How to Believe in Yourself and Build Self-Confidence
When it comes to success, nothing is more important and influential than self-confidence and belief in oneself. In fact, if we want to be successful, self-belief is more important than intelligence, talent, background, or just about anything else. In addition to this, people who have self-confidence and believe in themselves are healthier, happier, have better relationships, and are more motivated and resilient.
There are many factors that affect our self-confidence, including our parents, our upbringing, our environment, our beliefs, past failures and successes, society, how other people treat us, the media, and our experiences at large. Research suggests that the beliefs individuals hold about their abilities powerfully influence the ways in which they behave and achieve (see Bandura, 1977, Parajes, 1996, p. 543). Interestingly enough, a lack of self-confidence is not directly related to a lack of talent, skill or ability. It is more related to our perception.
So what does it mean to believe in oneself and possess self-confidence? Loosely defined, it is the feeling of confidence in our judgment, abilities, and qualities. It is sometimes referred to as self-efficacy. This, in turn, affects almost every area of our lives, including how we think, feel and act. This is why it is so important.
All of us have made mistakes, experienced failure and felt disappointment in our lives. I know I certainly have had more than my fair share. Some of us have also been subjected to hardships and injustices. All these experiences affect a person’s self-confidence and faith in his or her own abilities. Fortunately, there are ways to develop a strong self-belief even though it does require some time and effort. It is important to remember that our past does not have to dictate our future. The only thing that matters is how we act today. So let’s look at some empowering ways to build our confidence.
How to Gain Self-Confidence and Start Believing in Yourself
1. List your past successes and accomplishments
Most of us are unduly hard on ourselves. We tend to recall our mistakes and failures more than our successes. Sure, we have fallen short and blundered as everyone has at one point. But we also have managed to overcome difficult situations successfully and accomplish things that we can be proud of. We tend to focus on our shortcomings rather than what we have achieved.
Make a list of all the things you have achieved in your life, both big and small. You will be surprised how many things you have accomplished that you overlook and do not give yourself credit for. Even more effective, add accomplishments to your list every day or every week and read it often. You are more capable than you realize.
2. Seek positive feedback from others
Ask the people closest to you to tell you about your positive traits, talents and skills. Since we tend to be extremely critical of ourselves, get positive feedback from others who are better able to see your virtues. You may be surprised by what you hear and may learn that you have more going on for you than you realized. Positive reinforcement from others can be very powerful and empowering. The more regularly you do this, the bigger an impact is has on your self-confidence and belief.
3. Question your current negative beliefs and replace them with positive ones
One factor that determines our level of self-confidence is our beliefs. Many people with low self-confidence hold limiting beliefs that are not based on reality. For example, you might believe that nobody likes you when, in actual fact, there are many people who love you and cherish your company. Or you might believe that you are terrible at math when, in actuality, you did not try that hard in math class or had a teacher that was not effective. Or you hold the belief that you are not good at running your own business when you have never really tried.
Take the time to write down your limiting beliefs and question their accuracy. Just as people once believed that the world was flat, acknowledge that many of your limiting beliefs are flat out wrong. Be honest with yourself and look for evidence that disproves your beliefs. Then substitute your beliefs with empowering ones that are based on truth. Review these beliefs often until they become part of your new belief system.
Personally, when I was overweight and out of shape many years ago, I had the limiting belief that I did not have the willpower to get fit and I believed that I had a certain body type that prevented me from being fit and strong. Once I challenged those beliefs, I realized that they were fallacies. This opened the door for me to develop confidence in my ability to get in shape. That change in my belief system changed my life. Similarly, I have questioned the accuracy of many other limiting beliefs in my life and now realize that they were wrong. This has been a game-changer for me.
4. Take tiny steps and make small changes
Many of us look too far into the future and forget that a journey starts with the first step. When we take tiny steps and make small changes in our lives, we slowly start to believe in our ability to take action. If you want to lose 40 pounds, start small by reducing your food intake by 100 calories every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example. If you want to get in shape and exercise 5 days a week, start walking briskly for 5 minutes 3 times per week. If you want to read 50 books a year, start by reading for 5 minutes each day. The point is to do small actions which you can slowly increase over time. When you do this, you start to realize that you are capable and you begin to bolster your self-confidence. The worst thing to do is to take no action at all.
