Self-confidence is critical in any social situation. Without faith in oneself, it’s much harder to assert yourself in a conversation with the people around you, making it much harder to interact with them. So, how can you build self-confidence?
Here are 9 ways for you to build your self-confidence.
1. Assert yourself
When you make claims, propose an idea, or present something important to say, it’s crucial to affirm yourself as you speak. But what exactly does this mean? Asserting yourself means you are persistent in forwarding your message in a discussion. You fundamentally believe that your idea is a good one, so your speech, tone and body language need to reflect that.
When speaking to a group of people, it is essential to be clear and precise with your language. Speak with authority, but also talk with grace (no reason to be too aggressive, except where it’s warranted). Be clear when you are talking. Do not mumble your words or speak too softly when trying to communicate your message. You want to be at a level of volume that is commanding, but not overbearing. Finding that happy medium between an authoritative voice and a calm, but firm, appearance is pivotal when speaking to any individual.
Body language is also a significant component to affirming oneself. When you are in a social situation, be sure to stand up straight with your shoulders back and down. You should try to make yourself look as tall and relaxed as possible. Make sure to look straight when you walk, never look straight down or straight up. Your face should also look either happy or content. Looking sad or angry is never appealing, and it shows others around you that your day is not going great, and nobody wants to see that. Your body and voice need to reflect your idea if you want to be successful: bold, strong and reliable.
2. Help someone else
One of the best ways you can gain self-confidence is by helping others first. Being able to help others, whether it’s through community service, doing favors for others, or just spending time with people who need it, is a great way to raise your self-esteem.
By assisting others, you are proving to yourself that you are more than capable of caring for yourself too. Not to mention, helping others makes you feel good about yourself. Helping others is a great way to boost your self-esteem and other people’s love and respect of you, which goes a long way towards making you feel more confident about your actions.
3. Care for yourself
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: caring for yourself is not a selfish act. Taking care of your body and mind is essential to boost your self-confidence.
Working out and eating healthy will give you quite a boost of energy to your body. You will feel motivated and energized to take on the day. Remember that a healthy body leads to a sharp mind and self-confidence. That means you’ll need good exercise, eating and sleeping habits. In addition to your healthier lifestyle, dress to succeed. Dressing well and keeping yourself nice and clean are great ways to boost one’s self-esteem.
4. Push through tough times
Sometimes, no matter how good you feel about yourself, you are going to suffer from tough times in your life. It happens to all of us at some point or another.
These things happen; there’s no way of preventing them. They’re just a part of life. That’s why it’s important to push through those tough times, regardless. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! If you feel distraught after something terrible happens, you have to keep going. Never slow down, never surrender! No one is going to carry you out of your situation. You have to believe in yourself so that you can get yourself out of the pit. It might be hard, but you’ll be stronger when you rise above.
5. Don’t get caught up in other people’s opinions
It’s essential that you never get caught up in other people’s opinions, whether they be about you or some other subject.
Don’t worry about what other people think of you; the only opinion about you that matters is your own (and maybe your parents, but that’s it). Ultimately it’s your life, so you live the way you want to. If you get caught up in other people’s opinions, you will drown yourself in all the nonsense. People’s views change from person to person, and everyone is going to have different beliefs and viewpoints about you. Just ignore all the noise. Obsessing about what others think of you will drive you crazy, and it ultimately won’t help you in the long run.
Make sure to form your own opinions about specific subjects. Don’t just be a yes-man or yes-woman to every decision made by a “leader.” Also, don’t just agree with what others say about someone or something. Collect information and make your own assessments. If it just so happens to line up with someone else’s opinion, great! If it doesn’t, who cares. Part of gaining self-confidence is being sure of yourself and your ideas. Don’t let others dictate your life.
6. Take the “100 Days of Rejection Therapy” challenge
Jia Jiang is a highly sought-after keynote speaker for his work on overcoming fear. He believes that most people’s concerns in life are in some way tied to their fear of being rejected by someone.
Jiang suggests that the only way to combat this fear of rejection is to face some form of rejection every day. Jiang claims that you will eventually become numb to denial if you are continually suffering from it, virtually disabling one’s fear of rejection. In other words, there is no need to fear rejection if you have already experienced denial.
Everyone has experienced rejection at one point or another; there’s no way around it. You are going to try and strive for something, and sometimes you just aren’t going to get lucky and are going to get declined. That’s okay though; use that experience as a learning opportunity for next time. Experience enough rejection, and eventually, your fear of being rejected won’t be holding you back from standing out from the crowd and proving to others that you are qualified, and you believe it. Because if you think you can do it, others will too.
7. Do something that scares you
The best way to conquer your fears is to face them head-first. If you can overcome your insecurities, you will come out of that experience stronger and more self-confident, guaranteed. Getting out of your comfort zone is a fantastic way to gain self-confidence. Facing your fears will help mold you into a stronger person.
8. Question your “inner critic”
Don’t be so self-critical. Instead of putting yourself down to improve yourself, list what you think is great about you, and focus on that. That’s going to make you more assured of yourself and will naturally help you improve any faults you do have, which are usually linked to a lack of self-confidence anyway. Self-confidence is typically the boost people need to further develop some aspect of their lives. Insecurity is what brings us down; gain some self-esteem to dominate the limelight.
9. Laugh at yourself
People make fools out of themselves all the time. There’s no use beating yourself up over it.
You are going to make mistakes, and you are bound to do something stupid — that’s a guarantee. You are inevitably going to make mistakes, and people will make fun of you for it. So the best thing for you to do is to laugh it off. It shows others that you don’t care that you made a fool of yourself and that you think the situation you put yourself in is also funny from your point of view.
Even if you are faking the laugh, you will eventually come around and think that your own mistakes are quite comical too. Laughing at yourself shows others that you aren’t taking the situation too seriously, and showing people that you are okay with making a fool of yourself truly demonstrates just how confident you really are.
If there is anything one can take away from these pointers, it’s that anyone can be confident in themselves; it just requires that you believe in yourself and your talents. Accepting yourself is the first step to taking the initiative. Take control of your own life and mold yourself into the expressive and respectful individual you want to be. And if other people can’t appreciate your greatness, then forget about them! The only assurance you need from anyone is your own.
I know Kanye West is a bit controversial at the moment, but I still believe there’s something to gain from his ridiculously high levels of self-confidence. This is what he said in an interview:
“I am Warhol. I am the number one artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney, Nike, Google.” — Kanye West, Interview with Sway, November 26, 2013
Now I know his claims are a bit out there, but what’s important to take away from his statements is that you are the greatest thing to have ever happened to the planet earth, and the only person who needs to know that is YOU.
Robert Morizio is a student at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Robert was born and raised in New York, and enjoys a variety of interests and activities ranging from writing and music to travel and skiing.