Confidence is an important personality trait for everyone — from people just starting their careers to those already working in managerial roles. If you want your manager to take you seriously and your subordinates to follow your lead, you must first learn to present a confident, self-assured face to the world. Increased confidence can even help you find new opportunities to grow your career.
Yet, a greater sense of confidence doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Instead, it gives you the assurance and strength to face any challenges that may come your way. Here are nine strategies to help you boost your confidence at work and in your personal life.
1. Paint a New Picture
When you think about yourself, what picture immediately comes to mind?
What you think about yourself plays a major role in determining your confidence level and actions. People with low self-confidence often have a low opinion of themselves — sometimes due to early conditioning. This can stop them from taking risks or exploring their full potential. If you struggle with self-confidence, create a new mental image of a confident and capable you who can face any challenge fearlessly.
2. Be Your Own Best Friend
Similarly, the way you talk to yourself also can affect your confidence level. If you constantly pull yourself down with statements like “You’re so dumb” or “That looks too difficult for you,” you only harm your chances of success.
Instead, start talking to yourself like you’d talk to your best friend. When they feel low, would you try to pull them up with encouragement or slam them down with insults? Be kind to yourself. These positive affirmations for confidence and self-esteem make a great way to start your day.
3. Leave Your Comfort Zone Every Day
Humans’ natural instinct for survival often pushes people to avoid anything they consider dangerous. However, shunning things that scare you or make you uncomfortable only gives those things more power. If you always stay in your comfort zone and never push your limits, you’ll never know how much more you can accomplish.
The best way to cope with fear is to face it head-on. When you face your fear, its power over you will start to decrease while your confidence in your own abilities will rise.
4. Expand Your Expertise
Sometimes, an individual’s lack of confidence comes from genuine reasons like a lack of preparation or limited experience. If that’s the case, you’re in luck because that’s something you can easily work on. You can hone many skills, such as playing an instrument or writing, with practice. So, set aside an hour every day to work on expanding your expertise.
Moreover, be sure to read every day. Reading not only improves your knowledge on many subjects, but also makes you more receptive to different ideas and perspectives. In fact, regular readers may have an easier time making decisions, planning, and prioritizing because they understand that challenges are an inevitable part of life.
When you help someone, it instantly makes you feel useful and needed. You feel good about yourself because you made a difference in someone else’s life. Feeling better about yourself can then make you more likely to approach life with a positive, confident attitude.
In fact, research suggests that altruism can boost personal morale and help teenagers feel more competent. In addition to improving confidence, helping behaviors like volunteering at a local community center also can make people feel more connected to others while preventing loneliness and depression.
6. Start Small
If you set yourself a target of climbing a mountain on day one and fail, the problem is your goal — not your abilities.
Break up huge tasks into smaller, easily achievable milestones. Each small “win” will help build your confidence while moving you closer to the final goal. Jot down your major accomplishments in a journal so the next time you doubt yourself, you have a reminder of all the times you succeeded.
7. Reduce Clutter
Clutter — whether the physical type that makes you ashamed to invite anyone home or the mental kind that keeps you firmly in the past — can slowly chip away at your confidence. A thorough decluttering can help you regain control and live the life you want. Don’t let a messy workplace or a bad relationship hold you back.
8. Practice Self-Care
Your physical health, mental well-being, and relationships all contribute to your self-confidence. That makes it very important to practice self-care. If you feel physically unwell or tired all the time, it’s impossible to feel confident. A balanced diet, regular physical exercise, and adequate sleep can work wonders when it comes to improving your self-esteem.
In addition, pay attention to your appearance. When you groom and dress yourself well, you instantly feel confident and ready to take on the world.
9. Embrace Positivity
Positivity breeds positivity. Banish negative thoughts and negative relationships from your life, and practice positive thinking. Instead of seeing something as a “problem,” think of it as a “challenge.” Instead of focusing on what can go wrong at the meeting tomorrow, think about how much your presentation will impress your boss.
Moreover, spend time with positive people who inspire and encourage you to do better. Show the door to toxic people who habitually pull you down with their snide comments.
Always remember that if you feel unsure or hesitant about something, other people likely will feel the same. Fears and insecurities plague everyone, it’s just that some people overcome them more easily after years of practice. With time, you can boost your confidence and join their ranks.