“Self-confidence” strikes different chords in different people. Depending on your personal relationship to the phrase, your mind may paint a picture of a weak, insecure person or an overbearing egomaniac.
But being self-confident is nothing more than recognizing your own unique gifts and abilities and being okay with letting them shine.
In fact, exuding gracious self-confidence may give another person the inspiration and permission to allow their best self to shine as well. And that’s what this journey is all about — creating our best self in order to uplift and inspire others to achieve greatness right along side us. It’s a win-win.
Here are 10 easy ways you can boost your confidence right now. Some are super-simple tasks and others will require a little more engagement, but all will yield immediate results:
- Stand taller – Check this out, when you improve your posture and stand taller you actually signal your brain to release testosterone, which is linked with confidence and power. Testosterone boosts outlook, mood, energy and confidence. Dana Carney, a social psychologist at UC Berkeley, conducted a 2010 survey that revealed that power poses demonstrating confidence (regardless of whether or not a person actually feels confident) increase levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — in the brain. Carney says the power pose sends a signal to the brain, a neural impulse that turns into an actual, physiological response of self-assurance. Pretty cool, right?
- Focus on the outside – Say whaaaat?! Yes. I said it. This is such a simple and tangible thing you can do daily to get an immediate confidence boost. Shower, shave, get all gussied up and put on an outfit that makes you feel brilliant. Then just let your greatness radiate!
- Smile – Smiles are magical (and contagious!) They offer understanding, peace, hope, happiness, camaraderie, and joy. Physiologically they are as powerful as posture – triggering the release of your feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins that reduce stress, boost mood and make you feel at ease with yourself and the world.
- Compliment another person – This one is so powerful that I devoted a specific article to it. Shifting the focus toward the loveliness around you rather than staying stuck in self-absorbed misery alters your internal energy and raises your external attractiveness to others — double whammy! No one has ever received a compliment and felt worse about themselves. And by boosting someone else’s confidence you reap benefits as well. Again, it is a neural signaling thing… boy, our brains are smart!
- Move your body – Movement in general increases blood flow, oxygenation and muscle contraction. It gives you a sense of achievement, engagement, and enhanced wellbeing. All of these feelings are a result of endorphins released by exercise and movement. They are major mood boosters and pain relievers. It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re riding high on the feel-good messages of brain chemicals.
- Squash negative thoughts & replace them with positive ones – Once you discover what you’re truly telling yourself, it really becomes quite simple: “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” —James Allen.
- Behave as if – Fake It ‘Til You Make It is a common saying meant to help us avoid getting caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy related to our fears and insecurities. If we are what we believe we are, then we can be what we want to be… act with confidence by standing tall, smiling, speaking clearly, meeting another person in the eye, and behaving the way you envision yourself behaving as a confident person and you will call it into being.
- Live by your principles – What are the principles upon which your life, your beliefs, and your behaviors are built? If you don’t know, you will feel directionless. Once you’ve identified what matters to you, begin to act on it in your daily life. When you are assured by the guidance of your convictions you will automatically exude confidence in all of your endeavors.
- Set a very small goal and achieve it within 4 days – There’s a cool thing that happens when you set a really easy goal and achieve it within a short span of time. You gain confidence in your ability. Feeling capable is a mental cornerstone for confidence. When you feel qualified, adept, or proficient, your confidence is seriously heightened. Tack on a series of small wins over the course of time and you can ride high on a tidal wave of living with purpose and passion.
- Cultivate gratitude – One of my favorite, simple things to do to shift out of a bad mood or feeling of insecurity is to get thankful. We live incredibly privileged lives and no matter what is happening, there is much to be thankful for. It’s true, “The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that is changes the world you see.” —Dr. Robert Holden