5. Build momentum
When we act and take small steps, we start to build momentum. We know intuitively that once we start moving, our momentum makes it easier to keep going forward. This is why it is so important to take action, no matter how seemingly small. Much like a rocket launch that uses the most fuel in the first stage, once you start moving, your propulsion becomes easier.
6. Think of a fear you have overcome
When we lack confidence and self-belief, we become fearful that we are not good enough or worthy enough. We fear the consequences associated with failing so we do not try. This fear can be paralysing as we all know. In order to counteract this fear, think of the times when you were scared of doing something but did it anyway and were successful. It could be the first time you dived into a pool, or when you asked someone out on a date, or the time you acted in a school play or played a musical instrument in front of a small audience. This might seem trivial, but write these instances down. We all have the ability to overcome fear. Very often, our minds exaggerate possible negative consequences and replay them over and over in our heads. Most of our fears are unwarranted. As Mark Twain said, “I have spent most of my life worrying about things that never happened”.
7. Celebrate the wins/give yourself credit
When you take small steps and accomplish small wins, celebrate them. If you walked for 5 minutes today, celebrate it and give yourself credit. If you successfully wrote 2 pages of your novel, celebrate it. If you ate 100 calories less today than you normally do, celebrate it. If you meditated for 3 minutes this morning, celebrate it. Focus on what you accomplished rather than what you did not. Keep a success journal and write in it every day. List the small victories you experienced and feel good about yourself. You deserve it. This is a very powerful habit that will help to change your mindset and give you confidence.
8. Do your homework and prepare
One way to overcome a lack of self-confidence is to prepare diligently. For example, let’s say that you lack the confidence to give a speech. What will help bolster your confidence is doing your homework by researching your topic, practicing in front of a mirror, and rehearsing in front of a small number of trusted friends or family members who support you. All too often, when we lack the confidence that we can achieve something we want, we become paralyzed and do not even make the effort to prepare ourselves. Practice and preparation go a long way in helping you to build confidence in your abilities.
9. Improve your skills/competence
Closely related to the previous point, make the effort to improve your skills through constant learning. If you want to start your own business, enroll in a small business class at your local college. If you want to write a novel, then read good books, read writing blogs every day, and take a writing class. If you want to lose weight, then study nutrition or seek advice from someone who has done it before. We should always be learning and improving our skills and competencies. The mere act of doing so helps to build confidence.
10. Change or adopt a small habit
Habits are powerful and play a huge part in determining who we are and the type of person we will become. I learned this many years ago and since then have made numerous habit changes. For example, when I wake up in the morning, I adopted the habits of drinking a glass of water, making myself a cup of green tea, reading something positive, meditating, and then heading to the gym. I made these changes slowly but they have had a cumulative positive effect on my life.
Pick one habit you would like to change or adopt and start today. You could start flossing your teeth twice a day, eating a piece of fruit in the morning, sleeping and waking up early, reading 25 pages of a book each day, watching less TV, etc. Small changes lead to big changes. More importantly, when you change or adopt a good habit, your self-confidence grows because you learn that you have what it takes to take positive action.
11. Focus attention on the solutions and not the problems
When we lack self-confidence, we tend to focus on all that can go wrong instead of on all the things that can go right. We get daunted and overwhelmed by problems rather than trying to come up with solutions. Whenever you are paralyzed by your fear of taking on something challenging, try to come up with ways to overcome potential hurdles instead of concentrating on all that can go wrong.
12. Watch your internal dialogue
The average person has thousands of thoughts each day and much of this is negative. We are constantly talking to ourselves in our heads so it only makes sense to pay attention to the tone of our internal dialogues. We say and think things such as, “I am a failure”, “I cannot be trusted”, “She cannot be trusted”, “Life is unfair”, “I am too short”, “I cannot do this”, etc. With proper awareness, you can catch yourself when you have negative thoughts and dialogues and replace them with positive ones.
13. Stop complaining
Most of us know one or more negative people in our lives. These are the negative Nancys who find fault in and complain about nearly everything. When we complain, we are in essence highlighting things that are wrong instead of focusing on what is right. Pay attention to your mindset and stop complaining about circumstances because it only amplifies negativity and does not help your self-confidence. Speaking positively and optimistically helps to change our mindsets and provide us with the confidence that things will get better.
