We all know those individuals who seem to ooze self-confidence out of their pores as they go about their day with a can-do attitude. How many times have you looked at someone with this desirable trait, and thought to yourself: I wish I had their confidence? Well, the good news is, you can have confidence because contrary to popular belief, it is not something you are born with. It is something you cultivate.
Here are ten effective tips to help you develop the confidence you want so that you can live a more fulfilling life.
1. Identify Your Greatest Need
A key step in becoming more confident is in determining what drives you and your decision-making processes. We all have needs, but some are more significant than others at a particular given time. An American psychologist called Abraham Maslow devised his hierarchy of needs theory in 1943 which emphasizes human needs that dictate our behavior. These needs include physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs. In this theory, safety needs don’t just include protection from theft or violence. This category also includes health and financial security needs.
Life coach, Tony Robbins also developed a list of six needs that are important to us all. These are significance, certainty, growth, love/connection, variety, and contribution.
- Significance – the need to have meaning in your life. Also, the need to be important, loved and wanted.
- Certainty – the need for consistency, safety, and security.
- Growth – the human need for spiritual, emotional, and intellectual development.
- Love/Connection – the need to be loved by other human beings. Also, the need for connection, communication, and attachment.
- Variety – the need for challenges and excitement.
- Contribution – the need to contribute to the wider community by giving, caring, and serving others.
Use Robbins’ list to determine your top need and think about how it affects your confidence currently. This will help you to identify the need that you need to meet to feel better about yourself.
2. Change Your State
When was the last time you felt really good about yourself? Think carefully about this. It might have been a day where you felt calm and self-assured. A day where you said and did all the right things by your own standards. Can you remember waking up that morning and doing something differently? Perhaps you felt positive about something happening in your life at the time. Maybe you did well in an exam, were given a promotion at work, or achieved some other accomplishment. It doesn’t matter whether it was big or small. What is significant, however, is that you felt better about yourself and what you could achieve. This is the state that you want to harness and you can get yourself into a positive can-do state by doing the following.
Develop an Empowering Morning Routine
Self-help guru, Tony Robbins, has worked with many successful people over the years, and he found that one of the things that lots of them have in common is an empowering routine. This is more effective if you start your day positively. You can do this by meditating, practicing gratitude, exercising, or eating a nutritious breakfast. What is the best way you can start your day?
Five Minute Confidence Booster
Hypnotist and mind expert, Paul Mckenna suggests a method you can use to bolster your self-confidence quickly. Here’s the technique:
- Start by holding your head high while letting your spine support you. While doing this ensure that you feel comfortable and relaxed. Now imagine that a golden thread runs up your spine and all the way up to the sky. You are supported by this thread as it increases your confidence stance.
- Now, remember a time when you felt confident and relive it.
- As you revisit this time in your mind, make the colors bright and vivid.
- Then focus on this positive memory for a little while.
- Finally, focus on the area of your body where you feel the confidence most. Now, give this feeling a color and in your mind’s eye move it all the way up to your head and down to your toes.
How do you feel now? You could include this activity into your morning routine to help you change your mental state and cultivate a positive mindset.
3. Enhance Your Body Language
One of the quickest ways to feel more confident is to enhance your body language. How are you sitting or standing at the moment? Are your shoulders hunched? If they are, gently square your shoulders as you relax into an upright position. Ensure that your head is up and that your body language is open. How do you feel now? Here are some other tips you can try to display a confident self-image.
Make Eye Contact
Make eye contact with people when you are speaking with them. This signals to others that you are comfortable and interested in what they have to say. Aim to maintain eye contact for around 60 percent of the time. Although, if you find this a little intimidating at first, look at an area close to their eyes and then glance back and forth accordingly.
Slow Your Movements
If you usually find yourself walking and talking quickly, try to slow down a little. You will most likely find that you feel calmer and more confident as a result. Walking and talking fast can make you appear anxious.
