Advertising
Advertising

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Are you overwhelmed by negative thoughts and past failures? If you are, then it is difficult to feel confident. My father’s advice always was, “Look on the bright side.” I did not realize that was such good advice until about 30 years later! Here are 11 easy ways to boost your confidence if you are feeling glum and pessimistic.

1. Focus on positive thoughts.

Looking on the bright side means focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Focus on your good health, achievements, talents, and experience. Research has shown that when elderly Canadians were convinced that their health was poor, they were much more likely to end up in hospital than those who were convinced their health was excellent. Time to dismiss all those negative thoughts!

2. Use the power of mantras.

Thoughts need to be verbalized and this is how the power of mantras, repeated to yourself, can work. Perhaps you are dogged by critical comments, desolate because of insults or crippled by setbacks? How on earth can you boost your confidence with all that going on? Many experts believe that when we repeat mantras, we can boost confidence. Try a few of these for yourself:

Advertising

  • “What others say is a reflection of them, not me.”
  • “The only approval I need is my own.”
  • “I am good enough.”
  • “I look great.”
  • “I can succeed in this.”

3. Sit up straight.

There are now posture corrector apps which can be attached to your lower back to remind you to sit up straight with head lifted and shoulders back. The experts tell us that when we slouch, this affects our whole outlook on life. One study showed that those who sat upright were much more optimistic about their prospects in careers and their relationships. Those who were slouching were way down the list as regards confidence. Stop slouching!

4. Learn from setbacks.

Maybe you think that there are far too many setbacks and this has ruined your confidence in getting that dream job or getting a great figure. You may be thinking that your weight loss program is useless because you will never achieve your goal. The secret here is think of a setback or failure as feedback. It is telling you what to adjust and how to continue on the road, using a slightly different approach.

“Life’s problems reveal who we really are”- Unknown

5. Think of expectations rather than fantasies.

If you fantasize too much and visualize lots of success, happiness and wealth, there may be a shock coming. Research now suggests that positive expectations are a much safer route to take to boost your confidence. After all, dreaming is part of a fantasy. Expectations are based on past experiences. Studies show that people with realistic expectations were doing better at getting the dream job or finding a partner.

6. Choose 5 things you can easily do.

Maybe you are a great jogger or cook? Perhaps you are kind and compassionate? Whatever it is, choose 5 of these things that you are really good at and always make you feel great afterwards. This is a great confidence booster and an even better one is to tick them off your list at the end of the day.

7. Seek out positive leisure time.

This is where you have to make an effort to avoid toxic company and also exposure to bad news. We are surrounded by disasters and every time we log on, there is news about some catastrophe, There is very rarely good news. This can drag us down into doom and gloom. The solution to boost confidence is to dedicate more time to physical activity, watching funny videos and above all, enjoying the company of positive friends and colleagues.

Advertising

8. List your achievements.

You need to constantly remind yourself of what you achieved in your life so far. This often gets overshadowed by problems and worries. These can cloud your vision and make your goal seem impossible. A good idea is to keep a list of your successes near your computer to remind yourself. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion. This is a great confidence booster. The great thing about being self-confident is that you can inspire others to be like that too. Spread the good news!

9. Count your blessings.

My father also said this! Look at what you have now. You are in a comfortable space, you have enough food to eat, and you can even read my article! Did you know that happiness is made up of 90% of how you actually view your life? The other miserable 10% make up the actual circumstances. Too often, when you are not self-confident, you tend to concentrate on this tiny percentage.

Every single day, make sure you list all the things you have to be grateful for. Your list will probably be quite long. That will make you feel happier straightaway and also boost your confidence

Advertising

10. Keep taking risks.

Imagine that you have had negative feedback or that you have screwed up at work. These things happen all the time and your confidence takes a battering. The worst possible thing you can do is to crawl back into your shell and decide to keep a low profile. Head down and work away without taking any risks. This is not a good way to recover. We need to keep taking risks and keep moving forward to achieve success. That is the best recipe to get back your confidence. Retirement is not an option yet!

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

11. Forget perfectionism.

We all strive to be the best, the nicest, the most successful. The list goes on and on. But recognizing that perfectionism is simply not achievable can be a great recipe to boost confidence. Nothing wrong with excellence but perfectionism will ensure we spend too much time comparing ourselves to others all the time. That is not healthy at all and can ruin our confidence as we observe their successes. The best way forward to self-confidence is to stop beating ourselves up for our mistakes and our faults.

Advertising

“A great figure or physique is nice, but it’s self-confidence that makes someone really sexy.” – Vivica A.Fox.

Featured photo credit: Rainy Day Inspiration :: You Must Believe In Yourself!/Jennifer via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

Write A Personal Mission Statement to Achieve Your Goal More Easily 10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated) 7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People 10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next