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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

9 Killer Self-Confidence Tips For a Confidence Boost

9 Killer Self-Confidence Tips For a Confidence Boost
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So much of our internal confidence and external facade is shown by our body language. The way you think of yourself portrays how others think of you. If you think of yourself as awkward, timid, or shy, you subconsciously feel you need to live up to those expectations.

Why not flip that on its head? If you think highly of yourself, you have no choice but to live up to those expectations. And this is where self-confidence tips prove to be useful.

Think of the difference between someone smiling with their hands on their hips versus someone with a straight face and their arms crossed. One comes off as supremely confident, calm, and relaxed while the other seems disinterested or frustrated, even. Your physical demeanor not only affects how you’re seen by others but also how you project your own internal feelings. There are subconscious inklings that give rise to how you come off to someone for the first time.

But how do you portray the confident, calm demeanor rather than the disinterested one? There are ways to not just act as though you are confident but to also earn that confidence and belief in yourself habitually.

“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” —Vince Lombardi

According to Albert Bandura, a Canadian-American psychologist, confidence refers to the strength of belief.[1] To instill confidence, you need to have convictions in your own belief.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End, writes,

“Confidence isn’t optimism or pessimism, and it’s not a character attribute. It’s the expectation of a positive outcome.”

You need to expect things to fall the way you want, and you instill that through consistent belief and positive self-talk. There are also tiny habit changes that can intrinsically give you the boost you need to walk a little more upright.

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I began to take notice of body language as I entered the corporate world. It may not seem important but when dealing with high-level executives, it is critical that you portray optimism and openness. You don’t want to come off as nervous or indecisive, no matter what decision you are making—that goes for buying a car, applying for a loan, or a job interview.

Your non-verbal cues say a lot about what you are thinking. A wide stance and open palms show honesty and openness. According to Lillian Glass, author of The Body Language Advantage: Maximize Your Personal and Professional Relationships with this Ultimate Photo Guide to Deciphering What Others Are Secretly Saying, in Any Situation,

“Putting your hands in your pockets is one of the worst things you can do if you want to appear confident.”

Putting your hands in your pockets indicates that you’re nervous and feel uncomfortable.[2]

How you choose to stand may actually be a gigantic indicator of how you are perceived. If you have your arms crossed while listening to a business pitch, it may indicate to the person pitching that you are disinterested or closed off.

On the other hand, leaning back in your chair may show that you are relaxed and confident, according to one Harvard psychologist.[3] Lean in toward the conversation by leaning back. It’s a perfect way to assert confidence and comfort level in an office setting.

Here are a few quick self-confidence tips that can help you not only project an air of confidence to others but also give your internal monologue an encouraging boost.

None of these are particularly revolutionary, nor will these actions take care of everything by themselves. Pick and choose the ingredients that work for you. Give a couple a try, if they work, stick with them. If they don’t, try others.

1. Stop Caring About What Other People Think

The most common self-confidence tip is to stop caring about what other people think. I know so many people who spend lifetimes thinking about how other people think of them. “Did I talk too much?” “Was I weird?” If you’re going to be weird, be confident about it. It’s only embarrassing if you’re embarrassed.

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You wouldn’t worry so much about what people really thought of you if you knew just how seldom they do. People don’t care about you as much as you think. They’re too busy thinking about what other people think about them. Now, isn’t that liberating?

2. Smile

The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning should be to smile. Dr. Eva Ritvo, a psychiatrist and the co-author of The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful, suggests smiling at yourself in the mirror because it not only helps triggers something called “mirror neurons,” but it can also help us calm down and re-center if we’re feeling anxious.[4]

When you see a stranger on the street or in the aisle at the grocery store, smile at them. It makes their day better, and it instantly boosts your mood. If you find a way to make people smile, they’ll remember you for that over anything else.

3. Be Aware of What Your Body Is Saying

Another self-confidence tip is to be aware of your posture and body language. Research says that posing in certain positions is beneficial for boosting your mood. The “Wonderwoman” stance with legs spread and hands and hips tends to show the biggest post. Before a big talk, do this pose in the bathroom or behind the curtain and it will give you a sense that you can conquer anything. Overall, having a good posture helps improve confidence. Keep your shoulders back and down and your chin held high.

