Nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to build up over time, and sometimes life can deflate it.
A request for a refund from a customer, a bad review or a negative comment from your boss can cause our self-confidence to dwindle. Well-meaning but sometimes unkind comments from those closest to us can also hit us hard.
On top of this, we have to deal with our inner critic of self-doubt that constantly tells us that we are not good enough. When bombarded by so many elements that threaten our self-confidence, we need to take charge of building it up for ourselves.
Today, I want to share 10 actionable ways you can build your self-confidence and love yourself, no matter what life throws at you!
10 ways to build your self-confidence.
Let’s start with a simple one. You would be surprised by how much your mood can lift by putting on your biggest, cheesiest grin. Research has shown that simply smiling can trick your brain into thinking you are happy, reducing stress levels and lowering your heart rate. So go on, give us a smile!
#2. Stand up tall.
Throw back your shoulders, straighten your back and lift your head up. In the same way that a smile can trick your brain into happiness, studies show that a powerful posture will increase your confidence levels, strengthen your decision making and even positively affect your hormones!
#3. Empowerment list.
Write down a list of all the things you love about yourself. No matter how big or small it is, write it down! It can be physical, mental, emotional, anything. In the same way that writing down a goal helps us to achieve that goal, writing down this list of empowering things cements them in our mind, and we are more likely to remember them in times of weakening state of mind and thus, build self-confidence.
#4. Dress to impress.
Dress like a Queen (or King)! For a few reasons - clothing is the primary instrument for forming the first impression; it can increase your perceived status among your peers; and dressing sharply will reinforce the idea that you deserve success and good treatment in your own mind.
So put on that dress you’ve been wanting to wear for so long, make that extra effort and feel yourself start to glow with self-confidence.
Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself that you are proud of, in your own mind. When we struggle with low self-confidence, we have a poor perception of ourselves that is often inaccurate. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.
#6. Dance around.
Make yourself a killer, high energy playlist on your phone and start dancing! Pop it on while you make your lunch, clean the house, while working out or in the car on the way to work. Build self-confidence by creating your own happy energy.
#7. Question your inner critic.
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 such as cognitive behavioural 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.
#8. Repeat an affirmation to yourself.
Find an affirmation that suits you and repeat it to yourself for 10 minutes every day.
“I am a confident and successful woman/man”
“I believe in my skills and abilities.”
“I am enough.”
It’s amazing what you can trick your brain into thinking! This works in the same way a smile and powerful posture does - if you repeat something or visualise something often enough, your brain will believe it.
#9. Help someone else.
Helping someone else often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you are able to make a difference for someone else.
Instead of focusing on your own weaknesses, volunteer to mentor, assist or teach another, and you'll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process.
#10. 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. Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs.
Start small, pick a few of these tips and just give it a go! We would love to hear which tips you will try, or have been doing already!