21 Tips to Boost Confidence

Resilience means the power to keep going, even when we don't want to, or think we can. Confidence gives us the courage to continue. Bolster yours, with our top 21 proven confidence-boosting tips.

1. Change your narrative. The stories we tell create the people we become. Are you being too hard on yourself? Putting yourself down? Focusing on failure, real or imagine? Time to tell yourself a new story.

2.  Make a brag book. List your accomplishments and things you like about yourself. Revisit it when you need a boost. Can't think of anything? Ask a friend who thinks you're great to help you get started.

3. Confidence is a habit like any other. So is negative self talk. Listen to yourself. Are you being self-critical? Expecting the worst? Take the time to challenge that voice in side your head.  Differentiate between 'fears' and 'facts'.

4. Get outside of your own head.  Overthinking can create anxiety and paralysis, and sap our confidence.  Stop worrying and start doing.

5. Focus on others. Rather than worry about what you can and can't do, focus your attention on others. What do they need? What are they feeling? How can you help them?  Empathy for others fosters compassion for yourself.

6. Don't believe the hype. Step away from the social media.  People's versions of their lives online  are as accurate as our own flattering profile pic. That's to say, there's an element of truth but it's not the whole story. 

7. Get physical.  There is overwhelming medical evidence that exercise makes us stronger, more confident, improves our mood and bolsters our immune system. 

8. Get your mind right. Meditation and yoga are proven to increase peace and confidence. Even if time and money are limited, there are free classes online. For example, the StopBreatheThink app provides quick 3-5 minute custom meditations based on your mood.

9. It's not personal.  Lack of confidence often stems from our notion of what other people think about us. Chances are, they are so wrapped up in their own day, they're not thinking about us at all.  In fact, start handing out compliments to make others more confident. 

10. Wake up right.  The most important minutes of the day are those first three.  Don't just leap out of bed in a panic. Take some time to set a positive mood. Allow enough time so you're not rushed. Picture your day going just the way you want.

11. Thank your body.  We're often so critical of our bodies that we forget all the amazing things they do for us.  Breathing, for example. Walking. Lifting.  Giving pleasure.  Giving birth. Your body is awesome and that means you are too. 

12. Healthy is hot.  Sure we all have that one feature we wish was bigger, smaller or different. But do you know what's hot? Health! You don't need to be model thin or Olympian fit to be sexy. Keep yourself healthy, and strength and confidence will follow.

13. You've got this!  Every challenge you've ever met is behind you.  Most of them you've aced, or at least survived.  Remind yourself you have a record of success and you are going to nail this task too. Remember, there was a time when you didn't even know how to walk or talk.

14.  Work: don't put all your eggs in one basket.  Nothing diminishes confidence like feeling our options are limited. Do your best at work but keep your resume updated. Keep a file with a list of successes as you go.  Periodically look around to see  who else is hiring.   You'll be surprised and heartened by how much you have to offer.

15. Confidence is Contagious.  Surround yourself with confident, can-do, positive people.   Choose to spend time with people who consistently see the best in you.

16. Never underestimate the power of a killer outfit. Splurge on one set of clothes that make you feel like a million dollars. (For me it was a red Brooks Brothers suit.)  Wear that as your superhero costume whenever you need to shine.

"Then when I take them off, I feel as if I'm floating." 
17. Wear comfortable shoes.  It's hard to stay confident when we feel uncomfortable.  Tight clothes or wobbly shoes undermine our ease.  The late news anchor Jessica Savitch used to use ankle weights in the days ahead of a big event like the national convention.  On the big day she's take off those weights and soar.  Comfort equals confidence.

18.  Beauty is more than skin deep. A new lipstick, hair cut or pedicure can elevate your confidence. Spending money on yourself, carefully, can be an act of self love. 

19.  Get in touch with touch.  Humans crave physical contact. The lack of regular touch saps energy and confidence. Get or borrow an animal to cuddle. Schedule a massage.  Give a hug (the great thing about hugs is we can't give one without getting one.

20. When something more is wrong.  If you're lack of confidence and energy is new to you, maybe you need some extra support. Schedule a check up and depression screening. Ask your doctor about nutrition and sleep hygiene.  Give yourself the confidence of self-care.

21. The power of yet.  Still not feeling confident? That's okay. The most powerful word in English is yet.  Add it to any self-limiting statement and it changes everything. Example: I can't ski.  "I can't ski yet" I haven't saved enough money for retirement. "I haven't saved enough yet." See?

Check out 33 More Confidence Tips at Eat This Not That.

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Jacqueline Lewis co-founded the World Gratitude Map and writes about self esteem and resilience. The World Gratitude Map has been widely cited including Scientific American, LululemonSuccess Magazine & NBC, even South African Radio. Her new book Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone. is out this month.

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