Try Not to Fidget
If you’re prone to fidget, practice standing and posing confidently in the mirror. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, observe someone who is confident. Watch how they walk, talk, and how they carry themselves generally. Then mimic what you see.
By making a few small changes to your body language you will notice that you start to feel better about yourself. This is because of the body-mind connection. As you grow in confidence and project it into the world, you will notice how people start to treat you with more respect.
4. Cultivate a Growth Mindset
What is your objective? Sure you want to be more confident and succeed in life, but what is driving you right now. Once you attain the level of confidence you are looking for, what then? You want to achieve at least one goal, right? So start focusing on it right now if you haven’t already. You can get that career you want. You can travel the world (after lockdown, anyway), and achieve whatever your heart desires. All you need is self-belief and a plan to make it possible.
5. Practice Positivity
When you find yourself thinking about a new situation and worrying about all the things that could go wrong, instead switch this around by thinking of all the things that could go right. Think about doing well in your job interview or presentation, for instance. In fact, imagine it. See yourself walking confidently into the interview room and smiling then giving the interviewer a firm handshake. Also, think of the questions that you will be asked so that you can rehearse your answers. Once you start to replace negative and worrying thoughts with positive ones, you will see a shift in how you feel about life. What’s more, you will feel better able to manage these situations confidently.
6. Take Charge of your Inner Voice
What does your inner voice sound like? Many people who lack confidence are hard on themselves. Every time you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself in some way, stop and replace that thought with something that you like about yourself. Thoughts are powerful. When your internal monologue is critical, it affects your emotions and leaves you feeling inadequate. However, when you take charge of your inner voice and treat yourself like you would a best friend, you’re giving yourself the oxygen that you need to grow and develop into your best self.
7. Learn Something New
Learning doesn’t end when you finish school or university; learning is a life-long process. By learning a language, or how to play a musical instrument or any other skill you are giving yourself the opportunity to grow in confidence. If you decide to learn a skill be realistic about what you hope to achieve in a set period of time. If you want to learn Spanish then aim to be able to speak it well enough to get by on a vacation in say six months to a year. By giving yourself realistic targets, you are setting yourself up to succeed rather than giving yourself elaborate goals that would most likely be too difficult to accomplish.
8. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Many people who carry a lot of self-doubts compare themselves to others. The problem with this is that people often compare themselves to others who they perceive as doing much better than they are in life. Social media doesn’t help with this. Facebook and Instagram are full of images of people portraying their own ideals of a good life. Any keen observer will often feel that their life is far less interesting or successful than the people that they follow on these platforms. However, just know that this is an example of people putting their best ‘life’ forward.
The only person you should ever compare yourself to is no one other than yourself. Think about it. No one has walked in your shoes and understands what it is like to be you. You are unique, so only compare your past self with your present self and take it from there.
If you don’t exercise or haven’t done any in a while then now is a good time to start. It can help you to feel better about yourself and you’ll know that you’re doing something positive for your health and your confidence. It’s best to start off small when you’re not used to it and build from there. Set yourself small attainable goals such as jogging around the block or riding a bike for fifteen minutes. When you give yourself realistic goals you are more likely to achieve them and then this gives you the motivation to keep going. You will also feel better about trying new things which will help to boost your confidence.
10. Remove Limitations
According to self-development expert, Brian Tracy, building self-confidence is critical because it is a key factor in everything that a person accomplishes. He recommends identifying what he calls ‘your limiting step’ before you embark on attaining a goal. This limiting step is the one factor that will determine if you achieve your goal at all, and if you do, how long it will take you to accomplish it. Tracy notes that if you eliminate your limiting step you will overcome your main obstacle and this will enable you to feel more confident in your own abilities to attain your goals.
So, what is your limiting step? Identify it. Write it down and then devise some solutions to overcome this block in the road to your success.
Developing self-confidence is a process so it will take some time, but with the right attitude and application, you can become confident and achieve your life goals.