Have you always thought that some people are just born self-confident? That confidence is an inherent trait that is bestowed upon some people and not others? Surprisingly, self-confidence comes not from some genetic gift, but as a result of learned behaviors, effort, and practice.
Anyone can learn specific strategies to build self-confidence. Some people put them to greater use, and therefore become more confident than others.
Confidence is something that can be learned and developed.
The more you work at confidence, the more you test it, the stronger it becomes.
People who are very self-confident have gotten that way through trial and error and plenty of practice. They recognize that confidence creates more confidence.
Most of all, confident people accept that they can continually teach themselves to be more confident through a variety of strategies and techniques.
If you would like to be more self-confident, here are some of the strategies you can use to develop this skill. Use one, some, or all, but most importantly – work at your self-confidence consistently.
Consistency is the key to success.
Like a muscle, self-confidence responds best to consistent exercise and builds over time.
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18 Ways to Improve Your Self-Confidence
Because we are all unique human beings, some strategies will be more effective than others for each of us.
Accept that there will be natural bumps along the way as you implement different ways of behaving and learn which are the best strategies that work for your unique self.
Remember, you will gain confidence with each success, so the more effort you make, the faster and stronger your confidence will become.
1. Strive for excellence instead of perfection.
The fact of the matter is that perfection is a rare occurrence. Consistent perfection in everything we do is just not possible.
Because perfection is generally unobtainable, aiming for it pretty much guarantees that we will never complete a task.
Does that mean we should all just give up and accept mediocrity? Absolutely not!
We should approach each endeavor with passion and a desire to create quality. Strive for excellence, finish the job, and move on. There is no shame in excellence that isn’t quite perfection!
2. Start the day right with a positive morning routine.
Accomplishing even a few small things in the morning guarantees that you have met with some success right away. It sets you up for a successful day.
Just knowing that you have completed some tasks first thing in the morning is something to feel good about, and will give you the confidence to achieve more throughout the day.
3. Use positive self-talk.
Think about some of the negative things you say to yourself (even if it’s just in your head.) Would you talk to your mother – your best friend – your daughter – that way? If that idea makes you cringe, then it’s a guarantee you should not be talking to yourself that way, either.
Speak to yourself in a kind and supportive manner.
4. Smile and look people in the eye.
Eye contact demonstrates confidence, and a smile radiates friendliness. Do these two things and you will automatically appear more confident.
Smiling and eye contact also create positive feelings in the receiver, so they will look at you in a more positive light as well.
5. Make time to do what you love.
We are all busy in our modern lives. And we spend a lot of time doing things for others or doing basic life activities (laundry, anyone?)
Is it selfish to take time for ourselves?
It is essential that we value ourselves enough to take time to do things that resonate with our hearts.
Plan for time to do the things you love.
Whether it’s designating every Tuesday as reading night, or joining a Sunday afternoon Tai Chi class, block time for you on your calendar.
You are worthy of this time – and understanding and honoring that worthiness will build confidence.
6. Take control. Live your life with purpose.
You can’t control everything in life, but it’s important that you be able to distinguish between things you can and cannot control.
You can work to find your purpose, and follow it up by doing things that are meaningful to you.
Dream big dreams, then figure out how to make those dreams come true. Create a plan. Fill it in with SMART goals. Start doing things today that will move you in the direction of your dream.
7. Accept compliments graciously.
This is a big one.
The last time someone gave you a compliment, did you push it off by saying, “oh, this old dress?” or “I didn’t really do that well” or something similar? Stop it!
People give compliments out of a sincere appreciation. Don’t insult them by implying that they are insincere or ingenuine in their compliments.
Learn to smile and say “thank you.” Then, be quiet. You do not need to add anything else.
Let the compliment sink into your soul. Appreciate the fact that someone else took the time and effort to notice something positive and good about you.
8. Give genuine compliments to others.
Confident people appreciate the contributions and goodness of others. They aren’t afraid to tell them and show that appreciation. They know that it’s wrong to cut someone else down in order to build themselves up and that breeds a false sense of confidence.
Building up another with encouragement and support will boost their confidence – and yours as well.
9. Know your strengths.
It’s good to recognize what you are good at and what special skills you have to offer. This doesn’t mean you are better than everyone else at certain things, but everyone shines in some areas and not so much in others.
