Confidence might come easier to some than others, but most of us have likely grappled with low confidence at some point in our lives. If it hits you on occasion, there are ways to give yourself a quick boost. If it deeply affects your daily life, building confidence will be a process, but there are ways you can help yourself to move forward. You deserve a life without the burden of so much self-doubt, fear and self-conscious worry.
Lack of confidence can hold you back. You could be paralysed by the fear of failing, too scared to make the first move, too apprehensive to try something new, too self-conscious to let go and get involved in life. On the other hand, confidence can allow you to enjoy whatever you can can in life with a little less worry. It can help you put good vibes out into the world and get from life what you want from it.
Confidence shouldn’t be confused with egotism or arrogance. Here we’re just talking about owning your actions, caring a little less what others think of you, having the courage to speak up, believing in your abilities, and knowing that you’re worth fighting for. It’s about acknowledging how you, as we all, deserve a life at least without the fear and worry that comes with lack of confidence. After all, you can’t “grab life by the balls” if you’re too scared to even be in the same room with them.
Here’s a look at just 15 tips for giving your confidence a quick boost or to develop it in the long term.
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1. Dig Deep & Deservingly
If you find yourself lacking confidence or unable to be as assertive as you feel you’d like to or need to be, ask yourself why. It might take some deeper digging to assess why you’re finding yourself fearful or anxious at the thought of acting in a more self-assured way. Finding the route issues and the things holding you back will go a long way in helping you to develop greater confidence in yourself, but it’s not always easy.
It’s worth thinking about whether you feel worthy or not. For some people, a sense of not feeling deserving or “worth it” is what might lead them towards unhealthy habits, not finding time for self-care or putting their own needs last. Is that something you think might be an issue?
Everyone deserves to live the life they wish (as long as you’re breaking no laws or hurting anyone else, of course). Everyone deserves to feel good in themselves, to not have self-doubt holding them back from truly experiencing their lives fully. You don’t have to earn that, nor do you earn self-worth. If you’re a good person, then that’s what matters. You matter. You’ve no need to feel guilty or unworthy.
2. Own It
Nobody else can tell you who you are or who you “should” be. There are unwritten rules in society and hideous pressures that are ingrained in our way of life that dictate everything from the ideal body image and the trendiest clothes, to the appropriate hobbies and the life goals we must reach at certain ages. If we don’t even value the things we’re made to feel we should, or we can’t meet up to those standards, we’re left feeling like we don’t measure up and it can make us miserable. But what happens if we eschew all those “shoulds” and do things our own way?
Own your style, your personality, your hobbies, skills and interests. Own your health conditions, your illnesses or your disabilities. Rock your look. Speak up and make no apologies for who you are, what you do or for doing what you truly feel is the right thing.
If you want to wear a pink flamingo outfit to the supermarket, you can. The only thing stopping you is yourself (and maybe store security). Have the confidence to wear it, rock it and enjoy it, because what others think doesn’t matter. They don’t live your life. You do.
Related Reading : Learning To Care A Little Less
3. Move Mindfully
One of the best ways to build your confidence is to work on yourself and make sure that you feel good on the inside and outside. One of the best ways to do that is to move your body mindfully – this means not punishing yourself with hours of cardio when you’re not a fan of it, nor giving up movement altogether. Work with your capabilities and move your body in a way that makes you feel good and releases those all-important endorphins.
If what you choose to do is a walk every day, no matter the pace or distance, go on that walk and make a point of enjoying it. If you can go for a run, relish it. If you fancy dancing around to some cheesy 80s music to break up your afternoon, then let loose and go for it. If you can only do chair stretches for a minute here and there, pop some music on and make the most of it.
Feel how your body responds, the sense of feeling alive, the gratitude for whatever activities you may be able to do, no matter what they are. Imagine the boost to circulation, the increase to your strength, the oxygen filling your lungs. The idea here is to do things that make you feel joy.
4. Learn To Stand Up Tall
Half of the battle with your confidence is going to be in how you carry yourself. If you’re slumping and slouching with everything, you’re not going to feel the best when you could be feeling much better. Stand tall, pull your shoulders back and your chin up. Make it so that you are displaying confidence in the way that you carry yourself, and that fake confidence will eventually turn into real confidence. Your posture can and will make a big difference to you – starting here will help.
5. Digest Books & Other Feel-Good Media
Self-help style books aren’t for everyone, and it’s true that many are a rehashed version of each other. However, there are some absolute gems out there that can make a real difference. Plenty of people have found such books to be great for anything from a quick pick me up, to providing life-affirming revelations. I’ve personally benefitted from different self-help books and I think it depends on what you need at that time as to what to go for. There are lots of options out there, both directly on the topic of boosting confidence and indirectly to support your development.
