Few things are more detrimental than low levels of self-confidence. When you aren’t confident in yourself, you don’t take risks, don’t enjoy life and usually end up stuck in places you don’t want to be. Low self-confidence often lies beneath the surface, sabotaging you in ways you aren’t aware of.
On the flip side, high levels of self-confidence can produce exponential results in your life. When you believe in yourself and your abilities, you take smart risks, achieve important goals and develop meaningful relationships with those around you.
Of course, this raises the question: how can you increase your levels of self-confidence?
In this post, we’re going to lay out 14 simple ways you can dramatically increase your self-confidence. By implementing these methods, you’ll see a significant boost in the way you see and carry yourself.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR APPEARANCE
Obviously, yet perhaps most importantly, it’s essential to take care of your appearance. Shower and shave on a regular basis without being obsessed; take time everyday to make yourself presentable to the world.
These simple, small actions can have a dramatic effect on your levels of self-confidence. Neglecting your personal appearance also has an exponentially negative effect on your self-confidence. Always looking like you just rolled out of bed after working the graveyard shift will make you feel like you just rolled out of bed and kill your productivity.
TAKE CARE OF HOW YOU DRESS
Similar to the above point, dressing nicely improves how you feel about yourself. We don’t necessarily believe in the mantra of dressing for success, but there certainly is value in dressing with care.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on an outfit, it simply means that you wear things that make you feel good about yourself and ready to tackle your goals. As Jerry Seinfeld said, wearing sweatpants everyday is a sign that you’ve given up on life. Don’t give up on life.
MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE
Those who exercise regularly experience greater levels of energy during the day which leads to increased self-confidence and productivity. Exercise has incredible benefits, such as boosting your mood, decreasing levels of depression and helping you maintain your weight.
If you want to feel better about yourself, you should make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times per week. You don’t need to run a marathon, you just need to get your heart rate elevated and your muscles moving. As you find yourself getting into shape, you’ll also see a rise in your self-confidence.
PINPOINT YOUR GIFTS, STRENGTHS AND TALENTS
Those who lack self-confidence tend to focus on and obsess over their weaknesses and failings. One way to improve the way you feel about yourself is to spend some time identifying the ways God has gifted you.
- What are you good at?
- What have you done that has resulted in success?
- What subjects did you succeed in at school?
- What have people told you that you’re good at?
These things don’t need to be profound. Maybe you’re good at organization or with numbers and spreadsheets. Maybe you have a big capacity to help those in need or the ability to plan effectively for the future. These are all gifts and you should spend time focusing on these rather than your weaknesses.
BE THANKFUL FOR WHO YOU ARE
Once you’ve identified your gifts and abilities, be thankful for who you are. Too many people lament who they’re not, wishing they could be someone else. They wish they had a better personality or were funnier or had more business skills.
Instead, spend time being grateful for exactly who you are. You have many admirable qualities and you should spend time focusing on these rather than who you wish you were.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Comparing yourself to someone else is a sure-fire way to tank your self confidence. Whether you’re comparing your appearance or your circumstances or your personality, the result will inevitably be unhappiness and a lack of joy.
Social media doesn’t help us in this regard. Everyday we’re confronted with pictures and status updates of people’s lives. We can tend to feel like they have it better than we do or that other people are simply better than us.
One way to improve your self-confidence is to simply spend less time on social media. Theodore Roosevelt nailed it when he said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It truly is. Stop comparing yourself to others and you’ll see a significant increase in your self- confidence.
DEVELOP THE HABIT OF GRATITUDE
Many of the most high achieving people in the world have developed the habit of gratitude. When you practice gratitude it takes your mind off of things that tend to sap your self-confidence and puts your focus on all the good things in your life. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis will quickly begin to boost your self-confidence.
Take a few moments at the beginning or end of each day to write out three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal. Date each entry so that as time passes you can go back and see all the wonderful things that have happened to you. These points of gratitude don’t need to necessarily be profound. In fact, being grateful for small blessings is one of the cornerstones of joy.
