We’re all victims of occasional bouts of self-doubt, even the most successful, charismatic, confident among us have their moments of insecurity. Self-confidence can be a very delicate and complex thing. A few are born with it; others learn it early on and the rest of us have to learn to build it on our own.

Our confidence plays an important role in ability to achieve success and happiness. It affects our mental thought patterns, the way we speak, the way we act, and the decisions we make in all areas of our lives – career, money, relationships, and even our health. Confident people take more action, perform better, and are more likely to attain their goals. In addition, confident people also know how to take more enjoyment from their accomplishments are happier in general.

Lucky for us, confidence can be built and strengthened until it becomes natural, just as any other habit. It simply takes a little time, some effort, and a bit of attention.

Confidence Building Tactics

  1. Fail More Often. The more challenges you take on, the more failures you’ll have, but learning that you can recover, get up and push forward builds confidence.
  2. Track your accomplishments. Keep a list of successes, big and small. It’ll help you to see your abilities in a more positive (and realistic) light.
  3. Don’t compare. Stop measuring yourself against others. What you see isn’t always real. Making comparisons is a damaging and an inaccurate measure of success anyway.
  4. Dress for confidence. How we dress affects both how we feel about ourselves and the way others perceive us. Expensive clothes aren’t necessary. Put emphasis on good fit, good condition, and appropriateness. Don’t be afraid of some color; black is professional, but color gets noticed.
  5. Work on your posture. People with lower confidence often tend to have poor posture. Stand up, sit up, and keep your head up. It’s an instant confidence booster.
  6. Learn. The more knowledge you acquire, the more confident you will be. Knowledge is power, and the more powerful you feel, the higher your confidence will be.
  7. Fitness. Better physical condition and appearance gives you more body confidence, and as a bonus, the extra endorphins give you an added energy boost.
  8. Start a conversation. When you find yourself in a social situation, instead of gravitating to those people you’re comfortable with, start a conversation with someone you don’t know very well. Eventually getting to know new people will become easier.
  9. Have miniature goals. Bite sized goals are easier and quicker to achieve and the momentum can give you a boost when attacking bigger goals.
  10. Raise your hand. Volunteer to take on tasks or projects that are a stretch for you. You’ll learn you can do more than you thought you could and so will others.
  11. Be around confident people. Cultivate relationships with “can-do” people; attitude is contagious. On the other hand, avoid “can’t do” people. It works both ways.
  12. Be your own friend. When you hear that voice in your head, abusing, attacking and belittling you, remind yourself that a friend wouldn’t talk to you in that manner.
  13. Rely on your instincts. When you trust your intuition, and listen to those gut feelings, you’ll become more confident in the knowledge that you do know what’s right for you.
  14. Keep practicing. Practice the skills you need to succeed. The more you practice, the more confident you become. This is true of every type of skill.

Confidence helps you to be more secure in your abilities and more positive in your attitude. It also encourages you to be more assertive, to take on more challenges, and to improve your skills. As an added benefit, you’ll attract like-minded people. The end result is a better outlook, more success, and a higher quality of life in all areas.

Featured photo credit: Boy jumping over the mountains via Shutterstock and inline photo by Sarah Reid via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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