More confidence anyone? Me please! And who wouldn’t want more confidence, after all, being super confident has loads of great benefits. You’re admired by all because you make things look effortless, not to mention, confident people inspire confidence in others.
When you feel confident, you feel capable of achieving anything you want, and you go for the things you want more often, which puts you in the position to get more of what you want, because instead of being frozen in fear and self doubt, the two great enemies of success, you go for it.
Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with souring levels of confidence so, if you find yourself wishing you had more of the good stuff, here are some of our favourite tips that will give you a much needed confidence boost.
1.Dress The Part
Making an effort to look your best can make you feel good, but there’s more to what you wear than you might think.
Firstly, and most importantly, if you’re after a confidence boost, it’s important that you wear clothes that make you feel good inside. When you look at yourself in the mirror you should like what you see, you should be dressing to impress yourself first and foremost because if you feel great inside, you’re more likely to show confidence on the outside.
But that’s not all. Studies have shown that what you wear can in fact affect your performance both mentally and physically, so if you want to do a great job at the office, paying attention to what you wear might not be such a bad idea, and performing well can only increase your confidence.
That’s not to say you need to be wearing a formal suite to be perceived as strong and confident. Studies have also shown that wearing something unexpected in any given situation ( like a red dress when everyone else is in black), can in fact make you appear more powerful and actually increases your perceived status ( as long as people think this deviation from the norm is intentional) , because we tend to think only people with power and self-confidence would do this. Scientists have called this the red sneaker effect.
2. Set and Achieve Small Goals As Well As Challenging and Attainable Goals
Our confidence is linked to our perception about how capable we are of doing things and achieving goals. Make the most of this connection and feed your confidence by setting yourself small,attainable goals. The more you achieve, the more you’ll feel capable of achieving which in turn will increase your confidence.
Don’t underestimate the power of the small things, after all, we can only achieve big things by doing all the little things along the way.
Along with the smaller goals, also set yourself more stretching goals, but make sure that these are attainable because setting goals that are unrealistic and unattainable will only undermine your confidence further. More on goal letting here.
3. Challenge Yourself
Fear is just part of life and it exists in that place outside your comfort zone.
When we feel afraid it’s often because we’re about to do something we haven’t done before. Instead of turning and running away, see this as an opportunity to learn and grow by experiencing new things.
New experiences are a good thing for your confidence levels, because the next time you come across the same situation, it won’t be new and scary anymore.
4. Give Yourself Some Credit
One thing most of us are guilty of is downplaying our achievements or not even acknowledging them. It’s just as important to give yourself credit when you’ve achieved something as it is to set and achieve goals in the first place.
This doesn't mean you go around bragging, it just means taking a moment to really see what you’ve achieved for what it is and to give yourself a pat of the back for it.
Since it’s so easy to forget the things we achieve, keeping an achievement journal is a great way to do this. It also means you can look back through your accomplishments any time you start to question yourself and what your capable of. And it’s a great excuse to buy a new journal – like we need one!
5. Focus on Your Strengths
When you’re not feeling confident, it’s easy to focus on all the things you can’t do, all the things you suck at. All this does is feed into a cycle of negative thinking and beating yourself up is not the way to boost your confidence.
Instead, make a point of taking the time to think about all the things you’re good at, and the things that you do well. Everyone has strengths, so, focus on your strengths and what makes you great.
Reminding yourself of this on a regular basis is likely to keep you in a more positive frame of mind and means you’re less likely to fall into the trap of negative self talk.
6. Visualise Success and confidence
It’s been proven that visualisation does have an impact on performance. When you visualise yourself successfully doing something, your mind is primed and expects this same result when the situation arises.
Since confidence is based on our perception of our overall capability, as linked to our experiences from past performances, if you’ve seen yourself succeed, even if it’s in a visualisation, then your confidence should increase, since your subconscious brain doesn’t distinguish a visualisation from what’s actually happened.
So if yo want to feel more confident, take time on a regular basis to visualise yourself doing things with confidence and succeeding.
7. Grab a Lucky Charm
We all know someone who has a superstition or two. Someone who takes a token item with them to competitions, exams or presentations, just to make sure it all goes well.
Before you dismiss this out of hand, research has actually found that superstition can actually improve performance. In experiments, researchers discovered that people who took tests with their lucky charms actually outperformed those in the group who took the same test without their charms.
If having a superstition increases your performance, it’ll also increase your confidence levels, because you can be confident that with it you’ll be much more likely to do well.
8. Stand Tall and Strike a Pose
Madonna had it right. Your posture is a key to your confidence.
Research conducted showed that people who used power poses before doing a presentation were seen as more confident and actually performed better than those who didn’t do any power poses.
Amy Cuddy has highlighted that your posture does more than make you look confident, it actually sends a message to your brain that tells you how you feel so, if you want to feel confident, that’s the message you want your brain to receive so stand tall and smile!
9. Maintain a Positive Mindset
Do you ever find yourself giving in to that little voice inside your head? The one that tells you you’re not capable, you’re not worthy, you’re not as good as someone else?
This is one of the biggest threats to your self-confidence. But how do you stop it?
Just because your little voice is telling you something negative about yourself, it doesn’t mean it’s true, and you definitely shouldn’t believe it.
Once way to reduce the impact of this negative self talk is to actually challenge these statements.
Take time to write down any negative thoughts you may have about yourself, then ask yourself what evidence there is for this being true and look for the evidence that actually proves these things to be untrue.
This might feel a little clunky to start but eventually, you won’t need to write it down, instead you’ll get into the habit of challenging that voice and hopefully stopping it in it’s tracks before it discourages you completely.
You can also use positive affirmations to help keep your mindset positive and confident. Affirmations, can work because they have the ability to program your mind into believing the statement you’re saying, since your mind doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not.
While it might not work for everyone, using positive affirmations is definitely well worth a shot, given the possible benefits of increased confidence.
Thirdly, where you’re ind is concerned, the more positive input the better so seek out those positive people in your life, the ones that make you feel great and spend more time with them. On the other hand, make sure you spend as little time as possible with anyone who brings you down or focuses on everything that’s wrong. More on mindset here.
10. Get Active
Finally, it wouldn’t be a She Owns Success list if we didn’t mention exercise. But seriously, exercise causes the release of endorphins which interact with opiate receptors and make you feel happy.
Did you ever feel your confidence flagging when you were oh so happy?!
So, there’s another great reason to hit the gym.