Women, and men, of all ages and backgrounds come to my coaching practice: singletons looking for love, young professionals looking for a job, career or life direction, business people with public speaking fears, a lot of people struggling to lose weight… The common denominator is usually low self-confidence and a lack of self-belief.

People spend too much time looking for what’s wrong in their life, looking for the negatives, critisizing, over-analyzing things, focusing on what they don’t want, comparing themselves to other people, or putting themselves down… Not a good recipe for confidence!

When we are born, most of us are not wired to think negatively more than positively, we are naturally confident. But as we grow up, we learn a lot of unuseful habits, fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs from our own parents, families, educators, etc, that massively affect our self-esteem and confidence. The good news is, you can learn how to become more confident in all aspects of your life by learning how your brain works and how to use it to feel good, instead of bad.

Self-confidence is not something you either have or don’t have, it’s something you do.

Confident people display certain characteristics: they have certain beliefs about themselves and about life, they practice certain behaviours and skills consistently, and are able to get into useful states when needed. If you want to boost your self-esteem and feel better about yourself and your life, here are some things you can start to do more of:

1. QUIT SELF-BULLYING: if a stranger shouted at us the terrible things we call ourselves inside our heads on a daily basis we wouldn’t take it. But it seems that as long as it’s us it’s ok… well it’s not. Every thought you allow yourself to have affects how you feel; negative thoughts cause bad feelings, more positive thoughts cause better feelings. Instead of asking “why am I not good enough at this?”, start asking “How can I be better at this?”.

2. STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT & COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE: Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. You are unique for a reason and you should revel in this fact. You should also become aware of your strong points and play up to them. If you can’t think of your good points, think about the compliments you get, and when you get them, accept them and hold onto them for dear life!

Avoid comparisons at all costs. See, when we compare ourselves to other people we usually presuppose that they are better than us, which we don’t know, but which makes us feel bad. Not a great thing to do if you want to feel good! If there are things you want to improve about yourself that you can do something about it, go for it. Self-improvement is great as long as you do it for all the right reasons.

3. TREAT YOURSELF BETTER: think about the person you love the most in this world, and about all the ways in which you show them you love them. How many of these things do you do for yourself? If you want to start to feel better about yourself you need to understand that treating yourself well is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Every day prioritize some time to do something that makes you feel good.

I am not taking about having a piece of cake and feeling good for the sixty seconds that it takes to eat it before you feel guilty. I am talking about going for a walk in nature, going to the cinema, reading a good book, doing a workout… whatever makes you happy. Put yourself first for a change.

4. ASK FOR HELP: too many of us, especially women, try to be superheroes. We want to be everything to everyone, and we like to do everything ourselves, because we are the only ones who can do everything perfectly. In the process, we run ourselves down to the point that some women lose not only their self-esteem, but their identity too.

We live in a society for a reason, so we can help each other grow and better ourselves. Some of the most successful people in the world attribute their success to the help they got along the way. Ask for help when you need it. There is nothing wrong and everything right with you doing this. I have admiration for my clients, because I know how tough it can be to realise you need help, to ask for help, and to disclose your innermost fears and insecurities.


I get this question a lot: what can we do when family members, friends, or work colleagues’ words or actions affect our self-esteem? We have to take into account that that person may not be aware of what they are doing or how it is affecting us. I suppose there are different ways of dealing with this common issue. One way would be to approach that person and simply let them know, without seeming confrontational, how their behaviour is affecting you, and politely ask them can they refrain from doing what they are doing.

Another way to deal with this would be to re-route things. For example, a client of mine used to dread talking to her mum as her mum would always talk about how bad the economy was and other negative things. So, whenever her mum mentioned something that she didn’t want to get into, she would change the subject swiftly and talk about something more positive instead. It’s important we surround ourselves with positive, “can-do”, and supportive people. Sometimes, as hard as it may be, and as a last resort, we have to take drastic measures and get rid of the toxic people in our lives.