Related Reading : 12 Life-Changing Reads & Self-Help Books
6. Make Conversation
If you want to strike up a conversation with someone or simply smile and say hello to a stranger but feel fear is holding you back, it might be time to challenge yourself. It’ll mean getting out of your comfort zone, but once you do, you’ll realise you can do it. After some time of practicing, whether it’s talking more openly with a friend or keeping your head up to acknowledge strangers while out on a walk, it’ll start to become more normal, more second nature rather than fraught with fear. You’ll hopefully build confidence in yourself for dealing with social situations, find it a bit easier to meet people, and feel the anxiety of going into unknown situations drop just a little, too.
7. Ditch Perfection But Embrace Development
Perfection is something many people strive for, but the search for perfection is often fraught with disappointment when perfection is so elusive and perhaps never existed in the first place. But knowing that doesn’t mean you can’t aim higher and challenge yourself, or find ways to improve or adapt your life to be more comfortable, happier and more content. This could be your employment, housing or financial situation. It could be about how you interact with others, your approach to life, and so on.
Balance is important here because if you’re always reaching for the next rung on the ladder, then where you are in life will never, ever be enough. It’s about learning acceptance and being happy with where we are and who we are right now. It’s being content, but not complacent. You can challenge yourself to aim higher, but with less pressure on yourself. If you don’t make it to one goal, that’s okay. You’re fine where you are, and you can try again if you want to or tackle another goal.
You need to know that you’re good enough right now, but it’s still okay to want to develop. It’ll hopefully keep you motivated without making you miserable.
Related Reading : What Confidence Is Really All About
8. It’s Okay To Be Wrong
It’s not always easy to admit when you are failing at something, such as exams or a project at work, or to admit that you’re wrong about something. However hard it may be, it’s important to be able to embrace these things you see as negatives because they are learning curves and part of being human. To think you have to succeed, be right or be the best all the time isn’t realistic, even if you feel the pressure to be all of those things all of the time. This same pressure could push us to achieve, but it won’t work every time. Or it may have the opposite effect, either leading to burnout or just so much fear that we’ll “fail” that we decide not to bother in the first place.
We’re entitled to make mistakes, to learn from them, to grow, to mess up again. This learning curve also teaches us about being kinder to ourselves when things don’t go as we’d hoped or when we turn out to be “wrong” about something. Then it teaches us courage, to overcome the fear of getting things wrong again but giving it a try anyway. It encourages perseverance, and with that comes confidence, because no matter what happens, you’ll be able to get back up and keep trying.
9. Choose Your Tribe & Let People In
It’s not always easy to choose the people in your life. But if you can, it’s good to have people that are supportive and encouraging of you. At the very least, consider doing something about relationships that do you harm, like letting go of old friends that belittle you or make you feel bad about yourself.
Not everyone has a social circle or work colleagues. You might find the lack of interaction alone impacts your confidence, so if you want to meet new people, that’s great. If you don’t have offline friends, then friends from the online realm are just as valuable. You can make friends from all over the world, and you can find people who share common ground, such as friends and acquaintances in the blogging niche or within the chronic illness community, people who “get” you and what you’re doing through.
It’s okay to let the people around you know that you’re not feeling all that confident with things. It may not make an immediate difference if they compliment you or support you with this lack of confidence in some way, but their influence, love and support could lay the groundwork for your development over time. If you slip, it’s good to have at least one cheerleader on the sidelines for you. If you don’t, then you can be your own cheerleader or take encouragement from other sources, like self-help books or feel-good films.
Put yourself out there and try to surround yourself with good vibes and support. You want people that make you feel good about yourself, and in return you can make them feel good about themselves, too. Win win.
10. Boost Confidence With Small Goals
If you have particular things you want to achieve or to start feeling more confident at, then break down those big steps into smaller, more manageable tasks. Have goals that are realistic and actionable, then tackle them slowly but surely. If you want to crack public speaking, you might be able to jump in the deep end and go for it. But that might be too much too soon, so try small goals; talking clearly and confidently among a small group of friends, practicing speaking in the mirror, record yourself and see how you come across, talk to a large empty room, do a practice run with a larger group, and so on.
Each of these small goals, no matter how small, are meaningful. And each can be celebrated when you give them a go, no matter whether you “succeed” or not. Pat yourself on the back for the effort and for giving it a go. It’s better to try and not do as well as you’d hoped, than to not try at all and always wonder “what if”.
11. Face The Fear
When you spend your life hiding behind the things that scare you or make you uncomfortable, you’re going to continue to be afraid. The same goes for embracing change. Start facing the big and little things that are scary or unnerving, and your confidence will grow just for facing it in the first place. Over time, these things will be less scary and more manageable. That’s the idea, anyway. It’s not always that simple of course, and we’re not talking huge phobias or earth-shattering fear-facing either.
