“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.”
Imagine how different your life would be if you felt more confident. Fears would be only a faint memory of days gone by. You’d know without a doubt that you could achieve whatever you set your mind to and nothing could hold you back. You’d be living the life you’ve always desired!
Self-confidence is perhaps the most important quality that sets successful people apart from others. Think of every person you know who has achieved a measure of success. Can you find even one who doesn’t exhibit confidence?
Successful people don’t have more confidence because they’re any better than anyone else. They’re no better than you! They have confidence because they learned some skills and talents that helped to develop an unshakeable confidence over time.
The good news is that you, too, can learn these skills and gain the confidence to propel you to success in any endeavour! Wouldn’t you love to have more confidence? Of course! But the reality is that it won’t come to you on its own accord; you have to seek it out; you have to boost your confidence.
Here are the top 14 ways to boost your confidence so you can feel good about yourself and enjoy the perks of success:
1. Look good, feel great.
When you look and feel your best, you’ll have more confidence, you’ll feel more alert, and you’ll bring more energy and focus to your projects. Others will also take notice of you and respond favourably to your positive energy.
Be a sharp dresser.
Even ZZ Top, the classic rock band, took notice of the effect that dressing well can have on people when they wrote the song “Sharp Dressed Man.”
The lyrics are:
“They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.”
In both your personal and professional life, looking your best really does attract others. When you shop, buy nice clothes. If budget is an issue, pay for quality, not quantity. Higher quality clothes look better, fit better, and last longer than the cheap stuff.
When you look good, you’ll feel great and this will boost your confidence.
Stay in shape.
Making the effort to stay in shape pays you well in terms of increased confidence and self-esteem. If you’re insecure about your weight, for example, those insecurities can affect many other aspects of your life.
Eating healthy, nutritious foods gives both your body and brain what they require to function at top capacity. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where you’ll find the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grain breads. Stay away from the centre of the store, where they keep all the preservative-laden foods in boxes and cans.
Exercise every day to use up extra calories, tone your body, and gain more energy. Exercising also produces endorphins, the “feel good” hormone, which gives you an emotional lift and makes you feel good about yourself.
2. Let your body language show confidence.
Experts agree that people may get more from your body language than they do from your words. Using confident body language will go a long way towards increasing your effectiveness with others and bring you greater confidence as well.
Follow these tips to exhibit confidence with your body language:
Stand up straight.
Your posture can tell people a lot about you before you ever speak a word! Confident people stand straight and tall, whereas people who lack confidence shrink down.
Be relaxed and open.
Even though you’re standing up straight, keep your muscles relaxed. Tense muscles exhibit tension, fear, or insecurity to others. Open body language shows self-confidence and trust.
Busy, successful people usually walk quickly. They have places to go, things to do, and people to see. When you walk quickly, you join the ranks of these accomplished people, and others will automatically look at you as if you must be successful, too.
Hold your head up.
Show your confidence by holding your head up high. Insecure people look down far too often.
Make eye contact.
When you look at someone in the eye, you’re projecting honesty, sincerity, and self-assurance. On the other hand, avoiding eye contact makes people think that you have something to hide or that you’re unsure of yourself.
Smile and the world smiles with you!
Smiles are contagious. They make everyone feel good, including you! Studies show that putting a smile on your face can actually activate pleasant emotions, including confidence.
Consider what a warm smile can do by reading this short, but true, reflection a colleague said recently:
“I remember you. Last year, when I was having one of the most horrible days of my life, I passed you in the hall and you gave me a smile. That smile made me feel better the rest of the day!”
Just imagine how you’d feel once you realize how easily you can make a difference in the life of a stranger – and all you had to do was smile. (Yes, this is a true story!)
Smile at yourself in the mirror every morning as you begin your day. It will put a spring in your step and give you confidence to meet the
challenges of the day.
3. Use positive self-talk throughout your day.
We talk to ourselves inside our mind all day long; it’s like a running dialogue that never ends. The things you say to yourself forge energy pathways in your subconscious that control your attitudes, beliefs, and actions. How you react to your experiences is also part of this self-talk.