Our level of self-confidence dictates the type of partner we choose. This is why many women, and men, get into unhealthy and toxic relationships, where they are taken advantage of, cheated on, bullied and worse… but they still have trouble leaving. Our partners tend to be a reflection of our self-worth. This is why it’s so important we love ourselves and are comfortable with who we are before getting into a relationship. Also, we have to make sure that our partner has a healthy self-esteem too – to be assessed during the dating process! Otherwise, we could be in for a rough ride!

People who are in damaging relationships usually know it, but are in denial. I know, because I used to be that person. In my late teens I was in a psychologically abusive relationship for a whole four years. I entered it healthy and left in a mess. I was not happy, but I thought I wouldn’t be able to do any better. A reflection of my low self-esteem at the time. One day, four years too late, I decided I’d had enough of feeling bad and that I wanted to feel good about myself again. I left my partner and never looked back. Now, I am happily married to a great confident man who brings out the best in me. If you don’t love yourself, why would anyone else love you?


My clients say “when I lose weight I’ll be more confident”. But what you have to realise is that losing weight requires a lot of confidence and self-belief. Otherwise, what are you going to do when someone offers you cake? Are you going to confidently refuse, or are you going to cave in?

Plus, do you know any woman, or man, who has the type of figure you’d die for but still isn’t happy? Waiting for things to happen before you can feel good is never a good idea, because you run the risk of never being happy. Instead, you can learn to be confident and happy now, and I guarantee you that doing the things you need to do to have the body you want will be an easier, quicker and more enjoyable process.

I also help people overcome food cravings. To overcome cravings, binge eating, or over eating, you need more than confidence and will power, you need to understand health and food, and you also need adequate mental preparation.


Low self-confidence transpires into everything we say and do. We all have bad days when we feel crappy about ourselves. As a result we may be rude or mean to those we love, sometimes consciously, and other times unconsciously, but this still doesn’t make it ok. If you have one bad day a month, fair enough. But imagine feeling bad all the time and what this could be doing to your family. A lot of the unuseful habits, insecurities, fears and limiting beliefs we hold onto as adults were learnt when we were younger from the adults around us. It’s important we become aware of these, get rid of them, and avoid transferring them to the people we love.

When someone in our own family is affecting our confidence negatively it can be tricky. It’s not always easy to confront or correct other people’s behaviour, especially if they are not aware of it, or if they don’t want to change things. And sometimes we don’t do anything for fear of hurting other people’s feelings. But what about our feelings? What we can do is become more confident within ourselves, so what other people say and do does not affect us as much. If someone says something to make you feel bad, and you know that is their intention, then don’t give them the satisfaction of feeling bad. Instead, make the decision to feel good!


I get clients who have the qualifications and experience but don’t have the confidence to go for the positions they want. People who have job interviews lined up which they are terrified of. People whose job involves public speaking, but they don’t have the confidence or necessary skills. I also help people who want to start a new business, but are frozen by fears and insecurities. If you don’t believe in yourself and your capabilities, why would anyone else?

I know people who are achieving great things thanks to raw ambition and an unwavering belief in themselves and their abilities. Whilst other more prepared people who lack the confidence to go for things or make too many excuses are left behind. Jade Goodie (r.i.p) comes to mind. An ordinary girl with a rough background who took every opportunity life presented her with and made the most of it. Like her or not, what she lacked in general knowledge she made up for in confidence and ambition. My advice is never wait until you are ready to take action, and always do those things you are most afraid of.

Author's Bio: 

Anna Aparicio is regarded as Ireland’s top female NLP/Hypnosis Life Coach. A Self-esteem and Confidence Expert, she has helped hundreds of women all around the world feel empowered, super confident, and lead happier more succesful lives. With a unique blend of Neuro-linguistic Programming, cutting edge personal development tools, and a contagious sense of humour and zest for life, Anna is renowned for getting results fast. Anna's new seminar THE C FACTOR will take place in Dublin(Ireland) in July. Find out more here http://dublinnlplifecoach.com/boost-self-esteem-confident-seminar-women/