Self-confidence, broadly speaking, is a feeling of trust in your own abilities, qualities, and judgements. When this is high, we feel fantastic. When it’s low, it can be really hard to raise. Many of us get into a rut of low self-confidence, which feeds the negative cycle of undervaluing ourselves. A key part of avoiding this cycle is having positive reinforcement tactics that we practice daily.
We’d like to start by reiterating something we hope you already know and should tell yourself every day. You are worthy; you are skilled; you are talented; you deserve every success in the world.
We’ve rounded up a few easy ways to improve self-confidence. By repeating all (or some) of the following each day, they will become your ‘standard’ way of thinking and eventually turn into a habit. After (on average) approximately two months, a habit becomes automatic. Instilling self-confidence automatically, without even having to think about it, sounds good!
So, let’s go!
1 – The good, the good, the good
Don’t dwell on the things you can’t do. Instead, focus on your strengths and achievements. Make a habit of congratulating yourself. When something doesn’t go right, berating yourself about it will only make you feel worse. Avoid self-deprecation at all costs, because when you start saying negative things about yourself, others see this as permission to do so, too. Do. Not. Sweat. The. Bad. Stuff. Good vibes only. The more you radiate positivity about yourself, not only will your mood improve, but others will gravitate toward you, seeing you as a radiator of positivity.
This isn’t to say you can’t identify areas of yourself you’d like to improve. Notice them, note them down, and do one thing each week to work on them. Don’t dwell, though!
You can also apply this to other people. Always try to avoid negative expressions when discussing someone’s ideas or opinions. Respect fosters respect, which boosts confidence.
2 – Dress for … yourself
Does it make you feel good, powerful, chic, comfy? Then wear it. Does it make you feel frumpy, lumpy, unproductive, unpresentable? Then ditch it!
This is not a call to pop out and do a Trinny and Susannah on yourself. This is a call to make sure you’re feeling good in the things you wear every single day. An easy way to think about it is, would you happily go to the shops in it? And, if you saw a hunky piece of stuff strolling down aisle four, would you swagger past, or run and hide behind the cereal? If you feel positive on the outside, you’ll feel positive on the inside. Give yourself a little wardrobe love.
3 – No more croissants (we’re not talking about the tasty kind)
Standing or sitting, make sure you’re up straight and not slouched over a table or toward a screen. The average person now sits for over ten hours each day; that’s a lot of time slouching. When we put our shoulders back and down, we immediately assume a more powerful stance. Research has shown that sitting or standing in a position of strength can help shift inner feelings toward positivity and power. The Queen’s Guard doesn’t parade Buckingham Palace looking like a day-old croissant.
4 – Speak up
Whether that’s in meetings, a conversation with your friends, or the work party, speak more! Talking, sharing ideas, receiving feedback, and general social interaction all help improve mood. If you can do it face-to-face, or via video call, this helps more than voice-only, as seeing someone else’s reaction and emotions helps to engage in conversations.
5 – Make a plan and stick to it
Even if you only plan the next two hours, write your tasks down and get on with them. Nothing makes us feel worse than a lack of productivity or sense of achievement. If there’s something you really must do today, prioritise and get it done. You’ll feel good the minute it’s complete.
6 – Practice positive speech
‘Filler’ words such as “er,” “umm,” and “you know”, don’t reinforce feelings of self-worth. Speaking concisely conveys certainty, which makes you feel more confident within yourself and gives the same impression to others. Not sure what to say? Pause and consider your sentence first. Once you’ve taken a minute to think, the right words will roll off the tongue and there won’t be an “ummm” in sight. (This works even if you’re pre-menopausal or menopausal. We promise this makes the sentences better.)
Pick some of these, or all of them, and practice them day in, day out. Wear the clothes that make you feel good. Tell the lady in the supermarket you love her shoes. Tell yourself you love your shoes. Put your shoulders back. Stop self-deprecating, and trust in yourself.