“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Fear exists at the heart of every unfulfilled dream. If there is something in our life that we want, we are going to have to confront some fears in order to get it. Having confidence in our ability to achieve goals, to move forward in the face of fear, and to accomplish our desires, is critical if we are going to live a life that is personally fulfilling and meaningful. Not everyone is born with natural confidence. Some people struggle, and for many people, difficult circumstances in their own lives can really impact their self confidence.
So what can be done? Anyone can develop more self confidence if they take some simple actions and, more importantly, build these actions into habits.
Here are 10 ways to instantly have confidence.
1. Put a Little Effort Into Our Appearance
Sounds simple, but it really works. When we put effort into our appearance, our dress, and our grooming, we feel better about ourselves. Does this mean that we have to be savvy to all the latest fashions and spend a large chunk of our savings on wardrobe upgrades? Not likely. The most important thing is that we build a habit of doing the best with what we have, and small simple improvements in the ways we present ourselves will have a positive impact on how we feel and our confidence. A secret weapon when it comes to our appearance: shoes. Take good care of our shoes. Upgrade them if necessary. Good looking shoes go a long way for a good feeling person.Advertising
2. Do An Act Of Service For Someone Else
This is critical. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to our emotions. Many times, we feel bad about ourselves simply because we are focused too much on “our self”. Getting outside of the self can be truly refreshing, empowering and goes a long way to building your self confidence. Where to start? Look around, there are people everywhere. Find someone and do something nice for them. Then find someone else and do something nice for them. After a while, you’ll be amazed at how great you feel.
3. Be Prepared
Sometimes a lack of confidence is as simple as a lack of preparation. Nervous about that job interview? How well did we prepare? Nervous about that upcoming exam? How well did we study? Nervous about not making those sales targets? What was our preparation like? How effectively did we work? Action is the best antidote to anxiety and fear. Being perfectly prepared for whatever we are about to do will give us confidence. When we know that we have made the best possible preparations for what we are about to do, we will be more confident.
4. Take A Look At Our Posture
Seems funny, but it actually works. How do you stand? Do you slouch? What is your posture like when you are sitting? When you stand up straight, and sit with correct posture in your chair, you feel better about yourself. You’re able to breath easier and this oxygen supply does wonders for your brain and our body. You need oxygen to feel good and sometimes your lack of oxygen can be traced to poor posture.Advertising
5. Set a “Micro-Goal” And Achieve It
Confidence is based on a belief that we are capable of achieving things, therefore we don’t need to be scared. Sometimes we get into a rut where we don’t feel like we are capable of achieving anything. When this happens it can be hard to start, and big goals seem almost out of the question. So what you need to do in this instance is to set a “micro-goal” and then achieve it. A “micro-goal” is a very small goal that is in your power. For instance, if you have a sales based career, simply make a goal of picking up the phone and calling 5 people. Don’t even focus on making a sale. Just achieve the goal of calling. Why does this work? Because it gives you momentum and it signals the brain that you can achieve things. If you do it over and over and over again – set a small goal and then achieve it – you’ll will be pleasantly surprised at how you feel.
7. Change One Tiny Habit
When we get stuck in a “confidence rut” it can be very hard to change major habits. We just don’t believe that we are capable of change, and we don’t have the momentum to support our desire. So I’m not talking about changing big habits here, like “stop smoking”. I’m talking about tiny habits, like making a bed, or waking up 10 minutes earlier, or choosing a salad instead of fries. Tiny habits work because, like setting micro-goals, they give us momentum. Once you change one thing, you’ll want to change others, and best of all, you develop confidence from your past victories. Since you have changed one thing, you know you are capable of changing others.
