The following is adapted from The Self Help Book by Jared Graybeal.
Want to jump-start your personal growth? Start with strengthening your confidence and self-esteem. According to one psychological study, high self-esteem was the most important factor which predicted overall life satisfaction! The study also found a close link between confidence and happiness.
So, if a high level of self-confidence can fuel success, building up your confidence levels is paramount to achieving your goals, growing, and creating the life you want.
But wait… can you just make your self-confidence higher? Isn’t that a personality trait? I’m here to tell you that thankfully, no, it’s not. Just like a muscle, self-confidence can be built with intentional habits. Here are five big ways to lay a strong foundation in self-confidence.
#1: Change your self-talk.
Negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that may be limiting your ability to believe in yourself and your own abilities to reach your potential. It is any thought that diminishes you and your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in your ability to do so. Because of this, negative self-talk can not only be stressful, but can really stunt your leadership potential.
Studies have linked negative self-talk with lower self-esteem, higher levels of stress, decreased motivation, greater feelings of helplessness, depression, relationship challenges. Negativity is a self-deprecating cycle that can make progress and reaching the goals you set for yourself very difficult.
But how can you change your self-talk? Try and create a habit of reframing your negative self-talk to something more positive and realistic, in time you will do this without thinking about it. You’ll be a completely different person—in the best way.
#2: Keep your teeth healthy.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Look good, feel good”? It’s no lie. While lounging around in your sweatpants can feel comfortable, a lack of grooming may actually have a negative effect on your confidence levels, hindering your productivity and self-esteem.
Now, don’t get me wrong— I’m not telling you to stop wearing sweatpants. If you feel fly in your cozies, there are other ways to self-care in the grooming department. I recommend starting with the basics, like hygiene, then move on to things like your outfits and hair. Here are six recommendations—in order of importance:
- Keep your teeth healthy
- Wear deodorant
- Have a regular nighttime self-care routine
- Smell good
- Wear clothes you look and feel good in
- Choose a hairstyle that you like
These may seem like simple tips, but they make us feel and look more attractive, even if we aren’t seeing anyone special that day. Feeling confident in your appearance can allow you to appear more confident, even over the phone or email.
#3: Set achievable goals.
Most people make the mistake of setting too big of goals. Setting big goals is the ultimate destination, but before we get there, ya gotta start small. Consistently accomplishing goals, no matter the size, will inevitably increase your confidence in yourself. My recommendation when goal-setting in the beginning is always the same: set SMART goals.
- Specific— Your goal is direct, detailed, and meaningful. Not vague and irrelevant.
- Measurable— Your goal is quantifiable to track progress along the way or success.
- Attainable— Your goal is realistic, and you have the tools or the resources in order to accomplish it.
- Relevant—Your goal aligns with your vision of your future for your life and your personal values.
- Time-based—Your goal has a deadline. It can’t just happen whenever.
Apply this technique and set a few small goals that can be reached on a daily or weekly basis.
#4: Smile more.
This is simple and effective, especially if you have put into practice all the preceding steps. When you smile at another person, the physical action releases endorphins in your brain.
Endorphins are nature’s “happy drug.” They make you feel happy and raise your self-esteem. When you smile, you feel and act in a more personable way to everyone around you and you give off confidence.
#5: Take a step forward.
You have to flex your risk-taking muscle in order to increase your confidence. Yes, you will fail more—that is the inevitable result of trying harder. But the most confident people you know are the ones who set their pride aside and simply try harder, and more often.
So ask the girl (or guy) out, send that resume in and make the phone call to follow up, or sign up for that half marathon. Whatever it is, start going for it more often!
Small, but sure, steps.
As you can see, acquiring or increasing your self-confidence doesn’t have to come from worldly things like more likes on social media or more followers—it can (and will) come from practical things, like working on how well you take care of yourself, both inside and out.
I firmly believe that, if you can learn to feel confident in yourself, you will be well on your way to ongoing growth, momentum, and motivation.
For more advice on boosting self-confidence, you can find The Self Help Book on Amazon.
My mission is to encourage, educate, and empower others to live happier, healthier lives. I am a NASM-certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, behavioral change specialist, CrossFit Level 2 trainer, and corrective exercise specialist with an education in marketing and psychology from the University of North Florida. I own and operate two companies. One is Superfit Foods, a healthy, subscription-based, fully customizable meal prep company. The other is E3, a business consulting and marketing agency. I’ve done a few cool things, like exhibiting Superfit Foods at Forbes Under 30 and giving a TEDx Talk on nutrition and mental health, and every day I get to work hard at doing what I love.