Learn to identify your personal strengths.
Can’t think of any particular strengths?
Think about things that come the most naturally and effortlessly to you. Those are your strengths, and you may be surprised to realize that not everyone possesses those strengths. Some people can sing, some people can paint.
Natural ability seems so natural we forget that it’s something special.
10. Accept your imperfections.
Don’t beat yourself up over things you truly cannot do or control.
Focus on your positives, and learn to appreciate others who can do what you cannot – because, again, it’s the uniqueness that makes us special as people.
11. Choose to impress yourself instead of others.
We want others to like and accept us. People are social beings, after all. Ultimately, though, it’s far more important to like and accept ourselves.
You will never make everyone else happy – it’s just not possible.
But you should behave in a way that is true and honest to yourself.
What’s better, living a false life striving for approval that you may or may not receive, or living an authentic life in which you know and love yourself? Which of these scenarios do you think breeds more confidence?
12. Stand up for yourself, your rights, and your beliefs.
It’s human nature to want to belong to a group. This can have a powerful impact on our behavior – it’s why we follow the crowd sometimes, even when we know better.
It’s not necessary to argue every issue or act aggressively (although it may be necessary at times!) But no one has the right to make you feel small and unworthy. You were not put on this earth to be trampled on by others.
Standing up for yourself is a tremendous act of self-respect.
Giving yourself that respect will skyrocket your confidence level, because people will tend to treat you the way you treat yourself.
13. Choose to look on the sunny side.
Train your mind to look at the positives in life.
This does not mean you have to be happy, or pretend to be happy, all the time. But attitude is everything.
If you think you will fail, chances are good that you won’t try very hard, and then – you fail. If you think you will succeed, you will either succeed or learn what you need to do better the next time.
A rainy day is just that – a rainy day.
One person may see it as an opportunity to spend a cozy day at home. Another person can complain the whole day through. The rain remains the same – but the person who chooses positivity has certainly had the better day.
14. Engage in acts of kindness.
Studies have shown that the best way to boost confidence is to do something kind for someone else. You will feel helpful and appreciated and wanted and needed.
15. Learn to relax and refocus your mind.
Practice deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or other mindful activities to learn how to control your breath, which in turn controls your nervous system. When you take control of your physical responses, it becomes easier to also control your thoughts and emotions.
It’s hard to feel confident when you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
16. Learn how to leave your comfort zone.
Learning should be a lifelong activity. It activates previously quiet parts of your brain and stimulates the senses. Even so, it can be frightening to attempt new and unfamiliar activities.
Know yourself well enough to know how far out of your comfort zone to start…you may leap, or you may prefer gradual steps in. Honor yourself, but give yourself that push you need to try new things.
17. Fake it.
You’ll be surprised how much more confident you feel when you choose to simply behave as if you were fully confident! Sometimes you need to put a smile on your face, take a deep breath, and stride forward – even if you are scared to death. There are situations where your best attack is to fake it. You’ll feel more authentic as you become more comfortable.
18. Prepare ahead of time for unfamiliar experiences.
Unfamiliar situations can be frightening. When facing an uncomfortable situation, think about steps you can take to give yourself more control.
For example, if you are going to an event in which you must socialize with strangers, you can plan ahead in many ways in order to feel prepared for the event.
Read More About Confidence:
- 6 Myths About Confidence it’s Time to Stop Believing
- Shape The Life You Want With a Powerful Affirmation
- How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure
- 9 Ways to Instantly Appear Confident (Even When You’re Not)
- How to Use Affirmations: 5 Ideas for Beginners
Build your confidence with Becoming My Best Self, a 55 page journal of guided affirmations, with an additional 12 affirmation pages as a special bonus.
Final Thoughts on 18 Excellent Ways to Improve Your Self-Confidence
Now that you understand that confidence is within your control, what strategies will you start using to build yours up?
A good choice is to pick the ones that are easiest and most comfortable at first – these early successes will pump up your confidence muscle and encourage you to try something a little more challenging as you move forward.
Get started with any of the strategies discussed here, and soon you will come up with additional ways to build your confidence!
True, lasting self-confidence is within your grasp.