If you’re anything like me, in the aftermath of an epic fail, you may have the tendency to feel pain in the form of hurt pride. Many times, failing a class, breaking up with someone you loved, or even making a simple mistake can whittle away at our self-confidence. That is because a tendency to be overly critical of ourselves turns our mistakes into the perfect opportunity to sabotage our self-esteem.
Do you also boast of being your “own worst critic” only to find that it leaves you lacking self-confidence? If so, I’ve rummaged all my resources in search of 5 simple tips to boost your confidence.
Seems simple enough, but the power of a smile is highly underrated. In fact, Internet memes abound describing the resting face of an unsmiling person as something to be praised. Don’t fall for that. The fact is, even if you’re faking it, smiling is shown to hike up endorphins (more on those later) and cortisol levels which have a direct correlation to reducing stress. And if what’s getting you down is your looks, think about it — a smiling face is considered to be more attractive. You’ll thus be more likely to draw others in.
2. Find your niche:
We all feel we’re a little weird, until we find a group of people with who we can engage in mutual weirdness. Then, we feel like we’re home. So step out of your comfort zone. While I would suggest using a friend finder app, the fact is we all need practice with meeting people IRL. Join a book club, volunteer locally, or attend a hobby/special interest convention where you will meet people with similar interests and find that you have more strengths than you give yourself credit for.
3. Educate yourself:
Ignorance breeds insecurity. You will more likely to raise your hand in class if you know the answer you’re about to give is the right one. In the school of life, it’s no different; social situations are less awkward when you know your stuff. Research events before you attend them. Sleuth ahead of time so you can show up dressed in the proper attire and then you won’t have to worry and stress out about what you’re wearing. Find out who’s hosting the event and why and arm yourself with an arsenal of topics of conversation. Nothing will boost your confidence like a little preparation.
4. Start moving:
This isn’t to say I will condone self-destructive behaviors like compulsive over-exercising (there is such a thing!). That’s because the results you’re looking for won’t necessarily be seen in the mirror. Instead, move for the sake of movement. Increasing your physical activity will release chemicals in your body called endorphins. These neurotransmitters, also known as the “happy hormones,” are proven to reduce stress and increase self-esteem. You will feel a literal high after increased physical activities. So, why not twirl around in circles to muster up some courage before you pick up the phone to text your crush, think of running as an alternative date option.
5. Talk to yourself:
Really! Learn to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you. Listen and accept the compliments they give you and then echo those same compliments to yourself. Write them on a post-it note, draw hearts in the mirror, or create your own morning mantras. Rather than focusing on your weaknesses, know your strengths and affirm these to yourself whenever you feel less than able.
Sometimes our lack of confidence can stem from a temporary fall from grace. Other times our low self-esteem is a result of much larger insecurities that are far deeper rooted. However, if you’re able to step back and analyze yourself objectively, you will see that you don’t need to resort to extremes to boost your self-esteem. Sometimes it’s as easy as following these five steps.