4. Pay Attention to Your Hands

Other than our face, our hands are one of the most expressive parts of our body. Actors pay special attention to their hands in scenes because they know that certain hand gestures can express emotion without a word being spoken.

5. Alter Your Look

Getting a new haircut may provide a temporary boost in your self-esteem, but it can also give you that pep in your step for a first date, a speech, or just going over a friend’s place. You could also have your clothes tailored, even if it’s as simple as hemming that pair of jeans to your ankle. Wear glasses if they give you a style boost or if you already wear glasses all the time, try taking them off and wearing contacts for a change.

Changing your look can get you noticed in new ways and may even give you a boost in confidence you never would have experienced otherwise. I didn’t start wearing glasses until I was 23. But as soon as I put them on, I felt smarter, more sophisticated, and more confident in what I had to say. Participants in a study at Columbia Business School who wore a white lab coat, pretending they were doctors, exhibited more focused attention.[5] In other words, how you dress is often how you behave.

6. Change Your Physiology

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins says that the way to change your state of mind is to move your body.

“Emotion is created by motion.”

Changing your physiology is an often overlooked self-confidence tip. Observe your body’s feelings when you are happy or sad. There’s a difference, right? Try taking deep breaths before diving into a project. Experiment with changing your physiology with hot or cold contrast in the shower to elevate your immune response and jack up your energy.

In between chores, do some jumping jacks, push-ups, or mountain climbers to get your body moving. Do a spin class or walk a couple of miles. Break a sweat. Being able to say you conquered your inner comfort demons will automatically give you a feeling of triumph.

7. Use Positive Self-Talk and Visualization

Before bed or first thing in the morning, close your eyes and relax your body completely. Stay connected to positive thoughts and feel the sensations of those things happening in your mind’s eye. See yourself accepting an award on stage or crossing the finish line of a race.

In a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Ethan Kross and Ozlem Ayduk found that encouraging people to think about an intense experience consistently helped them control their thoughts and ruminate less.[6] Speak to yourself with self-compassion and encouragement. The most important relationship you have in life is with yourself, so make it a good one!

8. Focus on Other People as Opposed to Yourself

The more interested you are in others, the more interesting they find you. To be interesting, be interested. Make eye contact and really make an effort to listen to what the other person is saying.

People generally want to share stories and talk about themselves. Play into that by asking questions and showing interest. It will make the other party aware of how genuine you are.

Another practice I enjoy is saying “I love you, I love you, I love you” in your head to everyone you pass on the street. It sounds weird but it instantly makes you happier. The habit of focusing on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will always leave you satisfied no matter the situation.

9. Do Uncomfortable Things

According to Charlie Houpert, the author of Charisma On Command: Inspire, Impress, and Energize Everyone You Meet and the founder of a 2.7 million subscriber YouTube channel of the same name, confidence stems from being comfortable in situations that would make most people uncomfortable.

This self-confidence tip may not make sense at first, but it does work! By stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone each day, you will quickly have a larger tolerance for uncomfortable situations and can be at ease rather than panicking.

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This is a common approach for dating. By slowly building up the confidence of approaching someone each day—just saying “hi” to someone on day one, then asking a stranger their name on the second day—it eventually becomes a completely normal thing and something that is no longer uncomfortable.

It’s by stretching this zone that we help ourselves grow to grow. As author Tim Ferriss says,

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”

Final Thoughts

Building confidence is a process. It ebbs and flows and takes work to build, develop, and maintain. There are days when you just don’t have it in you, and we all experience that. But what are the small changes you can make to push through those areas of doubt? These self-confidence tips are good starting points.

Through consistent habits of positive self-talk and visualization, coupled with experimental methods like body positioning, new clothes, or just putting on a smile, you can begin to alter your self-perception along with the way others perceive you. But to be truly confident, you need to think and feel confident every day.

As the great Muhammad Ali said,

“What you are thinking about, you are becoming.”

Become that confident person!

More Self-Confidence Tips

Featured photo credit: Hannah Busing via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Kyle J. Brennan

Digital marketing expert, book reviewer, triathlete, & experimenter of all things.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

  • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
  • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
  • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

A short and sweet lesson for you:

You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

  • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
  • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
  • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

Keep your mission in mind.

Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

Final thoughts

Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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