Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. — Marie Curie
There comes days when you feel less confident about yourself and the life starts looking like a rough journey ahead. Do not worry because you are not alone. It happens to almost everyone at different points in life. Even those born with a positive personality have times when they doubt their abilities or feel incapable of success. It is not because there is something wrong with you but its a result of fear of failure and being wrong.
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
Being a student, I know very well where low confidence can lead to. With the placement season, the competition, peer pressure and the fear of not getting a job after graduation becomes few of many major reasons why we need to learn few ways to boost self-confidence. Others can help you or show you the path but its you who have to accept who you are, trust your abilities and move on. You are the only one who can do best with what you have.
Below are 20 easy ways to boost your confidence. Do not just read them but I suggest practice them, fake them and merely act confident as much as you can and you will grow to do them involuntarily. But beware, you will not see any changes overnight (just a few words of caution).
- Know Thyself: You are who you are. The earlier in life you accept this and get on with it, the easier and sweeter you shall live out your days. Different means good. So if you are different, you, my dear, are good. The idea is to understand what makes you different, and as you do that, you get to know yourself better. When you start to know yourself better, you start becoming more confident.
- Delete Negatives; Multiply Positives: You have to learn to be aware of your self-talk, the thoughts you have about yourself and what you’re doing. If they are negatives then replace them with positive ones. Look on the bright side and focusing on the positive aspects of your life, your good health, achievements, talents, experience and push yourself to do better.
- Sit Straight & Stand Tall: Good posture can also help boost your confidence, according to psychologists at Ohio State and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Studies have also found that sitting straight keeps your self-esteem and mood lifted and standing tall literally makes you more powerful.
- Spritz on Scent: Your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice. As it turns out, it can actually make you confident, too. One study suggests that not only can a fragrance inspire confidence in men, but the more a gent likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel . Another study found that 90 percent of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.
- Be your own Cheerleader: Though generally a part of a cheerleader’s repertoire, throwing your hands up in the air in a ‘V’ is a pretty spectacular power pose. While you can’t bust this move out anytime anywhere, just two minutes in a wide stance with your hands in the air will give you an instant confidence boost—you might even want to invent your own pep rally cheer.
- Practice Gratitude: Acknowledge how grateful you are for another day and for all the positive things that happen, like the workout you fit in or the food choices you made. This simple practice will allow you to start your day on a positive note, progress through it with a better mindset, and end it peacefully. You will become happier day in and day out.
- Empower Yourself: Empowering yourself, in general, is one of the best strategies for building self-confidence. You can do that in many ways, but one of the surest ways to empower yourself is through knowledge. By becoming more knowledgeable, you’ll be more confident. Read, Learn, Unlearn and Relearn can be your best bait to empower yourself.
- List your Achievements: You need to constantly remind yourself of what you have achieved in your life so far. This often gets overshadowed by problems, work, busy schedules and worries. These things cloud your vision and make your goal seem impossible. A good idea is to keep a list of your successes and achievements near your computer to remind yourself. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion. This is a great confidence booster.
- Increase Competencies: How do you feel more competent? By becoming more competent. And how do you do that? By studying and practicing. Just do small bits at a time. Learn something new. Set a goal you know you can achieve, and then achieve it. When you feel confident, set another small goal and achieve that. The more you achieve small goals, the better you’ll be at it.
- Change one Habit: Half of our actions are habitual. But habit change is a small deal: the tinier your habit, the easier it is to establish. Habits don’t start feeling “automatic” until you’ve done them for about 66 days straight. Start with something small that you know you can do. When you’ve accomplished it, you’ll feel like a million bucks.
- Take Risk: Imagine that you have had negative feedback or that you have screwed up at work. These things happen all the time and your confidence takes a battering. Don’t just hide away. Keep taking risks. When you take risk regularly, your comfortable zone starts expanding. Even doing something seemingly small every day will lead you to something bigger. You will grow and will begin to feel unstoppable. That is the best recipe to get back your confidence.
- Power of Mantras: Many experts believe that when we repeat mantras, we can boost confidence. Thoughts need to be verbalized and this is how the power of mantras, repeated to yourself, can work. Try a few of these for yourself:
- I don’t have to be perfect to be confident.
- This is my life. This life belongs to me.
- I’m unique. I don’t compare myself to others.
- Forget perfectionism: We all strive to be the best, the nicest, the most successful. The list goes on and on. But recognizing that perfectionism is simply not achievable can be a great recipe to boost confidence. Nothing wrong with excellence but spending too much time comparing ourselves to others all the time is not good for your mind and body and can ruin your confidence as we observe their successes.
- Upgrade Yourself: Rather than spending your energy on wishing you were taller or fair, redirect your focus on something you can change, like toning up with a yoga, reading a book, or honing one of your talents. Then celebrate with a nice pair of heels or few drinks.
- Embrace your Superstitions: So you believe in Lucky charms? Then go ahead and rock your lucky key ring or favorite charm bracelet. Science suggests that having these kinds of lucky charms leads to improved performance by boosting your self-confidence. And this concept of improving confidence doesn’t just works with physical objects. Performing rituals, like rocking out to AC/DC before hitting the race trail, for example, is also believed to impact and improve confidence as well as decrease anxiety.
- Speak Slowly: Such a simple thing, but it has huge impact in how others perceive you. Normally a person in authority and with authority, speaks slowly because it shows confidence. A person who feels that he/she isn’t worth listening to and has low confidence will speak quickly and quietly, because he doesn’t want to keep others to judge him after listening to him/her. Even if you don’t feel confident enough like someone who speaks slowly, at least try doing it a few times. You will surely gain confidence.
- Crack a Smile: Another trite one. But it really does work. I feel instantly better when I smile, and it helps me to be kinder to others as well. A little tiny thing that can have a chain reaction. And hey, while you’re smiling, go ahead and flirt with the cute guy or gal you see during your class to triple your confidence score—and maybe land a date in the process. Not a bad investment of your time and energy.
- Nod Along: We have always used nodding our head to signal “yes” or warming up in a group fitness class. Research suggests that the up-down movement may actually improve confidence in your thoughts, so feel free to nod away whenever you need an extra boost. Just take this as a way of signaling, “yes we can” to your brain.
- Get Active: Doing something is always better than not doing anything. Of course, doing something could lead to mistakes but mistakes are a part of life. It’s how we learn. We learn from our mistakes and we’d get better. So don’t worry about those. Just do something.
- Just say F*** it: Growing up in an Indian household, you learn to not swear but college teaches a lot of things and I have surely learnt things that I should have not. Swearing, the critics say, may make us appear ill-educated, rude and untrustworthy. But now you can use “confidence-building” as an excuse for all your salty language. Experts believe that swearing may make us feel empowered, and thus boost our confidence and self-esteem as you communicate your emotions through them. Just be careful of the Time and Place.
Congratulations! You have successfully reached the finishing lines. Accept my apologies for this longer than usual post. I just hope that the post serves its purpose. I would like to wish you all the luck in the world and may you succeed in whatever challenges life throws at you. Comment below in case of any doubts and queries.
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