For too many people, it is an unfortunate fact that self-confidence seems like an elusive concept — as if it can be possible for others, but not for themselves.
However, the secret to self-confidence is that no one is just “born with it.” Instead, it takes practice and a serious amount of inner reflection.
Because even if you get the job promotion, marry your ultimate crush, or wear a designer closet, these things will only lead to a short-lived sense of self-confidence if a solid foundation isn’t present.
That is why many people complete a goal, and then shortly after, feel bad about themselves with regards to their next target.
So how do you practice and cultivate self-confidence?
Well, you need to start by introducing self-confidence-boosting habits into your daily routine. While at first, it may seem challenging, over time, you will train your mind to do them subconsciously, enabling your self-confidence to blossom.
The following five simple habits can easily be fused into your daily life, and will undoubtedly increase your self-confidence.
1. Give up on the idea of “perfection.”
Let’s cut to the chase. “Perfection” doesn’t exist.
It is a fallacy, yet one that too many people spend their lives chasing. And, because it is a myth, there is never a time when you can sit back and say “Yes, that was perfect.”
In other words, striving for perfection means you will never end up finished or satisfied.
That isn’t to say that having high goals, lofty dreams, and intense ambition isn’t beneficial. There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence; however, you need to understand that you are never going to be perfect. And that is perfectly all right.
Instead of chasing perfection, chase “good enough.” The irony of trying to be “perfect” is that more often than not, it stops someone from taking action or finishing a task.
But, when you start aiming for “good enough,” your brain suddenly has less of an excuse to procrastinate and instead is more likely to make progress.
Perfectionism is not only a surefire way to indulge in procrastination tendencies, but it is also incredibly harmful to your mental and physical health. To boost your self-confidence, you must realize that giving your all and doing your best are enough.
2. Invest the time necessary to get to know yourself
The best way to start getting to know yourself is to take up a daily journaling practice. In your journal, document everything you feel, what you want to achieve, the person you want to become, and the steps you are going to take to get there.
Write about what happens to you on a daily basis, and every evening, write down three things you are grateful for in life and about yourself.
In a world that makes it easy to continuously be comparing ourselves and our lives to others (thank you, social media), practising gratitude each morning and evening is a superb way of remembering what is extraordinary about your presence.
Don’t be scared to journal about the negative things in your life, or the aspects of yourself you don’t like and want to improve. In fact, you may find that getting it out and onto paper is a release from keeping it bottled up.
Use your journal as a personal place to get to know yourself, to dig deep into your core being, and to show yourself the respect and love that you show others.
One of the most significant aspects of journaling is having the ability to go back and see how you have grown in the course of a few weeks, months or years.
You will be surprised by how much you are developing, what you have achieved, and how much there is for you to be proud of and confident about.
3. Choose your inner circle wisely
While self-confidence has to originate from within, you can make the development easier and quicker if you surround yourself with people who also think you are exceptional.
No matter how much work you do, if you are continuously spending your time with people who bring you down, make you feel undeserving of love, success, and happiness, or are unsupportive of your dreams or goals, you aren’t ever going to be able to reach a high level of self-confidence.
You need people around you who are positive and uplifting, and who genuinely want you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
This doesn’t only include the people you surround yourself with, but also the information you consume. Challenge and expand your mind with books, music, movies and art that makes you feel positive about the world and your position in it.
Stop spending hours scrolling through social media, feeling dejected about your life compared to others’, and instead spend that time indulging in your hobbies and interests. Spend your time and energy on focusing on becoming the best you can be.
Self-confidence will be right behind you.
4. Present yourself as confident
On the days when your self-confidence is lacking, you have to remember to “fake it until you make it.” How do you fake self-confidence? You make an effort to manifest yourself as confident.
This means grooming yourself (to a standard that you are comfortable with). Whether that entails getting your hair done, shaving your legs, or even just taking a shower, these little things can make a grandiose difference when it comes to how you feel about yourself. They can genuinely turn your mood around.
After you have groomed yourself, spend a little extra time getting ready for the day. When you put effort into your outfit and your appearance, you are far more likely to feel good about yourself.
Whether you are going on a first date, hosting a meeting in front of your CEO, or are merely going about doing daily chores, if you feel presentable, then you will be ready to tackle whatever challenges are put in front of you.
This isn’t to say that you have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but you should have go-to pieces in your closet that always make you feel fantastic.
Finally, work on maintaining good posture. Standing tall will make you feel more self-assured, while also demonstrating a feeling of confidence to those with whom you interact. Plus, slouching is bad for your back.
5. Never shut down a compliment
For so many of us, the natural reaction when given a compliment is to shut it down and disagree with the statement.
Not only is this slightly rude to the person that so kindly provided the praise, but it also reinforces negative thoughts within the brain.
Get into the habit of graciously accepting compliments whenever they are given.
Whether it is a co-worker congratulating you on a project, a friend praising your cooking, or a stranger commenting on your smile, don’t shut down the compliment or downplay the situation.
Instead, reply with a genuine “Thank you!” and reveal that you welcome their appreciation for you. Obviously, don’t be arrogant, but there is nothing wrong with being thankful for credit or compliments when they are given.
How are you working on improving your self-confidence? What daily habits have you included in your daily routine?
Let us know in the comments below!
Jessicka Bell co-founded the AgenC, one of the leading model/talent agencies in the Middle East, in 2014. After just three years in the market, the AgenC now works with most (if not all) of the heavy hitters in media and fashion, as well as represents over 1,000 talents ranging from international models through to cast, kids, creatives and photographers.
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