SHAPE YOUR SELF-IMAGE
Simply put, your self-image is the way you see yourself. It encompasses all thoughts you have about who you are.
A positive self-image increases your self-confidence while a negative self-image dramatically decrease is it. Thankfully, your self-image is not set in stone. You can shape it by regularly working to shape the way you think about yourself.
A simple way to develop a positive self-image is to spend more time focusing on your strengths than on your failures. Also, as noted above, spending time being grateful for what you’ve been given will also foster a positive self-image.
WORK TOWARD POSITIVE THINKING
When we say positive thinking, we don’t mean repeating silly mantras to yourself like, “I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.”
We simply mean maintaining a positive outlook on life and working toward having more positive thoughts. Replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts can significantly increase your self-confidence and allow you to achieve goals you previously thought impossible.
As soon as you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, immediately replace those with positive self-talk. For example, if you’re running and you feel like you simply can’t go any further, tell yourself, “I can do this! Just one more mile!” These simple positive thoughts can give you a boost of energy and self-confidence.
In addition to thinking positively, actually taking positive actions can be hugely helpful. As the saying goes, you are how you act. If you begin acting positively, you’ll soon find yourself thinking positively and feeling positively. Talk with people in a positive way and act energetic. Act the way you want to be.
Our minds and hearts follow our bodies. Soon you’ll find yourself thinking and feeling the same way.
BE GENEROUS AND KIND
This may sound trite and even a bit silly, but acts of kindness have a powerful effect on your self-confidence. If you’re regularly selfish and unkind, you’ll find your self-image beginning to plummet. As noted above, your feelings often follow your actions. If you are regularly generous and kind, you’ll begin to feel like a kind and generous person.
Now, to be clear, you should be kind and generous because it’s the right thing to do. However, a side benefit is that it will also increase your self-confidence.
PREPARE WELL AND THEN TRUST YOUR PREPARATIONS
If you have an important event coming up, take the necessary time to prepare thoroughly. If you have a test, set aside the hours you need to study. Once you’ve prepared thoroughly, trust your preparations. You did what you needed to do and you can’t do anything more. Adequate preparation significantly increases self-confidence.
For example, if you have an important meeting, read the agenda, think of appropriate questions and then go to the meeting. You’ll feel confident knowing that you’ve done what you need to do.
BUILD A POSITIVE SUPPORT NETWORK
Unfortunately, many people are critical and enjoy tearing others down. These people will drain your self-confidence incredibly quickly. They’ll leave you doubting yourself and feeling like you can’t do anything well.
It’s important to develop a network of friends and colleagues who support you and your efforts. This doesn’t mean that they don’t ever give constructive feedback, but it does mean that they’re committed to your good and want to see you succeed. If possible, don’t spend excessive time around negative people as they will suck your energy and self-confidence.
SET SMALL, YET ACHIEVABLE GOALS
Achieving small goals is a fantastic way to feel good about yourself and set up future successes. Set goals for yourself that you know you can achieve, yet will also stretch you in some ways. If you want to get in shape, don’t immediately decide that you want to run a marathon. Set a goal of running two miles. Once you reach that goal and feel good about your progress, up your goal to three miles and so on.
This incremental progress will be surprisingly powerful. It will motivate you to keep going and stretching yourself.
Stories of growing in self-confidence
Self-confidence isn’t everything, but it is hugely important. It determines what levels of success you achieve and how much joy you have in your life. It can raise or lower the quality of your treasured relationships.
Thankfully, your levels of self-confidence aren’t set in stone. You can give yourself a boost, a shot in the arm if you will. By following these simple, yet powerful methods, you’ll find yourself much more self-confident than before.
Each student at PGS has his or her own story of how they’ve grown in confidence with earning their degree. Hear their stories on our YouTube channel.