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It seems as though some people are born with self confidence and others have to work hard to build theirs up. I fall into the building category.
When I was younger it was tough building self confidence. I was always comparing myself to others and always looking at the negatives, like what I lacked, as opposed to what I brought to the table.
It really became a problem in my early 20’s when I started to go into credit card debt.
Buying things made me feel good about myself, so I kept buying more and more.
The problem was I didn’t have much of an income, so my debt was growing fast.
Eventually, the excitement of buying things wore off faster and faster, which led me to buy things at a more rapid pace. As you can probably guess, this made my credit card debt levels skyrocket too.
But once I admitted I had low self esteem, I was able to break the debt cycle.
During this time I started to work on myself and build my self esteem. As my self worth increased, I started to be happier in general.
And once I was happier with myself and life, more positive things began to happen. I found a good paying job. I paid off my debt. I began saving for my future. My health and relationships improved.
All that has happened to me is a result of building my self confidence.
Looking back, there were certain things I did that had a tremendous impact on improving my self confidence. Today, I want to share with you the 15 self confidence builders that I have found to work best for me.
Not all may be the magic elixir for you, but I am certain that many of these tips will help you build your self confidence as well.
15 Tips To Help In Building Self Confidence
#1. Take Care Of Yourself
This is #1 for a reason.
As you will see from the rest of the list, self confidence comes from within. If you are looking for outside sources to build your self confidence, you are going to fail miserably.
So, you have to work on and take care of yourself.
I’m not saying you have to have the body of supermodel, but you need to take care of yourself.
Exercise for 30 minutes a day and eat well.
It all comes down to simply making smarter choices in life. And they don’t have to be huge life altering ones either.
I bought myself a fitness tracker and began tracking my daily steps.
The recommended amount is 10,000. I thought I was active even though I sit at a desk all day and set out for that goal. To say I was surprised when I was barely hitting 5,000 steps is an understatement!
It really opened my eyes to how much I sit all day long while working.
I now average close to 12,000 a day. All I did was make a few small changes to my day that have become routine. For example:
- I park a little further away from the store when I go shopping
- I periodically get out of my chair throughout the day and take a brief walk for 3 minutes
- I take stairs over escalators
These simple things help me to get more steps in and be more active. When it comes to eating, you might have to be a little more drastic.
Start eating more real food and less processed foods. It will be easy at first when you are motivated, but you will get cravings soon afterwards.
This is just your body going through withdraw. If you can push through the cravings, you will come out stronger on the other side.
For me, I found the most success on the paleo diet. The first week was tough as I was craving pizza, but once I got through that first week, it was 1,000 times easier. I no longer craved junk food or sugary drinks. And I really enjoyed making new meals.
#2. Stand Tall
Take note as to how you walk. If you have a hard time seeing how you walk, have a friend record you walking.
You may be surprised. Are your shoulders slumped? Is your head down?
This is how someone walks who doesn’t have confidence.
Stand up tall with your head up when you walk. Here is a great guide to walking properly.
If you’ve been walking around with your shoulders slumped and head down, the change is amazing when you start walking properly.
I was guilty of this and when I made the change, it was incredible how much better I felt just with this one little change.
Learn to smile.
It’s crazy that I say learn to smile but many of us don’t smile that much.
When you see someone, smile and say hello. Better yet, just walk around with a smile on your face.
You can even watch this video of people smiling.
Just doing this will make you instantly feel happier inside and will do wonders for your self confidence.
In fact, if you stop here and just make these 3 points habits, you will be well on your way to building self confidence.
#4. Look People In The Eye
Nothing shows others that you have confidence like looking them in the eye when you talk to them.
Additionally, when you do this while they are talking to you, it shows that you are really paying attention to them and what they are saying.
Of course, make sure you blink and don’t stare when looking someone in the eye. That would be creepy!
#5. Change Your Habits
What are you doing that is causing you to lack confidence? Are you scared of speaking in public?
Instead of hiding when you are called upon in the office or in class, make it a habit of getting past your fear and speak up.
Maybe your lack of confidence comes from being overweight.
Instead of giving in to your craving for a pizza, go for a walk instead or have a tall glass of water. Both of these will help you to get over your urge and will help you to build self confidence because you didn’t give in to your craving.
When it comes to money, work on creating a habit to save money. The best option is to make it automatic. When you automate your savings, you never have to think about saving money, it just happens.
Or maybe you want to make more money. Take a few minutes a day completing a survey and you will earn an extra $100 a month. Once you build the foundation of the habit, you can begin to take the next step and earn more money.
The key here is to make tiny changes that become habits. In the moment, these changes don’t feel like much, but they have a powerful impact on bettering your life and as a result, building self confidence.
#6. Think Positive
Many times we have a lack of confidence because we fear or doubt an outcome to an event. Instead of thinking negatively about an outcome, think positively. Think of the great things that will come out of it.
Here is a great infographic of the power of positive thinking.
In the off chance that things don’t turn out as you planned, don’t get discouraged. Instead, look at the bright side.
Maybe you didn’t get that new job, but there could be better fit for you right around the corner. You never know, so don’t get discouraged so easily.
This happened to me.
I was in a job I hated and was applying for jobs weekly. I kept getting turned down. My outlook started to dim but I kept pushing through.
I went on a job interview and they liked me, but said they couldn’t hire me for 6 months. At first I was disappointed, but I realized I’ve gone 3 years working a job I hated, what is 6 more months?
