We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What are some good ways to build up your self-confidence? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. Instead of trying to convince yourself to become confident, go learn to do something. Anything, really. Just pick a skill you’ve always wanted and started learning about it. Practice it. Invest in it. Confidence is a side-effect of being good at something. Confidence without competence is, really, arrogance and ignorance.
2. Learning a new skill, then getting decently good at it such that people come to you for help. Mine is building/building repair for instance. I’m not a professional but I can think outside the box and that’s helpful/impressive to people who can’t.
For me, it isn’t other people’s opinions that matter nearly as much as the feeling of being useful.
Otherwise, just drill into your mind constantly that you are worthy, you are important, you are a perfectly valid human being who deserves to be happy and feel confident.
If you mean as far as social interaction, I have severe social anxiety and I’ve totally overcome it. The secret? Force yourself to accept that no one is better than you. They might be more successful, or attractive, or whatever, but they’re just a human, and you’re just a human. I use that baseline for every single interaction I have.
3. Going to the gym helped me tremendously with my self-confidence and depression to the point where I don’t take depression meds anymore. Weightlifting, in particular, has helped me take control of my body and self-image.
4. Acceptance of who you are in the present.
I had lived my whole life as “I’ll be the person someday” and always saw myself as inferior to my future self. In the last year, I finally just said, “I’m not that person in the future, I’m the person I am today.”
And that was in regards to a dozen things. I’d always been self-conscious about my physique for instance. And so I’d buy clothing that I’d fit into eventually, and say that who I was today wasn’t as fit as I was going to be eventually. And my self-confidence suffered from it because I was always demeaning myself that my present self wasn’t good enough.
There was this odd moment of zen where I simply came to say “This is who I am.” And that’s not to argue I’m not constantly bettering myself. But the moment I accepted who I was, I was able to own up to insecurities and face things I didn’t like. And in effect, you become confident in yourself, even if it’s not in the ways you’d always strived for.
5. Do things that scare you. Could be little, Could be big. Could be standing on a corner giving strangers a high-five or asking out that hottie at the bar.
When you take steps outside your comfort zone, you teach yourself you can handle a lot more than you thought. It makes it easier to face your fear and do things you want to do, which gives you confidence.
6. A good fashion sense. I’m a guy and I got a few girls that I’m friends with to help me with my style. It helps a lot. I feel much more comfortable and even some girls have been flirting with me more too. Good fashion ups your self-confidence by a lot.
7. It sounds dumb, but I tell myself “I love you” every night. It helps defeat the negative talk and if I love me, others definitely can.
8. Stand up big and tall, but don’t make it look unnatural. Talk loud and clear to people. Let others and yourself know that you have strength and power.
I saw this video once where it said that people who make themselves bigger (literally bigger) before situations where they might seem under confident were able to be more confident if that makes sense. I saw it in a public speaking class one time. For example, before an interview or even before talking in front of a group of people, stretch yourself out, get big, don’t be hunched up in a ball. That would translate to you feeling less confident if you were sitting, bent over all nervous.
9. Fake it till you make it. Also, walk confidently, no more hunching over.
10. “Exercise”, “Eat right”, “Therapy”, “Affirmations – tell yourself that you believe in yourself and your capabilities several times a day”, “Practice what you want to get good at. Start small. And build”, “Get comfortable at spending time alone”, “Travel”.