14. Accept the current situation
Another way to help increase our self-belief is by accepting how things are. This does not mean that we should not make the effort to change negative situations. It merely means that we do not resist our current situation and make it worse than it already is. There are some things that we have the power to change and others which we cannot. Very often, it is not the situation that makes us upset but, rather, our thoughts about the situation. When my father passed away a few years ago, I was extremely upset and regretted that I did not spend more quality time with him. There was nothing I could do about the situation so I had to accept it and not resist it. I also learned from it and decided to spend more quality time with my mother. Accept your current predicament for what it is without resisting it and make the effort to change what you can change.
15. Surround yourself with positive people
The kind of people we surround ourselves with affects how we think, feel and act. This affects our self-belief. Make it a point to spend most of your time with people who are positive, non-critical, and have an optimistic view on life. These people will support and encourage you via their words and actions. They will lift you up as opposed to weigh you down. To paraphrase a famous quote, “Show me who your friends are, and I will show you your future”.
16. Avoid negative people
Just as we should surround ourselves with positive people who strengthen our self-confidence, we should avoid ones that do the opposite. Rid yourself of toxic friends, or at least limit the time you spend with them. Misery loves company so stay away from it.
17. Engage in activities that you are good at and enjoy
Another method to improve our self-confidence is to engage in activities that we enjoy and are good at. This has the effect of making us feel proficient at something and helping us become more confident in our abilities. Most people are not good at something they try for the first time. They get better at it the more they do it. When we do things that we enjoy and are proficient at, it reminds us that we can apply that same mentality to other aspects of our lives and build our confidence. Whether it is surfing, art, playing a musical instrument, playing Scrabble, or computer programming, make it a point to indulge in activities that you love and do well.
18. Get a mentor/ask for advice
If you want to develop more self-confidence, find a mentor and ask for advice. Most people do not take the time to find a mentor to teach them new skills and hone existing ones. If possible, find more than one mentor, each specializing in a field that you want to excel at. Tap into their expertise and get as much advice from them as possible. A good mentor will not only teach, they will also empower others by pointing out their strengths and boosting their self-confidence.
19. Learn from and emulate others you respect and admire
Closely related to the point above, identify people whom you admire and respect and learn all you can about them. If you want to be a good swimmer, it makes sense to study the habits of Michael Phelps. If your goal is to become a prolific writer of horror novels, understudy Stephen King. When I first conceived the idea to start this blog, I began reading the blogs of others who have successfully accomplished the same thing. Learning from those whom we respect and admire builds confidence in our own abilities. After all, if they can do it despite all the obstacles they faced, so can we.
20. Embrace discomfort
Human nature is such that we tend to favor comfort over discomfort. We are constantly trying to make our lives more comfortable while we shun discomfort like the plague. But it is important to remember that being uncomfortable is often evidence that we are making progress. It is akin to exercising and being a little uncomfortable so that we can get more fit. We can apply the ‘no pain, no gain’ adage here because, very often, we cannot improve ourselves and accomplish our goals without experiencing some discomfort. When we embrace discomfort and remember that it is for a good cause, we develop more confidence in our ability to handle it. What does not kill us really does make us stronger, and this applies to our self-belief, too.
21. Cut out negative and frivolous media and replace it with positive media
One of the best decisions I made in the last few years is to eradicate negative and frivolous TV and media from my life. The reason I did this was to limit negative influences that affected my psyche. I then replaced it with positive TV, movies, books, and websites. The effect has been profound for me because I ridded myself of a lot of subliminal negativity that I was being brainwashed with. Most of the media that I now view either teaches me something valuable, inspires me, or both. Imagine if you were to replace gory murder shows with a show that highlights successful entrepreneurs. Or if you stopped reading trashy romance novels and replaced them with books about perseverance such as John Maxwell’s Falling Forward. Not only will you reduce the amount of negativity that is in your life, you will also learn valuable skills and become more confident.
22. Stop drugs, alcohol, and other addictions
When we abuse drugs, alcohol, shopping, or anything else for that matter, it is often because we want to escape reality, even if it is for a short while. We seek to numb our pain and fear. What really happens is that the effects of intoxication or being high finally wear off and we feel terrible for doing it in the first place. We are grasping at straws in order to make ourselves feel better when we know full well that it is pointless. We feel bad for having such destructive habits and addictions and that only drives us to indulge in our addiction even more in order to ease our shame. This explains why most people who abuse drugs, alcohol, shopping, etc, have low self-confidence, a reason they became addicted in the first place. If you have an addiction, seek professional help and try to eradicate the problem. It will work wonders for your self-esteem and confidence.
