Do your palms sweat at the thought of speaking in front of your class or giving a presentation at a big meeting? Does the fear of failure consume you? Are you uncomfortable in social situations?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. We’ve all been there at one time or another. In fact, studies show that 85 percent of the population suffers from what bestselling author Dr. Joe Rubino calls a “self-esteem deficit.”
Luckily, extensive medical treatment isn’t required to tackle this problem. Instead, there are a number of easy tools you can use day to day to boost your confidence and lead a better life. Here are a few valuable tips to help you control your self-doubt.
Tips to Boost your Confidence
Daily affirmations make a difference
Sure, many of us have laughed at the Saturday Night Live sketches featuring the fictional character Stuart Smalley, a self-help guru. You might remember his catch phrase that he said to himself while looking in the mirror: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
But these affirmations are more than just a punchline on a comedy show. Science shows that positive thinking about yourself and your life can rewire your brain chemistry and increase the feel-good chemicals released by your body.
If you find yourself swimming in self-doubt and unable to think of any positive affirmations to pull yourself out of it, you might want to make a list of your strengths to keep with you at all times. This will give you a quick and easy confidence boost.
Let’s get physical
Exercise is a great way to boost self-confidence. Whether you’d rather pump some iron or go for a run, physical activity helps you look better, improves your overall health and makes you stronger.
All of those physical changes are confidence boosters. But experts say there are also mental and emotional benefits to working out. Physical activity releases beta-endorphins that make you feel good, and also reduces stress by decreasing cortisol levels.
So the next time you’re looking to boost your confidence and your mood, hit the gym!
Try something new
A great way to boost your confidence is to challenge yourself by trying something new, something that you’ve never done before. It’s easy to fear the unknown, but the greatest way to face it is by tackling it head-on.
This can be anything from joining a Meetup group with strangers who share a similar interest or learning a new skill. Once you try something new and succeed, though, you’ll see an increase in confidence. Even if you don’t get the hang of your new skill or project at first, you’ll see a surge in confidence simply because you know you tried and didn’t let fear get the best of you.
Leaving your comfort zone can be scary, but it’s also exciting and can expand your world.
Visualize who you want to be
It’s difficult to overcome years of negative reinforcement, your brain telling yourself that you’re no good. Experts say that visualization exercises are a great way to overcome this negativity and to boost your confidence, though, and they can be done in your own time and space.
The visualization process will help you replace your negative thoughts about yourself with positive ones. Start with some notes about who you’d like to be and what you’d like to accomplish. With these traits and goals in mind, close your eyes and picture yourself. Slowly alter the picture of yourself in your mind to match the traits you wrote on paper. These could be anything from wanting to be a more outgoing person to landing a big sale at work.
Before long, visualization will lead to actualization and increased self-esteem.
Surround yourself with a positive support network
If there are friends, family or colleagues who are negative and tend to criticize you, limit your time with them.
Make it a goal to spend more time with people who are supportive. You can choose, however, to rely more on connections with individuals who are positive and help lift you up rather than tear you down.
Recognize your accomplishments
It’s easy to get caught up in a swirl of negativity. But everyone has both big and small accomplishments they can be proud of.