We all want to feel confident, we know what benefits it brings, but how do you become confident if you’re currently not? What a non-confident person can do to build self-confidence?
Being self-confident has many benefits. It helps you perform better, get noticed and appreciated for your work, it gets you a promotion and a raise.
It also gets you attention of opposite sex. To put it simply: it helps you get what you want in life .
On the other hand, shyness and lack of self-confidence can seriously sabotage your efforts and stop you from getting what you want (and what you deserve).
This is why I decided to dedicate a whole blog post to building your self-confidence.
You need to remember something. It’s a process. You can’t build self-confidence overnight. The following 12 ways to do so will work best if applied all together and consistently over time. Confidence is not something that happens to you. It’s a habit. And though you know that you’ll need time and energy to create this new habit, the good news is that you can do. It is something under your control and dependent on you.
1. Use Positive affirmation
To feel more self-confident, you can use positive affirmation – positive statements that are meant to reprogram your mind to seeing yourself in a better light.
These include statements such as: “I am worthy”, “I’m a great leader”, “Everybody likes me”, and so.
There are a few ways to do it. You can write down your own mantra and repeat it to yourself every morning (or every evening before going to bed).
You can write the positive statements on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where you will always see it (stick it on a wall or on a fridge), you can also write your affirmation on a mirror. That’s what I did. Every morning when I get ready I have no other choice but to look at it.
I got another idea for how to incorporate positive affirmations to your life. I mentioned it in my previous blog post (it’s the extra tip).
2. Fake it till you make it
When people act in a self-confident way towards others, they actually feel more self-confident themselves. This is one of the most amazing rules in our lives. If you want to have something, act as if you already have it.
The way our mind works, is that the more familiar an idea is, the truer it will seem. And how to make an idea familiar? By repeating it! The more you do something, the more you say something, the more you’ll believe in it.
If you want to be more self-confident, act like somebody who already is confident! It might feel funny at the beginning, but don’t let it stop you. It’s a process, and soon you’ll notice how natural and true that behaviour will become.
3. Dress smart
If you ever lack confidence, the easiest way to boost it by dressing like an authority. If you’re perceived like somebody important, you will start feeling like one!
Smart outfit is an international symbol of status, so no matter in which country you are, you can always wear it.
Things such as suits, shirts, nice shoes, accessories, gadgets – they all add to our confidence.
4. Speak loud
The way you talk and the way you project your voice is directly linked to your confidence. Shy people tend to keep their voice low. They don’t want to draw attention, which they would if they spoke up.
You probably have noticed it yourself in meetings. There is always that one guys, the loudest of all, very self-confident, maybe sometimes arrogant, who doesn’t care much about what others think. And then there are those who don’t talk much, they stay quiet, and even when asked – they speak in such a way that people can’t really hear them.
Next time you’re in a meeting speak up, project your voice, be loud. You’ll see what kind of an impact it has on your confidence.
5. Sit in the front row
When do you usually sit at big events? Do you rush to take a seat in the first row or do you rather go in the back?
My bet is the latter, just like many other people do. the reason for it is that we don’t want attention on us. We’d rather hide in the back, so we don’t risk being pulled on stage or asked a question.
But let me ask you something. Who usually sits in the first row of all official company meetings? Who sits in the first row of fashion shows? The most important people.
By sitting in a first row you’re putting yourself among these people. You give others the signal that you are one of the most important people and so they treat you accordingly. You’ll notice also, that you will start behaving like one.
You are putting yourself outside of your comfort zone – in the spotlight. The attention is on you, the light is on you. You have no other choice but to feel confident. Once put in a situation where there are no alternatives, it’s crazy how fast we adapt.
6. Body language
Confident people have a different body language. They walk tall. They keep their head up. They look into the eyes of others. They also keep their body open.
Whenever we feel bad about ourselves, we feel down or hurt, we tend to close down. And not just emotionally but physically too. We try to become as small as positive, so people don’t notice us. We curl up, so we limit the surface of exposure.
