Confidence is an essential ingredient of an amazing life!
But what happens when confidence is something you struggle with?
We’re not all born naturally confident of course!
But the good news is that not all hope is lost!
As a kid, I developed the idea that I just wasn’t a confident person. It seemed like that’s just the way it is and I should just learn how to do life with that knowledge.
Which I now know to be totally and completely untrue!
Like so many other things in life, we are actually much more in control of our confidence than we’ve been led to believe.
Confidence is a muscle that will grow over time, if you dedicate yourself to it and put in the work.
So many of us put off the cool things we really want in life simply because we believe we’re not confident enough to achieve them.
But what would happen if you could improve your confidence–instead of resigning yourself to a life without it?
That’s why today I’m sharing with you eight of my best confidence-boosting tips so you can get started on your confidence journey today!
8 Tips To Boost Your Confidence
Boost Your Confidence Tip #1:
Limit The Negative Self-Talk
Let’s face it: our inner critic (who I affectionately call the Inner Mean Girl/Guy) is often the loudest voice in our mind! But it’s not an accurate representation of who we really are.
Obviously, it’s going to be tough to feel good about yourself and confident in who you are if you let that mean voice win the battle inside of you!
So please know that that voice might be loud and it might be telling you the same things over and over again (possibly for years on end). But that doesn’t mean it’s right!
This is probably the most important place for you to exercise your right to be a Conscious Creator: someone who thinks deliberately and therefore creates the life that they really want. Decide not to feed those mean thoughts and over time they’ll have less and less control over you.
Boost Your Confidence Tip #2:
Put On Your Best Self
When you’re feeling down about yourself, it’s very tempting to dress the part! (Witness one of my favorite Oprah words ever: the shlumpadinka.) We just naturally think: why put in the effort if you don’t feel good anyway right?
Of course, looks aren’t everything in life! But the way you present yourself to the world is more important than you think. But it’s not just about how those around you see you. It’s also an important part of how you see yourself.
Caring for ourselves and feeling good about our appearance is a self-confidence boost with almost immediate results. So even if you don’t feel like it at times, challenge yourself to put in the work. Brush your hair, put your makeup on and banish your comfy (yet hole-y) old sweatpants.
Then challenge yourself to notice the difference: what does your life feel like when you show up as your best self?
Boost Your Confidence Tip #3:
We’re not taught to embrace challenges in life! In fact, we’re mostly taught the total opposite: problems are something to be avoided. And failure is something we should never tolerate!
(More on failure in the next one!)
But self-confidence comes from intrinsically knowing that we can handle anything that comes our way. It won’t matter so much what the outcomes of our actions are if we also know that we’ve got it handled, good or bad. (And let’s face it, we’re mostly worried about not handling things well when they’re bad.)
To build real self-confidence, it’s important to test yourself. You can’t start trusting yourself without letting yourself “fail” a few times! But understanding that you are in fact a smart, capable and resilient person will help you to overcome any life challenges that might one day come your way!
Boost Your Confidence Tip #4:
Again, our brains have tricked us into thinking that failure is one of the worst things that could ever happen to us! So most of us go through life picking the “safe” choice and never challenging ourselves to avoid any chance of failure. But is failure really as bad as our brains make it seem?
Much of this fear has to do with programming we received back in school. We’re supposed to get good grades in all of our classes and we’re basically shamed if we fail something! We’re not taught to try things with our whole heart even when we don’t feel “ready” and we’re definitely not taught that we can try again if we don’t pass on the first try.
But real life is not school! Real life is messy and failure is just a fact! Avoiding failure is not the way to create your best life. So instead of getting caught up in “what happens if I don’t?” you shift to understanding that failure is just part of the learning process?
Boost Your Confidence Tip #5:
Stop Your Worrying
Fact: worrying is not actually a useful past time! Yet how many of us continue with our worrying, thinking of all the worst possibilities and feeling that makes us prepared?
Worry is a just a bad brain habit that can easily spin out of control. It can quickly turn into catastrophizing: excessive fantasizing about only the worst possibilities in life.
While of course we can prepare for the future to a certain degree, excessive worry is actually useless. You’ll never be able to think your way through problems that aren’t even here yet! And in the mean time, you’re just wasting the precious moment feeling badly about something that may never happen.
It might take some practice but once you catch your brain moving over to the dark side it’s time to bring yourself back to the present moment. Again, you are a Conscious Creator! You get to decide on where to place your energy. So is worrying really the best use of your time and energy?
Boost Your Confidence Tip #6:
Act As If
So far we’ve been talking about real strategic ways to feel more confident. But a little imagination can also take you a long way!
Because it’s true: you can also fake your way to confidence! The funny thing is, the more you practice “acting as if” the easier your confident behaviors become. Meaning: if you start acting like your most confident bad-ass self, pretty soon that won’t be just an act! It will naturally start to become your normal.
So think about it for a sec: who is your most bad-ass self? How does she/he show up in the world? Maybe you even want to give this alternative version of you a name a la Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce. What would your Sasha Fierce do? Be? Say? Playing with your imagination like this might feel crazy at first but it truly is one of the best ways to build your confidence!
Boost Your Confidence Tip #7:
Count Your Wins
Let’s face it: our brains love to focus on our flaws to an excessive degree! We naturally concentrate on those times life didn’t exactly go our way and, while in that state of near-despair, we almost always forget about our wins. So be real for a minute: when was the last time you counted up your wins?
We all have things we’ve done in life, where we kicked ass, got the promotion, nabbed the man, made our dreams come true. But in our state of eternally looking forward, it’s all too easy to ignore our past.
So challenge yourself: write down a list of your most amazing moments, qualities or achievements! Keep it in your phone or in a journal where you can reference it easily. When your brain starts to play tricks on you (and when your Inner Mean Girl shows up) refer back to your list to remind yourself of just how powerful you really are!
Boost Your Confidence Tip #8:
Watch Your Posture
Want to feel bad about yourself in about a minute flat? Hunch your shoulders, put your head down.
Yup, that’s it! But this goes to prove an important point: your physiology has an immediate effect on the way you feel. While your natural inclination when you’re feeling down about yourself (or just feeling shy) is to hide your body, standing up straight can clue your brain in to feeling better about yourself.
So take quick scan of your posture right now: are you hunching over your phone? Or are you sitting up straight? For bonus points, pop into one of Amy Cuddy’s power poses (such as the Wonder Woman!). Stay there for a few moments and let your brain naturally adjust to a brand-new powerful and confident internal state.
So tell me: what confidence tip did you love the most? Which one are you going to try out starting today
If there’s one key point I want you to take away from this post, it’s that you have so much more control over your confidence than you’ve been led to believe! So if you feel like your low-confidence is getting in the way of you and your dreams, don’t give up! Start taking small steps regularly and your confidence will slowly grow over time.