When your self-talk is positive, it can move you to accomplish great things. When it’s negative, it can hold you back and even keep you from ever accomplishing the things you desire. Use these tips to help you form the attitudes that can bring you success and confidence:
Make use of affirmations.
Affirmations can literally change your life, one thought at a time! Use them to reinforce your positive behaviours and override mental attitudes that hold you back. For best results, repeat them several times a day.
Follow the 3-P Method for effective affirmations:
- Positive. State your desired behaviour in a positive manner. Avoid the words “not” or “never.”
- Personal. You’re speaking to your subconscious, so use the word “I.”
- Present Tense. Write your affirmations as if they’re attitudes and behaviours you already exemplify in your daily life. Use words like “I am” or “I feel” or “I believe.”
Here are a few affirmations that can encourage greater confidence:
- I accomplish my daily goals with ease.
- I am prepared to meet any challenge that comes my way.
- Confident radiates from me at all times.
Keep your inner dialogue positive. As you go through your day, ensure that what you’re saying to yourself is something you want to hear. After all, nothing good will come from beating yourself up for making a mistake. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.
4. Set SMART goals.
Confidence comes to people who know exactly what they want, where they’re going, and how they’re going to get there. Setting SMART goals virtually guarantees your success, and every time you achieve one of your goals, your confidence is kicked up another notch!
Use the SMART strategy for setting goals you can achieve:
Specific. Describe exactly what you want. Make it crystal clear and leave no room for interpretation.
Measurable. You must be able to measure your progress so you’ll know when you’ve succeeded.
Attainable. Plan a series of easily achievable steps, or micro-goals, that lead to your objective. Reaching these micro-goals on a regular basis will encourage you, fill you with confidence, and build momentum towards your overall goal.
Realistic. Ensure your goals are realistic for you, not Superman or someone else.
Timely. Always set a time for reaching your goal so you can make an action plan that’s complete by your desired date.
Here’s an example of a SMART Goal: “I will earn an extra $200 seven days from now by working an extra 90 minutes each day.” This goal meets every criterion in the SMART strategy. It may look rather simple, but achieving those small steps on your way to your big goal adds up and instils you with the confidence and motivation to keep going.
5. Maintain positive relationships.
Our relationships can fill our lives with rich rewards. Relationships have the potential to either invigorate or devastate our self-esteem. Incorporating these strategies into your relationships will ensure that they’re positive and beneficial.
- Give compliments. Make others feel good about themselves.
- Receive compliments graciously. Accept compliments graciously by simply saying thank you and nothing more. There is no need to put yourself down to appear modest.
- Follow the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- Be honest. Everything you say should be grounded in truth.
- Show kindness and love. Let others know you care.
- Sandwich constructive criticism in between good points. Focus on how they can improve.
- Look for the best in others and bring it out. Focus on the good in others.
- Admit your mistakes and apologize when you’re wrong. Refuse to make excuses.
- Eliminate gossip. Gossip is toxic and detrimental to your confidence.
6. Look within yourself.
Self-assessment has an important part to play if you want to boost your confidence. Analysing your unique talents and passions along with determining where you want to improve can help you create action steps based on your findings. Self-knowledge results in a stronger, more confident you!
Strengthen your strengths.
Identify your talents and build on them. Take advantage of what you do well to help you set and achieve your goals.
Determine your passions and pursue them.
What are you passionate about? Spending more time pursuing your passions will refresh you, bring you another strength you can
depend on, and give you more energy for all aspects of your life.
Write a “me” speech.
List all the things you like about you: talents, skills, and past successes, then give yourself permission to feel good about these accomplishments. Every morning, recite your speech while looking in the mirror with a big smile!
Improve your weaknesses.
Realize that no one is perfect. Expecting perfection can only lead to disappointment. After all, there will always be something you’d like to improve upon. Determine where you’d like to improve and design a plan to make this improvement.
If you want to sharpen your skills in a specific area, sign up for some classes and get actively involved in the field.
If your weakness is a bad habit, use affirmations to help with your willpower and make the commitment to refine your self-discipline through daily practice.
7. Do things you enjoy.
Often times the activities that you enjoy the most are the ones you excel at. While you’re engaging in these activities, you’re also reinforcing how valuable you are! The more time you spend on sharpening your skills, the more your confidence will grow.
