When I was younger, and as far as I can go back with my memory, everyone called me shy. And I considered myself a shy person for the longest time too.
I used to be the kind of person that wouldn’t speak unless I was directly spoken to. And when I spoke, my voice could barely be heard.
I always felt like I had nothing valuable to bring to the table. And even though I was the perfect child and brilliant student, my self-esteem was down to the floor.
I am now confident and self-assured and, I can tell you it’s been a long journey.
Confidence and self-esteem are like a muscle that you need to train every day, but no worries, I have some tips that worked for me and that will help you for sure.
I am a firm believer in small actions that, when accumulated, lead to great results.
That’s why in this article you will find small, easy, fun ways to instantly boost your self-esteem, but which also do add up to build your confidence in the long run.
1- Positive affirmations:
No, it’s not just some New Age woo-woo thing. Positive affirmations are backed by scientific research and, they actually work.
“I can’t do that.” “That’s too hard for me.” “I’m really not good around people.” “I wish I was as beautiful/rich/intelligent as them.”
Does this sound familiar? Chances are these thoughts cross your mind on a daily basis. Maybe you even say them out loud.
Whether you really believe those negative thoughts or you say them as a joke, they do have an effect on your subconscious and they are undermining your confidence. So, let’s replace them with some positive affirmations.
I highly suggest you create your own set of affirmations based on what you need.
Choose three qualities that you want to develop in yourself and turn them into affirmations. Be as specific as possible and make sure it is a positive affirmation (i.e.: there is no negation in them). Here are some examples of what it might look like:
“I am an excellent writer.” “I wake up each morning full of energy and motivation.” “I am becoming more confident every day.” “My opinion is important and needs to be heard.”
I highly believe that small consistent steps are better than big inconsistent leaps.
That’s why I suggest you start with just three affirmations that you say every day right after you wake up, in the shower, while getting dressed, or at any time you remember really. You can even set reminders on your phone.
Another tip that will take your affirmations to the next level is to involve your senses. Write the affirmations down, say them out loud, and/or snap your fingers while saying them to create a kinesthetic cue.
The goal here is to convey the message to your subconscious in many different ways to help it stick.
2- Get out of your comfort zone:
There goes another tip that everybody repeats everywhere but what does it even mean?
Do I have to go skydiving to become more confident? Not necessarily. Although if the opportunity presents itself then why not!
But getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be extreme. It’s all about doing what you usually don’t do and trying new things.
If you’re uncomfortable speaking on the phone and you do it, then you got out of your comfort zone. If you take a different road to get to work, then you got out of your comfort zone too.
The point here is to do something new and different in order to build your confidence.
At first, you’ll feel so uncomfortable and you’ll probably start wondering “Why am I even doing this?” But the more you get out of your comfort zone and realize: “this is actually doable!”, the more confident you’ll be in trying new things and even conquering your fears.
The way to go about this is to determine what are the things that make you slightly uncomfortable and start doing them.
You don’t want to start with something so out of your comfort zone that it causes you severe anxiety.
You want to start with the little things that are achievable and then build your way up to more challenging tasks.
Hate public speaking? Try speaking in front of a small group of people.
The idea of working out makes you want to cry? Do one minute of jumping jacks.
Can’t imagine being able to travel on your own? Start by exploring somewhere new in your city on your own!
These may seem like insignificant actions but trust me, they do add up and help you build more confidence to tackle bigger things.
As I mentioned earlier, small consistent steps are better than big inconsistent leaps.
3- Look your best:
Quite superficial but does work.
We all have that item of clothing, accessory, or make-up product that makes us feel great. So, why not use it to our advantage?
Even when my confidence was at its lowest, I found that getting dressed up and looking my best helped me feel good about myself and naturally increased my self-esteem.
Just think that every time you look in the mirror, you’re more likely to smile and think something positive about yourself.
In reality, this tip isn’t just about looks, it’s also about taking control of the things you can control.
It’s about telling your mind that you are a badass, confident babe because you are dressed like one.
Looking your best will also change the way people see you and treat you! It is superficial but it’s true.
Try this little social experiment:
Go to a store in your sweatpants and see how you are treated and how people look at you, then change your clothes and go to the same store looking like you’re going somewhere better later.
I promise you the way you’ll be approached and treated will be different. And while that might not magically make you a confident person, it does boost your self-esteem and gives your ego a little push.
4- Power poses:
Having an important Zoom meeting in 5 minutes? A job interview? Or maybe a school presentation? But you’re feeling stressed about it?
Power poses are the way to go.
Did you know that your body language can actually affect the way you’re feeling?
Having a good posture is always a good idea, but power poses take it to the next level.
When you’re sitting with your arms crossed, your back hunched, and your head low, you are negatively affecting your level of confidence.
But when your body is open, your back is straight, and your arms are by your side or above your head, then your confidence is affected positively.
That’s why when you adopt one of the power poses for as little as 2 minutes, your stress level goes down, and your confidence increases.
The most popular power pose -and my favorite- is the Wonder Woman pose where you stand with your hands on your hips while keeping your back straight and your head high.
You can see some other examples of power poses below, choose your favorite and do it whenever you need a confidence boost. It works like magic!
Now it’s your turn to start practicing the confidence tips I shared with you in this article and watch yourself grow into the radiantly confident person you were meant to be.
Which tip will try first? Let me know!
Cover photo by Guillaume de Germain via Unsplash.