We don’t want to sound negative here, but we’re pretty sure that “be confident” might be the worst piece of advice ever. If someone is asking you for advice, it’s because they are already not feeling sure of themselves, so telling them to just be confident is like telling someone who is sad to just “be happy.” Most of us don’t really know how to become more confident, but there are tricks out there that can really help you see the best version of yourself. Whether you’re preparing for a job interview or anything else, these tips can help.
Try something new
This sounds a bit silly, but it actually can make a huge difference. Most of us are stuck in a daily grind that we hardly ever get out of, and that can take its toll on your confidence. If you need that little boost, go and try something new. Go hike up a mountain. Try eating dinner at a new restaurant. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s new. Breaking out of that routine will show you what you’re really capable of. Even if you fail, you’ll realize that failure isn’t the end of the world.
Quit the negative self-talk
Everyone loves a good self-deprecating joke… every once in a while. But if you’re constantly making jokes about how terrible you are, your brain is going to actually believe that it’s true (read closely: it’s not). Pay close attention to how you speak about yourself. Are you kind to yourself? Do you talk about yourself like you don’t like yourself? If so, make a change. Quit telling jokes that make fun of yourself and stop saying that you’re no good.
Prepare in advance
Preparation is always key. It’s impossible to feel confident if you aren’t prepared. If you’re about to give a speech to your class, you’re going to feel ten times more confident if you have practiced the speech enough that you feel like you can’t mess it up. If you’re about to have a job interview, you’re going to feel far better if you had a friend act as a mock interviewer beforehand. Preparation is a step that many people ignore, and it can help with any activity that you aren’t so sure about.
Watch your body language
Body language is called a language for a reason. It communicates very real meanings to an audience just as words do. Your body language is also a direct expression of how you’re feeling inside. If you can’t change how confident you’re feeling, try at least looking more confident. Stand up tall, square your shoulders, and keep your legs straight. You’ll find that it has a feedback effect where your confident body language translates into real mental confidence inside your head. It’s like they say: fake it ‘til you make it.
Set achievable goals
Your confidence can really suffer if you’re not succeeding in life. But keep in mind that most of us set very unrealistic expectations for ourselves in terms of “success.” That six-figure job you’ve been dreaming of is a great goal, but you’re going to have some failure along the way. To keep your confidence up along the way, set smaller goals that are much more achievable. Decide to save an extra $100 next month. Decide to call your mom more often. Even succeeding at small things like that will make you feel much more capable.
It seems like exercise is used as a solution to almost every problem that’s out there. But guess what? That’s because it really is that useful. Anyone who is active knows just how big of a difference it makes, but it can be hard to convince yourself of that fact if you’re stuck in a rut of laziness and inactivity. So start small. Run half a mile. Go on an hour-long hike. Bike to the store. Exercise not only has real and measurable benefits to mental health, but improving at a physical activity will double your confidence easily.
Pick your soundtrack wisely
There are a lot of tricks out there to help you improve your confidence that are a bit more philosophical rather than practical. If that doesn’t suit you, try this one out. We all know that music can make us feel a certain way, right? Use that to your advantage and pick out a playlist that will make you feel confident over anything else. It doesn’t matter if it’s “We Are the Champions” on loop for two hours. Just pick some music that makes you feel great and listen to it often. Ditch the sad jams.
Listen closely to others
Having confidence when meeting new people is a tough thing. This is the case in both our business and our personal lives. You want to seem like a friendly, likeable person, but it’s hard to get past that initial awkwardness. To deal with this, really focus on listening to other people. When others speak, listen without interrupting. Come up with questions to ask when they’re done talking. People appreciate anyone who will really listen to them, and your conversations will be much more rewarding for it.
Remember why you’re great
We’re taught that we should be humble. We’re told that we should never brag. That more or less makes sense, as no one wants to go to dinner with someone who is talking non-stop about how much money they made last year. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be proud of yourself. Take some time each day to reflect on the things that make you great. You’re funny, smart, and capable. You can recognize that mentally without making it a big deal of it in front of other people. Make a routine of congratulating yourself. You deserve it!
Stop with the comparisons
Humans have always compared themselves to others, but it seems like this phenomenon happens now more than ever. Social media has made it so that we can compare by how many likes we get or how many followers we have. But there’s no point in that. Everyone is on a different place in their personal journey, and being in a different spot than someone else doesn’t matter. So stop comparing yourself with others and just focus on what you need to do for yourself. It will make you feel far more confident.