23. Adopt good posture
This might seem trivial, but it is not. Extensive research has shown that our body posture not only affects how others perceive us, it also affects the way we think (see http://www.researchnews.osu.edu/archive/posture.htm). Sitting and walking upright with our chest out actually has an effect on our moods and confidence level. This does not mean that if you simply sit up straight you will suddenly become the most confident person in the world. But it is another weapon in our confidence arsenal that we can use.
24. View past failures as learning opportunities
There is not one person in this world who has not failed at something. It is a natural part of life. Many of the most successful people in this world have failed numerous times. The difference is that they did not give up or allow themselves to stay down for too long. They licked their wounds, dusted themselves off, and learned from their failure. You see, our failures are some of the best learning opportunities that we will encounter. When we fail, we learn valuable lessons and become wiser. The only people who do not fail are those who do not try, and not trying is the ultimate failure. Look at your past failures as valuable lessons. Be grateful for them because they have taught you what does not work. If you hold the belief that you are not good or worthy enough to accomplish something because of your past failures, review point number 3 and question this belief. All of us should view failure as a valuable lesson that makes us better. When we do this, our self-confidence does not need to suffer. In fact, we can actually use our failures to boost our self-confidence because we know that we have learned from our mistakes and are better off.
25. Visualize the outcome with emotion
There have been many studies done on the virtues of visualization and imagery and it has shown to be an effective way to help boost self-confidence. In the same way that world-class athletes visualize their performance before competitions, we can visualize positive situations. Picture a time in your life when you were confident and recall how you felt. It is important to really feel it and absorb the experience. You can also visualize a time when you accomplished something difficult that you are proud of. Again, feel it with all your being. You can even do this with future events. For example, if you are scheduled to give a speech in public, close your eyes and imagine walking confidently on to the stage, giving an entertaining speech that captivates the audience, followed by the audience’s resounding applause and your feelings of elation. It is essential that you feel it as if you were there. Do not merely view it the way a camera records a movie. Be IN the movie and see yourself as the hero. Visualize the outcome you want to experience.
Visualization works most effectively when you feel the reality of the moment as if you are actually there. It also works best if you visualize regularly and often when you are in a relaxed state.
26. Practice positive affirmations
Similar to visualization and imagery, positive affirmations are short, positive statements that you repeat to yourself throughout the day. They should be formed in the present tense to be most effective. Anytime you feel self-doubt encroaching, repeat the corresponding positive affirmation. Replace the negative mind chatter with your empowering affirmations. Here are some examples:
- I am capable and can do this
- I am happy and content
- I am losing weight and getting fitter
- I am excited and grateful for this new opportunity
It is important to remember that affirmations are most effective when said with feeling and conviction. It is also essential that the affirmations are repeated regularly and often. When combined with other techniques mentioned in this post, affirmations can be powerful. I repeat positive affirmations several times a day, when I wake up, before I meditate, and just before I go to sleep at night.
27. List your strengths
As we have discussed, most people are quicker to name their failures than their successes. In the same way, we also tend to focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. We often have to rely on the people closest to us to point out our strengths because we are blind to them. Make a list of your strengths (ask your family and friends if you have to) and paste it where you can review them every day. I guarantee you that you have a lot more strengths than you acknowledge. You have value and talent that you often overlook.
28. Change your environment
Our environment can have a substantial effect on our self-confidence. The people we associate with, our home, our schools, our workplace, the places we frequent, all play a part in building up or reducing our self-belief. For example, if you go to the gym, you will be surrounded by others who are motivated to be healthy, including some that are in worse shape than you are. The exercise machines, piped music, personal trainers, and bright lighting create a conducive atmosphere towards getting healthier. All this encourages you to be better and encourages you to believe that you can do it. If you are trying to eat healthier, get rid of all the unhealthy food in your home and office and replace it with better alternatives. This helps to reduce temptation and encourage better habits which, in turn, increase your confidence.
