Self confidence requires some energy and behavior change to increase, but it’s worth the effort. Here are a few actions you can take starting today to increase your self confidence and feel better about yourself.
1. Surround yourself with confident people
One of the most effective ways to be more self confident is to meet and surround yourself with people who are self confident. Whether we consciously realize it or not, we are directly influenced in the moment by the way other people are acting. You feel much more confident talking in a group than you probably do alone when those around you are displaying signs of their own confidence.
Surround yourself with confidence and you will be more confident. Find friends, family members and/or co-workers who bring out the best in you and make you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Let their positivity and self confidence influence your thoughts and behavior. Immerse yourself in the kind of environment you want to be more comfortable in and it will eventually come naturally to you.
2. Wear what you want
Many people who struggle with self confidence also struggle with how they feel about their appearance. It is a misconception that wearing what looks the best or what’s most popular is going to give you the full sense of self confidence you need. That only happens when you stop caring about other people’s opinions and wear what you want to wear.
Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Do not worry about whether or not it’s trendy; what other people think about your appearance doesn’t matter as long as you are happy with it. Don’t dress a certain way or limit yourself to only a certain style because other people tell you to.
3. Practice your speaking
Sometimes our self confidence, or lack thereof, affects our ability to speak clearly and confidently in front of other people. Unfortunately, public speaking in its many forms isn’t something we can avoid forever, even if it is a common fear. You can overcome your fear of speaking in front of other people and increase your self confidence by practicing your speech when you are alone. It isn’t as silly as it may sound.
Record yourself talking, even if you never show it to anyone. You don’t even have to play it back if you don’t want to. The more you practice putting your thoughts into spoken words when you are alone, in front of a mirror or camera or through a recording or microphone, the easier it will become over time to do the same thing in front of other people, even strangers.
4. Find a hobby you truly enjoy and engage in it often
There are things in life we want to do, and things we have to do. Take algebra, for example. Someone who is not good at math, but needs to take algebra to graduate, might really struggle with his or her self confidence because math just isn’t their strength. One way a person can combat this kind of struggle, however, is to have an activity they enjoy; an incentive; something they can do once they finish studying their algebra that will help them forget how having to do math makes them feel.
Eventually over time, even if you are not the best at that hobby, doing it will still make you feel more confident. Everyone needs an activity that makes them feel good and empowered; all you need to do is find yours. What do you enjoy doing? Writing? Playing the piano? Cooking? The more often you do it, the more your self confidence will increase in the long run.
5. Learn to laugh at yourself
We all make mistakes. Very few people, when asked, will say they do not have a single memory of their most embarrassing moments. Some people are just naturally clumsy, or stumble over their words when they are trying to speak. People who struggle with self confidence can really feel discouraged by these things, but training yourself to laugh it off and keep your head up can help keep you confident.
Learn to laugh at yourself. Everyone messes up sometimes. So you tripped while walking down the sidewalk. So what? Shake it off. Things happen, but the best thing you can do is put them behind you and move on. The more you can laugh at the dumb things you do, the less they will bother you, and the more self confidence you will eventually come to have.
6. Focus on the amazing things about you
When you struggle with self confidence, it’s unfortunately much easier to focus on the negative. Remember how bad you are at math? Doesn’t that just make you a failure? Of course not. That’s just one thing about you that you happen to feel self conscious about. There are plenty of other things that, when brought up, can make you feel self confident instead.
What do you like most about yourself? It could be a physical feature or a characteristic, like how good you are at correcting other people’s grammar. When you start to feel bad about yourself, think of your best qualities. Let those overshadow the things that do not make you feel self confident.
7. Practice a new skill
Increasing self confidence is about balancing taking away things that make you feel bad and adding in things that make you feel good to replace them. While you may not be the best at one skill, and that does not make you feel good, you can learn something new that might make you feel amazing.
Learning new things makes us feel good about ourselves and helps to boost our self confidence over time. You can try to learn a new language or practice solving a Rubik’s cube. Start learning how to code, if you want. You may never master it, but taking the time to learn will make your self confidence soar.
Your self confidence is all about what you are willing to do to make things better for yourself. You can do it.