As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Confidence is the ability to do something that should embarrass you with a smile. It’s the ability to hold your head high and feel pride in yourself and your accomplishments without overestimating what’s realistic. It’s the ability to see the things you’ve overcome and be proud of them and the skill of being able to hold yourself when you walk into a room with strangers.
Confidence is all the big things and all the small things. It’s making conversation with a stranger, wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable, dancing like nobody’s watching (even when they all ARE watching) and living your best life. Confidence makes life a joy. It makes you feel a hundred feet tall.
Remember the last time you felt confident? Was it after a haircut or receiving a compliment? It’s the feeling of walking around and shining, transferring that happiness to everyone you see. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel this way all the time? Well, you can. There are a few habits that will make confidence your default mode! Ready…walk with your head held high!
Start where you are
Where are you right now? Where have you been and how did you get there? Think about where you were 365 days ago. How have things changed? It’s important to not let yourself get too caught up with the changes of your life and desensitized to them. But don’t. Start with a list of things that have changed between now and one year ago.
Chances are, so much has changed, you have made so many steps that you probably thought you wouldn’t. Even if it’s nothing big, those small steps towards a better future need to be acknowledged too. Start a confidence list, every week write down the things that you need to celebrate, the reasons you have to be confident in yourself and your abilities. You’ll soon feel a lot more confident in who you are and what you can achieve.
Set small goals
Having one big goal to achieve will NOT help your confidence levels. I repeat…SET SMALL GOALS. The bigger the goal, the bigger the chance of failure. And that will not help your confidence levels at all. It sounds great to aim for the sky and set yourself ambitious goals but if you don’t break them down into small manageable bites you are never going to achieve them.
Break that big goal down into daily steps. One step a day towards your goal. If you want to write a novel, start with 30 minutes of writing a day. If you want to get your dream job, do some research and make an action plan. Give yourself deadlines, that’s the only way you’re going to reach your goals AND be confident in your ability to do so.
Work on your body language
Confident people have confident body language. Whether you know it or not there are small giveaways that you are not feeling confident in yourself. Playing with your hair, tugging at the thread on your sleeve, even touching your hands, these are all subtle reminders that you aren’t confident. The way you sit can convey confidence, too. Straight-backed, open body language is confident. The less space you take up, the less confident you’re feeling.
You need to work on conveying this with your body. Practice by putting your headphones in and turning to a song that makes you feel on top of the world. Walk around while you listen to this song, and make a note of how different you feel. You want this feeling to stay with you even when you’re not blasting positive music into your ears. Every time you notice your body language, try to change it. Sit up straight, stand tall, eventually, it will become second nature.
Transform your body
Your confidence will skyrocket the fitter you become. That’s a fact. Not because of any physical changes, although that is a bonus, but because you finally have a test of how strong your body actually is. The more you put it through, the harder the workout, the more confident you’ll feel. You’ll be amazed that you could get through such a tough workout and still feel OK.
Your body is strong, and it’ll get stronger every day, this alone will make you feel a huge boost of confidence that you wouldn’t have felt otherwise. Plus, the endorphins you’ll release will make you feel like you’re winning at life (which always helps with confidence levels!).
Here are a few more habits you can adopt to boost your confidence by a million!
Question your inner critic.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay
Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with low self-confidence, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate.
Strategies like cognitive behavioral therapy help you to question your inner critic, and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”
Find opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes. As Mark Twain said, “[A] man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
Every time you have negative thought, replace it with 2 good ones.
Two steps forward, one step back. Although this may seem like a slow way to make progress, you are still making progress. For every negative thought you have about yourself, make sure you think of 2 good ones. When the good outweighs the bad, the good will always win.
Care for yourself.
“Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer
Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical health, emotional health and social health. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or constantly have low energy.
Make time to cultivate great exercise, eating and sleep habits. In addition, dress the way you want to feel. You have heard the saying that “clothes make the man.” Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs.
Write down your worries.
Many people have a diary or a small journal. It doesn’t have to be something fancy. So long as you’re writing down your worries and concerns, it can help. Getting those feelings down on paper where they’re visible for you to see can not only help you process them, but it gives you another perspective and you can see that you’re being unreasonable with certain worries about yourself.
Find a reason to smile about yourself.
If you smile about something that you do or say or even just something that you found you liked about yourself, you are one step closer to boosting your self-confidence. Every single day, I make a point to find a reason to smile about myself and it has helped with my self-esteem a ton!
See your failures as lessons, instead.
Don’t look at something you failed at and get yourself down. I don’t succeed at everything I do by any means. That being said, I don’t sit and wallow about those failures either. Instead, I look at them as a lesson I can learn from. I look at them as something that makes me better than I was before.
Remember that there is NO ONE else like you.
People forget that they’re one of a kind. Being unique and rare and truly unlike anyone else should be enough to make you feel incredible about yourself. There is nobody else out there who is everything you are. Be happy with yourself – the great things and the flaws. Because without a combination of those, you aren’t you.
Everyone deserves to have incredible self-confidence. If you struggled with this from time to time like me, these daily habits will definitely help boost your self-esteem for good and help you see just how incredible you really are.