When you want to know how to increase self confidence, it can feel like a daunting, insurmountable task, especially if you have been consumed with self doubt for a long time.
But there are many ways to increase your self confidence that are simple and practical. And there are many benefits to increasing your confidence in your life!
But first, let’s examine why we might not feel as confident as we should.
The Connection Between Judging and Lack of Self-Confidence
Tell me, do you do this?:
When we see people who are less “complete” than we are, or struggling more, we have a tendency to say,
“Phew! At least I have it more together than that person!”
Society teaches us that things happen to people by their own making.
- You embarrassed yourself? You’re uninformed.
- Failed at something? You weren’t properly prepared.
- Got divorced? Probably a narcissist.
- Aren’t enjoying your time off? You’re clearly trying to be miserable.
It happened because YOU DESERVED IT.
And the worst part is that we believe it of ourselves as well. Whenever something goes wrong in our lives, we begin to doubt.
“What did I do to deserve this?”
We immediately ask ourselves.
Maybe it was the woman who, after suffering a miscarriage, asked herself if the Universe made it happen to her because of the abortion she had when she was 19.
Or maybe it was the person who was fired from their job, who asked the Universe, “Did it happen because I pushed too hard? Advocated for myself?”
We allow the bad things that happen in our lives to be directly related to something we did in the past.
But the key idea here is:
When we judge ourselves, we’re allowing our thoughts to degrade our value.
And as this happens again and again, our self-confidence begins to decline.
Benefits and Importance of Increasing Self-Confidence
So what are some reasons to build your self-confidence back up again? There’s actually a lot!
1. Less Fear in Life
When you have high confidence (not to be confused with arrogance or cockiness), you understand the inner workings of motivation and judgment, and you’re actually LESS likely to be afraid! You’re not as worried about what people think of you, and you’re even not worried about failing, because when you know your own self-worth, you know that failure is only a stepping stone to success.
2. More Joy
Isn’t this what we’re all after in life? More things that really fill our cup and give us the best fuzzy feelings?
Joy comes from gratitude, and when you have high self-esteem, you likely have positive thoughts about yourself and those around you. That gratitude and positivity translates into more mind-blowingly AWESOME things that happen in your day, even if it’s just appreciating your child’s creativity, or savoring the meal your partner made for dinner. Self-confidence helps to build joy in our lives.
3. Coping with Stress
Yep, handling stress in your life is a whole lot easier when you have a high self-esteem. You know that you can take on anything, because you’ve been there before and you’ve survived, and possibly even thrived in the face of stress! You stay calm under pressure and handle stressful situations with a clear mind. You don’t get rattled or phased. When you know what you’re worth, you know that stress is a part of life, and you can either run from it, or you can handle it to the best of your ability.
4. More Energy
Even mild depression can have a major effect on your energy through your day. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you get tired easily, are less likely to try something new, and probably don’t want to socialize.
But when your self-worth is high, your energy is high! You naturally feel motivated to tackle the day’s events, because you know you can handle it.
5. Making others feel good about themselves
When you stop seeing life through the lense of judgment, you begin to realize how others have value too. Being around someone who is naturally self-confident is like being around an energy source. That person has filled their own cup first, and their extra can overflow to those around them.
Having a naturally positive outlook on life puts others at ease and can help them feel good about their own strengths and even their weaknesses.
6. Better Leadership
And as someone who raises the energy vibration of those around them, a self-confident person is a natural leader. They understand relationships (and even if they don’t, they’re open to learning), they approach conflicts with rational thought, and they help others see the positives in a situation.
A true leader is someone who not just manages people, but inspires them and gives them motivation.
7. More Success
In increasing the relationship you have with yourself and with others, you’re going to find more success in life! Self-confident people are more successful, not because they just naturally are successful, but because they aren’t afraid to take risks, and they aren’t afraid of failure. (More on this later!)
These are the benefits, but how do we even begin to raise our self-worth and believe that we deserve the best?
8. More attractive to others
Confidence is a highly attractive trait. Whether you’re looking for friends or a mate, building your confidence is a way that you can fill your life with people who are a good fit for your energy and personality.
But remember, you don’t want just anyone in your life… weed out those who want to take advantage of you and find those who help continue your confidence and lift you up!
Make Sure You Check Out: 55 Positive Self-Esteem Affirmations to Build Your Self-Worth FAST!
13 Tips for How to Increase Your Self Confidence
1.) Practice Non-Judgment
Non-judgment happens when we stop assigning “good” or “bad” to our experiences and just let them be as they are. Non-judging takes a great amount of objectivity and awareness of our emotions. This is the first step in how to increase self-confidence.
This is important because we’re less likely to dwell in the negative thoughts (called ruminating) or punish ourselves for these “bad” feelings or things that happen to us.
Remember the example from above? Here I’ve reframed them as non-judging:
- You embarrassed yourself? It happens to all of us… How can I help?
- Failed at something? The greatest of us are those that have failed the most.
- Got divorced? It takes courage to end a toxic relationship.
- Aren’t enjoying your time off? Do you need to talk? Do you want a hug? If you’re feeling depressed I can give you some resources!
All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.Brene Brown
2.) Believe You’re Worth It to Increase Self Confidence
And another quote from Brene Brown:
Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.Brene Brown
So those self-confident people, what’s so different about their perspective? Intrinsic value. (What is Intrinsic Value?) This is an ethics and finance term, it seems, but one that works well here.
Intrinsic value means that something has value in itself, not because of anything it contributes outside of itself.
For example, arts and music in the schools are sometimes justified because students who experience art and music often have higher test scores in math and language. But are music and art not valuable in and of themselves?
As mothers, we often justify our worth by what we give to our children. But are we not worthy for who we are in and of ourselves, outside of our children’s caregiver?
