Confidence and positive self-image don’t have to be serious, life-transforming events – but they are so often talked about like that that they start to feel that way. Seeing confidence as something so huge can be intimidating, making it even harder to feel good about yourself. While being confident is definitely important, it’s also something that you shouldn’t take super seriously all the time. Once you start seeing it in a different light, you’ll realize that there are lots of little things you can do every day that will help you feel more confident – and then one day, you’ll wake up feeling awesome about yourself without even trying. The ultimate goal!
Having a sense of humor about yourself is imperative to squashing your insecurities. Confidence isn’t feeling like you’re the best person in the world – it’s having a bad day and crappy thoughts, but knowing deep down that you’re actually pretty awesome, and you’ll be okay in the end.
For some people, confidence seems to come easily. For others, it’s a little bit more of a struggle. Anyone who’s suffered from low self-esteem knows what they’re supposed to do in order to feel better about themselves – exercise, smile a lot, stop slouching, fake it till you make it. And sure, those things work sometimes, but they don’t work for everyone, and they certainly aren’t miracle cures. If you’ve been there and done that, it’s time to get creative, silly, and simple. There’s no need to overhaul your self image, dig deep, and sort through the skeletons in your closet (if that’s the case, that’s probably a different post, but honestly that feels like a prooooocess.) You can give yourself a little boost every day to get going. These are eight little things you can do to feel more confident right now.
Turn Your Negative Thoughts Into Positive QuestionsIt's totally silly, but it's really fun once you get going. I think we can all agree that your confidence goes out the window when you start thinking negative thoughts. It's really cathartic to reframe these thoughts into rhetorical, positive questions. This might sound corny, but hear me out! Don't let the word "positive" throw you: you can be as sarcastic as you want. For example, if you're bummed no one is asking you out and that thought creeps into your mind, just think: "Why is literally everybody asking me out? Don't they know there's only two days in a weekend?" Can't find a parking spot? "Why is it so easy to find parking right now?" It sounds stupid, but thinking in a more humorous way changes the way you think and makes things a little bit funnier and lighter. Changing your thought patterns will change the rest of your outlook and how you feel about yourself. Small, easy, and totally fun 🙂Source: iStock
Compliment OthersI love this one because it completely takes the focus off of you and making yourself feel better. Give someone a genuine compliment, watch them light up, take their joy in and let it fill you up with goodness. That's your new super power! Now, go forth into the world and brighten everyone's day with irrepressible kindness! Yay! Everybody likes having a super power or something they do really well - it totally gives you confidence. Yours can be making others feel good. Honestly, super powers don't get any better than that.Source: iStock
Stand Up And Look Straight AheadIt's a bit of a leap to think about, but a lot of your confidence is reflected in how you carry your body through space. Without even saying anything, everyone around you can pretty much gage how confident you're feeling by how you stand, sit, and walk. Straighten your spine, stack your head right on top of your neck, and look out ahead of you when you walk. Don't look down or up and away. We tend to do that to avoid eye contact. If you make contact with another person, that's fine, you don't have to hold a stare forever, just connect and keep going. Stand tall. If you feel yourself slumping or shifting your weight, just adjust yourself. Your brain listens to your body. You don't have to power-pose to feel good (but if you do, that's cool) just start with not shrinking your body to be smaller.Source: iStock
Find Your Vacation In The EverydayEverybody looks forward to the weekend, for work to be over for the day, or for school to let out. But what about the regular day to day of your life? If something in your daily life is making you feel insecure or worn down, take some time to carve out just for yourself to enjoy a little vacation. For example, if school has your harried and running around between classes, stopping off at the bathroom or your locker to fix your hair/make up could feel absolutely luxurious. Or you could swing by the vending machine and take a drink to go to class with you. Do whatever you need to give yourself mini-breaks when you're weighed down by the world or stressed beyond belief. You will take that confidence with you into the rest of your day, guaranteed. Source: iStock
Start A Solo Dance Party RevolutionOne common piece of advice on feeling confident is to dance around in your underwear - which is fine, and is totally fun and cute. But what I mean is locking your bedroom door and reenacting beat-for-beat Katy Perry's music videos. Dramatically lip sync to "Burn" from Hamilton. Guess which version does wonders for confidence: this or the underwear thing? You don't even have to be good. In fact, it's better if you aren't. That way, you're less likely to take yourself seriously. The goal isn't to be good, it's to have fun. If you're not having fun, do something different. Change the song or if you're feeling self conscious, find a more private space. We all put on such a front just to get through life, you need a break to let it all go. Getting into the practice of doing this will for sure make you feel mor confident.Source: iStock
Start CleaningI know, I hate cleaning, too. When someone told me how great cleaning is for your brain, I wanted to die. It's weird, but making space and cleaning the space in your home or area activates a brain-metaphor where you make space and clear your mind while you do it. Are you proud to invite people over to your room now that it looks chic and clean? The same goes for confidence. Are you ready to invite people to *really* get to know you and show up as your full self? Yes, I know it sounds really hippy dippy, but just trust me on this. Even if it doesn't work like that for you, getting one thing off your to-do list, which leads to less stress, and accomplishing a small task will give you a little confidence adrenaline boost. Source: iStock
Give Yourself Small ChallengesThis is why FitBit works. Small challenge of reaching a certain number of steps per day? No problem! Physical activity then becomes a fun game. It doesn't have to be a major life event like coming out to your parents, but if you give yourself a small, manageable challenge like to stop biting your nails or bingeing on potato chips after school, it'll be easier to accomplish. Do something new for a month or pick an old habit to kick. The confidence you get from completing a long term goal or task will keep you going for a while. Overcoming or achieving something you've had your mind on for a while is a surefire way to boost your morale. Source: iStock
Pretend You're FamousI'm not even joking about this one. Telling you to dress in clothes that make you feel great, to do your makeup in a way that you love, and style your hair is one thing, but not all confidence problems can be solved in one swift donning of 'coolness.' What I'm talking about is where you do all those things and then go out and do something regular - let's say get a coffee, or walk around the mall - and make believe you're famous. Marvel at how peaceful this is now that the paparazzi aren't stalking you. It's so sweet how the Starbucks barista was kind to you, they're probably star struck. See how ridiculous it is? It's even more fun to do it. I don't know why, but it works for me, and maybe you, too. Give yourself a little slice of super stardom.Source: iStock
What do you do to feel more confident? Does confidence come easy to you or do you have to work at it? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.