8/9/2012 10:41 AM
As we’ve discussed before, confidence is sexy. We’re not talking about arrogance or, gods forbid, the pick-up artist staple “cockiness.” Just the simple idea that you are worthwhile, and that you are comfortable in your skin. When you feel good about yourself, you project that outward, and it helps convince other people that you are worth getting to know, too. Try to do a few things on this list every day to help yourself feel more confident.
- Take a dance class. The movement releases endorphins, which make you feel good. Plus, exercise gives us extra energy.
- Get into metta (compassion) meditation. This type of meditation focuses on cultivating compassion for everyone, yourself included. When you practice metta, you combat the negative self-talk that kills confidence.
- Buy a new outfit and have it tailored to fit perfectly. When you wear something that looks fabulous, it can make you feel great, too.
- Accept compliments gracefully. Don’t deflect, or give reasons why you don’t deserve credit.
- Look up. Looking up at the sky helps relieve anxiety.
- Say “hi” to someone you don’t know every day. This is especially important if you are shy and have a hard time talking to people.
- Smile. “Fake it till you make it” is a cliché for a reason. Smiling projects confidence and ease; when we fake an emotion, we eventually feel it for real.
- Walk a little faster. A brisk, confident pace makes you look, and feel, more confident.
- Talk a little slower. Measured, clear speaking makes you sound more confident. Don’t mumble or rush over words when you talk.
- Get a good night’s sleep. When we get enough sleep, we experience less anxiety and pain, and just generally feel better. Nothing kills confidence like feeling like roadkill because you got four hours of sleep the night before.
(How to Keep Criticism from Tanking Your Self-Esteem)
- Compliment people. This not only takes your attention off yourself, it makes other people feel good, as well.
- Short-circuit negative self-talk. When you catch yourself enumerating all the reasons that you suck, and listing out every failure, make yourself stop.
- Master a new skill. It can be as minor as learning to make a perfectly smooth béchamel. Doing things well makes us feel more secure about our abilities.
- Ask: what’s the worst that could happen? If you are afraid to send that message to someone who you think may be out of your league, ask what the worst possible outcome would be. Usually, the answer is that you’ll be no worse off than if you hadn’t sent a message at all. You have little to lose and everything to gain.
- Tell yourself that no one is as focused on your blunders as you are. Even if you make a fool out of yourself, people won’t remember because they are too busy thinking of everything they’ve done that made them look like a fool.
- Make a personal soundtrack. Collect music that makes you feel confident, and play it to get yourself into a more upbeat mood.
- Make a list of your accomplishments, both personal and professional. When you see it all together, you can see that you have done a lot that is worthwhile.
- Go for a walk outdoors. Bonus if it’s by a body of water. Being outside in nature makes us feel happier.
- Remember that everyone feels unsure sometime, and that makes us all human.