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If you read my life lessons of 2019 post, you’ll see how transformative last year was for me. Like, it was A YEAR, to put it simply. I worked incredibly hard on managing my anxiety, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and growing my confidence in multiple areas of my life. And it has had the biggest impact on my self esteem. And as someone who’s always suffered quite a bit with their self esteem, that’s quite a significant thing for me.

Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash

So going into 2020, I need to keep that momentum up. That’s the thing about goals or changing things in your life – consistency is key. I still very much struggle with my self esteem, particularly around my appearance, but I don’t think hitting the gym for 86 hours a week is necessarily the right way to go about improving your self esteem.

It’ll keep you fit and healthy, sure (which is obviously never a bad thing) but when it comes to true self love and self acceptance, we need to look much deeper than that on the outside.

With all that being said, today I want to share with you the ways in which I’m improving my confidence and my self esteem. Which hopefully I’ll be able to continue with and take well into 2020 with me. Perhaps by 2021, I’ll be completely transformed into the best version of myself I always wanted to be?

More exercise

Bit of an obvious one to start with but I’m doing more exercise than I’ve done in years and I have absolutely no doubt that it is playing a huge part in my increased confidence. After my anxiety started, I just didn’t have the capacity to even THINK about exercising (heck, I didn’t have the capacity to leave the house for months on end). So I wasn’t at a happy weight for my body for a long time (both too light and too heavy) nor was I particularly healthy.

I’m not trying to transform my body into something that it’s not – but I’m trying to take better CARE of it. For me, exercising isn’t really about the goals (although a six pack would be nice!) it’s more about the feeling I get when I exercise and the knowledge that I’m taking care of this beautiful body I was born with.

More meaningful Yoga practices

You know I love Yoga by now – I never stop talking about it! I use it for exercise, for relaxing and for tending to aches and pains. But over the course of the last year, I realised that I’ve been doing Yoga more so to GET THE YOGA DONE than actually paying attention to what I was doing. It was more of a “I need to do Yoga because that’s what I always do” than doing Yoga because my body, mind and spirit needed it. Which is something I am DEFINITELY working on changing this year.

I never want to fall out of love with Yoga and the reasons I started Yoga. I never want to turn it into just another thing to tick off the to-do list. Nor do I want to just muscle through a practice without connecting to the practice on a deeper level. I’m working through Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga Journey ‘Home’ this month to try and fix that!

Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash

Taking better care of my appearance

Another thing that anxiety basically robbed me of was the ability to care about my appearance. Now don’t get me wrong, your physical appearance is NOT everything. It doesn’t define you, nor is it the be-all and end-all of having high confidence and self esteem. It’s all about how you feel about yourself. And quite frankly, I hadn’t felt like “me” in a very long time.

I always used to care about how I looked. I used to love doing my nails and my make up, experimenting with my hair and different brands of fake tan. But I only recently found my love for that again last year. I also learnt that you can take care of your appearance for YOU. It absolutely does not have to be for the sake of anyone else.

Late 2019, I got my hair cut short. Prior to it being down to my bum. I got new glasses too. And I finally started to feel like me again. I’ve never been a fan of my nose and I think in the future – if I had the money to do it this year I absolutely would – I’d look into getting a non-surgical nose job, like what Harley Street Medical offers but again, it’d be for ME. Not for anyone else.

Give myself time off

As a self-employed workaholic, this is something I struggle with, but I’m working on it. I promise. I gave myself a whole WEEK off over Christmas and it was absolutely glorious. But going forward, I won’t just be giving myself time off because it’s Christmas or New Year or my birthday. I’m going to be giving myself time off because, well, I deserve it.

Which I think is important to remember in your journey to higher confidence and self esteem. Having the confidence to know that you DESERVE downtime. You DESERVE a day off. You DESERVE to sit in bed and eat pizza and watch Netflix for eight hours. It’s all about that self love baby.

Continue to step outside of my comfort zone

And finally, another thing that has had a serious impact on my confidence, which I’m definitely taking into the New Year with me, is stepping out of that comfort zone! Gosh, had I not stepped so far out of my comfort zone from the middle of last year onwards, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. Incredible what half a year can do, isn’t it?

In my personal and professional life, I’ve pushed and pushed and pushed myself and I couldn’t be happier about it. My mental health has improved, I’ve made new friends, I’m making more plans, I’m accepting more opportunities – the list is endless. More of that this year, please. Stepping outside your comfort zone is a great way to Unleash Your Potential.

How are you improving your confidence in 2020? What steps are you taking – big or small – to step out of your comfort zone, improve your self esteem or help you feel more like you?

* This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

90 Comments

  1. I feel so privileged to have witnessed your transformation over the past year and a half!! You have become someone that so many girls can admire & be inspired by, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart <3 Looking forward to hearing about how you're doing in these five areas as the year goes on, I already know you're gonna smash them!! (Hey, you've just booked your first solo holiday–so THRILLED for you ;)) This year, I'm gonna up my self-confidence by working on getting a lot more toned by lifting weights. I'm in okay shape, but I know I can push myself to so much more! xx

    1. That’s literally the loveliest comment ever, thank you so much <3 <3 You've been such an incredible support and I've loved watching your blog grow too! Best of luck with your weight lifting goal! I'd quite like to try weights again! You can definitely push yourself, you got this! xxx

  2. You’re definitely an inspiration for me to work on my confidence this year. I’ve not had the best start to the year but you’re keeping me motivated! I know you’ve got it this year! <33

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

  3. That’s great your confidence is getting better. I hope it only gets better in 2020! I want to try and build my confidence this year, I lost so much confidence and thank you for sharing this post as it makes me want to focus on myself more! Xx

  4. I love me a good list of goals! This year I’m going to be working a lot on personal development as well as on losing weight. Here’s hoping I do both!

