25 Ways To Improve Your Self Confidence (Drastically!)
Updated on June 7, 2022 by Team ShineSheets
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Some say that self confidence is like a muscle – you have to keep exercising it to make it strong and powerful. And – thank God – it’s more than true! Self confidence is one of those wonderful skills that can actually be learned by practicing a few mindset tricks and techniques, which means that no one can stop you from becoming confident (well, except you, of course).
Today I want to share with you 25 wonderful ways to drastically improve your self confidence by shifting your perception and doing a few simple everyday exercises. They’re incredibly effective and have helped me when my own self confidence was really low in the past, but of course – in order for them to work, you have to use them (duh!).
If you’re ready for anything and just are tired of your low self confidence, keep on reading and then – start working to improve your self confidence today. It takes many small steps, but as soon as you take the first one, you’re already invested, and let’s just say that opening this article WAS the first step, okay?
So… Are you ready for a more confident you? This is what you have to do!
25 Ways To Improve Your Self Confidence
1. Visualize yourself being confident, brave & attractive
No matter what you do, always imagine yourself having your desired goal in your hand.
Visualization is proven to be an effective way both to stay focused on your goals, and improve the confidence you need to reach them. Since visualization helps you to create a strong image of “the successful you” in your head, keeping this image locked in your mind can really help you push past your fears.
Also, believing that you are completely confident can help you take small social challenges (like talking to someone you’re afraid of) and improve your self confidence with small acts of braveness.
2. Talk back to your Inner Critic
When looking for the harshest critic around, you don’t really need to look far. Most of the time, YOU are your own harshest critic and, to improve your self confidence, you should start by telling this critic “Stop! I am not going to believe you anymore. I am going to be supportive of myself and I know I will succeed”.
Learning to spot the negative voice in your head is one of the most important steps you can take in order to improve your confidence, so give this one a ton of priority.
3. Do something challenging every week
If you want to radically improve your self confidence, it’s important that you constantly take small challenges and achieve them. With each and every achievement, your self-confidence grows stronger because your brain is registering these small wins as proof that you’re basically awesome.
It’s not easy to go and straight up do something that scares you, yes. It might take a lot of courage at first, but you don’t have to rush yourself. And you don’t need to achieve a certain number of challenges. Find your own pace, do it with positive self-talk, and don’t fret about failing, because it’s a completely normal thing to do.
You live and you learn by trial and error – that is OK. That is what we all do.
4. Memorize and repeat self-assuring affirmations in your head
Strong and encouraging affirmations can do wonders for your self-esteem. It’s a perfect way to talk back to that inner critic and help you grow more confident every single day.
Write down a list of assuring affirmations to keep in your purse or near your bed. Read them every day and try your best to BELIEVE them, because that is what awakens the real power within you.
5. Learn to be OK with social discomfort
We live in such a social world that it’s practically impossible to avoid negative social situations completely. They’re bound to happen, so being afraid of them is almost like being afraid to breathe. Instead of fearing social discomfort, learn to be OK with it and practice taking on these situations with pride. I talked more in-depth about it in this article: How To Stop Being Afraid Of Conflicts And Confrontation
6. Improve your appearance (and do it with self-love!)
There’s no secret – we feel way more confident when we look our best. To radically improve your self confidence, work on improving your looks as well. For most people, it’s one of the strongest factors that contribute to self confidence growth.
When working on your appearance, always concentrate on doing it with self-love and compassion. You don’t want to be jogging at 5 AM in the morning because “you’re fat and deserve it”. Rather do it because “your body loves moving and it helps you become stronger and healthier”.
Here’s more on that: 65 Self-Loving Ways To Improve Your Appearance
Another way to improve your appearance is by taking good care of your teeth. Many people are afraid to smile in public due to the fact that they are embarrassed about their teeth. Luckily, there are many different things you can do to smile more confidently. Whether your teeth are not straight or you have an open bite, there are always ways to fix these problems with braces or specific aligners. Improving your smile can help you look better, and feel the difference both mentally and emotionally. It’s a great idea to learn more about dental care so that you can smile your happiest and brightest smile!
7. Write down a list of your personal rules and stick to them
Having a personal rule set can help in situations when you don’t know how to act and also – improve your image in other people’s eyes. I remember a story from my life where this came true pretty clearly.
