My company has been on a mission to increase confidence in women around the world. We have done a few things to let the public know about this endeavor, like creating the Chain of Confidence, partnering with Confidence Counselors (like Ashanti), holding events like Confide and Conquer, and even adding “Confidence” to our logos. While we are focusing on building confidence in women, I have been thinking about how men can also build confidence. From my personal experience, I believe that men like to take on challenges like this by themselves, so here are some tips that we (men and women) can use ourselves to build confidence:
1. Smile – the simplest tip and the one that I often forget. “There’s lots of research that suggests if you smile, even in a fake way, it will indirectly lift your mood,” which makes you feel safe and relaxed, says Nancy Etcoff, clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.
2. Accept the compliments – don’t argue with the person complimenting you or play it down. Say thank you and accept it. You’ll feel better if you do.
3. Stop over-analyzing – get yourself away from doubt and analysis paralysis.
4. Learn something new – like a new language or a new skill. Becoming a better person will make you more confident in general, not just when you’re doing that thing.
5. Limit your apologies – you’ll feel more assured when you’re not unnecessarily apologizing for things. Excessive apologizing is linked to insecurity.
6. Catch up on sleep – you’ll have more energy and be able to focus more when your body and mind gets the rest it requires.
7. Straighten up – suck in that gut, push back those shoulders and puff up that chest. You’re confident, so show it.
8. Move on – you’re going to fail sometimes. Get over it and focus on the next challenge. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t dwell on them.
9. Get active – “Even just one trip to the gym increases positive feelings about your body,” says psychiatrist Laura Berman. It’ll help you look better and be healthier too. It’s a win/win/win. Push harder while you’re there too. That soreness makes you feel stronger.
10. Assume that people like you – it’s really that simple.
11. Think positively – don’t allow yourself to think that you’re not good at a certain activity. Instead, tell yourself that you really want to get better at it.
12. Make eye contact – when you’re talking to someone, look them in the eye. If the other person doesn’t see your insecurities, you won’t be as aware of them either.
13. Recall the good stuff – think back over the past few weeks and write down every nice thing someone said to you. Then consult that list when you’re feeling self-doubt.
14. Start talking – engaging with someone else will make you feel good about yourself.
15. Stop the procrastination – If you’re avoiding a daunting task, start with something small that you’ve put off. Once you accomplish that, a big task feels less nightmarish.
16. Be grateful – write a thank-you note or call someone to say thanks. People who express gratitude are happier with themselves.
17. Set realistic goals – have aspirations, but don’t aim for unattainable perfection.
18. Imagine if you never existed – sounds crazy, right? If you envision how others’ lives would be different if you hadn’t been born, you’ll quickly learn your own value, according to a study at the University of Virginia.
19. Visualize success – seeing yourself complete a difficult task will make you more likely to accomplish the goal.
20. Give stereotypes the finger – stop worrying about your actions being in accordance to a specific type, like being manly or cool. Just be and accept yourself the way you are.