Have you ever been around someone with amazing self-confidence? If so, you probably remember the person well.
Confident people are memorable. They exude charisma and a certain joie de vivre. Their energy is contagious and just being around them is empowering. They take the seemingly impossible and bring it within reach. And they make everything look easy.
Have you ever wondered how confident people get that way? Do you ever secretly wish you could bottle their confidence for yourself?
Research shows that confident people are more attractive by their peers, they have better jobs, are happier and more productive than their less confident counterparts.
Are they born that way? Contrary to popular belief, the answer is “no.” Like most other things in life, developing confidence is a practice. Although he makes it look easy, motivational speaker Tony Robbins says he practices his seminars for hours, and cites his daily habits as the strongest indicator of his success.
Take Tony’s advice and make developing confidence a non-negotiable part of your life. Here is a list of my 8 favorite confidence-boosting activities. Put one or more to work in your life starting today, and watch your confidence increase dramatically.
1. Do mirror work. Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you.” This may feel strange at first, but keep at it. After a few days, expand on this and say, “I love you. I accept you. You are beautiful.” Continue this daily and you’ll find your confidence building every day.
2. Use affirmations. Do these alone or add them into your morning mirror work for an extra boost. Examples of affirmations for confidence include things like, “I am gorgeous and everybody loves me,” “I am comfortable and calm in social situations” and “I feel at ease with groups of strangers.” Two years ago, I started doing 85 affirmations in front of the mirror every morning. It is the best use of 13 minutes in my day. My confidence and the woman I am today are almost unrecognizable from two years ago.
3. Visualize. Take time every day to close your eyes and visualize yourself as confident and at ease. Get detailed in this process and really imagine and feel what it would feel like if you were fully confident and self-assured every day. Picture yourself walking into the gym or the store with your head held high and shoulders back, making eye contact and smiling at everyone you pass.
4. Make yourself step outside your comfort zone. Commit to trying something new at least once a week. Start small and work upward. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you grow using this technique. For example, commit to smiling at a stranger this week. Once you feel comfortable doing this, commit to doing it twice a week, then three times a week. It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll light up when the person on the receiving end of your smile smiles back! You’ll also feel wonderful inside and out.
5. Practice radical self-love and self-acceptance. Take care of yourself every day and in every way you can. If you have difficulty spending time on yourself, start by creating a list of the things your ideal mate would do for you to shower you with love – and then do them for yourself. For instance, you could buy yourself flowers once a week, write yourself notes of encouragement and love, take excellent care of your body by exercising and eating healthy, spend time doing things you love and take time to rest every day. Practicing radical self-love is nurturing and leads to self-confidence.
6. Join Toastmasters or another public speaking group. Seventy-five percent of Americans are afraid of public speaking, yet it is one of the best ways to build confidence because it involves practice being in front of a crowd. Toastmasters, a 90-year-old international organization with 366,000 clubs worldwide, is an excellent means of building social and speaking skills in a safe, supportive environment. Every member goes through a 10-speech track, and every member remembers what it was like to do that first speech. Joining Toastmasters has personally helped me go from being terrified of public speaking to feeling confident and loving public speaking in only ix short months. Although there is a fee to join Toastmasters, it is usually nominal. Most clubs allow guests to visit a number of times for free. Visit Toastmasters on the web for more information and to find a club in your area.
7. Fake it ’til you make it. You don’t have to be confident to act that way. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself; the next time you’re feel self conscious, strike a “power pose”: put your shoulders back, stand up straight, and smile. Research shows holding a pose like this for 2 minutes actually tells your brain to feel confident and leads to feelings of empowerment. Find out more about striking power poses in Amy Cuddy’s fascinating, Ted Talk.
8. Add SEEs – Self Esteem-Enhancing activities – into your daily routine. One thing highly confident people do regularly is practice activities that build their self-esteem. SEEs, a concept I discuss in my upcoming book, Uplift: Amazingly Powerful Habits to Conquer Stress and Boost Happiness in 8 weeks, can be as simple as scheduling and attending wellness visits like the doctor and dentist, engaging in healthy habits like exercise and meditation, or choosing not to indulge the critical voice in your head. SEEs benefit people most when they are attainable and involve a stretch outside your comfort zone. Make the concept of SEEs go farther by tracking them in a daily log. Seeing a list of things you’ve done for yourself every day builds self worth and positive, powerful daily habits, which lead to greater health and happiness.
There you have it: 8 of my best tips for boosting your self-confidence. Which will you try today?