Lack of self confidence manifests itself in such a body language. A way to build confidence is to adopt a body language of somebody who does feel confident.
Here is great TED talk (it’s one of my favourite) that gives tips on just that:
7. Take care of yourself
Often our lack of self-confidence comes from the fact that we don’t feel good in our skin. We have a few extra kilos which makes us want to hide. We don’t care much about how we dress. Our haircut is out of fashion. Our skin not taken care of. No make up. And so on…
Compare it to models and celebrities. They feel beautiful, they feel sexy and attractive. It boosts their confidence!
Do the same for yourself. Go get a nice haircut. Get a manicure. Revamp your wardrobe. Work out to get toned.
Once you feel good in your skin, you’ll start projecting it.
8. Leverage your strengths
If you keep focusing on your shortcomings, sooner or later you will lose much of your confidence After all, if there are so many things you’re bad at, and so many mistakes you’ve made, then where is that confidence going to come from?
Rather than thinking of what you’re bad at and working on that, embrace your strengths. You might be awesome at public speaking, or a great cook, or a very talented businessman. Look at all areas of your life. This will help you believe in how good you are and increase your value.
9. Accept compliments
Imagine somebody tells you, you look really nice. What would you respond?
Does “Oh, it’s an old dress.” or “Oh, I actually feel quite tired today” sound familiar to you?
What do you usually say when somebody pays you a compliment?
We rarely just accept a compliment. We rarely say “Thank you” without any buts.
But think about it. If somebody takes time to tell you something nice, it’s because they think that. Why can’t you just accept a nice word? Why are you tempted to downplay it? If you did a good job, take ownership of it. Embrace it! Allow yourself to believe in all the good things people tell you. It’s the easiest, and all for free, way to boost your confidence.
In many cultures (including mine), it’s not very polite to simply accept a compliment. It’s perceived rude and arrogant. So for people who come from such cultures it’s a more difficult job. Nevertheless, it’s worth trying.
10. Avoid perfectionism
If you aim for perfection, than you’re aiming for disappointment. It’s very difficult (if not impossible) to be perfect. You can always be better, you can always be faster, you can always do more.
Stop trying to do everything and do it flawlessly. Accept that things don’t have to be perfect to be good. And you don’t have to be perfect, either.
Perfectionists usually have lower self-esteem, because they criticise themselves all the time.
Have a look at some of the confident people around you. Are they perfect? Give yourself more acceptance and be more tolerative of your own mistakes and shortcoming. They don’t take away from your talents and strengths.
11. Appreciate what you’ve already achieved
Our confidence is dependent oh how much we believe we are successful. If you don’t notice successes in your life, your self-confidence is likely to be low. How can you believe you are a successful person?
No matter where you are now, I can guarantee you that you’ve achieved much more than you think.
We tend to look in the future and always compare ourselves to that better version of ourselves we’d like to be. Or that we need to be in order to achieve our goals. You look into the future where your perfect self has tons of money, happy family and a beautiful home. Then you look back at now and get depressed and you start feeling like a failure for being so far from your dreams.
We often forget, though, about how far we’ve already come, and how much we’ve already achieved. We rarely look in the past and see who we used to be few years ago, and compare it to who we are.
12. Give yourself smaller goals for the near future
There is another technique to strengthen belief in our potential to achieve successes – and this is by adding small goals.
If you’ve been working on a big, challenging goal for the last few months, then you’re likely feeling pretty unconfident now. After all, you haven’t met your goal, you haven’t achieved what you were meant to.
A great way to overcome it, is to give yourself smaller goals that you will hit on the way towards a bigger goal;
goals that you will achieve and that will bring back self-belief and self-confidence.
Next time your idea is accepted by your boss, look at it as a success. A pretty girl (or a guy) gave you their phone number? Celebrate! You finished everything you had to do today? Congratulate yourself!
Fill your life with smaller successes and in return they will make you feel like a successful person.
Now it’s YOUR turn
What do you do when you need to boost your self-confidence? What techniques are working for you? Join the discussion below.
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