Where is your area of self-doubt?
No matter how confident you are, just about everyone has that one thing that plagues their self-esteem. Perhaps you feel too young, too old, worry about physical appearance, or wonder if you are giving a strong impression at work.
Improving esteem can be a long psychological journey for certain individuals, but here are a few tips on how to build self-confidence in little ways throughout your day.
1. Looks Matter… to You
I have a friend who is constantly extolling the value of cute clothes and makeup to female coworkers. However, she isn’t pushing these things because they are fashionable or because she feels like we should conform to some outside definition of beauty. Instead, she wants each girl to feel pretty.
The truth is that our confidence level is linked, at least in part, to our appearance. There’s a reason why nightmares that feature us half-dressed in classrooms or conference rooms are so common. What makes you feel stronger? The idea of address executive leadership in your PJs and fluffy slippers or being dressed in crisp, business casual attire?
Make it a point to dress your best on any occasion where you’ll need a confidence boost. This is especially important when you don’t feel like it, because that may be a first sign that your esteem is struggling to deal with the events of the day.
2. Move with Confidence
The way you move portrays a lot about the way you feel, and when you choose to move like you are full of confidence, people will treat you accordingly. This can create a cyclical effect that will actually feed your confidence level! Here are some tips for moving with confidence.
- Practice good posture by sitting and standing straight. Don’t slump your shoulders, keep your head up and make eye contact with those around you. This will empower you to speak and act in a more confident manner. It will also help you pay attention and process the world around you.
- Walk with purpose. Shuffling along gives the impression that you don’t know where you are going or that you don’t care. Walking at a brisk pace gives the impression that you are confidence in your destination and can make you feel more secure or important.
- Approach others with purpose. When you are introduced to someone, immediately offer your hand for a firm shake. If you see someone you know across the room and want to speak to them, don’t hover and wait for them to notice you first. Take action and back it up with a smile and eye contact.
3. Be Prepared
Nothing will increase your confidence about a certain task or project as much as being prepared. Occasionally, I am called to speak in front of a crowd for various reasons. I still get pretty severe stage fright, but I’ve learned to overcome it through preparation. If I know what I’m going to say, am dressed the part and have practiced, I can exude confidence I don’t always feel.
4. Learn to Be Realistic
Often, confidence issues arise because our imaginations allow a future situation to become more dramatic than necessary. I work with a number of junior high girls, and this is obvious in their weekly discussions with me. Phrases like, “my world ended,” “it would crush me,” and “things will never be better again,” pepper the conversation.
The truth is, bad things happen. You might fail at something you try. However, your world is not likely to end because of it. Putting some things in perspective can help build your confidence for a task. When you are less worried about failing and more concerned about doing a good job, you might be surprised at the outcome.
5. Reach Out
Helping other people in little ways is a great way to build confidence. Make it a point to give at least two heartfelt and meaningful compliments every day. The boost in someone else’s confidence can provide a boost for yours. You may also get confidence through volunteer activities or a lending a hand to a friend.
What is coming up in your life that may require some increased confidence? What advice do you have to offer others about how to build self-confidence?