“Confidence doesn’t’ come to you before you do something, it comes after you have walked into it.” Linda Edgecombe
There are actually quite a few practical tips you can use to raise your self-confidence. Here are just a few of the ones I love. As usual, with these tip-lists, don’t try it all at once. Just try a few suggestions and see which one’s work best for you. The key here as it is with all life, just move on ANYTHING. It’s really just a physics equation. Just put one foot in front of the other and let inertia take over. End result of just acting on anything is increased confidence.
Some of them you’ll need to practice a bit before they start to pay off.
And keep in mind that you are in the Power Seat here. You can choose whether you want to let your mind go to curiosity or judgment. Start to Notice what you Notice. And just become more curious as to why you respond the way you do. Positive or negative. “Humm I wonder why I am reacting this way?”
Many of these suggestions can only boost your confidence temporarily. But this can allow you to do something you may not have been able to do before. And as you do it you build a deeper confidence in yourself. And collect concrete proof that you can actually do and achieve a lot of things. Acting on any of the following is like building a tool kit for you, and that is how simple confidence is, pulling out a tool from your kit when you need it.
The Confidence formula is very simple.
- 1. Try something new. Notice how you feel after. 3. Repeat
- Try something new.
When you break out of your comfort zone and try something you haven’t before you not only challenge yourself. You expand your own limitations and your confidence in your own abilities, in how many things you can actually do. By trying something new on a continual basis you can also lessen your fears and live a life with less barriers and limitations.
- Make a decision. Then follow through.
Most people don’t like making decisions. We have not had much practice at it. This is probably one of the most important and effective ways to building lasting confidence. When you decide to do something and don’t back down but go through with it you get proof of your – often underestimated – capabilities and your confidence in yourself soars. If you need motivation to get going , just simply MOVE. Let inertia carry you forward until you feel the motivation kicking in.
- Move your body
This one definitely makes an impact on my self confidence. Regular exercise improves your energy levels and produces various chemicals – for example testosterone and endorphins – that put you in a more positive state. This seems to often almost automatically improve your confidence and outlook on life. The toughest part about exercise is not the exercise. It’s getting to the exercise. Do not over think this.
- Face a fear.
This is not an easy one. But the reward is big. If you literally walk into a fear then your confidence takes about ten steps up. And for every time you face a fear you can slowly start to discover that the classic quote “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” Our biggest underlying fear is; “Will I be able to Handle it?” The truth is all you have ever wanted in on the other side of your fear of rejection or failure!
- Work the Creative side of your brain.
Everyone is a creative person. But we tend to ‘over think’ everything. Rediscovering your creativity is a good way to improve your confidence in yourself. Start anywhere. Sign up for a one day workshop on how to???? You will surprise yourself and feel good about your undiscovered skills. Sometimes you discover new, previously unknown parts of yourself.
- Fake it till you make it.
One way to break out of your own self-imposed limitations, take a step out of your comfort zone and build confidence is to play a part. I like to think of this one like it’s just a test. I say to myself, I’ll give this a try for 3 days. See how it feels and then repeat. This might sound like it couldn’t work. Like you are just making things up and lying to yourself. Well, that might be the case. But it still works. If you don’t feel confident, fake it and play the part of how you would think and behave if you were confident. Soon you’ll really start to feel confident. The part becomes real.
- Become More Interesting
One effective way to change yourself is to change your environment to match the person you want to become. If you want to become more confident read autobiographies/watch documentaries of interesting confident people, add to the music that you always listen to. And try to find confident people to hang out with.
If you find yourself at a dinner table add to the conversation.
- Become more aware of your nervous twitches.
Never admit you are nervous. All that does is make the other people around you nervous for you. And that energy makes it worse for your confidence. If you have to give a presentation, don’t hold the paper you are reading, your audience will never know you are shaking.
If you start fidgeting with your leg you’ll soon start to feel nervous or anxious. If you start to walk slower you’ll soon start to feel more relaxed. To feel more confident, use your body in more confident way. Walk, sit, stand and move in a more confident way. Copy how confident people in your surroundings, on the TV or at the movies use their bodies.
