Every once in a while, even the most confident person can fall into a bit of a slump and doubt their self-worth. This can happen when there are big changes in life: maybe you lost your job or recently ended a relationship. Regardless of the trigger, feeling a lack of self-confidence can color not only how you see yourself but how you see the world. Confident people approach the world around them with strength and focus; people lacking self-confidence often approach the world around them with hesitancy and fear.
So, what are some things you can do to boost your feelings of self-confidence? Here are 10 ideas:
Exercise. There’s no doubt that exercising has a positive effect on both your body and your mind. The deep breathing, focus, release of endorphins and meditative flow to whatever activity you select can shift your mood. As a yoga teacher and avid runner, those are my first choices for activities to boost my feelings of self-confidence. Pick something you enjoy and attack it with enthusiasm and a sense of renewed commitment.
Take a break from social media. When we’re feeling somewhat “less than” scrolling through Facebook seeing what everyone else is up to can fuel the fires of a lack of self-confidence. While every once in a while we might see a picture of someone’s pet or child and it might make us smile, if the majority of your posts send you into a cycle of feeling badly about yourself, notice it, log off and make a special note of how you feel. Decreasing the time you spend on social media might be just what you need to focus on yourself.
Surround yourself with positive people. Spend your time with people who are positive, supportive and active. Being around their good vibes might just rub off on you too!
Try something new. When we lack self-confidence, we often doubt our abilities. Think of something you’d like to learn- a language, a cooking technique, a new style of yoga. Learning something new will shift the focus from how you currently feel to the task at hand, therefore ending the cycle of self-absorption that can often occur. Also, your efforts at learning something new will give your confidence a much needed boost.
Change your surroundings. There’s a great book by teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn. PhD called, “Whereever You Go, There You Are.” It’s a wonderful book on meditation. The name addresses the idea that you can’t change your feelings just by changing your surroundings; they’ll follow you wherever you go. You have to do the work to change the feeling from the inside, not the outside. While this is true, there is something to be said for getting a fresh perspective by shifting something in your day to day life. It might be cleaning up your office, finding a new place to do independent work or as simple as driving to work a different way. It’ll take you out of the rhythm of your cycle and shake things up a bit.
Watch your body language. When we lack self-confidence, it shows. We slump, hold our arms close to our body, hang our heads. Confident people face others head on, stand tall, feel their feet grounding into the earth and relax their shoulders. These actions are central to yoga, which is one reason why practicing yoga is a great way to boost your self confidence. Watch your body language and work to shift in little ways to express confidence and strength.
Fake it. Related to the above post, what if you’re not feeling confident? How can you make yourself look like you are when you’re not? Well, you’ve heard of “fake it till you make it?” There is some truth to this concept. Especially as it relates to the concept above of shaping the body in a confident way, it can change your feelings about yourself the more you take on a physical stance that conveys confidence. This can work even if you feel like you’re pretending. Smile, stand tall, ask questions, listen when people speak. These small steps can help shift your brain and body into feeling more confident until you catch up and really start to own it.
Create a confidence building mantra. Think of something that you can easily recite to yourself to boost your self-confidence. “I rock,” or “I’m strong,” or “I believe in me,” can all be easily remembered and recited. Set a reminder on your phone with your mantra. Write it on a post it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror. Say it silently to yourself throughout the day to massage your heart, soul and mind with your powerful phrase.
Meditate. Sit with yourself and take deep breaths. Do it for at least a few minutes, twice a day. Notice how your body reacts to sitting in silence. Let any feelings that arise rise up and notice them but try not to get involved in understanding them. Meditating in silence is one of the best ways to create a calm sense of self-confidence that comes from the inside.
Set a goal, make a plan and set off to get it done. Think of something you’d like to accomplish. It could be running a race, painting your bedroom, going on a trip or planning a dinner party. Write up a plan of attack and work towards completion. The feelings of confidence you’ll have along the way will fuel you as you approach the finish line and enjoy the fruits of your attention and hard work!
Confidence comes from within and is a combination of strength of both body and mind. That’s why it’s so important to do what you can to strengthen both body AND mind on the path to building your self-confidence. Come on; you can do it! You rock!