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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

9 Killer Self-Confidence Tips For a Confidence Boost

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9 Killer Self-Confidence Tips For a Confidence Boost

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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Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

1. Don’t Hide It.

“Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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“Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

2. Implement the STOP Technique

In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

“STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

“I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

5. Celebrate Wins, Period

Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

“You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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“My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

7. Visualize Success

Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

Final Words of Advice

While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

Reference

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