This might just be trying to move out of your comfort zone a little. That could be simply shaking up your daily routine, or trying to strike up conversations a stranger when you’d usually avoid being the instigator because lack of confidence would hold you back.
Do you have any particular fears, or any things you hold back from doing because of low confidence, anxiety or fear? Take it step by step – once you face one thing, you’ll realise you were capable of doing it all along and that should make the next thing a little easier. Have trust in yourself to be able to deal with the uncomfortable or the scary, and your confidence in your own abilities will take on a healthy glow.
Related Reading : 22 Inspirational Quotes On Change & Coping With Change
12. Ditch Your Inner Critic
Are you your own worst enemy and your harshest critic? Do you find it hard to accept and actually believe any praise or positive comments you receive from others? If so, it’s time to challenge that inner critic and start treating yourself the way you would treat others. Would you talk to a loved one the way you talk to yourself, would you berate them so much and make them feel worthless? Of course not.
You may not be aware of this inner critic, which is often the case if it has been going on for years. If so, you may need to work at adjusting the narrative in your own mind that tells you you’re not good enough because this will reflect in the stories you tell others about yourself and the way in which you present yourself to the world.
13. Skin-Deep Confidence
Sadly, many of us find that how we look can affect our confidence. Society has developed an unhealthy relationship with body image and ideals of beauty, fuelled by media and pressured onto the masses from a young age. It can affect anyone of any gender, but these guiding principals of what’s acceptable, what’s “attractive”, what’s respectable and so on are all socially constructed. You can be – and feel – confident no matter how you look if you consider that confidence is a state of mind and being.
When it comes to the likes of make-up or clothing and accessories, everyone will have their own opinion. If you’re getting ready to face the day, maybe you want THE ICONIC make-up to give you a boost when you’re feeling less than confident, and that’s totally cool. Or maybe you want to go fresh-faced and au natural to face that fear of being more vulnerable and to really appreciate that confidence is far more than skin deep. It’s if you feel you’re hiding behind make-up or clothing and accessories, perhaps to the point where you panic to be seen without them, that you might want to look at why you feel that way and what you can do about it.
Whatever your feelings on this topic, it’s entirely your call. Perhaps you want to work on how you look and how you dress because you want it to be more authentic and more in tune with what you actually like, rather than what you feel like you “should” be looking like. Maybe you want to put some time into your daily routine to look after your skin, wash your hair, iron your clothes. Maybe you want to invest in some new pieces that you love, no matter what anyone else thinks.
On the other hand, you may not find any of this of interest. Or, it could be that you’ve focused on this for years and you want to ease off. Many people can spend a lifetime worrying over what to wear and how they look – the relief to care a little less here will be palpable and incredibly invigorating. If that sounds like you, forget what you think you “should” be looking and think about what’s really important to you. As cheesy at it sounds, confidence really does come from within. You don’t have to rely props or clothes or hairstyles to be assertive in your own life.
14. Journal For Reflection & Visualisation
Building confidence often means that you need a good talking-to. It’s a good idea to write down your feelings so that you can recognise and acknowledge them first and foremost, then you can see where your confidence may be lacking. Over time, you can use it to reflect and see how things are developing.
Journalling can also be a great outlet for all emotions and events in your life, as often writing (or talking) about things will let out a little pressure to save it from bubbling up.
Furthermore, keeping a diary could be good for visualisations. What do you want your life to look like? Who are you, and who do you want to be? What do you think confidence looks like? How would you like to feel more confident and how do you want to apply that confidence in your life?
15. Practice Self Care
Self-care gets a lot of hype these days, and for good reason. But it’s more than bubble baths and candles. It’s about realising and believing that you’re worth looking after. It’s about being assertive, valuing yourself and your time, saying no when you need to, and making sure your needs get met. It’s great to put others first and look after those you care about, but you need to look after yourself too if you want to avoid burnout or even resentment.
Practicing self-care can have a knock-on effect to confidence. Even those aforementioned bubble baths and candles have a place here because you’re making the time for yourself and doing something to make yourself feel better in some way.
The deeper parts of self-care, like being assertive and saying no when you need to, are very poignant here because you need confidence to do those things, and likewise doing those things will boost your confidence. It does mean you need to value yourself, at least a little, to kick off the self-care cycle and to stick with it.
Related Reading : 5 Alternative Thoughts On Self-Care
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These are just a few suggestions for confidence boosting or long-term confidence development. Of course, it’s worth noting that for some people, lack of confidence can be life-altering and a mental health issue that requires professional support, so don’t be afraid to reach out for that help if you need it.
[ This is a collaborative post ]