can bring healthy lunches to work every day this week.” “I can’t stay motivated” could be shifted to “I will spend an hour planning healthy actions for the week so that I don’t need to rely on motivation”
Forget about exercising to help you lose weight. Exercise in itself is one of the best ways to improve self-esteem. After an exercise session, not only will you experience that cascade of happy brain chemicals, but you may also feel an increase of personal worth because you have taken positive action rather than sitting passively. Exercise may also help tone muscles, so that even if your weight doesn’t shift, you may notice changes in your body shape and find that your clothes fit more comfortably.
Build a sense of mastery
Researchers suggest that a sense of self-confidence, self-control, and self-respect is a result of the culmination of all of the many small actions that a person does every day. By being more selective with the actions that you take every day, and ensuring that you choose to spend your time doing things that are in alignment with your values and morals, you can ensure that you make progress in the areas that actually matter to you.
Say that one of your main values is helping others. Take inventory of the way you are spending your time, and ask the question- “Is this in line with my value to help others?” The more you gently shift your time towards meaningful activities, the more skill, knowledge, or progress you make increases, giving you a sense of mastery as you overcome challenges and grow.
Fake it until you make it (smiling that is)
There is a chemical in your body which can immediately raise your self-esteem… endorphins. When you smile at another person, this releases endorphins in your brain, and give you a little happy boost. Smiling may also give you the appearance of being more confident, until the other strategies you’ve been working on start to make lasting changes to your low confidence because of your weight.
Saying goodbye to low confidence because of your weight…
Changing the way you think about yourself is very rarely a quick fix. We have to nurture our self-esteem over the long term by making small regular changes on a daily basis. Choosing to spend our time doing things that actually make us feel fulfilled, accomplished, loved, respected, or empowered, or taking steps that make us feel that we’re making progress towards our goals are important.
If you really want to take control of your life and having a real sense of purpose and satisfaction, start small, but start today. Choose one thing, and tweak it a little. Show self-compassion… it probably took years for your confidence to break down, so give yourself time to build it up again.
And of course, if despite all of these strategies you still feel like you won’t be able to feel confident while you are at this weight, we would love to help support you in achieving your weight loss goals. You can find out more about our proven program here.