29. Groom yourself
Have you ever felt better after a haircut, a warm shower, and shave? All of us have experienced this. Proper grooming makes us feel better about ourselves and increases our self-pride and confidence.
30. Dress the part
The way we dress also affects our self-confidence. While it does not mean that you suddenly become Mr. Confident the moment you put on your suit, dressing well makes a difference by boosting self-confidence. Others notice and treat us like we are successful, and that also makes us feel good. Because you look your best, you subconsciously feel better.
31. Watch your nutrition
Proper nutrition is another way to boost self-confidence that is often overlooked. Our brains are nourished by what we put into our mouths. When we eat a well-balanced diet, our moods improve and we feel better. Too much sugar and caffeine can cause mood swings and erratic behavior. Insufficient essential fatty acids like omega-3, for example, have been linked to depression. When we watch what we eat and give our bodies the food it needs, we get healthier and improve our mental and psychological well-being.
32. Acknowledge your fear but do it anyway
Fear is a natural phenomenon that all of us experience. It is a necessary component in keeping us alive and safe. However, when carried too far, fear becomes debilitating and demoralizing. It can cause us to lose confidence in our abilities. In order to manage our fear properly and not let it affect our ability to take calculated risks and venture outside of our comfort zone, it is important that we acknowledge it. Fear is a part of life. We can see it for what it is and know that we are normal for feeling it. It is not a sign of weakness that we should be ashamed of. When we want to achieve something worthy and meaningful but are afraid, the trick is to graciously acknowledge our fear but do it anyway. That is called courage. Fear can come along for the ride as a passenger, but we need to be the one driving the car.
33. Do one difficult thing every day
One of the best ways to build self-confidence is to do at least one difficult or challenging thing every day. I am not suggesting that you run a marathon tomorrow, but we all have the capacity to commit to one challenging task per day. For example, if you are shy, you could decide to initiate a conversation with someone new every day. If you want to improve your diet, you could decide to eat one vegetarian meal a day. If you hate exercising, you could do a set of pullups, situps, or pushups each day. If you do not read enough, decide that you will read one chapter of a book at lunchtime. Whatever it is, make the commitment to do something challenging that will stretch your limits a little. So what if it is difficult? You have what it takes. When you do this, you will slowly, but surely, build your belief in yourself. It might even become contagious!
34. Write down your goals and break them down into small steps
Goal-setting is one of the most powerful actions we can take in our lives. Not only does it make a clear vision which we can move toward, it also shows us how to get there. This is done by breaking down our goals into smaller, actionable steps. You can use our free tool to help you set goals. This is extremely liberating and empowering because it enables us to take small steps which eventually lead us to our desired destination. Without the small steps, our goals often appear to be too lofty. By breaking down our goals into small steps, we create a valuable road map which we can have confidence in. When you lack the self-confidence to pursue big goals, break the goals down into smaller increments that you can manage. This will give you the confidence that you can achieve your dreams if you simply do the small things each day. And celebrate each time you complete a small step!
35. Forget what others think
Ask anyone old and wise for life advice and one of the things they will probably recommend is to forget caring what others think. I was given this advice a few years ago and heeding it has been liberating. Too many people spend too much energy and time trying to please others and worrying about what others think of them. If we care too much about the opinions of others, it is as if we are giving them the keys to our happiness. You can reclaim that power by deciding that you will stop worrying about what others think about you. This does not mean that you become insensitive to their feelings and behave inconsiderately. It just means that you will focus on your thoughts, words, and deeds rather than the opinions of others. Your happiness and confidence should not be dictated by others. When you decide to take this step, you will feel a giant weight lifted off your shoulders and a boost in your self-belief.
36. Stop comparing yourself
One of the worst things we can do for our self-confidence is to constantly compare ourselves to others. Since every one of us is unique and different, comparisons only create heartache and false feelings of superiority or inferiority. When we learn to accept that we are special in our own way and stop trying to keep up with the Jones’, we become free from constantly tallying a scorecard. Instead, we can concentrate on things that provide us meaning and happiness. We can stop comparing bank accounts, Ivy League schools, the cars we drive, the jobs and status we have. Instead, we can live our lives and be confident in our ability to pursue what really matters to us.