Sounds trite, but it really works. When we smile we are happier. When we are happier we have more self-confidence. It’s also contagious. Think about you day-to-day life. When you go for a coffee break and the server gives you a warm smile, does it make you upset? Does it make you angry and really depressed? Not at all. Sometimes that little gesture is exactly what you need to make you feel better about what is otherwise a difficult day. When you smile, and when others smile at you, we all feel better. When you feel better, you have more confidence.Advertising
9. Make A List of 10 Things That We Are Grateful For
Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools against depression and lack of confidence. What is one of the quickest ways to feel grateful? Simply make a list. Make a list of 10 things that you are grateful for. When the list is done, read it. By the time you’ve done that, you’re sure to feel better about yourself. You realize that life isn’t that bad and that there are many good things in your life, right now. This attitude of gratitude helps you feel more confident about moving forward and making new things happen.
10. Get Active and Start Exercising
As Tony Robbins has said, “emotion is created by motion”. If we want to feel good, we need to move and breathe. Moving increases our oxygen intake which increases our happiness and general sense of well being. Exercising cuts fat, builds muscle and improves our skin tone and appearance. We will instantly feel better because of the oxygen intake, but if we make this step a lasting habit, we will also soon reap the benefits of looking into the mirror and being pleased with the results that we see – results that we have created through our actions. This will increase our confidence.
Last Updated on July 18, 2019
10 Warning Signs of Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence
Self-confidence can be defined as a belief in one’s abilities and maintaining a sense of competence. On the other hand, low self-confidence can be defined as a lack of faith in one’s abilities and competence.
Self-confidence can fuel success, while low self-esteem can impede it. To avoid falling into patterns of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, consult the following warning signs.
1. You check your phone while alone in social situations.
You find yourself unable to sit still during social situations with little or no friends. Instead, you find yourself desperately checking your phone to appear more socially connected.
Tip: Try exercising an affirmation such as “I am loved.”
2. You back down during a disagreement to appease another person.
You find yourself backing down in conversation often; you negotiate your views so as to avoid conflict. You would rather avoid experiencing rocky waters than express yourself honestly.
Tip: Try an affirmation such as “my opinion matters” or “I live authentically.”
3. You are unable to leave the house without make-up or primping.
You gain a false sense of self-esteem from wearing make-up or primping. Instead of feeling self-esteem from within, you feel a need to primp in order to feel good about yourself.
Tip: Try a daily “I am beautiful” affirmation.
4. You take constructive criticism too personally.
You tear up in the bathroom after a coworker gives you constructive criticism about your job performance; you wind up yelling at friends when they criticize your choice in a date. Instead of taking criticism objectively, you react emotionally.
Tip: Try counting to 3 before responding to criticism.
5. You are afraid to contribute your opinion in conversation.
You find yourself second guessing what you want to say before you say it, instead of diving into conversation without a thought. You may find yourself stuttering and engaging in negative self-talk.
Tip: Focus on your breath when you begin to second guess yourself to avoid over-thinking.
6. You are indecisive in the midst of simple decisions.
You change your mind after coming to a simple decision, such as what activity to do with a friend or what food to eat. Then once you come to another decision, you change your mind over and over.
Tip: Vocalize the affirmation “I am assertive and in control of my life.”
7. You cannot handle genuine compliments.
You reflect when someone pays you a genuine compliment, instead of graciously accepting the compliment.
Tip: Practice the affirmation “I am worthy of love” or “I have many good qualities.”
8. You give up too soon.
You give up on your goals and dreams before you have hardly started. You lack confidence in your success, so you give up all together.
Tip: Practice the affirmation “I am a success seeker, not a failure avoider.”
9. You compare yourself with others.
You pay extra attention to those you deem more successful than you, and let your own self-worth take a plummet as a result. Instead of focusing on your journey and your journey only, you constantly look at everyone else’s.
Tip: Declare the affirmation “I am more than enough.”
10. You slouch.
You display a low body stance: you do not stand tall, but instead let your body slouch downwards, sending the message that you are not proud of yourself.
Tip: Take a few minutes each day to focus on your body posture. Take a look at these 10 Graphs That Help You Improve Posture In No Time.
More About Self-Confidence
- How to Gain Confidence and Really Boost Your Self Esteem
- How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence
- How to Build Self Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power)
Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com