A person's ability to feel confident about one's skills, abilities, and judgment determines self-confidence. Not only is this crucial for your wellbeing, but self-confidence can also be beneficial in most aspects of your life as it helps you become more resilient, improve your performance, encourage you to try new things, and maintain healthy relationships.
Do you feel that you’re lacking in self-confidence? Thankfully, there are effective ways to build your self-confidence, such as the following 15 confidence boosters.
1. Get rid of the idea that you're awkward, shy, or timid.
When you identify yourself as awkward, timid, or shy, you subconsciously tell your mind to behave accordingly, and subsequently feel the tendency to do so. Rather than label this negative self-talk, visualize and affirm your self-confidence and strength. Try to picture yourself in a different situation as you wish you were.
As a rule of thumb, don't let anyone discourage you. It’s believed that positive affirmation and good mental practices like imagining you winning or achieving a goal can help you feel more confident, which in turn will prepare your brain for success, states David K. William in a Lifehack article. See yourself confident and you will soon begin acting like your confidence is becoming a reality.
2. Don't compare yourself with others
No comparison is healthy, whether if it's comparing your appearance to your friends on social media or your salary to your coworkers. Researchers found a direct relationship between envy and how you feel about yourself in a 2018 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
People who compare themselves with others experience envy, according to researchers. As envy increased, their self-esteem deteriorated.
Be aware of your own strengths and successes when you feel jealous of someone else's life. If you want to focus on yourself instead of other people's lives, keep a gratitude journal.
3. Groom yourself and dress nicely.
“This seems like such an obvious one, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and a shave can make in your feelings of self-confidence and for your self-image,” writes Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. “There have been days when I turned my mood around completely with this one little thing.”
Also, dress nicely. Wearing nice clothes will make you feel good about yourself. You'll be more confident and more ready to face the world. “Now, dressing nicely means something different for everyone … it doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a $500 outfit but could mean casual clothes that are nice looking and presentable,” he adds.
4. Listen to heavy bass.
Music that is empowering, in turn, makes you feel empowered. The Kellogg School of Management's Adam Galinsky and Dennis Y. Hsu conducted a study that found that bass-heavy music increased a person's sense of confidence.
Two groups of participants participated in the study. Half of the participants listened to music with high bass levels, while the other half listened to low bass levels. Each group was given a series of tests, including filling in the blanks and throwing dice, while listening to the music.
Study participants who listened to high-bass music were more likely to fill in blanks with words related to power. In addition to taking charge of the dice rolling, they did not want others to do it for them.
Students who made high-bass music acted more powerfully and authoritatively even after the music stopped.
What were the most powerful songs? The study found that the top three tracks to be;
“We Will Rock You” by Queen
“Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited
“In Da Club” by 50 Cent
While this study was conducted back in 2014, these songs may no longer be in your playlist. However, if you do need a quick confidence boost, listening to songs containing high-bass music should work.
Volunteering has been proven to make people feel better about themselves, as indicated by research. Walking dogs might be of interest if you love animals. Consider volunteering in a local school or offering tutoring services if you care about children or education.
Alternatively, if you don't have the time, consider making a donation. Having a sense of connectedness to others and feeling better about yourself are two benefits of meaningful giving.
6. Get your body moving.
We all know that regular physical activity is essential if you want to keep your body and mind healthy. But, it can also boost your self-confidence in several ways. In addition to making you feel better mentally and physically, you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment and an improved self-image.
7. Embrace positive people.
Observe how your friends affect your mood. How do they make you feel? What is your relationship with them like? Do they judge you constantly or are they accepting of you as you are?
Those you spend time with have a much greater impact on your thoughts and attitudes than you imagine. Feeling bad about yourself after spending time with a certain person is definitely a sign to evaluate the relationship and move.
8. Avoid the mirror.
Researchers have found that worrying about our physical appearance leads to anxiety and depression. Avoid looking in the mirror or limit the time spent analyzing your appearance in the mirror. Start by observing how often you look in the mirror, as well as for how long. From there, you can begin to limit the amount of time you stare at your own reflection.
9. Follow a ritual.
Adding simple rituals to your life can boost your performance and ease anxiety. What’s more, according to Harvard professors Michael Norton and Francesca Gino, rituals can also improve confidence.
“What we find is that if you engage in a ritual prior to a potentially high-anxiety task, like singing in public or solving difficult math problems, you end up being calmer by the time you approach the task and more confident in what you’re about to do. As a result of that, you actually perform better.”
It’s possible to perform well in stressful situations by incorporating a "power ritual" when you need a boost of confidence. This can even be a short and quick ritual like drinking coffee while reading yourself positive affirmations followed by a few deep breaths.
Although it may sound obvious, research shows that smiling during a stressful situation helps to lower heart rate levels and promote positive feelings. Your brain feels more relaxed and comfortable when you smile. Even if it feels like you are faking it, you will still see results.
11. Practice positive self-talk.
When you speak to yourself with optimism, you will have less self-doubt, cultivate self-compassion, and be more likely to confront new challenges. Alternatively, negative self-talk can diminish your confidence by convincing your subconscious that you’re incapable or that something is too hard and that you shouldn't take the risk.
For example, you can reframe your pessimistic self-talk into something more optimistic like changing “I can’t do this, it’s too had” to “I’ve got this!”
12. Learn something new.
As self-confidence is nurtured through personal achievement and valuable skills, learning something new will help nurture them. Become fluent in a new language, learn how to cook, or take a class to enhance your skills.
13. Stop slouching.
Good posture conveys an air of confidence, regardless of how you feel while slouching conveys a sense of sheepishness and poor health. Keep your shoulders relaxed and stand tall. Keep your head straight as you elongate your spine and gaze forward with your eyes.
Be sure to keep a good posture while sitting as well. A strong core, improved breathing, and less stress are all benefits of a good posture.
14. Get to know yourself.
“When going into battle, the wisest general learns to know his enemy very, very well,” writes Leo. “You can’t defeat the enemy without knowing him. And when you’re trying to overcome a negative self-image and replace it with self-confidence, your enemy is yourself. Get to know yourself well. Start listening to your thoughts.”
“Start writing a journal about yourself, and about the thoughts, you have about yourself, and analyzing why you have such negative thoughts,” he suggests. Consider your strengths, the things you're good at, the things you like about yourself. Think about whether your weaknesses are real limitations or just ones you've artificially created. “Dig deep within yourself, and you’ll come out (eventually) with even greater self-confidence.”
15. Get organized.
Organize your closet, purse, bookshelves, or office desk on a weekly basis. You can feel in control of your life by managing just one small piece of your life.