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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

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 January 15, 2021

8 Time-Tested Confidence Buildinng Habits You Can Start Now

8 Time-Tested Confidence Buildinng Habits You Can Start Now

Confidence is one of the greatest things you can learn and practice. But it can be confusing, overwhelming and hard. It is a skill and it does take practice but by making some things into habits, you can help your confidence blossom. 

Confidence is “a belief in one’s own self and one’s ability to succeed.” It is made by a simple process:

First, you have to want to achieve a goal or improve, then you are afraid of the change. But you do it anyway, fail and do it over again over until one day, you aren’t afraid of it anymore. You are confident in your ability to succeed at a task.

Just like learning to ride a bike or any skill really, you took a deep breathe and you tried, you fell off your bike and cried, but eventually, you got back on.

Until one day, you cycle without even thinking that you are going to fall off. It is same for any area of your life, if you want to be more self confident, do more things that scare you and incorporate these 8 essential habits into your daily life.

1. Reminding Yourself of Your Victories

Stop reminding yourself of your failures that you habitually do it — putting yourself down, criticizing yourself and over-exaggerating your failures. It is time to draw a line in the sand and start letting that old mindset go, it is undermining your confidence.

It’s scary and new and you may feel afraid, but it is the best choice you will make. Instead of reminding yourself of your failures and how you aren’t good enough, remind yourself of your wins, all you have overcome. Remind yourself of all the good you have done and all the good you can do.

Focus solely on the positive and what you can do and when the hating thoughts come up, just let them pass by or argue with them.

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If it says “you aren’t good enough.” You say “actually I am.”

“You aren’t perfect.” You say “No I am not perfect but that is more than good enough, I am enough just as I am, I don’t have to be perfect.”

Your confidence depends on it so get into the habit of reminding yourself that actually, you are pretty great and have a lot of reasons to be confident.

2. Ask Yourself: What Did You Learn?

Moving forward with changing your inner narrative, you have to start to ask the question: What did I learn?

With practicing confidence, you come across a lot of failure. Instead of beating yourself up and going “why me?” Ask yourself:

“What did I learn? How did that not work? What can I do better?”

Nothing undermines your confidence more than you beating yourself up all the time. Instead of focusing on how you have failed and not achieved the result you wanted, make it a habit to ask yourself questions so the next time around, you can try again from a new angle. Ask yourself how you fell off the bike so next time, you can avoid potholes.

By getting in the habit of questioning your failures instead of bullying yourself, your confidence will become unbreakable because failure won’t shatter your confidence. Just keep learning and keep moving forward.

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3. Don’t Judge Others

This is such a key habit when it comes to building confidence. When we judge others, especially negatively, we create a negative cycle in our head that encourages insecurity. When you judge someone negatively, it makes you think that someone else is negatively judging you. Breeding this type of insecurity will only ever undermine your self esteem and confidence.

People are wonderful but they aren’t perfect. It isn’t their job to perfectly adhere to the way you want the world to be. So to put it simply, don’t judge and let people be as they are. Don’t get caught in that negative mental cycle.

On the flip side of this, you have to understand that people are going to judge you and that their opinion of you, is none of your business. You can’t control how other people choose to see you, you can only control how you judge others. Don’t play a game you can’t win by trying to control other people’s thoughts. It’s like trying to play chess underwater at night. If you tried really hard, it could possibly be done but what is the point.

4. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

If you want to get into a habit that will help you become more confident, this is it. Everything you want is on the other side of your comfort zone; this applies to confidence.

You gain confidence by challenging yourself and overcoming obstacles. Don’t shy away from challenges and things that make you uncomfortable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Get into the habit of saying “Oh this makes me uncomfortable, better tackle it head on then” and get in the habit of saying Yes and No: Saying Yes to things you would like to do even if it scares you and No to things you would not like to do.

By saying Yes to things you enjoy and challenge you, you grow in confidence as you overcome them. By saying No to things you don’t want to do, things that bring your down or make you feel low, confidence can also bloom. By standing up for yourself, you assert yourself and your self confidence can blossom.

5. Have the “I Can Handle It” Mindset

This is a beautiful habit to get into in general and it will help your confidence bloom and your anxiety go down.

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Get into the habit of having a I Can Handle It Mindset. You have overcome so many things in your life but we still have the overwhelming fear that we can’t handle bad things coming your way.

But you can, you can handle it because you have handled it time and time again. Stop telling yourself that you can’t and start telling yourself that you can. Whatever comes your way, whatever adversity. You Can Handle It. With this habit, confidence can blossom and grow because you are unstoppable.

6. Find Validation From Within

If you rely on other people for constant validation and praise to give you a confidence boost, you will struggle. As soon as they don’t validate you, you will feel less confident than before. This is whyThe Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected.

Get in the habit of validating yourself, whatever you want to hear from someone else, say it to yourself. When you accomplish something, pat yourself on the back, don’t go looking for outward validation. This simple change of supporting yourself and search within for the support you need will help your confidence bloom!

There is one very simple logic to this, your happiness and your confidence are your responsibility. Why would you put your life in the hands of someone else? It isn’t their job to make you happy or validated, it is yours. You also can’t control them at all, which means your confidence and self worth are completely out of your control.

Change that. Find support and validation from within – Don’t Wait for People to Praise You. Do It Yourself Every Single Day.

7. Get Fit

Fitness is the perfect habit to get into if you want to grow confidence because everytime you go, you get better. You grow, you learn new things, you fail and then you amaze yourself with what your body can do, over and over again.

Nothing has helped my confidence bloom as much as taking up a sport. There are so many options for you. Running is the perfect example, the first one is awkward, hard and exhausting. But the next run is a little easier, a week later, you start looking forward to it and then finally, you are running 5K without stopping.

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If you want to get into a habit that reminds you that you are capable, find a sport that interests you and start.

8. Practice Gratitude

Now this isn’t groundbreaking I know, but gratitude is such an important habit to get into if you want to be more confident.

When you practice gratitude, you put yourself in a much better headspace which will in turn, help you feel more confident. Most importantly, when your confidence gets knocked by something or someone, you can always come back to gratitude and be happy for all that you have. It helps keep you aligned and focused on all the good and positive in your life, stopped all the negativity from creeping in and keeping you down.

If you practice gratitude once a day, your life will change because it reminds you of the reality that you are good enough as you are — that is never up for debate.

Try these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

Final Thoughts

These habits might be small but they can create an intense boost to your confidence and your rebound when you have had your confidence knocked. You are exceptional and you should be confident in your ability to do things and in who you are.

If you are still struggling with that, spend some time working out what you’re afraid of and go and do it right now, overcome it and remember that you are unstoppable.

More Confidence Boosting Tips

Featured photo credit: Olivier Rule via unsplash.com

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