  5. This is a very important post! Every tip you’ve offered has been for improving self love and how we feel about ourselves which is surprisingly rare in a new year’s post! I hadn’t really thought about how I’d like to improve my confidence but you’ve really inspired me to make that a priority. I often feel like I don’t have much to offer people and it’s such a waste of my potential to feel like that. So thank you for the wake up call!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

  6. Ah, this post makes me so proud of you. You’ve always been one of the bloggers I look up to most and a large part of that is because you’re so open and generous sharing how you overcome things. You don’t preach, but you do offer what works for you. Always so helpful and I couldn’t be happier that 2020 is going to be YOUR YEAR. Congrats, lovely lady, you completely deserve it and I can’t wait to see it unfold for you! xxx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  7. Great suggestions! I’m using exercise to improve my confidence this year through yoga and pilates workouts, I’ve even signed up for a yoga class with my friend!

    1. That’s a really interesting point about yoga – last year I also found myself doing it just for the sake of it and I fell out of love with it a bit. Maybe I need to adopt a better attitude towards it as well!

  8. Fantastic post! It is so important to take care of ourselves. Exercise is so very important in how we actually feel. Yoga and stretching becomes more important as we age…you really have to work at it. Taking time out for fun and to just relax is also very important. The world tells us that we must be productive and busy all the time. That is not true and seriously bad for your health. A walk in the park or a few minutes alone with a book can be a very good thing. 🙂

  9. I can totally relate to this post, as I’ve been struggling with my confidence too. I used to exercise regularly, but I neglected it when I started my blog – I spend a lot of my free time drafting blog posts and editing photos, but I would like to get back into my routine in 2020.
    Best of luck with improving your confidence, may 2020 be a great year for you!

    Dominika | Into the Bloom

  10. This is a fantastic post. I’m also trying to increase exercise because I know it will help both physically and emotionally. I really want to work on my self-esteem and how I think about myself and that is kinda also about taking care of appearance etc and actually listening to what my body says it wants. I’m just not doing very well so far! Good luck with these!

  11. Ah these are very good tips for improving confidence! I especially agree with the “taking better care of appearance” one – as I find that my mood greatly improves if my skin looks good and eczema-free, which boosts my confidence!

  12. All the best with these steps! They will definitely help you improve your confidence, and you can bet that I’m cheering on for you.

    Working on my confidence has been a slow process over the last few years, and I recognized that it works better if I work small. As in, I stay mindful of the small decisions I make which leads to having better confidence. For example, putting just a little bit of makeup or the styling of my casual clothes. It’s also volunteering to do seminar and teach topics. This way, I’ve come really far. In fact, I hosted the beginning of a hackathon that I organized! I’m continuing the same in 2020, which brings the work environment to my life for the first time.

  13. Adore this post. Stepping out of my comfort zone is my main aim to improve my confidence. A few changes for 2020 are attending more events (even if that means alone), going to dance/yoga classes, not overthinking and hitting the publish button more often. Thank you for sharing Jenny, have a fabulous year!

    Tx. // Tajinder Kaur

  14. You’ve got some great suggestions. Rather than worrying about ‘exercise’ in the conventional term this year, I’m trying to make a point of getting out walking and hiking with the dogs. Not only does it mean I’m active, which is good for my overall health, but it is also good for my mental health – there’s something SO relaxing about being outdoors like that.

  15. Best of luck with these! I’m glad you’ve had such a big 2019. I need to start being more active again for the same reasons! I felt so much better when I was fitter. The effort into the appearance thing is a big one for me too – I feel great in summer because I adore my summer wardrobe but feel less confident for the rest of the year so I need to put more time into looking good outside of just one season

    Ash | thisdreamsalive.com

  16. People look confused when I say it as it sounds kinda materialistic i guess, but my main goal of 2020 is to take better care of my appearance. I want to put money aside to spend on my hair, makeup and nails monthly. It makes me feel more confident when I put more effort and money into my appearance, so why not make it a 2020 goal?! x

    Soph – https://girlvsworldblog.com x

  17. Loved this post and wishing you all the love and positive energy in your confidence journey – It’s so lovely to hear that you’ve been getting back to doing things for yourself which make you feel good like exercising and changing up your hair and style! I find that it really does help when you feel good on the inside, it reflects outwardly too. I definitely want to get back to exercising and taking better care of myself this year so here’s to that! May 2020 be brilliant for all of us xx

  18. OK yes to all of this.
    Especially taking care of my appearance – I used to always have my nails done and some tinted moisturiser and mascara on. I got depressed and that stopped, to the point I stopped brushing my hair. Because I just didn’t care. But now I’m a lot better in myself and I miss the little bits of self-care and maintenance. I love taking an hour out once a week to properly paint my nails.
    Good luck lovely!
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/