Who doesn’t want to be confident? It’s such a good feeling when you like yourself and can express yourself freely and authentically. This article will provide you with practical tips to increase your confidence.
Personally, I haven’t always been as confident as I am today. When I was a little girl, I was super shy and the tiniest social interactions gave me anxiety and made me feel insecure. It was anything from talking to strangers to asking for the bathroom.
It held me back in so many different ways that I decided to become confident and YES, it really was a decision. The pain of staying the same was higher than getting out of my comfort zone and making a change. I went abroad and kind of forced myself to talk to people I didn’t know before. I deliberately use the word “force” because doing things for the first time will always be uncomfortable. This ideal that you change your mindset and everything will be easy, does not apply from my experience. There is no problem with feeling scared and insecure at first, in fact, it’s just human nature. So if you think you’re the only one, remember that there are millions of other people who deal with the same issue.
It’s just that limiting beliefs and fears are one of those topics you don’t casually talk about in society. Plus, once you took the leap of faith, things don’t seem as daunting anymore and looking back, you will wonder why you were even making such a big deal out of it in the first place. It really gets easier and easier with practice. Confidence is like a muscle you can train. So here are 7 eye-opening ways you can use to increase your confidence.
7 Eye-Opening Ways To Increase Your Confidence
1. Do something that is outside of your comfort zone every day
I think when you want to increase your confidence, the most counter-productive thing is to force yourself to go from level 0 to 100. If you fear approaching people and talking to strangers, it can be super intimidating to make your goal talking to every other person around you. It’’s so much easier to set small goals and take baby steps towards it. With the given example, you take the following steps:
- Look others into the eyes
- Smile at them
- Talk to them/ask them something
2. Make a promise to yourself and keep it
I think true confidence and most importantly, self-respect is built when you keep the promises you make to yourself. I’m not sure if you ever thought about this but how often do you disappoint yourself?
How many times did you tell yourself that you will start working out everyday but didn’t follow through? How many times did you tell yourself you would wake up at 6am but never did it once?
Conversely, how often do you disappoint others? I’d guess that you probably almost always keep the promises you make to other people. When your boss calls, you immediately drive to work, when somebody needs your help, you show up, when you decide to meet your friends at 8pm, you’ll be there at 8. The problem is that you basically always put others first. Start keeping the promises you make to yourself a priority and work on that. After all, you’re the most important person in your life and you’ll be so proud once you stop disappointing yourself on a daily basis.
3. Follow your own advice
Another way to increase your confidence is to start following your own advice. Stop asking other people for their opinions so much. Always needing approval instead of just giving yourself the permission to do something, is actually a sign of insecurity. Seeking advice is generally awesome and in most cases beneficial, but it depends where you’re coming from. If it’s due to a lack of confidence and you need someone’s approval, it’s definitely not healthy. From my experience, every time I listened too much to other people, I ended up making decisions that didn’t work for me. Take your own advice and ask yourself questions. You’re the one person who knows you better than everyone else. Ask yourself the following questions:
“What do I want?” “What is it that makes my heart jump because it makes me so happy?” “What is my intuition telling me?”
And then act accordingly. That’s what confident people do. They don’t need other people’s permission and just give themselves the permission to pursue their dreams. It will also draw people to you because it’s always inspiring to see people who are confident and happy with who they are and what they’re doing.
4. Stand tall and smile
When wanting to increase your confidence, it’s crucial to know that body language matters a lot more than you would guess! We often don’t pay as much attention to it in everyday life but it contributes to how you’re perceived by others and to how you feel about yourself This may sound crazy but even if you don’t feel confident, standing in a posture of confidence can already make you feel a lot more confident. So take your time during the day to become conscious of your body language. Do you make yourself small, are you hunching or wrapping yourself up? Stand tall, smile and maintain eye contact.
Ted Talk Video: Your body language may shape who you are
5. Let go of negativity
Have you ever noticed that confident and positive people don’t spread as much negativity? They always look on the bright side of life. The good news is, everybody can learn to do that. It’s just like a muscle you can train. The way you talk about yourself and others matters a lot. When you always tell yourself “It’s not possible for me”, “I’m not good at this” or “I’m going to fail”, it’s pretty likely that you will get that back in return. Your thoughts create your reality and you’re the one who is in charge of your thoughts. One practice that has helped me a lot to observe rather than react, is meditation. I recommend starting small but being consistent with it, 5-10 minutes every day. It will get easier and easier over time and the benefits are amazing.
6. Stop complaining
If you want to increase your confidence, one of the bad habits to get rid of is definitely complaining. To a certain extent, we all are complaining. However, if we’re really honest with ourselves, complaining doesn’t change anything and creates negative thoughts. If you find yourself being unhappy about something, try to change it right away or tackle it as soon as possible. Also, become more mindful of it and try to catch yourself when you’re complaining. Awareness and mindfulness always come before transformation. It’s also helpful to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. Unfortunately, misery attracts company. So usually when somebody starts complaining, most people follow. Be the conscious and confident person who is able to see things from a neutral perspective.
7. Stop caring so much what other people think of you
I think this is one of the things that holds people back the most from being their most confident and authentic self is the judgement of other people. I know that “stop caring so much what other people think of you” is easier said than done but this mindset shift might help you.
Why do you value the opinion of other people so much when they don’t even fully know yourself? Not even your partner or your parents fully know yourself. The only person who has all the context is you. So why do you let somebody’s comment or opinion affect you so much when they don’t even know who you are inside. Not caring so much about what other people think is also something you can train.
From my personal experience, I can tell you that it’s the best feeling when you just do what YOU want and it’s quiet in your head. All these voices of other people of what you should or shouldn’t do just distract you from your authentic path.
I wrote a whole blogpost on this topic – 10 Ways To Stop Caring So Much About What Other People Think
Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear – George Addair
I hope these hacks to increase your confidence will inspire you to make a change. I have made a 180 degree shift from being shy to becoming confident, so I know that you can do it! Set small goals and follow through with them, do things despite the fear, follow your own advice and do something everyday, that gets you out of your comfort zone. Most importantly, stop overthinking and start taking action! Once you take action, you will be so incredibly proud of yourself and get more and more confident from there. Also remember, that there’s actually no reason for you not to be confident:
- You make the world a better place by being in it
- You are special and you are loved
- You are truly making a difference, even if you can’t see it
- Being you is your superpower
- You can achieve anything you set your mind to
- You are strong, smart and beautiful
I believe in you and I’m sending you so much love,
Q: What activities make you feel confident?