Whether you're struggling with a lack of confidence, low self esteem, or struggling with some kind of anxiety, you probably want to change the way that you think about yourself.
In fact, the chances are pretty high that you’ve got all kinds of negative thoughts swimming around in your head on a daily basis.
Before my journey into self-improvement, I would always have negative thoughts in my mind.
I would be constantly thinking thoughts like:
- I’m a loser
- I’m a bad worth
- Nobody could ever love me
- I’m worthless
- I’m just a waste of space
- Why am I even alive?
Today I want to share with you six easy ways you can use to change the way you think about yourself.
Because when you can change the way that you think about yourself, negative thoughts start meaning less and confidence comes so much easier.
So, let’s jump into the first method to change the way you think about yourself.
Therapy & Counselling
I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life.
And for a very long time, I never even identified that as the problem.
I just thought that it was part of me being alive and it never occurred to me that my life could be better.
It was just a part of my daily existence.
Until I had my worst panic attack ever.
I was in a bad financial situation and it was the first thought on my mind when I woke up that day.
Then it hit me.
I felt a tight grip in my chest. My breathing became difficult and shallow. My body seemed to lock up and start to shake.
For the next few minutes, I was totally consumed with fear.
In fact, I was so afraid that I genuinely believed that I was dying.
In reality, I was just having the mother of all panic attacks.
After that, my Dad recommended that I start speaking to a counsellor or a therapist.
My anxiety combined with depression, anger issues and other problems meant that it was now or never.
My First Experience With Therapy
I didn't really hold out much hope for therapy, at first.
I was studying psychology at the time and I didn't expect too much from it.
In fact, I just fully expected to be laid down on a couch while a bespectacled psychotherapist asked me about my relationship with my mother and I deflected.
But instead, I was met with a sense of unconditional positive regard for who I was by my therapist.
And a lot of questions.
Together we explored what my thoughts and my beliefs were about the world.
And she invited me to challenge those thoughts and beliefs to discover if they were actually real.
These were negative thoughts and beliefs that I held about myself and the world and society for all of my life.
And they were ruining my life.
She was able to help me to understand that there was more to life than what was going on in my own head and that I could change my life for the better.
As long as I was willing to take responsibility for my actions and for my thoughts.
During my 18 months in therapy I made massive changes in my life.
I can genuinely say that it was worth every penny.
I’d been trying to figure everything out on my own – mainly with self-help books.
It turned out that what I really needed was to sit down with someone objective but who also cared enough about everyone to want to help me.
I highly recommend therapy or counselling to anyone and everyone.
Even if you don't have anything that you think would be useful to bring up to a therapist or a counsellor.
Sometimes it's just useful to have that person to talk to about things that you can’t say to anyone else.
Journaling has always been an “on-again, off-again” kind of habit for me.
It’s not always something I do on a regular basis.
But, whenever I do, I always get a greater sense of self-love, self-acceptance, forgiveness, clarity and so much more.
It’s especially helpful when I find myself in psychological or emotional ruts.
Just the act of writing down my thoughts and feelings really helps me to clear my mind and regain a little bit of control in my life.
It might not be a daily habit for me, but it 100% helps.
The Main Problem With Journaling
Now, for me, the main problem with journaling is the amount of time that it can take.
After all, we’ve all got a lot to process.
And with such a long process, it can be difficult to get into a regular habit.
That’s where James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” comes into the mix.
I finished this book about a month ago and it was super insightful – highly recommended.
In this book, he suggests building a habit by starting with just one minute a day.
So instead of trying to set aside 15 to 30 minutes for journaling, limit yourself to journaling for just one minute.
Anyone can set aside one minute.
During that time, just write whatever is in your mind.
At the end of that minute, no matter what, stop writing.
The idea is just to build the habit.
Eventually you’ll be able to extend the amount of time that you spend journaling once you’re comfortable with the habit.
Spend at least a week on the 1-minute journal, then start thinking about bumping it up to 2 minutes and move forward from there.
This will help you to start getting all your thoughts out of your mind and process them more effectively.
As you continued to do this, you will have learned a new way to change the way you think about yourself by getting your other thoughts out of the way.
(Since making the video that inspired this blog post, I began a 1-minute per day journaling challenge. At the time of writing this blog post, I’ve been consistent for over 30 days.)
Observe Your Thoughts
Observing your thoughts is sometimes called meditation or mindfulness.
In reality, it’s just the simple practice of observing what’s going on in your own mind.
You see, most of the time our thoughts are chaotic, random, out of control and totally meaningless.
They’re just random impulses shooting back and forth within our brain that only gain meaning when we give it to them.
And when we can start seeing our thoughts for what they truly are – genuinely meaningless – then we can start to alter the way that we think about ourselves.
Over time we start to realize that we are not our thoughts.
Your Two Minds
As I shared in my metacognition post a couple weeks ago, there are two people who live inside of our minds.
