Confidence is a necessary ingredient to a happy, healthy life. Of course we all have our moments of self-doubt, which it totally normal. You have to know how to bring yourself up in those times, raise your self esteem and boost your confidence levels.
Even the most confident people on the outside have their insecurities on the inside. Putting my life in the public eye doesn’t come easily and it’s natural to want to hide my insecurities.
Whether it’s a networking event I’m heading to by myself or a party where I didn’t bring a date, there are always times when I’m unsure of what I’m walking into. Those situations always freak me out and I want to turn around and run. I don’t because oftentimes those are the best events, or the people there turn out to be great business contacts. If I ran, I’d never find out, so I always try my best to walk into a room with my head held high and at least appear to be confident. You know, the fake it ’til you make it effect. It really does work! There are a few simple tricks I’ve learned to instantly make me more sure of myself when I’m feeling down, so I’m sharing them below!
Easy Ways to Instantly Increase Confidence
- Identify the Culprit & Remove It
- Take a Social Media Break
- Take a Shower
- Look the Part
- Know the Power of Positive Thinking
- Go For a Run
1. Identify the Culprit & Remove It
First off, you should evaluate what is lowering your confidence levels in the first place. Is it internal or external? Is it something physical you can change, or is it a mindset that needs to be re-adjusted? When you understand what is causing this self-doubt, you can make strides to remove it from your life.
For example, I had bangs my entire life, literally. My mom always cut them when I was younger and I was convinced that my forehead would look weird without them. When I got to college, I was the only person I knew with bangs still and couldn’t let go of the feeling that I still looked like I was 10. When I finally grew them out it was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders, and I feel more confident in my ‘do, my hair now being one of my favorite features.
Another example is of a “friend” I made when I first moved to Dallas. Not knowing many people, I thought she was great always inviting me out and including me. It wasn’t long before I realized she only liked me there because she used me as her own confidence booster by putting me down every chance she got. I’d agonize over what outfit wouldn’t make her cringe, or what story to tell to not give her more ammunition to insult me? I removed her from my life and I’m way better off for it.
The mental culprits are more difficult because it’s more about changing your way of thinking than physically removing something from your life. It’s more about learning to love yourself and all that comes with it.
Purge your life of self doubt and the things that make it happen. If it’s that model on Instagram, unfollow. If it’s a “friend” who’s always putting you down, they aren’t a true friend, get ride of them. If it’s a relationship, cut ties. You are too important to let others feel better by putting you down. If it’s when someone gives you a questioning look about that 3rd (or 6th) piece of pizza, BYE FELICIA. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!
3. Take a Social Media Break
In all seriousness, other people and outside factors play a huge role in how we view ourselves. With social media, there are so many enviable people in the world showing you the best 2 seconds of their lives. It’s tough to remember as you scroll, but the truth is, that photo was staged, they probably climbed a mountain in heels and have blisters on their feet. Their instagram boyfriend might have taken hundreds of photos and she didn’t like any of them, so they re-did it all over again. That photo probably took hours out of their day between the capture, the choosing, and the edit, just to make you think that they had a perfect trip. Especially on social media, nothing is as it seems.
A social media break may be just the solution. Enjoy your moments without snapping a photo. Spend that extra 4+ hours a week learning a new language, or improving a hobby. I love social media, but it’s exhausting. To paraphrase a famous quote: Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s end. – Unknown.
Science has proven that smiling can instantly improve your mood. If you aren’t feeling happy or confident at first, smile, and it’ll come. It’s a fake it until you make it mentality that actually works! “Even forcing a fake smile can legitimately reduce stress and lower your heart rate,” says Dr. Sivan Finkel (source).
If you scroll though my Instagram (after that social media break) you’ll notice I smile in almost all of my photos. It’s not that I’m always having a great day, or that I want to seem happy all the time, it’s actually because I feel better when I do it. I learned in dance class a long time ago that if I smiled, I’d be more relaxed, the people watching me would be more pleasant, and overall like me better. It’s a trick that works in real life as well. It’s even one of Dale Carnegie’s tips in his famous book: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
4. Take A Shower
Seriously! Cleaning up and refreshing literally and figuratively will make you feel so much better! Of course you’ll know you smell good, but showering has benefits to make you feel better both mentally and physically.
A shower is not only physically cleansing, but it’s a symbol of starting fresh and new. Scrub away your insecurities and get out there (after you get dressed)!
5. Look the Part
This is another fake it until you make it piece, but it’s another one that works. They always say dress for the job you want, not the job you have, there is such merit to that statement because people notice when you look good. It’s something that has gotten me pretty far in life (of course you need the skill to back it up). For example, in college I’d interview with clothing companies. Anytime it was feasable, I would wear the company’s clothing to the interview. Frankly, it was more comfortable than my “interview suit” and it impressed the interviewers that I already knew and loved their brand.
Let’s talk about that interview suit though. I hated business clothes, so the second I put on a suit, my confidence levels plummeted. Not the feeling you want when you’re trying to be hired. So, I finally found a pair of suit pants that didn’t make me feel like I was wearing a diaper. I accessorized with my favorite necklaces and earrings. I wore my prettiest pumps, and I found a blazer that had leather trim. I dressed my “interview suit” up to my standards until I felt amazing in it. It took some effort, but I did it!
Now my version of looking the part can vary from working on straightening my teeth, or getting a spray tan. Yours could be to get a blow out, or paint your nails. There are tons of ways to look the part, you just have to find what makes you feel the best!
6. The Power of Positive Thinking
Your mindset controls your emotions. If you change your mindset, you can change what is making you feel insecure. Thinking positively and looking at the bright side of things helps because it makes you look for what good can come out of a situation, instead of evaluating the bad.
If you look at the bad, it’ll give you all of the reasons you should run and hide. Thinking of all of the positive outcomes will give you the reasons to move forward.
7. Go For a Run
“Exercise give you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t!”- Elle Woods, Legally Blonde. While I’m not sure about the second half of Elle’s statement, she was definitely onto something with the first part. When you exercise, endorphins are released that interact with the receptors in your brain and reduce pain. They give off a similar feeling as Morphine would. Regular exercise has been proven to increase self-esteem (WebMD).
Another article that examines a runner’s high explains that when you exercise regularly your body and mind learns to handle stress better (Daily Burn). Whether you are reducing stress or increasing self-esteem, both are good to help increase confidence.
The more confident I become, the better I feel like I’m doing in life, and the more challenges I feel like I can handle. It’s not that I can do more as a confident person, but I do know how to handle things better. By combining these tactics above I’ve been able to do tons of things that I didn’t think I could do previously. I’ve ran a marathon, I’ve started my own business, I quit my job, I started doing things and going places on my own. Something as simple as walking into a crowded room alone is so much easier since becoming more confident.
I hope that you too can gain more confidence and increase your self esteem with these tips! What has helped you become more confident? Tell me in the comments below!