For many years, I let self-doubt hold me back from pursuing my dreams of writing a book and living a bigger life.
Afraid of what others might think of me, I lacked the self-confidence to overcome my fear of not being good enough, being laughed at and judged.
I let my fear terrorize me and stayed stuck.
Most people face this faltering place at some point in their lives. The key question is: How do you get past your gremlins?
What I discovered and want to share with you is that fear is overcome with courage and action – consistent baby steps that build self-confidence and healthy self-esteem. With every step, you start to believe in yourself a little more – you start to lean in and love yourself a little more – and with that, you begin emanating and projecting a magical “can do” momentum.
Self-respect and confidence open up new possibilities, and doors begin to open that move you in a whole new positive and exciting direction. When I began developing confidence I was able to move past my fear of not being good enough and finally pursue my dreams.
I still have that old fear crop up sometimes. But now I know that I can beat it and come out on the other side victorious and more confident for having had the courage to show up instead of crumble.
Over the years I’ve practiced boosting my confidence with many techniques, and I’ve listed 10 steps that have worked well for me with the intention they will work well for you too!
Physical fitness has a huge effect on self-confidence. Regular exercise will help you feel strong, energized, and comfortable in your skin. Also, having the discipline to work out makes you feel better and creates positive momentum that you can build on for the rest of the day.
2. Focus on contribution
Too often, we get caught up focusing on our imperfections. If you stop thinking about your perceived flaws and concentrate on your contribution to the rest of the world, you will shift into a better state of being. The more you participate in giving your time, talent and resources to the world, the more you’ll feel fulfilled and that is certainly an anchoring foundation for confidence.
3. Good Posture
Research suggests that people with good posture have more confidence in their thoughts than slouchers. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically enjoy more confidence. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.
4. Compliment other people
When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling onto others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in idle gossip and instead make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well-liked and build self-confidence. By looking for the best in others, you’ll bring out the best in yourself.
Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for and WHY you are grateful for it. When you reflect on the “why” it will deepen your feeling of gratitude. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed at how much goodness you have in your life ( not just the big stuff, remember all the little things too… like the bed you sleep on, the clean water you drink, a roof over your head, the sun shining, the birds singing etc) and all that you have going for yourself. Notice if this motivates and bolsters your confidence to take that next step towards your dreams.
6. List your accomplishments
A fantastic way to remind yourself of what you are made of is to make a list as far back as you can remember of your proud moments. I keep a picture of myself at the top of a mountain I climbed in Peru as my phone wallpaper to remind myself that I can do anything I set my mind to – it helps me, and my guess is, it will help you too! We often focus on what we HAVEN’T done, making us feel bad about ourselves – a simple shift of focus to look at what you have done will start making you feel that inner swell of authentic strength and pride– boosting your confidence big time!
7. Speak up
During group discussions, do you sit back and let others do all the talking?Are you afraid people will judge you for saying something stupid? I get it, that’s been my MO since I was 3 when I answered a question and everyone laughed at me. However, as a toddler I wasn’t able to discern or comprehend that the laughter was not mocking me but rather in appreciation of what I had said. I turned that whole scenario into “a story” that created a lot of unnecessary fear in my life. It’s taken conscious effort to repattern this belief but highly worth it! Ask yourself, is there an old story I’m hanging onto that is blocking me from moving toward my dreams? If the answer is yes, make a vow to step outside your comfort zone and speak up – this is the quickest path to building confidence. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. Most people are dealing with the same fears. By speaking up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.
8. Dress Sharp
While clothes don’t make you the woman you are – they certainly affect the way you feel about yourself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you put on something sloppy it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. When you take care of your personal appearance you build confidence..Spend a day going through your closet and get rid of old worn-out garments or donate them to a charity. Build a wardrobe of clothes that make you look and feel amazing. As you feel better you begin to embody a more positive attitude and outlook which will spike your confidence even more.
9. Walk Faster
One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? People with confidence walk purposefully.. They have places to go, people to see, important work to do, and personal missions to see through. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will boost your inner and outer world.
Social psychologist Laura Kray, PhD, has demonstrated that smiling, laughing and engaging in slight physical contact when negotiating can help you win the day. Plus, it puts you in touch with your charismatic feminine energy, which is highly attractive to others. Flirtation can be like jet fuel for your confidence. Up, up and away!
As you take new actions, your results will change. By making new choices frequently, you will develop new habits that enhance your life in exciting ways. These 10 tips are some of my favorite things, as I mentioned, stuff that’s worked for me.
Pick and choose those that appeal to you, maybe just a couple at first, and give them a try. Have fun with this!