37. Live by your principles and values
All of us have principles and values that we subscribe to. These are the core beliefs that shape us morally and ethically. When we are clear about our principles and values and we live by them, we develop self-confidence and resiliency. When our actions are in line with our core beliefs, we feel happy, empowered, and at peace. When we fail to do that, we feel scared, doubtful, and timid. Make it a point to identify your core principles and values and live your life accordingly. It will raise your confidence like you will never believe.
Movement has been shown to improve mood and confidence. Think back to a time when you danced, exercised vigorously, or did yoga. Chances are that you felt great while doing it. Moving and being active stimulates us and creates positive feelings. It is one of the reasons that Tony Robbins jumps on a trampoline before he begins one of his famous talks. Make the effort to move more, especially in moments of self-doubt.
39. Make consistent and repeated effort
Success is really the accumulation of smaller successes. By consistently and repeatedly performing certain tasks, we work our way towards our eventual goal. Along the way, we build momentum and build confidence. It is an extremely effective way to change our lives for the better. While our distant goals can sometimes seem too lofty and beyond our reach, when we complete small actions consistently, we know that we are like a car driving cross country, with the first mile counting as much as the last one.
40. Meditate and be mindful
Meditation is an extremely useful tool that can work wonders on our self-confidence. Meditation is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It trains our minds and enables us to observe our thoughts. This allows us to notice both empowering and limiting thoughts. It helps us to detect the mental chatter that constantly goes on in our heads, a lot of which is negative. When we meditate we are better able to disassociate ourselves from negative thoughts and not succumb to them. Since we know that most of our negative thoughts are not based on reality, we can see them for what they truly are and not identify with them. We become mindful of our incessant mind chatter and able to watch it peacefully from a distance. We discover that, contrary to what our negative thoughts and beliefs convey, we are more talented, skilled, capable and deserving than we thought. Learning to meditate changed my life and I still practice it every day. It is an investment that will help your self-confidence and make you happier.
Exercise is another extremely powerful way to boost self-confidence. Not only does regular exercise promote a healthy body, it also is conducive towards a healthy mind. When you exercise, your body produces feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. You will look better and feel better. You also will gain a sense of accomplishment and this, in turn, boosts self-confidence. Lift some weights and go for a run and pay attention to how you feel afterwards. My whole day gets better when I exercise and I notice a significant difference when I skip my workout.
42. Watch for triggers that cause self-doubt
Very often, specific things, people and situations cause us to have negative and self-doubting thoughts and feelings. These are the triggers that we need to watch out for. For example, your aunt Betsy might be someone who is always criticizing you, bringing up your failures, and, therefore, encouraging you to doubt yourself. Perhaps she is someone you should stay away from as best as possible. Or you might notice that you tend to doubt yourself more when you drink alcohol, a sign that you should stay away or limit your consumption. Like habits, self-defeating thoughts and feelings often have triggers. Try and eliminate or limit them.
43. Be present
Almost every time we feel sadness, anger, or regret, we are ruminating about something in the past. Conversely, almost every time we feel stress and worry, we are thinking about the future. That is why it is so important to be present and aware in life. The only time you really possess is now since the past is gone forever and the future is never guaranteed. When we learn to be present, we eliminate a lot of our heartache and anxiety. This frees up our minds to focus on our abilities rather than our mistakes from the past or possible undesirable outcomes in the future. When you feel bad or powerless because of something that has happened in the past, you are not being present. When you are plagued with worry about something in the future, you are not present. Be present because it empowers you.
44. Practice gratitude
When we practice gratitude, we are taking stock of all the good things in our lives. As we know, we spend too much time focusing on what is lacking or wrong. Keep a gratitude journal by your bed and write down 5 things each night that you are grateful for. This has proven to be life-changing for many people because it forces them to adopt a new perspective on life. When you focus on all the right things in your life, you start to believe in yourself more.
45. Be self-forgiving and accept your past mistakes
Alright, you made mistakes in your life. So what? So have I. And so has everyone else in this world. Realize that you are human and that nobody is blemish-free. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Do not let your mistakes and regret weigh you down. By forgiving yourself, you unburden yourself and get rid of the excess luggage you have been carrying around all these years. You deserve better. Once you learn to do this (and I am not saying that it is easy), you will start to see that your past does not have to dictate your future because your past mistakes do not determine how capable and talented you are today.