Surprisingly, a month later they called me back and said they wanted me to start as soon as possible. I was overcome with joy!
The key was me staying positive and pushing through, even when hope seemed lost.
When you can find the positives in all situations, you lose your fear and this is a great step in building self confidence.
Helping others in need is another great activity that helps to build self confidence.
I know when I do good for others, I feel amazing. That feeling stays with me for days on end. In fact, it is so powerful that this is one of the habits of the successful and wealthy.
Remember, you can volunteer your time to great causes. It doesn’t have to be money.
And if you lack time and money, you probably have skills to help out. You might not be able to volunteer every Saturday, but you could spend an afternoon cooking meals or building a spreadsheet that would help out.
Always strive to learn.
If there is something you have an interest in, learn more about it. You can learn more about it for free through books from your library, online resources and guides and even at colleges.
There are plenty of colleges that offer free, no credit courses in a variety of fields. As you learn more and more, your confidence in the subject matter grows and so does your overall confidence as well.
To get some ideas of some great books and courses, check out my resources page for books I’ve read and benefited from.
#9. Do Something You Keep Putting Off
One simple way to build self confidence is to do the things you have been procrastinating on.
Regardless of what the thing is, you are putting it off for a reason.
Getting it done and off of your to-do list is a great shot of motivation.
I know for me, there are plenty of little things around the house I have to get to. I always put them off, even though they are easy to do and will take little time.
When I finally do get around to doing one or two, I get on a roll and start knocking them all out.
It’s amazing how good it feels to get them off my plate. Even though they aren’t big things, they still weigh me down.
#10. Do Something That Scares You
This trick to building self confidence is related to the above.
Write down a list of things that scare you and start knocking them off the list.
I did this a few years ago.
Each month, I had to do something that scared me. One time it was looking out the window on the plane (I hate flying). Another time it was walking down a stairway on the side of a mountain (I’m afraid of heights).
While they scared me at the time, they helped me to build my self confidence.
Now when I fly, I look out the window all the time. It might not seem like a good idea at first to challenge yourself in this way, but it is a great way to build your self confidence.
#11. Stop Talking Negatively
Many times we put ourselves down by talking negative. We tell ourselves we can’t do this or are unable to do that. Stop putting yourself down with negative talk and start lifting yourself up with positive words of encouragement.
When you try and fail, instead of saying “I can’t do this”, say that in time I will be able to do this, I just need more practice.
By simply changing our words, we have a huge impact on our feelings and mood.
#12. Stop Caring What Others Think
Related again to the above point, stop caring what others think.
You aren’t out to please others, your goal is to please yourself and be happy.
What makes you happy won’t make others happy most of the time. So you can either be miserable and make them happy, or just focus on your own happiness.
Since you have to deal with yourself 24 hours a day, I suggest you make it a point to make yourself happy.
While it will be hard at first and you might disappoint others, they will get over it and so will you. As I said, you have to live with yourself, so you might as well be happy otherwise life will not be much fun.
#13. Rationalize Your Doubts
Many times we get scared or worried and let our doubts control us. We let our minds go to the worst case scenario and allow that to determine whether or not we do something.
If you are always allowing fear to rule you, you will never be self confident. Learn to rationalize your doubts.
Next time you have a doubt, go ahead and think of the worst case scenario. Then stop and think about how likely that outcome will be.
Odds are it will be rare.
Once you realize this, you can start thinking more positively about the outcomes.
I know for me, if I look back at the times I doubted something, 99% of the time the worst case scenario never came true. This fact alone gives me confidence to try new things because I know that the odds are against the worst possible outcome happening.
#14. Grow From Failing
If you hold yourself back because you are afraid to fail, I am here to tell you to go fail.
Failing is the absolute best thing that can happen to you. It helps you to build character and grow not only as person but also helps in building self esteem.
- Read now: Click here to learn how to overcome your fear of failing
- Read now: Learn how to bounce back from failure
As long as you look at your failures to see what you did wrong and make a change for the better, failing is a great thing. I’ve failed many times in life and I will fail many more times.
I don’t let it control me or determine what I do.
I know that failing is important and as a result, I don’t fear it. Ideally I want to succeed, but even if I fail, I know that I am one step closer to succeeding than if I never tried at all.
#15. Change The Company You Keep
This is the hardest option for building self confidence and so it comes last.
If you are hanging out with negative people that lack confidence, you will mimic them and be just like them. Because of this, you have to be smart with who you spend your time with.
Hang out and be friends with people that encourage you and push you to be your best.
Stop hanging out with people that hold you back or put you or others down.
It might be hard at first to pull away from these people, especially if you’ve been friends for a long time, but it is the best thing for you.
Remember, you only get one shot at life.
You can either be miserable with others or you can be your best and live life to the fullest and be happy. It’s your choice, so you can’t get upset if life doesn’t turn out the way you want.
In the long run, getting toxic people out of your life is the best thing you can do.
So there are 15 tips for building self confidence. Some are easier to apply than others, but having high self confidence is important.
And as you apply these self confidence tips to your life, you will begin to notice positive changes in your life. You will take more chances, which can lead to more opportunities and more success, which just snowballs into higher self confidence and more success.
So start to take action today.
You can improve your self esteem and be successful in everything you do. You just have to follow these self confidence tips and begin to apply them to your life.
Don Dulin is the founder and main author on Unfinished Success, a personal development website whose goal is to help you be the best you. By making small changes everyday to how you live life, you can live your best life. You can learn more about him here.