Imagine how different your life could be with a little more confidence.
Would you finally approach that girl you’ve been eyeing? Would you go after that promotion you deserve? Could you get more out of life than you are right now?
When it comes to confidence, most of us could use a boost. Think about how many opportunities you’ve missed out on as a result of not having enough. Your life could be in a much better place if you had more of it to back you up when you need it.
The good news is, no matter where you are on the confidence scale today, you can learn to be a more confident person. Think of it like a muscle that grows as you exercise and put in the work to shape it—there’s time and effort involved, but it is doable.
So if you feel that you could benefit from a confidence boost, give the following tips a try.
Appearance is everything
This isn’t about vanity. This is about feeling.
The saying “when you look good, you feel good” holds true when it comes to confidence.
So put some effort into your daily self-care routine. Practice good hygiene habits, groom yourself and dress in clean clothes that make you feel great so when you step outside your door, you’re presenting the best version of yourself.
You’ll feel better and, as a result, see a difference in the way you stand.
Posture makes perfect
Speaking of standing, if you find yourself slouching throughout most of the day, it’s time to perk up because it’s not doing you any favors.
Think about it: if you see someone walking with his head down and back hunched over versus someone standing up tall with proper posture, who looks like they have more confidence?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy—especially when you spend most of your day slumped over a desk. However, it’s important to make it a habit of catching your bad posture throughout the day in order to correct it.
So roll your shoulders back and sit (or stand) up tall!
It’s simple: get your body moving.
Yes, getting yourself to work out can be a struggle at times. But have you ever noticed that once you complete a workout, you feel great? Not only is there a sense of accomplishment and pride in getting the job done, but your overall mood improves in the long run.
The process of setting a small goal and accomplishing it (along with the physical benefits of working out) can drastically improve your level of confidence over time.
Whether the goal is to lose a few pounds or to simply manage your health, you won’t just feel stronger on the outside but on the inside as well.
Start small and work your way up
When you’re lacking confidence, the thought of accomplishing a large goal can be daunting.
Instead of trying to tackle large goals right off the bat, start with small goals to help build up your confidence. The goal could be as simple as making your bed every morning, but the key is to have a series of small goals that you can accomplish throughout the day in order to get the momentum going.
And when it comes to larger goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps so the process of completing them becomes less overwhelming.
It’s a mental game that creates a snowball effect once you get the ball rolling.
The importance of rest and relaxation
As you’ve probably noticed from the previous points, self-care is extremely important when it comes to building confidence. That’s because when you take care of yourself, you’re mentally and physically in a better position to handle whatever life throws at you.
So make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep and incorporating a self-care activity into your daily routine. Whether that’s journaling, yoga, massage or whatever else piques your interest, even if you only have 5 minutes to do it, adding a self-care habit into your life can make all the difference.
Focus on your breath
If you’re approaching a task or activity that you’re not totally confident about, your nerves may get the better of you. Your heart starts racing, your breathing gets shallow, your palms start to sweat and, before you know it, the anxiety has taken over and it becomes difficult to think straight.
Before you get to that point, catch yourself falling into these patterns early on. If you can feel a lack of confidence building up into anxiety, focus on your breath.
Take a few moments to breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth until you can feel your body relax into a calmer state.
Surround yourself with supportive people
We all need encouragement from time to time, which is why having a strong support system is so important. When you’re surrounded by positive people who stand behind you through thick and thin, it’s hard not to have confidence.
Take stock of the company you keep and make sure you have people in your life who have your back.
Get to know yourself
Who are you and what do you want out of life?
When you don’t have a strong sense of who you are as a person, it can take a huge toll on your confidence. So if you don’t have a clear answer to the question above, it’s time to figure it out.
There’s no fast and easy fix to figuring out who you are, but some steps you can take include daily journaling and meditation practice in order to facilitate the process of discovery.
Experiment, look inward and dig deep to find that out.
Say “no” often
Saying “no” is all about setting boundaries.
Yes, it’s scary when you first start doing it—especially if you’re a people pleaser. But this goes back to knowing who you are and rejecting the things that don’t fit into your values, goals, and ambitions.
The more you do it, the easier it is, and you’ll be much better off for it.
If you don’t have much confidence, you may look back on your life and feel like you haven’t accomplished much. That’s why it’s important to reflect on the goals you’ve achieved from both the distant and recent past.
Daily reflection serves as a reminder that you do have something to be proud of, whether the achievement is big or small.
The comfort zone is just that—comfortable.
There’s no growth and, as a result, your confidence may start to dwindle because you’re not in the practice of challenging yourself. You end up falling into a routine where stepping outside of what you know becomes scary.
When you tackle a new skill, you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. This, in turn, helps build up your confidence because you start to realize that you can overcome challenges and accomplish things if you set your mind to it.
It doesn’t matter if you end up being bad at the new skill because you learn a lot through both success and failure. What matters the most is pushing through limiting beliefs and realizing that you can face challenges head-on.
How can you have confidence if you never put yourself out there?
For many, the mere thought of failure can be crippling. So instead of attempting something new, they avoid the potential for failure altogether and suffer because of it. The refusal to put yourself out there and try new things does nothing more than brew insecurity and fear.
There’s a lot to learn from failure—many would even say you learn more from failure than you do from success. The reason being is that failure challenges the confidence you have in your abilities.
Failure is a part of life and is essential in the development of your confidence. More often than not, the thought of failing is worse than the failure itself.
Be prepared when you can
Say you have a class presentation and you’re not confident in your public speaking abilities. Would you feel better if you had prepared a speech and practiced it before the delivery or if you just winged it in front of everybody?
Chances are, you’d feel a lot better about speaking in front of your class with some practice and preparation. You may not be the best public speaker, but knowing your stuff can be the difference between building your confidence and crushing it.
Sure, you can’t prepare for every situation life throws at you but, when you can, prepare in advance.
Be mindful of negativity
Negativity in any form can have serious effects on your life.
Whether you’re dealing with a negative situation or a negative person, the presence of negativity can have major implications like bringing down your mood and killing your energy.
If you’re in a negative situation, find positive people to surround you with or, better yet, find a way out of it. If you’re dealing with a negative person, limit your time with him or her as much as possible.
It’s hard to be confident in yourself if you have a person or situation bringing you down so don’t take the matter lightly.
If you have a fear of putting yourself out there because you’re scared of judgment, then this is the section for you.
It’s impossible to read another person’s mind, yet many of us still attempt to do it in the form of projection. We make assumptions about other people’s thoughts, opinions and feelings toward us and, more often than not, they’re not true.
We’re our own worst critics. So the next time you’re worried about the judgment of others, take note and realize that you’re projecting your own insecurities onto other people.
Take a break from social media
The FOMO is real.
When you see friends and acquaintances painting these idealistic depictions of their lives on social media, it can feel like their lives have something yours is missing—and that doesn’t feel good.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others when you look at their lives through a lens like social media. And, more often than not, you feel “less than” as a result.
So when you start to feel like social media is affecting the confidence you have in yourself, take a break for an hour, a day, a week or even a month. You’ll most likely feel better because of it.
Thoughts, attitudes, habits, and people can all affect your level of confidence, which is why it’s important to be mindful of the way these factors influence your life.
If you’re not as confident as you’d like to be, only you have the ability to improve it. There’s no magic pill or quick fix. It takes time, effort and energy, but it can be done, and you’ll be better off for it.