46. Help others and be kind
Helping others, especially those less fortunate than we are, goes a long way in helping us to build self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence in our lives. It also gives our lives meaning. When you are able to make a difference in the lives of others, you feel a sense of power. You start to realize that you have gifts that others value and appreciate. Volunteer for a needy cause or help someone on your own and notice how you feel deep inside. It is very powerful.
47. Love yourself
Last but not least, learn to love yourself. Each of us is unique and there is nobody in the world quite like you. You are worthy of love so take the time to close your eyes and feel that love for yourself every day. When we love ourselves, we treat ourselves better and speak to ourselves more kindly.
All of these 47 methods will help you become more self-confident. You do not have to use all of them even though each of them has its own merit. You might find some more effective for you than others. Choose the ones you think would work best for you and practice them consistently. The more methods you use, and the more you practice them, the more powerful the effect. Don’t forget to celebrate your success along the way!
Self-confident people are admired by others and inspire confidence in others. They face their fears head-on and tend to be risk takers. They know that no matter what obstacles come their way, they have the ability to get past them. Self-confident people tend to see their lives in a positive light even when things aren't going so well, and they are typically satisfied with and respect themselves.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have this kind of self-confidence, every day of the week? Guess what? You can.
"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." --Barrie Davenport
It comes down to one simple question: If you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to?
Try some of the tips listed below. Don't just read them and put them on the back burner. Really begin to practice them daily, beginning today. You might have to fake it at first and merely appear to be self-confident, but eventually you will begin to feel the foundation of self-confidence grow within you. With some time and practice (this is not an overnight phenomenon), you too can be a self-confident person, both inside and out, whom others admire and say "Yes!" to.
1. Stay away from negativity and bring on the positivity
This is the time to really evaluate your inner circle, including friends and family. This is a tough one, but it's time to seriously consider getting away from those individuals who put you down and shred your confidence. Even a temporary break from Debbie Downer can make a huge difference and help you make strides toward more self-confidence.
Be positive, even if you're not feeling it quite yet. Put some positive enthusiasm into your interactions with others and hit the ground running, excited to begin your next project. Stop focusing on the problems in your life and instead begin to focus on solutions and making positive changes.
2. Change your body language and image
This is where posture, smiling, eye contact, and speech slowly come into play. Just the simple act of pulling your shoulders back gives others the impression that you are a confident person. Smiling will not only make you feel better, but will make others feel more comfortable around you. Imagine a person with good posture and a smile and you'll be envisioning someone who is self-confident.
Look at the person you are speaking to, not at your shoes--keeping eye contact shows confidence. Last, speak slowly. Research has proved that those who take the time to speak slowly and clearly feel more self-confidence and appear more self-confident to others. The added bonus is they will actually be able to understand what you are saying.
Go the extra mile and style your hair, give yourself a clean shave, and dress nicely. Not only will this make you feel better about yourself, but others are more likely to perceive you as successful and self-confident as well. A great tip: When you purchase a new outfit, practice wearing it at home first to get past any wardrobe malfunctions before heading out.
3. Don't accept failure and get rid of the negative voices in your head
Never give up. Never accept failure. There is a solution to everything, so why would you want to throw in the towel? Make this your new mantra. Succeeding through great adversity is a huge confidence booster.
Low self-confidence is often caused by the negative thoughts running through our minds on an endless track. If you are constantly bashing yourself and saying you're not good enough, aren't attractive enough, aren't smart enough or athletic enough, and on and on, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are becoming what you are preaching inside your head, and that's not good. The next time you hear that negativity in your head, switch it immediately to a positive affirmation and keep it up until it hits the caliber of a self-confidence boost.
4. Be prepared
Learn everything there is to know about your field, job, presentation--whatever is next on your "to conquer" list. If you are prepared, and have the knowledge to back it up, your self-confidence will soar.
5. For tough times, when all else fails: Create a great list
Life is full of challenges and there are times when it's difficult to keep our self-confidence up. Sit down right now and make a list of all the things in your life that you are thankful for, and another list of all the things you are proud of accomplishing. Once your lists are complete, post them on your refrigerator door, on the wall by your desk, on your bathroom mirror--somewhere where you can easily be reminded of what an amazing life you have and what an amazing person you really are. If you feel your self-confidence dwindling, take a look at those lists and let yourself feel and be inspired all over again by you.