Self-confidence is a skillset that can help you accomplish your goals and pursue your passions in life. It’s generally a learned skill set (no, all those confident people you know weren’t necessarily born that way!). If you’d like to become more self-confident, we’ve got some great techniques for you. They’re not exotic or difficult. In fact, the simplicity is amazing.
1. Present Yourself As Confident
Your body language instantly telegraphs whether you’re self-assured or insecure. Present yourself as a confident person who’s ready to master any situation. If you look confident and act confident, you’ll begin to feel confident. People will also have more confidence in you. Simple steps include good posture, look directly at the person you’re speaking to, offer a firm handshake, and make eye contact when someone speaks to you.
2. Choose Clothing That Makes You Feel Confident
When you look better, you feel better. Choose clothing and accessories that fit, are appropriate for the occasion, and make you feel good. This increases your self-confidence. And, don’t be afraid to be you. It can be tempting to “dress the part.” But if that part is too far out of your comfort zone, you’re much better off wearing what makes you feel good about yourself. And frankly, dressing with personal style is a great way of conveying confidence and being memorable.
3. Speak With Confidence
Speak with confidence. Practice speaking without saying “um” — it’s much more authoritative to allow for a silent pause to find the right words, rather than filling the empty space with “um.” Use pauses to emphasize ideas — pauses are powerful. Speak in an assertive, but not aggressive style. Speaking slowly encourages people to listen to you, and they will tend to view you as a leader. If you feel uncomfortable speaking slowly, practice in lower stress situations.
4. Think And Act Positively
Positive energy often leads to positive outcomes. Become a “can-do” person. Smile, laugh and surround yourself with positive people. You’ll feel better and the people you work with will be glad you’re there.
Practice being self-confident and it will begin to feel natural. Move a little outside your comfort zone. For example, introduce yourself to a stranger at a networking event. Action builds confidence and courage.
6. Be Kind And Generous
Being kind to others, and generous with your time, is a great way to improve your self-confidence — so simple, yet so effective.
7. Be Prepared
Nothing can substitute for being well-prepared. For example, if you’re going to give a presentation, practice the material until you can do it in your sleep. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.
8. Know Your Principles And Live Them
What are the principles you build your life on? Write them down. Strive to be guided more and more by those principles. Be willing to follow these even if someone criticizes you. Knowing who you are and what you’re about is like a superpower.
9. Build Your Skillset
Build your competence by studying and practicing. For example, if you want to be a better writer, write at least a little every day. The more you write, the better you’ll become at writing. Set aside 30 minutes a day to write, and the practice will increase your competence.
10. Change A Small Habit
Choose a habit to change. For example, decide to get one more hour of sleep each night. Do it for a month. When you’ve accomplished it, you’ll feel great and rested. Knowing you can change a habit, or build a new one, is an amazing confidence booster. You’re telling yourself you can accomplish your goals and you’re not chained to old ways.
Volunteer for a good cause to help others. It’ll be some of the best time you’ve ever spent. You’ll instantly feel better.
12. Be Grateful
Be grateful for what you have. This can be very positive and rewarding and will improve your self-image. Some people start or end each day by briefly reflecting upon what they’re grateful for both in their life, overall, and from the last 24 hours.
Exercise empowers you with the knowledge that you care enough about yourself to actively take great care of yourself. And nothing is more confidence-boosting than loving yourself. Of course, exercise also helps you to be healthy. It helps to conquer depression and puts you in a good mood (chemically). Choose your exercise and start now
14. Empower Yourself With Knowledge
Learning is one of the best strategies to build self-confidence. Look for resources online, in libraries, or schools to help you expand your knowledge. Focus on subjects that really interest you and studies that you might want to pursue.
15. Work On Small Things
Don’t take on a huge project or task. Break off small chunks and work in bursts. Small achievements make you feel good and build your confidence.
Avoid These Habits That Can Derail Your Confidence
Low self-confidence is often caused by negative thoughts that repeat in our minds. If you constantly think you’re not smart enough, or attractive enough, or good enough, you need to stop these thoughts and shift gears. When Start keeping an awareness for when you’re engaging in negative self-talk. Immediately switch these negative thoughts about yourself to positive thoughts. Remind yourself of what you’re grateful for, what you’re good at and of any recent successes.
Stay Away From Negativity And Pursue Positivity
Seriously consider creating some distance between yourself and any “friend” who puts you down and shreds your confidence. A real friend wouldn’t do that. Sometimes it’s a family member, and you need to know right now that it’s ok to minimize time spent even with family members who make it a practice to drag you.
This also includes online sources of negativity. Use that “Block” button to rid yourself of people who troll you and generally don’t add anything useful to your online life. It’s OK! It’s also OK to skip the comments section when you know it’s going to be a trash fire. Instead of engaging in the fruitless exercise of arguing with strangers in the comments, write your own blog post and build your confidence.
Main image: Jopwell Collection