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How to Boost Self-Confidence

Updated on March 17, 2017
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

Science graduate and business advisor, health educator and author, Beth writes articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Believe in yourself and your abilities.
Believe in yourself and your abilities. | Source

Short Term Confidence Boosters

Self-confidence and self-esteem are affected by many things. Children can appear self-confident because they are unconcerned about how other people perceive their actions. However as an adult, external events can affect your outlook and behavior.

There are a number of short-term confidence boosters that can help improve your self-confidence. These can help you be confident when preparing for an important interview or meeting. In the longer term, to be a confident person you will need to increase your self-esteem and you may need to make some major changes to the way you prepare for and view life. The tips given here are short-term fixes, but they could be the start of an important journey.

Do This Positive Thinking Exercise

Here's a positive thinking exercise devised by Mind - a UK mental health charity.

"Make a list of several things that you like about yourself, you might include:

  • things about the way that you look e.g. I have a nice smile

  • your characteristics e.g. I am patient

  • things that you do e.g. I give money to charity

  • skills you have e.g. I’m a great organiser.

Take your time and aim for 50 different things, even if this takes you several weeks. Keep this list and look at a different part of it each day. If you are worried about an event that is coming up, such as a job interview, take the time to read the whole list and show yourself that you have a lot to offer."

A book with lots useful de-stressing tips is "The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do to Change It" by Margaret Wehrenberg.

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Be Aware of Your Body Language and Eye Contact

A person may display their inner fears through unconscious body language and the timbre of their voice. A confident upright posture conveys reliability and stability. A steady voice delivered at normal volume indicates a confident person.

Nerves can show by a wavering voice, a tapping foot, or hesitant delivery in speaking. You can control your body language to some extent by deliberately sitting up straight and maintaining eye contact. Even if you don’t feel very confident, you can often fool another person by consciously taking these simple measures.

Body Language That Gets The Job

Believe in Yourself and Be More Assertive

To change the way you view yourself is not easy to do. Learning to be assertive can help you to get the response you want from other people. The video below recommends that you practice the following four tips to become assertive.

1. Stick to your boundaries.

Be clear about what the nonnegotiable things in your life are, for example, your health.

2. Be simple honest and direct when speaking to people.

Don’t be passive-aggressive or waffle when you are expressing a need or want.

3. Fake it ‘til you make it.

Even if you don’t feel confident, if you pretend that you are other people will assume that you have self-confidence. The best way to achieve something is through practice.

4. Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements when you are making a request.

How to Be More Confident

Tips for Calming Last Minute Interview Nerves

The Guardian newspaper offers the following tips to help calm interview nerves.

1. The evening before the interview, relax. A warm bath with aromatherapy oils and some herbal tea should help you to do this. Some gentle exercise and then an early night should lead to a sound night’s sleep and refreshed the next day.

2. On the day of the interview, eat a proper breakfast. Leave the house in good time so that you do not feel rushed when you get to the interview location.

3. During the interview, remember to breathe!

4. After the interview, do not go over what you did or did not say in the interview. Go for a walk or meet up with a friend. Put the interview out of your mind until they contact you with the result.

Looking Good, Feeling Great

When you meet someone new, you make your mind up about them within the first thirty seconds. First impressions really do count. So the first thing to do to lift your confidence is to make sure that you look your best.

Having your hair cut by a professional hairdresser is an instant confidence booster. If you are not a regular customer then ask for a look at some of their hairstyle magazines. Take time to discuss what style would suit you with your hairdresser. If possible, choose a hairdresser that is recommended by a friend or colleague. Hairstylists are creative people and they can advise on whether your face shape would suit a long or short, straight or curly style.

A nail manicure can make you feel confident about shaking hands with new people. If you are fond of wearing open sandals and it is summer, then why not treat yourself to a pedicure too?

Professional nail manicure.
Professional nail manicure. | Source

Update Your Wardrobe or Accessorize

Some people just love buying shoes, for others it is a new scarf or a necklace that makes them feel good. If you don’t have much money to spare you could visit a thrift shop or charity shop for a low-cost accessory. Whatever you wear, it must be clean and pressed if you want to make a good first impression.

To calm your nerves about an important meeting the following day, it’s a good idea to lay out your outfit the night before so that you can see that you have the right accessories to go with your outfit. If you have time to plan ahead, many department stores allow you to book a personal shopper to advise you on the colors and styles that suit your body shape. You may be surprised how you look when wearing a modern style in a color that you would not normally choose.

An Exercise to Boost Self-Confidence

Much can be gained through positive thinking. You may need a little help with achieving this. The video below shows a hypnotist describing a simple exercise that can help unlock your potential and become more confident. The aim of the exercise is to change negative thoughts you have about yourself into positive ones.

Tips For a Successful Interview

1. Greet interviewers with confident handshake - not too limp or too firm.
2. Relax into your chair – but don't get too relaxed!
3. Stay focused – concentrate, look and listen to the interviewer.
4. Don’t fidget - keep your legs and feet still
5. Maintain eye contact – steady but not staring
6. And smile!


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