You might not be perfect, but you are good enough. If you would like to walk with confidence and show the world how fabulous you are, check out these six ways to develop self esteem and swagger.
1. Smile and say “hi” to every person you walk past.
You can’t expect people to gravitate toward you if your posture reflects a complete lack of confidence. Avoiding eye contact is a visual cue that you are an unapproachable person. You probably don’t stare at the ground because you aren’t interested in meeting new people — more often, it’s just a symptom of low self esteem — but that is nonetheless the impression you are making. Starting today, take a daily walk through a local park or downtown district, and say, “Hi,” or, “How are you?” to every person you walk past. You will be pleasantly surprised by the positive reactions you receive, which will encourage you to reach out to more people. For more tips that will produce a confident posture, click here.
2. Swallow your fear and ask people to give you their digits (even if you don’t plan to dial them).
You don’t have to be single for the purpose of this exercise; if you have a partner, you could even invite them to join you at a bar or mall, and make a fun game out of it (whoever gets the most numbers buys the other a drink!). If you’re afraid you will freeze up in a moment of fear, you may borrow this script to make the process quick and easy (note – I am including helpful tips with *’s to explain my reasoning for anybody who is single and ready to mingle):
“Hi! My name is _______*. I’m actually in a rush to get to an important meeting**, but you really caught my eye***. I hope this isn’t awkward,**** but I was wondering if I could possibly have your phone number?”
*Too many people make the approach WAY more complicated than it needs to me. Don’t try to impress them. Don’t try to be funny. Introduce yourself, then cut to the chase (but in a classy way!).
**More options: “Back to work” (if you’re on your lunch break). “My next class” (if you’re a college student). Etc, etc, etc.
***For bonus points, tell them WHY they caught your eye. Interesting tattoo that you’d like to know the meaning of? Funny t-shirt that cracked you up? Warm smile that grabbed your attention? The more personal (and genuine!), the better.
****Since starting a conversation with a person you’ve never met could be considered an unconventional thing to do, it is smart to address this issue before they even think of it. Listing the objection upfront is an excellent business tactic I learned from Eminem (article courtesy of James Altucher).
3. Stop following commands without question and start asking “Why?” instead.
You might think following your leader without hesitation is a great way to demonstrate loyalty, but really it makes you look like a mindless automaton. Asking questions will demonstrate that you are NOT a mere lemming who bows down to the orders of others. Positions of power are reserved for people who demonstrate independent thought, and most difficult situations can’t be solved with a textbook solution. Questioning more will also help you learn how concepts work on a deeper level. I don’t know about you, but if you just tell me a fact, I will probably forget it before the day is over; however, if you tell me a story or analogy to illustrate that same fact, I’ll be able to remember.
4. Strut around the house confidently in the nude (maybe not when your roomies are around).
You can’t expect to feel confident if you don’t feel comfortable in your body. A lot of people look in the mirror while they get ready in the morning and immediately search for flaws. Picking your body apart can wreck your self esteem in a hurry, so make a commitment to accept it instead. I know this might sound crazy, but spending some time alone without any clothes on could help. You will perceive things about your body that you never noticed before; learn to accept the physical traits you don’t like; and begin to feel more comfy in the beautiful vessel that carries you throughout the world.
5. Search for a community theater audition or acting class in your area, and channel your inner-Shakepeare.
You might be afraid to perform in front of other people but there is nothing like bearing your soul and doing absurd things in front of a room full of strangers to make you get over being self-conscious. If you’d like to learn how acting in theater helped me accept myself and be more confident, click HERE.
6. Seize the day, because life is no fun if you spend it being self-conscious.
You will never get over your lack of confidence if you read articles like this all the time, but never actually apply them in your life. Tell us how you plan to develop self esteem and swagger in the comments. Please click the share button to pass this article along if you found it helpful.
Featured photo credit: Smile because you want to/Rory MacLeod via flickr.com