There's the person that thinks all the thoughts, known as “the thinker”.
And then there's you who can sit back and just observe those thoughts as they're happening with no meaning and no judgement, known as “the observer”.
When we can sit down and observe our thoughts with objectivity and curiosity, just trying to see what happens and not trying to affect the flow of our thoughts in any way, we take the power away from our automatic negative and sometimes even harmful thoughts.
We start to return that power to ourselves.
And again, this can just be done in as little as 1 minute a day.
Just find 1 minute a day for you to take a deep breath and spend some time observing your thoughts and see what comes up for you.
You can even incorporate this into the journaling and write down those thoughts for a minute.
The key is simply observing them without thinking that they are either good, bad, positive or negative.
This can profoundly change the way that you think about yourself as you begin to realise that your thoughts are not you.
This can bring you greater self-awareness, self-acceptance and, of course, confidence too!
Reading Practical Self-Improvement Books
Now I’m not the biggest fan of self-help books.
But I still think that reading is a great method to change the way you think about yourself and about the world as well.
But the key is reading books that will challenge you.
Start reading books that challenge your perceptions and your beliefs about the world, yourself, society, culture and everything else.
Remember no one has all of the answers and it's good to see things from other perspectives.
It can really change the way that you think about everything, not just yourself.
Now, if you want some recommendations for great self-improvement authors that will challenge you, here are a few that I recommend:
- Ryan Holiday – specifically “The Obstacle Is The Way”
- Mark Manson – both “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” and “Everything Is F*cked”
- Brené Brown – specifically “Daring Greatly”
- John C. Parkin – specifically “F*ck It”
Go out there and just start reading things that challenge you and your perceptions.
Let everything be challenged.
And don’t let anything stay sacred in your mind.
The more you explore the world, yourself and everything else, the easier it is to change the way you think about yourself.
Do Something Different Today
Action precedes mindset.
This is a statement that I stand by 1000%.
There’s a lot of people and coaches out there who preach mindset before anything else.
And I wholeheartedly disagree with that approach.
After all, the old saying goes, “We are what we do repeatedly”. Not “We are what we think about repeatedly.”
The emphasis is on action.
Remember, our thoughts aren’t real, so why even bother spending so much time trying to change something that isn’t even in your immediate control.
If you want to change the way that you think about yourself and you’re clear on how you want to think about yourself, then go out there and start doing the things that you need to do.
If you want to be confident, then go and do the things that make you confident:
- Speak to strangers
- Expand your comfort zone
- Do scary things
I spent years trying to beat my anxiety through reading and working on my mindset.
It didn’t work.
I only began to change the way I thought about myself when I started to take action in my life.
No amount of affirmations, positive thinking or visualisation helped me to change my life.
I actually had to do stuff and so do you.
And the best thing is that you don’t even have to take massive action.
Just take small, consistent steps every single day and you will begin to change the way that you think about yourself because you will be a different person.
So, enough mindset work.
Now is the time to take action.
OK, let me be clear on this:
When it comes to recommending coaching, I am suuuuuuper biased since I’m also a coach.
And coaching is a hugely powerful tool for helping you to learn about yourself, what holds you back and how to take better action steps.
And the truth is that every single one of us has the potential to do something amazing in life.
Of course, I could give you a thousand reasons why coaching will help you to get to where you want to be in life.
However, the simple fact of the matter is that not everyone needs coaching.
Coaching is there to help you to accelerate your progress, but it is definitely not necessary.
In the same way that not every one of the steps above is necessary.
You can choose to do one of them, all of them or none of them.
When it comes to coaching, you have to think about yourself as an athlete or sportsperson.
If you wanted to learn basketball, you could reasonably teach yourself how to become amazing at basketball on your own.
There’s resources such as YouTube and blogs that will get you there.
But you will get there a hell of a lot faster if you get yourself a coach.
The same thing works with areas of your life.
If you want to become more confident than getting a confidence coach will accelerate you towards that.
If you want to build a great business then a business coach will accelerate your progress to get there too.
As long as you choose the right coach for you then you will accelerate your progress towards personal growth in whatever area you desire.
And that will change the way that you think about yourself forever.
Final Thoughts On How To Change The Way You Think About Yourself
I hope you found this article on how to change the way you think about yourself useful.
Remember, you can take one, all or a combination of these techniques to start practising.
I believe that any of them can change your life if you use them long-term.
But remember, most of all, you need to take action.
So get out there and become all that you can be.
If you’re ready to:
- Take your life and confidence to the next level
- Achieve your goals faster than you ever thought was possible
- Finally overcome self-doubt and become the person you’ve always known you could become
Then Confidence Coaching is the way to do it!
So, if you’re ready to work together to crush your obstacles, 10x your confidence and live a life that you love, make sure you check out the Work With Me page and arrange a FREE Discovery Call today!
Or alternatively you can contact me on my Facebook page!