- Ask yourself: What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s easy to get lost in a vague fear – or very improbable scenarios – of what might happen if you go through with something. When you really ask yourself what the worst thing that could happen you get a clearer picture, a bit of fear vanishes and you discover that the potential consequences are seldom as frightening as you first thought. By doing this you define the potential consequences and also discover that whatever the might happen you can manage and recover from it.
- Use uplifting music.
A classic. Use inspiring and motivating music to pump up yourself before leaving for a night out, before a big test or meeting, before anything that might make your confidence unstable. This works pretty well as a temporary state-booster.
- Be good to yourself. Notice vs Judge
Most of us are very tough on ourselves. So this one takes practice. You need to catch yourself when you start having that conversation in your head. And stop, notice it, get curious as to why and move forward. What will start to happen is you will be kinder to you. And this, my friend, will build a sense of self that is not only more confident, but more at peace.
- Improve your social skills.
Building and maintaining relationships is one of the most important areas of life and I’d say that improving your social skills is one of the top things people want to learn. Improving your results in this area and finding a larger confidence in your social skill-set can be a really big boost for your overall sense of confidence.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
The people you hang out with can either drag you down or lift you up. Since we spend so much of our time with other people it’s important to keep positive – or at least reasonably neutral – people around you as much as you can. One or a few negative people can affect you in a big way – perhaps through nagging – and pull you down day after day.
- Wear what you feel amazing in.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to boost your confidence is to put your best foot forward. Do you hair, makeup and throw on one of your favorite outfits, or at least one you know will turn heads. By wearing attire that increases your self-confidence, you’ll feel more presentable, secure and in control of your life.
I know this may seem like an odd tip to build confidence but to be honest with you with more than 50% of the population that is sleep deprived and exhausted, you need to know that if you allow your body to actually get restorative sleep, you will have the energy to do all the tips I am suggesting to you here. You need to be unwound and in be by 10pm, so that from 10pm to 2am you can have restorative sleep. This is where your body detoxes and then you kick into REM sleep where you dream. After about 5-7 nights of this kind of actual rest, you will start to wake up when you body is rested. So have the confidence to give your self the gift of rest.
- Choose a slice of the Planet, and do something for someone else.
Hold the door for someone. Buy coffee for a co-worker. Offer your seat on the train to a senior. Donate your time at a local women’s shelter or the humane society. By doing a good deed, you’ll feel better about yourself and the world around you. Just choose a slice. Close to home or on the other side of the globe.
- Do something you love
When you’re feeling low, it’s important to do something you love and feel good doing. So lay on the couch and watch your favorite movie. Call up a friend who always makes you laugh and is one of your biggest cheerleaders. Cook up a meal for friends. Take a run through your neighborhood. By doing something you’re good at and that brings you pleasure, you’ll feel more competent, accomplished and capable of handling any task that comes your way.
- In a state of Overwhelm, just START.
From joining a knitting group to signing up for martial arts classes to taking your first whitewater rafting trip, if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, but keep finding reasons to put it off, stop procrastinating and get it done. Not only will you feel more confident for making the decision to just do it, you’ll also get excited about the new things you’ll be learning.
- Create Spaces to just BE
Anxiety and stress are not only toxic for your physical health, they can do serious damage to your self-confidence. Why not take some time out of your hectic schedule to seriously relax? By slowing your brain’s thought pattern, you’ll be less emotional and you’ll feel calmer and more in control of your life — a key to feeling confident. Relax through yoga, meditation or even just a nightly bubble bath.
- Celebrate your Benchmarks
Everything you’ve done in your life is an accomplishment, including taking your first step, getting on a bicycle, getting your driver’s license or playing a sport. Most of us say to ourselves, I will celebrate when I am THERE. Well let me tell you, THERE does not exist. All that exists is your Benchmarks. When you’re feeling low, make a list of all of the things you’ve done that make you proud, and then whip it out whenever you need a quick pick-me-up. It’s sure to make you remember — and celebrate — the fabulous woman you really are. And if you are holding on to that coveted bottle of champagne or wine for that THERE moment. Drink it! Because you know what, they make that stuff everyday.
Linda Edgecombe, CSP Hall of Fame Speaker