“The way you think about yourself determines your reality. You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Many of those people are a reflection of how you think about yourself.”
– Shannon L. Alder
We all know what confidence means, right? But have any of us really, truly felt confident?
Do you ever find yourself not doing something or not trying something that you really want to do simply because of a lack of confidence? Like you’re not good enough, so what’s the point?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at some point. Our lack of confidence makes us nervous and scared. As a teenager, I always thought that once I became an adult, I would magically become confident and self-assured. But that’s not really true.
I used to completely lack confidence and self-esteem. I had none at all, and I would take it wherever I could get it. But no matter how many guys would tell me I was beautiful, no matter how often my mom would assure me that I was perfect, no matter how many times my friends would tell me that I was being silly – no matter what anyone would say – I was still so insecure.
That’s because true confidence comes from deep inside ourselves. It’s that part of you that believes, no matter what anyone else says, you can do whatever you want. You are pretty enough, you are good enough, you are smart enough, you are brave enough. You are enough.
Confidence is a beautiful thing. I wish every woman was confident with herself, and didn’t need approval from anyone else. I wish every woman could realize how beautiful and strong she is, all by herself.
Today I thought I’d share with you 15 effective ways to really build up your confidence.
1. Use positive self-talk.
A lack of confidence and negative self-talk seem to go hand-in-hand. Our thoughts really are a powerful thing, and they can change our behaviors, decisions, and ultimately our lives. So try to re-frame your thoughts. Instead of saying to yourself “I can’t do this, I’m too scared,” change your thoughts to “I can do this and I’ll be a stronger person for facing my fears!”
“No matter what a woman looks like, if she’s confident, she’s sexy.”
– Paris Hilton
2. Dress confidently.
Dressing nicely will help you feel good about yourself. When I say this, I don’t mean expensive clothes or trendy clothes. Wear clothes that you like. Things that you think you look good in; clothes that make you feel confident and good about yourself.
3. Practice gratitude.
As you may or may not know by now, I’m a huge fan of showing gratitude! When you take a look at your life and realize all of the awesome things you have, it makes you happy. It helps you realize that your life isn’t as bad as you thought it was; you’re not as bad as you think you are.
4. Set yourself goals (and achieve them).
One instant confidence-boost is achieving a goal. I’m not talking about a huge goal; it’s actually better to set small ones. If you set a goal that’s too big and you fail, you’ll only feel worse about yourself. So write down a few small goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. The more you achieve, the more you’ll be able to set, and then you’ll have a better chance of achieving bigger goals. This will make you feel super confident.
5. Exercise regularly.
Besides all of the obvious health benefits, exercising can boost your confidence in a few different ways. One: it releases endorphin, which helps you feel better and more energized. Two: it helps you look better and, in turn, feel better about yourself. Three: it makes you more productive so you can get more done and feel more accomplished.
6. Volunteer and give back.
Volunteering is such a rewarding experience. When you help those less fortunate, people in need, it makes you feel better about yourself in so many ways. It’s one of the best things you can do with your time. Plus, it puts out positivity into the world.
7. Focus on personal growth.
Spend some time learning something new. When you become more knowledgeable – no matter what you’re learning, honestly – it’ll boost your confidence. You can learn about whatever you want. There are so many ways you can do this: reading books, surfing the internet, reading magazines, taking classes or courses, watching educational TV shows or documentaries. And if you think your personality is lacking something, work on improving it. Never stop improving yourself and you’ll definitely become way more confident.
Also, when you’re focusing on your personal growth, make sure you’re taking care of yourself too. “Me time” is super important to our physical, mental, and emotional health. So treat yo’self once in a while. Go shopping, get a massage, take a relaxing bath, do whatever works for you. Just make sure you’re pampering yourself every once in a while!
8. Talk to all the people.
If you have social anxiety like me, or you have extremely low self-esteem, or you’re just super shy, then you should try this. It isn’t exactly easy, but you can start small!
You can start out by simply saying hello to one person every day. Then increase how many people you say it to. Then you can start asking how people are doing. Just keep building up the conversations until you’re able to have a full conversation with anyone you may come across. Like I said, this may be more difficult for you, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to build up your confidence.
One tip for having conversations when you’re intimidated is to ask a lot of questions. If the person that you’re talking to is pretty conversational, this is a great way to show you’re interested and keep the conversation going without having to say very much. 🙂Here are some effective ways to help you be the confident woman you were meant to be! Click To Tweet
9. Learn to say no when you need to.
Generally, people who lack confidence tend to be “people-pleasers” who have trouble saying no to people. I know I do! But people who never say no are more likely to become stressed out, burnt out, and insecure. Remember, saying yes even when you’re about to burn out will keep you from being your best at whatever you’re saying yes to!
10. Expect to succeed.
Contrary to popular belief research shows that it’s actually not best to “expect the worst.” When you go through life expecting to succeed, it not only makes you feel more confident, it also increases your chances of success. So try to be an optimist and always expect the best!
11. Step out of your comfort zone.
Try something new – something that scares you or makes you nervous. Stepping out of your comfort zone can boost your self-confidence, reduce anxiety, and help you grow as a person. If you don’t know where to start, search online for local activities happening in your community. Go to one of the activities and try to talk to new people. If that seems way too intimidating, bring a friend!
Related reading: Dealing With Fear of Failure (or Rejection)
12. Pay attention to your body language.
The way that you carry yourself can say more about you than your words. You could be talking like the most confident person on earth, but if your body language isn’t on point, you’ll still seem super unconfident. Showing confident body language is also shown to actually make a person feel more confident. The keys to having confident body language are:
- Maintain eye contact.
- Keep up good posture.
- Smile, smile, smile!
- Avoid fidgeting, hair twirling, nail-biting, and any other nervous habits.
13. Learn how to accept a compliment.
When you have a lack of self-confidence, it’s safe to assume that you probably have a hard time accepting compliments. But when you’re constantly brushing off the praise that you receive, it’s a form of negative self-talk – remember #1 above. So instead, accept that the compliments you receive as true, say a simple “thank you” and file them away as a confidence boost.
14. Learn to laugh at yourself.
If you take yourself too seriously, it can damage your confidence. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, we all embarrass ourselves from time to time – so learn to take it lightly. Learn to laugh it off and laugh at yourself! This helps you pick yourself up, damage-free, and move forward with your life.
15. Stop comparing yourself to others.
There’s really no point in comparing yourself to other people. No one is better or worse than anyone else. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, we all have our good traits and our not-so-great traits. We’re all equal and we’re all on this planet for a reason. So you’re just wasting your time and energy, not to mention hurting yourself, when you’re playing the comparison game.