Whether you are looking for a new job or going on a first date, one of the most important characteristics that will stand you in good stead is your self-confidence. Increase your self-confidence with these tactics to help you through interviews, meetings, and more.
1. Stop saying “should”
Don’t make yourself feel guilty by thinking about the things that you should have done: if something is in the past, let it pass. Fretting over it will not improve your situation. Try using the word “could” instead of “should” for everything. This way, your actions become your choices, and you are empowered to make decisions. For instance, “I should mow the lawn,” becomes “I could mow the lawn,” which is a much more positive statement. Instead of allowing your tasks to hold power over you, take power for yourself by actively choosing how to spend your time.
2. Don’t focus on yourself
If you are stressed out in a public situation, consider how the other person must feel. Go out of your way to make the other person feel comfortable, or introduce two people who haven’t met. Set yourself small tasks. Just having a task to do will make you feel better.
If you are alone and feeling anxious, take a few deep breaths. You can try various techniques, from meditation to distraction to take your mind off of you.
3. Set realistic goals
Setting goals will help boost your self-confidence. You want to set goals that are attainable. Choose something that you can measure, rather than something that is hard to measure so this way you will have a way to chart your progress. For instance, rather than saying “I will become an expert on the Victorian period,” you could set yourself the task of reading the complete works of Jane Austen, or you could sign up for a course at the local university. Chart your progress. Keeping track of how you are doing will allow you to feel positive about yourself.
4. Surround yourself with positives
If there are things or places in your life that are bringing you down, avoid them. If there are people in your life who are constantly negative, it might be time to reconsider your friendship with these people. You want to surround yourself with people who are optimistic and caring, people who respect you and value you for who you are. It is easier to be self-confident when you know you have a network of supportive people around you.
5. Stop being critical
Stop comparing yourself to others with self-criticism. You will always find something that someone else is better at. You are an individual, and unlike anyone else, so comparisons are moot. Constant self-criticism can also turn into cattiness: to make yourself feel better you might point out flaws in other people. Choosing to focus on your positive traits and on other people’s positive traits will help you gain self-confidence.
6. Take the time you need
Take some time for yourself. Perhaps painting your nails or polishing your shoes will make you feel that much more empowered. Take the time to do small things that are often overlooked. This time you spend will help you gain confidence.
It is important to learn that you are worth making time for. You will never be able to adequately care for another person until you care for yourself, so take time to unwind and relax.
7. Think positively
If you find yourself thinking negative or critical thoughts, think “cancel” or “delete.” Your mind is like a computer, and you will be able to erase those negative thought patterns with practice. Then, once you have pointedly erased that negative thought, replace it with a positive one. If you were thinking “My thighs are too fat,” say, “cancel” and then, “My thighs are growing thinner every day” or “I love my body just the way I am.” Try saying these nice things to yourself in front of a mirror.
Write down your best traits, abilities, and skills on a piece of paper. Then when you are feeling down you can come back to this piece of paper to remember how wonderful you are. You can also write down five or ten things that you are grateful for each day. Remember how fortunate we are helps boost confidence because it helps surround us with the positivity that is required for true self-confidence.
Try visualization to help you with achieving your goals, and to help you think positively towards a sense of self-confidence.
8. Reprogram yourself
You might hold some beliefs which are limiting to you. It is time to take these negative thoughts and replace them with positives, as outlined in the previous point. Here are some thoughts you might need to re-think (literally!): “I can’t do that,” “I get scared easily,” “They don’t like me.”
Remember that even confident people get bummed out sometimes. Having occasional periods of anxiety is completely natural.
9. Fake it…and Smile!
If you don’t know how to truly be self-confident, then just pretend to be self-confident! Smile, too. Just the act of smiling will release endorphins to the brain, which will eventually make you happy. Acting confident will help build your confidence for when you truly are confident.
Remember: you are going to be fine. Start building your self-confidence today so that you can begin leading the lifestyle you deserve.