I have value inherently—not because of what I offer other people! I am enough!
Building your self-confidence and self-worth means knowing that you have value inherently, outside of what you contribute to other people, your job, your community, or society.
3.) Stop complaining
Neuroscience tells us that the neurons that fire together wire together. If you’re constantly thinking of red cars, guess what you’re going to see a lot of when you’re on the road? Red cars.
Not that there are MORE red cars… just that you notice them more.
The same happens with complaining. If you’re constantly thinking about things you don’t like (as in the judging example above) you’re going to notice more things that bother you and tear you down.
- higher stress and cortisol
- higher blood pressure
- higher cholesterol
- damage your memory
- shorten your lifespan
So notice when you complain about something and try to change the narrative.
4.) Use Affirmations to Increase Self Confidence
On the opposite end of that same spectrum of complaining is affirmations. Remember, if you’re thinking of red cars, you’re going to see a lot of red cars.
If you practice affirmations that help boost your confidence and self worth, you’re naturally going to notice a lot more things that will continue to boost your self-confidence and self-worth!
Affirmations are statements you make to be true. They are present tense, first person, and powerful.
Here are a few affirmations for self-confidence to get you started:
- I believe in the power I hold inside myself.
- I am confident, sassy, and powerful!
- I always do my best.
- I am more than enough.
5.) Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is essentially saying “thank you” for the positive things in our life.
Having gratitude reminds us what’s important in life. Feeling grateful for something can help you focus on the positive and leave the negative behind.
This is something you can practice every day. I write down 5 things I am grateful for every morning, and it helps me stay out of my head, in the present moment, and prevents fear from creeping in.
Gratitude can help you find:
- enhanced well being
- deeper relationships
- stronger self control
- and more!
6.) Slow Down to Increase Self Confidence
Another way to increase self-confidence is by slowing down.
Our modern life is so filled with things to do, work to complete, kids to cart to baseball and dance lessons, and all kinds of things we are “supposed” to be. This goes back to the “judging” example above.
But when we slow down, it leaves space for us to notice those important, positive things in our life.
Mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing techniques, and yoga are all a few ways to slow down.
Meditation is the focus of our attention on our breath and the present moment to allow our constant stream of thoughts to stop causing us stress.
Being able so slow down, notice those positive things, and creating space for awesome things in your life is a great way to embrace a deep sense of self-worth.
7.) Take a Walk.
I know, the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling down and depressed is to get up and exercise.
But exercise is the best way to stabilize your hormones. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good chemicals. I’m not telling you to go run a marathon or spend 2 hours at the gym. Just 20 minutes of walking is enough to get your blood moving and increase your mood! How cool is that?!
8.) Say Hello to Strangers to Increase Self Confidence
Maybe choose to take your walk through a park, or in the morning on a Saturday or just before sunset any day of the week. A lot of other people may be out walking their dogs or playing with their kids at the park.
When you pass them, practice saying hello. You don’t have to stop to have a conversation. You don’t have to smile at them. Just make an effort to greet everyone you pass. (If you live in some cities like New York where there are a lot of people and everyone keeps to themselves, I know this may be a difficult task.)
Greeting people allows you to engage in human contact without much other expectation. It’s simple, it’s over in a flash, and there are no strings. Some people may even smile back at you, which always helps me feel empowered.
Also check out the Top 120 Most Empowering Words in the English Language.
9.) Practice power-stances to increase self confidence
in powerful poses can alter your brain chemistry. Did you know that?
Take a few minutes and watch one of my favorite TED Talks by Amy Cuddy, about Body Language. When I taught high school, I made my classes watch it and respond, but it’s educational for people of all ages.
This sort of thing requires no fitness level or yoga to practice successfully. If you take two minutes at the beginning of your day to stand or sit in powerful positions like those in the video, it could drastically change the outcome of your day. I do my power stances in the shower. Seriously.
10.) Give someone a compliment
Practicing being a self-confident person also means being free with positivity. Whether it’s someone’s clothing, tattoo, their smile, their great work ethic, tell them that you admire whatever it is.
Sometimes it’s easier to give others a compliment before you try it out on yourself.
11.) Give yourself a compliment
Standing in front of your mirror in the morning, find one thing you like about yourself. It can be something with you body (I love my broad shoulders and my arms, because they are strong and help me carry my children!) or it can be something about your mind and spirit (I love how creative I am, I never have a shortage of creative projects to work on!)
Saying that thing to yourself, no matter how small, can be a huge step in building that self-worth.
12.) Learn how to take a compliment to increase self confidence
This is a tough one. Someone compliments your blouse and what do you blurt out?
“Oh, this thing? Yeah, I got it from the clearance rack at TJ Maxx! It was, like, 4 bucks.”
Downplaying your strengths, your style, your amazing score at TJ Maxx DOESN’T SERVE ANYONE. When someone compliments you, take it with grace! Say “Thank you!” and move on.
13.) Smile and Laugh More Often
Did you know that laughter can help improve our relationships and give us a boost of creativity?
It’s true! Do you think deeper relationships and a more creative life will help our self-confidence?
Laughter is even good for productivity and helps us reduce stress. Laughing, and even just smiling more frequently, is associated with all those good endorphins mentioned above in #7, Take a Walk. Endorphins are the body’s “feel good” hormones, and they’re like drugs.
When you’re feeling good, your confidence will shine a lot more easily!
These 13 SUPER SIMPLE things will help you increase your self confidence and self worth.
Notice, I never once said that you need to experience success or achievement in order to increase your self confidence. Hopefully you understand by now that self confidence is something you can find in your life:
by discovering that you had it in you all along.
You deserve to live a healthy, fulfilling, balanced life! You deserve the best life has to offer. So go find that self-confidence in yourself today!