It was my first week at university and I didn’t know all of my group yet. We were just getting to know each other, I was pretty shy and it can be a slow process in big groups of students, I guess. I remember that some girls in my group liked to laugh at other people. To make it clear – those girls were really smart and cool, and they were not being mean. They were rather just fooling around about the way some people talked or gave presentations, etc. Nothing too offensive, yet I never felt it was OK, even if it was a joke. So I never laughed at those “funny” people because it felt uncomfortable and it was my personal rule to never make fun of anyone.
When I finally got introduced to those girls, I was really surprised when they mentioned how cool it was for me to stay neutral in situations when everyone was laughing at someone. They said they really liked me just because I didn’t do what everyone else was doing (and I was pretty darn surprised!).
As you can see, a simple rule I had helped me to make the right decision (“should I or should I NOT laugh with them in order to fit in?”) and it boosted my image in their eyes.
8. Question and reframe negative thoughts about yourself
As you go through life, you constantly encounter situations when something just doesn’t go your way.
In times like that, you are likely to develop negative thoughts that keep bringing you down. The more often it happens, the faster your self confidence dries out. To counter that, work on questioning every negative thought and, if needed, reframing it to something that is more helpful. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) works wonders here! You can learn the basics of it and successfully adapt it to every negative situation in your life. Here are a few books that taught me about it:
It’s the first book I recommend for anyone who is struggling with anxiety, worry, depression, social anxiety, lack of motivation, or general irritation. This book will teach you new ways of thinking and trust me, they will help you to look at your world with new eyes – and with more confidence, yet less pain. Check it out here
Written by the same author but focused more on confidence to help you improve your self-esteem and general happiness in just ten days. The methods in this book are very easy to follow so you don’t feel so stressed when trying to apply these tips in your life. Check this one out here
Last, but not least, you can also try my printable Thought Workbook which is based on CBT techniques and can help you learn how to spot those negative thoughts, check their validity and find a brighter side to each and every one of them:
9. Mimic the “confidence posture”
Standing straight, with your shoulders relaxed and your chest open can also help to improve your self confidence.
A few studies showed that mimicking this “confidence posture” can actually help you feel more confident so wherever you go – stand straight and walk with your head high, even if you don’t feel confident (yet).
10. Replace jealousy with appreciation
If you feel unconfident because someone else is smarter, prettier, thinner, richer, or more successful than you… Know that you should either stop or accept this uncomfortable feeling as a part of your life. Why? Because there will ALWAYS be someone who is smarter, prettier, thinner, richer, or more successful than you. ALWAYS.
Instead of burning with jealousy, appreciate! Appreciate the beauty in everything around you – including other people, both men, and women. Appreciate the beauty of life itself! It’s everywhere around – in you, in nature, in cities, in success stories, in achieved goals, even in wealth as well.
If you feel that it’s too hard for you to make this mind shift and you still feel jealous, know that you can also be someone who is smart, pretty, fit, or rich. Yes, these are big goals and they require a lot of work, but none of it is impossible. When people REALLY WANT something, they find ways to make it their reality – and you can too.
Here’s more on that:
11. Accept your imperfections
None of us has been born perfect – and as well as working for your dreams, you should also work on accepting your imperfections. Even better – learn to live with them and embrace them, make your flaws work for you.
12. Work on accentuating your strengths
Once you’ve come to PEACE with your imperfections, make a list of your strengths and do everything you need to make the most of it.
Every single one of us has at least one thing we’re good at, and you have it too. Think really well and list everything you’re good at – then use it, embrace it, enhance it and make it a reason to be more confident in yourself.
13. Stop people-pleasing
If you feel like you are always trying to be nice to other people, yet always find out that someone is trying to take advantage of you, it can be a huge blow to your self confidence.
It’s a wonderful trait to be nice, helpful, and empathetic towards other people, but just as with everything else – it’s best to find the balance between being nice, and being a people pleaser. When dealing with other people, be nice, but also put your wellbeing first. If there’s something you can’t or don’t want to do for others – don’t. Friendly explain way why you can’t do that and stand up for yourself. Yes, this might result in a conflict, but you should never fear conflicts because they’re just a part of human relationships.
14. Refuse to give up on yourself
Sometimes life gets hard and it can make all of your self confidence efforts go down the drain.
