What comes to your mind when you hear the words self-confidence? Maybe a successful businesswoman who travels the world, whose family is perfect and lives in your dream house. Or perhaps you think of a beautiful tall girl, with very long hair, perfect makeup and fresh manicure. Or simply, this graceful, outspoken young lady who everybody loves. Well, all that is very nice. But does being rich, beautiful and funny mean being having good self-confidence?
According to dictionary.com, self-confidence is “realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.” In other words, know your worth, know what you are capable of, what you can do, what you can achieve. But it is certainly not easy to get to that point.
I’m going to share with you 10 steps I follow (and keep working on) to improve my self-confidence.
1. Wake up earlier.
If you normally wake up at 7am, start waking up at 6am. This will give you some “me time”, and you can use those extra minutes to read, to workout, to meditate, or simply to make yourself a delicious breakfast without the rush. Starting off your day in a more relaxed, calmed way will change your whole mindset for the day and you will have a better mood to deal with people and unexpected situations.
2. Read more.
Take at least 10 minutes of your busy day to nurture your mind and your thoughts. Reading will spread your knowledge and you will be more open to share your thoughts and opinions with others and starting conversations. You will also feel comfortable in your own company, which will help you to enjoy other people’s company without focusing in what they think about you, but what you can contribute to their life.
3. Be kind.
People rarely relate kindness with self-confidence. After all, a self-confident person think mostly about themselves, get what they want no matter what, and no matter who they have step on to get it, right? Wrong. Being kind to others will increase your value as a person, because you will see the results of your good acts and efforts in other people’s lives, and you will see the difference your presence makes for them, and seeing them happy will make you happy, which will remind you of your power and worth.
4. Talk to a stranger everyday.
I know, I know. We grew up with our mommy telling us not to, but we are adults now, and I trust your good judgment, ha! The goal with this small thing is to become more confident taking the initiative, to feel more comfortable speaking in public, and to learn that most people won’t care if you are saying the right words, or if you are awkward, they will most likely focus in the fact that you started the convo, and will automatically think you are a confident person. Fake it ‘till you make it!
5. Be on time.
I know, life happens. But make it a goal to be on time for your activities, whether it is going to work, meetings, or coffee with friends. This will also change your mindset because when you are late, you give the impression of not being trust-worthy (because you cannot manage your own time), but if you arrive on time, people (and you) will know that you respect your own time and other’s and you will act more confident.
6. Eat healthy.
This has hardly anything to do with how you look. Yes, you will most likely shed a few pounds (a nice bonus if you ask me), but there’s much more to this than that. We are given ONE body to live our lives in. ONE. Fueling your body with the best of the best is so important. You are acknowledging that you deserve the best, and you take care of yourself because you are worth it. It will help you feel so much better on the inside, you will have more energy throughout your days, and it will be easier to focus. You will have a healthy body and you will be naturally more confident. This doesn’t mean you will NEVER indulge here and there, but try to follow the 80%-20% rule and you will feel better (I’m working on it too).
7. Be more active.
You will look better, I guarantee you. But, again, that is not the main benefit of staying active. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins (endogenous morphine), a substance (endogenous opioid neuropeptide) that inhibits pain and produces a feeling of euphoria. Right after you finish your workout session, you will feel happy, fulfilled, energized and your mind will be clearer (all this with proper nutrition to go with). And sticking to your workout schedule has its benefits too. You will learn that you can be disciplined, have self-control and you can do anything when you put your mind to it (your body can do ANYTHING, it’s your mind that has to learn). This does not mean becoming a fitness fanatic or that you will be at the gym everyday rain or shine, no. You don’t even have to have access to a gym. Take a walk, go to the park and run, jump the rope. There are hundreds of websites like these where you can find workout videos of 30 minutes or less. NO EXCUSES!
We live in a society where looks are important. Maybe a little too much. So do not fall for it. Don’t ever pay more attention to your looks than to your inner person. That being said, there are a few things you can do to feel better about how you look. A) You might think I don’t even need to mention this part, but it is important. Take your shower, put on deodorant, brush your teeth, and wear clean clothes everyday. B) You don’t need to spend a fortune on the coolest outfits to look good. Shopping smart can help you to make dozens of combinations with just a few pieces of clothing, so organize your closet and even have fun planning your outfits ahead of time. C) Take care of your skin. I have struggled with acne for many years now. My skin is far from perfect. But I have now developed the habit of removing makeup and dirt before bed, and moisturizing my skin. It takes discipline to do this, especially if you come home late after a party, but it is worth it. Even though my skin will never be perfect, knowing that I am doing the best I can to take care of it makes me feel more confident.
9. Keep your surroundings clean.
Keeping your home, car and office (reasonably) clean will automatically make you feel better about yourself. Your things (like your thoughts) will be in order and where they should be. And it makes a difference. For example, I’m constantly on the road, so I basically live in my car. I have lunch there everyday, I snack there. I also keep there my gym gear and other stuff I need. I struggle by the end of the day, being so tired and I simply do not feel like getting all that stuff out of the car. And many times I don’t. But next day when I get in the car, I feel a little down and embarrassed if I have to give someone a ride. On the other hand, if I make the effort of cleaning my car the night before, I start off my day proud of myself and happier. So, make the effort, do your dishes the night before, or clean your car, and you will start your day off happy and ready to eat the world!
10. Tell more jokes.
If you are anything like me, you can crack up with the simplest joke another person tells, but you are so critical with the jokes that come to your mind, thinking: what a lame joke, nobody would laugh. But, try it! You will learn 2 things, people WILL find your jokes funny, they are having a good time just as much as you are. And when they do not laugh, you will get used to the idea of “rejection”. It’s ok if they do not laugh, you had the courage of telling your joke and that shows how confident you are.
And this is not one of the steps but it is VERY important: don’t be over critical of yourself. When you make a mistake, it is ok to think what went wrong or what could or should you have done. But do not dwell on guilt. Think about it, learn from it, and MOVE ON! That attitude will also help you to boost your self-confidence.
So, there you go! I hope you find these steps helpful, try them and you will see a difference in how you feel and how you do things. Have you been doing some (or all) of these? How have they worked for you? Could you add another step or tip to this list? Let us know in the comments. And of course, if you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends!