Imagine being able to overcome any obstacle that might come your way at work or in relationships. Then try to picture yourself taking risks and not having to ask for advice or someone’s approval every step of the way. This is what self-confident people do every day.
If you lack assurance and are low on self-esteem, read on because here are 5 easy ways to boost your confidence
“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered-just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport
1. Boost your self image
If failure is getting you down, just remember that there is always a solution. You may have to try again but you can always analyze what went wrong. The best way to boost your self image after a setback is to write down all your accomplishments and star qualities. Make a list and put it on your computer desktop or near where you spend most of your time. You can also make a list of all the things you should be grateful for. The benefits of gratitude on your overall health and happiness are truly amazing, as you will see from this infographic.
2. Set realistic goals
You know your talents and strengths. Set your goals to match these. Reject those that are just beyond your skills set and capabilities, qualifications or experience. This is where you can realistically assess your weaknesses and build on your strengths.
3. Get on the positive thoughts track
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person in the US to gain a degree and she obviously used a lot of positive thinking to help her achieve that amazing feat.
So, why positive thoughts and not negative ones? Negative thinking may be useful when imagining failure scenarios, threats, and obstacles. Once you get on a negative streak, your brain filters out everything else and you only think of failure. The human brain is wired to think of problems and fears, perhaps because of an anthropological necessity to cope with harsh and hostile environments.
The best solution is to build on positive thoughts. Here are some practical tips to do just that:
- Make your own mantra where you often repeat phrases such as “I can succeed” or “we are capable of….” It was no accident that the Obama presidential campaign chose “Yes, we can”.
- Every time a negative thought invades your territory, kick it off the playing field and substitute it with a positive thought, plan, action, or emotion.
- Court optimism like a seductive lover. Visualize happiness and success. But don’t waste too much time on fantasizing as this will affect productivity and positive action.
- Do not ignore obstacles entirely. If the plan is feasible, repeat that you know about all the roadblocks along the way but you are well equipped and prepared for them. They will not throw you off the road.
- Reduce your exposure to negative media and gloomy news broadcasts. Once a day is more than sufficient.
- Aim for positive leisure time so that you can refresh your mind and body by indulging in comedy, sports, social occasions and avoiding toxic colleagues.
4. Actions and body language speak louder than thoughts
It is all very well to have a positive mindset but you need to accompany this with large doses of action. One study at the Colombia Business School showed that even one minute of using a dominant pose, such as being a confident boss with legs on the desk, led to more confidence. They also found that the right power pose actually changed the levels of testosterone. This would seem to suggest that our body language and the way we walk and other behavior can boost our confidence and chances of success!
5. Increase your will power
If you lack motivation and optimism, there are actually a few tricks that can help you increase your will power, so that you can get things done. Researchers have found that those on challenging diets should eat with their less dominant hand. This forces them to think a lot more about the quantity and the quality of the food. They get better results than those who never bother to change hands while eating.
When people were tempted to indulge in smoking, they found that by tensing certain muscles such as their fist or biceps, helped them to resist. Even gripping a pen in your hand was found to be helpful. Researchers at Rochester University found that the participants who sat up straight and crossed their arms had a much higher persistence rate and were more successful than those who adopted a more relaxed body pose.
Once you see the results from increased will power, positive actions, and the right mindset, your confidence will be boosted.
Let us know in the comments how you manage to increase your confidence.
Featured photo credit: Yes, We Can (44th/52)/ Alexandre Normand via flickr.com