Before that happens, make a pact with yourself and decide that no matter what happens, you will never give up on yourself. Moreover – decide that you will keep working on your confidence and other goals until you finally succeed, even if it takes multiple tries and errors.
Having such an agreement can help you get back on your feet faster than you can imagine! No matter the size of your crisis, just refuse to give up. Refuse to stop.
15. Cut back on relationships that are diminishing your confidence
If there’s a person in your life who is constantly bringing you and your confidence down, cut back on such a relationship as much as you can. Not only you don’t deserve to be treated like that, but it is also a heavyweight on your confidence that needs to be moved.
16. Stop seeking everyone’s approval
A lot of people lack enough self-esteem simply to be themselves and be confident with their choices. And when you look well, this behavior almost always stems from trying to please other people, or a desperate wish to be liked and loved by everyone.
If you want to improve your confidence, remind yourself that the only person you have something to prove to is YOU. While it’s always advisable to take other people’s advice into account… At the end of the day, it is YOU who knows what’s best for you. It’s YOU who knows where you want to go and what you want to do.
17. Write down a list of things you do well and read it every day
Improve your confidence with a simple healthy habit of reminding yourself of what you’re great at. You can simply write these things on the piece of paper, or you can try this fun printable exercise for that:
18. Be prepared for low confidence moments
Let’s be honest, there will most likely be days when you’ll feel like your confidence is destroyed. While it’s totally OK to feel low for a while, it’s best that you know what to do in case that happens. We have shared some wonderful advice on this here: How To Quickly Rebuild Your Confidence After a Failure
19. Whatever you do, do it the best you can
If you want to be more confident, strive to do everything as well as you can, but allow yourself to have mistakes to learn.
Giving a 100% to every task will help you feel that you are really doing the best you can. Also – that you are doing everything that is in your control. What’s really wonderful with this approach is that it also enables a new kind of motivation that helps you do a lot more work or tasks every single day, which again results in more confidence in yourself.
20. Expect and accept criticism
It’s impossible to be liked by everyone – just like it’s impossible to meet everyone’s standards.
In life, you should always expect to be criticized, and you should always accept it completely. It doesn’t mean that you have to AGREE to this criticism, but learning to accept criticism without getting offended can help you to stay confident in face of any disapproval.
21. Don’t be scared to get scared
Are you always scared of uncomfortable situations because you don’t feel confident enough to deal with them? Know that you’re not alone. Almost everyone feels unsure about the future and uneasy about possible negative situations – it’s just the way we are.
But even though some situations can be really scary, you should work on not being scared to get scared. Tell yourself that no matter what happens, you can do what you have to do, EVEN if you are scared.
Being afraid is an unpleasant feeling, but it is also one of the most limiting ones and you can’t allow it to freeze and paralyze you. In some situations, you can and you have to push through, even if you’re scared. It might be the only way out!
22. Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others is the same as trying to punch your view in the mirror – it serves no purpose and also is painful. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
Compare yourself to who you were yesterday – have you moved forward? Have you done something today that makes you better than you were yesterday? Instead of competing with others, compete with yourself – you will be surprised how fast can you start growing and thriving with self confidence!
23. Be aware of what makes you insecure
Knowing your triggers is like knowing your enemy – you can foresee possible blows to your self confidence and either avoid them or be ready to face them strong.
Take a sheet of paper and write down all the things that make you insecure. Then try to think of things you can do to minimize the effects of each of these triggers. Having an action plan will help you control your insecurities and unhelpful reactions to various events.
24. Focus on what’s bright & positive in your life
Being confident is closely related to being positive too. It’s hard to feel confident if you’re constantly focusing on negative situations and experiences. To avoid that, work on building your positivity as this will improve your overall mental balance and help you in your self confidence journey. You can try my printable Positive Journal which has several helpful exercises that you can print and do regularly to stay focused on the bright side of your life (there’s always one!):
25. Don’t try to be perfect
Trying to be perfect is mission impossible. Perfect just doesn’t exist and believing that someone or something is perfect is just a utopia. Instead of trying to be perfect, try to be better than you are.
Knowing that you don’t have to reach some kind of an impossible goal can help you feel more confident with the way you are and what you’re working on.
And that is it! If you keep working on these techniques, you will gradually improve your self confidence and learn to live your life to the fullest. I hope you try them all and achieve wonderful results!
“Have confidence that if you have done a little thing well, you can do a bigger thing well too.” – David Storey