Inexpensive but Effective Ways to Improve Your Self-Confidence

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No More Mr. Nice Guy...

I used to be kind of shy, and because I’m typically quiet, people used to assume that I was a pushover, but even so, I’ve shown that I’m not timid and have bolstered my self-confidence with these tips. You may think they’re silly and you probably won’t want to try them.

I know how you feel, and it’s called denial. You don’t want to admit that you are socially awkward, that you have issues, or the possibility that you may have a social disorder. The only way to know if they work is to try them. What can it hurt? It’s free for crying out loud!

Tom Hanks, one of America's most beloved actors, suffered with shyness when he was young.
Tom Hanks, one of America's most beloved actors, suffered with shyness when he was young. | Source

How to improve your self-confidence

1. Talk out loud to yourself or imagine that you’re talking to an audience when you’re home alone.

2. Sing or hum in the bath or shower.

3. Imagine yourself being videotaped or on TV.

4. Video tape yourself with a camcorder, cell phone, or webcam. Webcams are especially good seeing as you attach them to your PC, so your hands are free, and some of them have motion tracking software which will follow your face, as if someone is watching and listening to you. If at first you’re not comfortable, try recording your voice only.

5. Talk to yourself in the mirror.

6. Try standing in a large room or hall or on a stage, especially if you’re going to make a speech, and practice talking, but with charisma, force, use your hands.

7. When you walk and talk, do it with style, with confidence. Use your hands when you talk, have your head up high and shoulders back and relaxed when you walk.

8. Try talking to people on the phone, and when you get more confident, try video conferencing, where you can see the other person.

9. Try pasting up posters on a wall or hang up a picture of a friendly looking person, and imagine that they are listening to you when you talk. It’s helpful as well because with pictures it always looks as though the eyes are following you.

10. Learn to laugh; at yourself, at others, and at life. Not only will you be happier, but people warm up more to someone with a sense of humour than a sourpuss.

11. Try to have a conversation with a nicer, less judgmental person, and not someone that you have to act around or impress. When you get more comfortable with talking to them, only then tackle some of the ‘big shots’ out there that can sense weakness and nervousness.

12. Go out in public often, even if it’s just for a walk.

13. Wear sunglasses; the eyes are the windows to the soul and if you cover them up, people are less likely to be able to tell because your eyes are covered.

14. Try listening to some ‘feel-good’ music before you go out. It can be whatever you prefer, as long as it gets you amped and out and about.

15. If you’re a guy, you can try exercising and putting on some muscle.

16. If you’re a girl, try putting on some make-up.

17. Don’t try to guess or dwell on what others are thinking about you, you’d spend less time trying to figure out how much they thought about you if you realized how seldom they did.

"I know how you feel, and it’s called denial. You don’t want to admit that you are socially awkward, that you have issues, or the possibility that you may have a social disorder."

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These are some basic techniques, and I’m sure there are others too. I’ve used these over the years subconsciously, and if I have to think long and hard about it, it has helped with social situations.

True, I still don’t trust or like many people even though I try not to show it, but I do like to go places and do things without having to worry about what they think. Eventually over time, the ‘act’ becomes natural.

Some of these tips are useful for a quick confidence boost, and some of them are ones that develop over time. Have you ever played that game called ‘The Sims’, where you could order your character to speak into the mirror and practice speech?

It helps, not just with becoming more comfortable with actually speaking, but with other things like practicing your emotions, your smile and even speech therapists recommend it for overcoming certain speech impediments.

When I was young, I couldn’t say the ‘th’ sound. I would say ‘free’ instead of ‘three’. Talking into the mirror helped me with that!

The main thing is that it takes practice and even though you can buy some book that promises to ‘teach you’ confidence, the energy really must come from within. There are certainly some good books, some worth reading, and some websites too, but it’s a practical thing. You’ve got to practice on your own, and then the next step is to put yourself out there and try it out on others.

For everlasting confidence and overcoming shyness, you need to remind yourself of your achievements, things you’ve done and times when you succeeded socially with people. If you believe in yourself and stop putting yourself down, you are more likely succeed.

“Confidence, like the soul, never returns whence it has once departed.”

— Publilius Syrus

Are you a confident person?

  • Yes, absolutely.
  • No, no way.
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© 2008 Anti-Valentine

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