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Practical Ways to Improve Your Confidence (and Why You Need It)

Christina is a proud wife, mother, entrepreneur, author and world traveler.

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Being a confident person doesn’t always come easy, but the greater your self-esteem, the more content your life is. Healthy self confidence increases your motivation, helps you deal with stress easier, improves your performance at work, and makes you more likely to set long term goals. It also makes you less judgemental, more likable and resilient, and increases your overall well being.

If you’re lacking in self-confidence, you’re more likely to be sensitive to criticism and more hostile, and you could be more prone to eating disorders, depression and substance abuse.

If you’re feeling a little low and wondering how you can give yourself a boost, the following tips are designed to help:

Smile

Smile and the world smiles with you. There’s never been a truer quote. Smiling at a stranger and receiving a smile back in return makes you feel better about yourself as a person, giving yourself a natural boost. According to studies, when you smile, you’re perceived as being more approachable and trustworthy, it makes you feel happier, it creates less wrinkles than frowning, and it makes people around you happier as well.

Focus On Your Posture

Good posture is a great way to boost your confidence. According to research, people who sit up straight are more likely to believe in themselves and less likely to question their abilities. By standing confidently, legs aligned with shoulders and feet 4-6 inches apart, shoulders back, head up, you are hiding any insecurities you might have and asserting confidence. When sitting, have your back straight, your buttocks towards the back of the chair and your feet planted flat on the floor. Not only does this help you feel better about yourself, it’s also great for your back and neck.

Exercise

Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day is enough to boost your self-confidence. Exercise releases beta-endorphins, the chemicals that reduce anxiety and stress levels, in turn promoting confidence. One study published in the International Journal of Sport Psychology found that people who had regular physical activity had a much higher self-esteem than those who didn’t exercise.

Try Something New

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a great way to improve your confidence. You could start by doing something small every day, such as taking a different route to work or trying a new food; and work your way up to something big – like competing in a 25km run or skydiving! Start by making a list of things you would love to, talk about it, visualise it, and do your research – by doing these in the lead up, you’re more likely to actually take it on board yourself.

A New Look

The clothes you wear can make a big impact on how other people see you. It can also impact how you see yourself. If you are wearing clothes that are two sizes too big for you, it’s easy for you to start thinking you are two sizes bigger than you actually are. If you hide yourself in black so that you don’t stand out in a crowd, it’s easier to be left out and as such, your confidence with fade. Go shopping and buy a colour you’ve never worn before. Choose a bright red instead of dark grey, wear heels if you usually wear flats, and make sure you buy clothes that fit you, not float over you.

Switch Off

While it’s great that we can contact our family and friends from all around the world at the touch of a button, social media certainly comes with challenges as well. While some research finds social media drives envy, and enhances anxiety and depression, other sources say it actually improves mental health as it helps to combat loneliness and isolation. Regardless, taking a break from looking at photos of fitness models who leave you wishing you were more like them or escaping other people’s problems that are posted online, is guaranteed to make you feel better about yourself.

Change Your Focus

Too many people focus on the things in life they can’t change. Don’t be like them. Instead, if you can’t change something, stop worrying about it. If you CAN change it, then do it. The more energy to dedicate to things that are outside your control, the more time you’re wasting when you could be living your best life. Once you accept this, your confidence will increase because you’re focusing on things that are positive, rather than the negative.

Time Out For You

We all need some time out and a little R&R is good for the soul, and your confidence. By taking time to have yourself a nice bath, taking yourself out to a movie or out to lunch, or even just going for an early morning walk, you’ll feel better having that time out. Sit down and read a book, listen to music, and just forget that the world exists – even if it only lasts for 15 minutes. You’ll feel like a new, self-assured person!

Final Thoughts

Greater confidence will help you feel more fearless and less anxiety. You’ll feel free and more willing to take smart risks. More than anything though, it makes you believe in yourself. And if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?