8. Feel gratitude.
Being thankful for everything around you puts your mental energies into a positive state and attracts more things for you to feel good about. It’s a cycle that can work wonders for your confidence and self-esteem.
Reflect on the good.
Give thanks each and every day for your blessings.
- List all the things that are good in your life: big, small, and seemingly inconsequential.
- What special talents have you been given?
- What good things happened today?
- Look for the good in challenges. They may be there to help you in some way.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Each day, write about the moments and people that you’re thankful for. When you’re feeling down, reading your journal can lift your spirits.
9. Speak up and be noticed.
Do you ever wish others would pay more attention to you and what you have to say? There are simple things you can do to make people think of you as a strong leader. When you implement these strategies, it will cause a gradual attitude shift in both you and other people that will help your confidence climb.
Sit in the front.
In classrooms or seminars, sit in the front row and actively participate. You will soon be looked upon as the authority and people will be naturally attracted to you.
Have something to say.
In meetings or group discussions, speak up with positive opinions and input. Even if what you say isn’t particularly momentous, people will still begin to think of you as a valuable contributor.
10. Seek the company of positive people.
When you’re around uplifting people, it’s easy to feel confident. Like-minded individuals help bring out the best in you. When you surround yourself with positive influences, you know you can be yourself without fear of judgement.
The more time you spend with them, the more good feelings about yourself and others will spill over into the many areas of your life.
On the other hand, avoid negative people. They tend to be overly critical and try to drag you down to their level. Be like the gingerbread man of the fairy tale. He said, “Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me; I’m the gingerbread man!” Don’t let those negative people catch you and steal your self-confidence.
11. Live by your principles.
Allow yourself to feel secure in your beliefs and act accordingly. Others will have more respect for you if you stick to your beliefs, even if they don’t agree with you. When you let your principles guide your actions, you can never disappoint yourself.
- Know what’s important to you.
- Always do what you believe is the right thing.
- Desire things because you want them, not because someone else does.
- Don’t compare yourself. Your worth doesn’t depend on others.
12. Challenge yourself.
Pushing yourself a little more than you’re used to will open up new doors for you. When you meet the challenge, it may take you by surprise to learn that you can do things you never thought you could! You’ll feel better about yourself than ever and your confidence will soar.
- Take a course where you learn how to survive in the wild.
- Learn a new skill, such as woodworking or landscaping, and beautify your surroundings.
- Set an ambitious goal and work until you achieve it.
13. Celebrate frequently.
Always congratulate yourself for your accomplishments. When you do something good, pat yourself on the back, celebrate, reward yourself, and feel good about it – you’ve earned it! This is more important than you think. Without a little celebration, you will never truly realize every little success that you’ve made along the way.
After a mini-celebration, you’ll be juiced up for your next goal with renewed vigour and confidence.
14. Act confident.
We all have days where nothing seems to go right. When this happens, our self-confidence can suffer. On days like these, when all else fails, act confident anyway.
Perhaps you’ve heard the statement, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” With respect to your self-esteem, sometimes faking it actually does make you feel better!
Actions that make you look confident can make you feel more confident as well:
Giving someone a confident smile will make you feel better, too. Besides, you can only fake a smile for so long before it becomes real! Also, if people smile back – which they most likely will – you get to boost your confidence each time.
Helping others feel better may also give you a boost. Plus, there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you see someone’s eyes light up because you did something that made a difference in their life!
Dress for success.
Even if you don’t care what you look like on a bad day, make the effort to look nice anyway. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but others will respond to you more positively, which will obviously boost your confidence.
Following these strategies to boost your confidence will uplift you in more ways than you can imagine. With more confidence, you’ll discover that you’re suddenly able to conquer old problems with ease and achieve what you once thought was impossible. Plus, you’ll feel happier and more fulfilled!
Some of these strategies may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t let that stop you from starting to boost your confidence. Plan to implement just one strategy each week into your daily routine. Soon enough, you’ll be a fountain of confidence, gushing with all the courage you could ever desire!
Recommended: 14 Ways to Boost Your Confidence – Part 2