How to build self-confidence after an accident

It’s normal to experience low self-confidence after an accident. Traumatic events such as a car accident or negligent medical treatment may not only cause serious physical injury, but long-lasting impacts on your mental wellbeing, family and relationships. In fact, our Make it Right campaign research found that 66% of women and 58% of men reported a loss of self-confidence post-accident.

If you have found yourself avoiding social situations, having negative thoughts about yourself or are experiencing anxiety and feel afraid to tackle challenges, you may be suffering from low self-confidence.

Here, we explore how to boost self-confidence with five top tips.

1. Practice mindfulness for 5 minutes every day

If you are experiencing low self-confidence after your accident, you might be being overly hard on yourself, doubt your self-worth or opinions, and find yourself consistently over-thinking. When you’re conscious of your mind spiralling into negative thought patterns, try to take control and make positive affirmations such as “I am good enough” or any other mantra that works for you.

Taking up mindful meditation is a great way to calm racing thoughts, reduce stress and improve coping mechanisms. A recent study by the Western Washington University found that participants that did meditation had considerably reduced stress levels than those that didn’t. Setting aside just 5 minutes each day to be mindful may significantly help with building confidence and self-esteem.

2. Do one thing that scares you each day

Is low self-confidence making you afraid to take on new challenges? One of the best ways to kick this feeling to the kerb is by facing your fears head on. This doesn’t mean doing something extreme like a bungee jump or a sky dive, but one small thing every day that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

For instance, if you are worried about leaving the house on your own post-accident, set yourself a challenge of nipping to the shops for 10 minutes. If you are nervous of travelling on the road, use public transport or take the car for even the shortest of journeys. Even though it may not feel like it in the moment, these scary experiences will give you a real sense of achievement and slowly build your confidence.

3. Do something for someone else

Building self-confidence isn’t just about setting yourself tasks. Making a positive difference to someone else’s life makes you feel good and gives a real sense of self-worth. Plus, it gives your mind space to concentrate on something else.

There are many ways to practice compassion, whether that’s with your spouse, family member, friend or even a stranger. For instance, if your partner is having a tough time at work, you could take a weight off their shoulders by doing some of their usual household chores or cooking them a meal. They will be hugely grateful for your kind consideration, and this in turn will make you feel good.

Alternatively, you may wish to assist those in need in your local community by taking up volunteering at a local food bank. A kind gesture doesn’t need to be huge or ground-breaking, it could be something as seemingly small as letting someone go in front of you in a queue.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

Now that social media has become a part of many people’s daily lives, it can be almost too easy to compare our lives to others. We see our acquaintances’ ‘highlight reels’ filled with seemingly happy and fun times they have, day in, day out.

Away from social media, you may find yourself comparing your successes with those of your friends and family members. But it’s important to realise that the majority of people ‘filter’ what they let others see – choosing to show them their ‘best bits’.

In reality, there may be a lot you don’t know about their life, their struggles, or what they are going through. It’s important not to compare yourself to others as this can be detrimental to your self-confidence. Instead, be positive about where you’re at in your own life and be thankful for all your successes to date. After all, life’s not a race – we’re all on our own path.

5. Embrace positive habits

When experiencing low self-confidence, it can be easy to feel trapped in a cycle of negative habits. Whether that’s getting too little sleep, smoking, drinking too much or avoiding social activities. While we feel like this is what we want to do in the moment, it can negatively affect our confidence long term.

To combat this, try making a small habit change. It’s important to set yourself a realistic goal rather than attempting to completely change your life overnight, as this is more likely to result in relapse.

For example, if you’re not getting enough sleep, make a small change to your bedtime routine such as going to bed 10 minutes earlier and reading a book, instead of scrolling on your phone. This will help your brain to switch off and improve your quality of sleep.

Building confidence and self-esteem won’t happen overnight, but making positive changes to your routine will have you well on the way to feeling happier and healthier. Why not give these self-confidence tips a go today?

If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we’re here to help. Contact us today on 0800 376 0150 to talk to one of our friendly advisors for free.

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