Updated: Aug 18
Self-confidence helps us believe that we can handle whatever task or challenge comes our way. We could all use a little more of that. However, it’s easy to get bogged down with reading and acquiring information. Many people are too busy planning, and lack the confidence, to take action. Planning is important, but if you fail to implement your plan, you won’t see results.
Try these activities and boost your confidence today:
1. Try getting specific. Are you confident in your ability to brush your teeth, tie your shoes, and drive a car? Yes, yes and probably yes! You likely have more self-confidence than you realize.
List some situations where you’d like to feel more self-confident. Some examples might include dating situations, public speaking, meeting new people, being more assertive at work, or dealing with conflict.
2. Create a self-confidence blueprint. Take a few minutes and jot down about a half-page of notes regarding the specific situation where you desire greater self-confidence. How would you act? How would you look to others? How would you feel? Think about your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and breathing.
Ensure that you define and understand what self-confidence looks like to you. It’s difficult to accomplish “it” if you’re unsure what “it” is.
3. Imagine that you’ve already been through the situation in question. Everything is easier in hindsight. Visualize yourself being incredibly self-confident. Put in as much detail as possible. See yourself acting in accordance with the criteria you listed in the previous step.
Do this visualization at least once a day until it’s 100% believable to you. Then you can try out your newfound self-confidence during the situation in question. Avoid expecting perfection and focus on personal growth.
4. Get physical. Attempt to sit, walk, talk, and act like a confident person. Intentionally try to take on the physical characteristics of someone that’s brimming with self-confidence. Smile and stand up straight. Use good eye contact.
Before you realize it, this will become a habit. Your current physicality is merely a poor habit. Form a new, positive habit of using confident body language.
5. Stretch yourself. Come up with a list of activities that will stretch your confidence muscles. It can be little tasks that you find slightly uncomfortable. As they become more comfortable, you can concentrate on more difficult tasks.
Suppose you really have a fear of or feel awkward around men you don't already know. You could start out by going to the mall and smile at/make eye contact with 20 men that pass by (please be safe and aware of your surroundings). The next day, you could say "Hello" to 20 men that pass by. Then you could step out a little more and ask 10 (I will lightly use the term 'handsome' ) men for directions. The following day you could give a sincere compliment to a few that as you are now beginning to engage them, and so on.
One of the keys to overcoming our fears is exposure. Just a little bit at a time. Small, manageable, bite-size steps. I grew up up with a terrible fear of snakes. One day, in my role as a Recreation Therapist, I invited the Friends of the Zoo to visit our nursing home. When she bought out a snake, I was out of the room like lightening. But my boss said it was my project and I had to stay. The facilitator spoke to me about my fear and then had me come close as she talked. Then, as she spoke about the different markings she had me touch. Eventually, she had me help her hold it (so weird). The back half only, please!
So just baby steps and eventually you'll get there. But you have to be consistent. You can't hit and quit it.
Are you afraid, like most people, to speak in public. Well don't start by speaking to large crowds. Start small. An office meeting. Volunteer to take on and lead small projects. Taking the lead in a group presentation at school. Try leading your own small group...book club, bible study, etc... It will surely work. How do I know? Been there. Done that. I was (and still am in some settings) the shyest thing on the planet. I'm now an ordained reverend and have to speak all the time, sometimes without preparation.
5. Preparation is another key. Remember the 5 P's. "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance". Thanks to my first pastor, Rev. Mark Flowers, for that one.
Building self-confidence requires action. Take some time each day to work on your self-confidence. There are few things that will have a greater positive impact on your life than increasing the level of confidence you have in yourself.
Create an action plan and stick to it. Self-confidence can be very easy to build if you make the effort. A little work can result in huge rewards. If you really want to boost your confidence, don't read this just for information. Apply it and see the transformation. It has and is working for me. It could for you too.