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Stop Wondering How to: Elevate Your Life


Do you feel inspired and motivated about your day ahead when you awake?

Do you feel truly alive?  Does your life feel like you are living each day aligned to your true purpose?

Low self-esteem, self-doubt and a lack of confidence can often cause us to stay stuck, to not reach for the stars…  Many people think that to fix low self-esteem, you have to look inside yourself. While it’s true that there are internal things that cause low self-esteem and self-doubt, there are also external factors that can contribute.

Instead of looking inside for all the reasons you’re not more confident or happier or more successful, let’s look at the space you live in. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time thinking about your answers.


Sometimes we feel small because we’re living small. This doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything and go backpacking through Europe right now or that every moment of your life has to be an epic adventure.

But for many people with low self-esteem, it’s easy to get into a rut. You start believing that you can’t do better and so you stop trying. You create a self-fulfilling prophecy without realizing it.

Look at your life right now. What limitations have you accepted without challenging them? What areas of your life have you accepted as “good enough”? In what ways do you play small? What makes you hold back in certain situations? What are the scripts you tell yourself that result in you playing small?


We are deeply influenced by the people we spend time with. This can be a good thing if you’re spending time with positive people. But if your friends and family are unkind or negative, that same attitude can rub off on you.

Do you have people around you who get excited when you flourish?

Do you have friends around you who are kind, but brutally honest and call you out when you are not pushing yourself to grow?

I know that I used to have friends who were amazing when all was good in my world, but not there for me when the storms hit, now I have a circle of friends who are here to support me when the storm hits.

Do you have friends who understand you and help you understand yourself so you never have to justify, explain or defend yourself, they simply ‘get you’ completely as you are?

Or do you have toxic friends around you who always pull the attention and spotlight onto themselves or get antsy and manipulative if you can’t always be there for them 24/7?  

Ask yourself how you’d feel if you didn’t speak to a certain friend or family member for a week. Would you feel relieved at the thought of missing Aunt Sylvia’s rants about the job she hates? Would you feel sad if you missed that call from your sister who helps you see the best in the world?

If there’s someone negative in your life, you don’t have to cut them out completely. But do look for ways to limit your time together and don’t be afraid to change the topic of conversation if things take a negative turn.


Often a lack of confidence, self-doubt and low self-esteem can be caused by becoming too comfortable. You do the same things in the same way every single day. You don’t change things up. You don’t challenge yourself to experience new things and you don’t go beyond what’s safe and comfortable. This can cause you to stop growing as a person.

When you go outside your normal and look for new experience, you open yourself up. You discover new ways to do things. You find solutions that you wouldn’t have come up with any other way. You learn more about yourself and the world around you.

You can find new experiences into your life just by looking for opportunities outside of your comfort zone. Try a different type of cuisine. Drive a different route to work. Volunteer at an organization that you wouldn’t typically support. Take a weekend road trip and see where you end up.

Your environment shapes your self-confidence, self-esteem, self-belief and happiness so don’t be afraid to look around at your life and make some changes. Surround yourself with people and experiences that build up your self-esteem, self-confidence and self-belief and help you elevate your life and make you happy.

What’s the biggest insight you’ve taken away from this article and how can you turn that aha into action?

I’m Annie Ashdown, Author, Success Coach, Cognitive Hypnotherapist, Speaker, based in London. I write about everything I’ve done wrong as a woman personally and professionally whilst out there in the trenches.

I work with high achievers who want to conquer imposter syndrome, crush self-doubt, and de-escalate anxiety. I help them knock down the wall that’s causing them frustration and standing between them and their next level of success so they can get closer to the dream life they’ve set their sights on.

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