- Remember: Everybody struggles from time to time
Even the most self-assured person on the planet has days where they don’t feel so self-confident. So, don’t be fooled by how people around you portray themselves on the outside – they might very well be a mess on the inside. Keep this in mind the next time you find yourself doubting yourself. You’re not alone. We all go through this. Some of us are just a bit more experienced in not letting it show.
- Gain new experiences
Our self-confidence is the result of all our life experiences so far. By gaining experiences and learning things, we train our minds to adapt to new situations and become more resilient and self-confident in the process. In order to do so we need to step out of our comfort zone from time to time, no matter how terrifying it might seem at first. The memories you’ll create in the end are priceless.Take a trip by yourself to somewhere you’ve never been, take up a new hobby, try a new restaurant or bar instead of always going to the same places or read a book you would not normally pick. The possibilities are countless. It only depends on you and how “hungry” you are of what the world has to offer.By putting yourself out there and facing new challenges and situations, you’ll develop an inner strength and become stronger and stronger in the process. You’ll learn to rely on yourself. Through these experiences, you are creating memories for the years to come, to look back on and to learn from.Every life experience leaves us with something and that something is what our self-confidence is built on. By simply staying home all day, watching TV and eating chips we are not stepping out of our comfort zone and we are certainly not living new experiences and making memories. And I don’t know about you but “couch potatoes” don’t usually strike me as self-confident people.Get out there and never ever stop learning new things and exploring new situations.Granted, we can’t just take off and go on a trip whenever we please. Start small instead, that’s just as well: Enroll in a new class, learn a new language or simply start a conversation with the stranger sitting next to you on the bus (you never know what interesting things that person might have to say).
Experience life to its fullest and take something with you out of every encounter and new situation you find yourself in. At the end of the day you’ll be able to pat yourself on the shoulder and tell yourself:”well done, I mastered that as well.”
- Compliment people
This is my favorite step and it always works wonders with boosting my self-confidence. Paying people (even random strangers) genuine and sincere compliments not only benefits the receiver but the one making them as well. If you notice something positive about the people around you (e.g. they are wearing a very stylish coat or have a beautiful smile or they said something really smart/ funny) tell them to their face, instead of just thinking it to yourself. It may take a bit of practice but the proud, grateful and happy smiles you’ll receive in return are so worth it. It’s quite simple and very effective.Do this once a day and I’ll guarantee, you’ll be floating on a little “high” for the next hours to come. If the person you payed a compliment to happens to react in a weird way, then that’s their problem, not yours.If you feel like paying compliments to people you don’t know is not for you, try smiling at people instead. It will brighten their day and yours as well. Smiles attract smiles in return and a positive attitude attracts positive things. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.
- Regular physical exercise is key
If you have read my previous posts, you will have noticed that I am bit of an exercise advocate, I admit. Working out gives me a sense of empowerment. I feel almost “invincible” after a good workout session and seeing how my body and mind react to exercise by becoming stronger and fitter, satisfies and fulfills me.I encourage you to find the exercise regime that works best for you by trying out new activities – whether it be Pilates, volleyball or something else – and to carry them out regularly. It took me a while to figure out what worked best for me, but I am glad I kept trying until I found “my calling” in group fitness courses (specifically BODYCOMBAT and Zumba). My self-confidence has improved significantly since I first started out.Through exercise you connect with your body on a whole different level. You’ll be amazed at what your body can achieve – and before you know it you’ll have yourself setting goals like running half a marathon or similar. It can be incredibly empowering.Your mind and your body are a team. When both are in complete sync with each other, that’s when you are your true self and nobody and nothing can knock you down.
- Eat well
To put it bluntly: “When you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap”. Nutrition has a huge impact on our mood and the way we feel about ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you should become a vegan or go completely paleo (unless that works for you, then fine). Simply be mindful of what you feed your body and try to incorporate as many healthy foods as possible in your diet.Avoiding processed foods and sugar sounds so cliché but I found it made a huge difference in my life and my overall well-being as soon as I started limiting the intake of these foods. I still enjoy the occasional piece of cake or chocolate, but I make sure not to overdo it. Little side note: Sugar (found in sweets, alcohol and candy) binds water and results in water retention, leaving you feeling puffy and bloated the next day. Needless to say, this does nothing for your self-confidence.Try limiting your sugar intake and you’ll see a difference. My body thanked me with visible improvements such as clearer skin, stronger hair and nails and a better mood with less mood swings. This has contributed significantly to building my self-confidence.
- Take care of your soul and indulge yourself
Treat yourself as if you were your best friend and do something nice for yourself every day. For example, go ahead and buy that pair of shoes if they make you feel sexy; treat yourself to that muffin; listen to your favorite song first thing when you get up in the morning; have a home-spa-day with a bubble bath, candles, face-mask and a glass of champagne. Whatever rocks your boat.My trip to Starbucks for my favorite Chai tea latte is my special treat to myself every Wednesday. That way I have something to look forward to every week. Recently, I also started buying myself flowers (I got that idea from the internet), thinking ahead about what kind of flowers and what color theme I want to go for. Listen to yourself and if you feel like doing something and can make it happen, then go for it.Knowing you believe in yourself and that you are your greatest supporter and friend is extremely important for your self-confidence. You know you can always rely on yourself to treat you the way you deserve.
- “Fake it until you make it”
That’s right, we’ve all heard this one before, haven’t we? And we all know it’s true. Trick your mind into believing something by acting that way. I’ve tried this strategy numerous times – especially when I had to do presentations at work or speak in front of an audience. It has always worked for me.One thing I have learned over time is, just because I feel insecure on the inside, doesn’t mean it shows on the outside. Often enough we feel self-conscious and think that everybody around us can notice. The truth is, hardly anybody notices, because everybody is preoccupied with themselves. So, unless you tell them how nervous and insecure you feel, they won’t have a clue.Keep that up and put up a little act. Think Meryl Streep in the movie “The Devil wears Prada” or Harvey Specter from the series “Suits”. Try to imitate TV characters from movies or people you consider really self-confident. Ask yourself, how they would handle that specific situation and act the part.