Self-confidence is one of those funny character traits that you tend to only notice when someone doesn’t have it. Ever found yourself at a social event or party wondering how to build self-confidence and self-esteem?
Or have you ever noticed another person without self-confidence and thought that they looked uncomfortable in their skin?
Perhaps you’re the kind of person who wakes up every morning hoping they won’t run into their neighbors or colleague during their commute.
Maybe you feel so shy in your daily life that you need to psyche yourself up before heading out the front door or picking up the phone?
Don’t worry. We’ve all been there and we’re here to tell you that there are plenty of ways to work on your self-confidence. Let’s start at the stop. Want to pick up some tips and tricks on how to build confidence?
1. Take care of your outer appearance
It sounds obvious but if somebody runs into you in the street and their first reaction is “that person doesn’t look after their appearance”, then they’re less likely to respect you.
Our initial impression of a person goes on to shape how we feel about them once we get to know them a bit.
So if you start with a negative impression then you’re already having to work harder. If you’ve decided that you want to work out how to build confidence and self-esteem, a good place to start could be making sure that you look sharp.
Knowing that your looking your best is also likely to make you feel better about yourself.
Appearance is often linked to factors like pay, so make sure you look your best.
2. Stand tall.
Posture is a weird aspect of the presentation, but it can affect how people perceive us. Remember, one of the critical elements of learning how to build confidence and self-esteem is thinking about the things that other people notice about us.
Standing tall makes us look like we believe in yourself, our own ability, and feel proud of who we are. It projects an image of self-confidence.
But this also sends a message to other people, including potential clients, our bosses and people we work with. The data suggest that taller people are paid more, so sort out that posture as soon as you can!
3. Use endorphins to boost your wellbeing
One of the key aspects when finding out how to build self-confidence is thinking about the links between exercise and depression. That’s not to say that all of the people struggling with how to build confidence and self-esteem suffer from depression.
However, the evidence suggests that endorphins can boost your mood and help you feel good about yourself.
Why not head to a spin class, try out yoga (remember the posture benefits!) or
go for a jog around the block? Remember: the endorphins will make you feel
better about yourself and you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run.
Exercise could help you find out how to build self-confidence and lead to a new you.
4. Try things that scare you
Still trying to work out how to gain more confidence? If you think about the things that you’d love to try but have never got around to, why not push yourself out of your comfort zone?
In a way, the whole point of boosting your self-confidence is finding ways of pushing yourself to do new things. There’s no point being confident if you never leave the house.
Search around online, there are plenty of ideas including things like starting a blog, finding a new hobby, trying a new exercise and talking to complete strangers. Soon you’ll have a whole host of new things you’ve tried that you’d never have considered possible before.
5. Learn to love yourself
To quote RuPaul…
If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love someone else?
If you’re wondering how to build self-confidence and self-esteem, sometimes the key can be to do with acceptance. Instead of fixating on what you’re not and what you don’t have, why not consider yourself lucky for what you do possess?
Write lists, be grateful.
6. Keep a journal
Writing things down can be a cathartic experience and can be a good way of boosting your self-confidence. If you’re thinking about how to build confidence, journalling is a great way to start.
Allow yourself to write about anything that comes into your head, but try to focus on the positives.
Remember: if you’re taking new steps and finding how to build self-confidence and self-esteem then a journal can be a fantastic way of keeping tabs on your progress. There’s also scientific evidence to suggest that journaling can help you reduce stress levels.
7. Go to more events
If you’re trying to work out how to build self-confidence and self-esteem so that you can deal with anxiety at social events, why not tackle it head on?
Think of it as an athlete would. How does a runner train for a race?
Not by doing an unrelated sport, they practice running.
Going to more events and socializing is a good way to practice talking to strangers. Think about it as a process of practice – you’ll never work out how to build confidence if you never meet new people and test your skills in social situations.
It’s also believed that regularly socializing can have benefits to our physical and psychological health.
All these factors are key to becoming more confident in our daily lives.
8. Eat with confidence
The old saying, you are what you eat, may just be one you don’t think about on a daily basis. But if you think about it, your body is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.
If you don’t respect your own body enough to feed it nutritious, healthy food then you’re likely to end up unhealthy, spotty and tired.
Trying to work out how to build confidence and self-esteem can start with what you eat first thing in the morning.
Do you stuff your face with a bowl of sugary cereal then grab a sugar-laced Starbucks drink first thing in the morning?
Chances are, if you do this you’ll end up feeling cranky, anxious and lacking in energy by midday. Feed yourself on nutritious, healthy food.
You’ll feel better, look better and in the long run, you’ll find that it improves your self-esteem dramatically.
9. Use meditation and mindfulness
If you’re a person who finds that they often feel overwhelmed by anxiety and questions about how to build self-confidence and self-esteem, you could learn a thing or two from Buddhist monks.
Try out one of the various meditation and mindfulness apps.
The idea behind meditation isn’t to suddenly transform into a hovering zen master. It’s more about learning to clear your mind, accepting how you feel, and working to develop a more calm outlook.
Think about how to build confidence by becoming calm within. Then you can transform into a person who projects calm confidence in social situations.
A regular meditation practice can have beneficial effects on self-esteem.
10. Give up a habit that’s bad for you
Are you a smoker who uses cigarettes as a way of starting conversations or having something to do with your hands?
Or maybe you feel the need to have a bottle of beer in hand at parties?
Learning how to build confidence and self-esteem is about learning to let go of these little crutches that we rely on.
If you feel confident with that cigarette or drink, it’s because you already ARE.
The prop isn’t the thing making your colleagues smile and laugh at your jokes.
Learn to trust yourself, and stop relying on things around you. You’ll improve your health in the long run and you’ll learn more about how to build self-confidence.
11. Take control of your space
No, we’re not advocating some kind of territorial outlook on life. We’re suggesting that being in control of your immediate environment can make you a happier person.
Learn how to build confidence by reading books like Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.” While may sound like an odd tip but living in a clutter-free home is fantastic.
You’ll feel better about your environment, and you’ll be able to invite guests (or dates) round to your house without having to hide everything under your bed.
You’ll also be surprised at how much soul-searching is involved in a clear-out.
Marie Kondo’s ideas can teach you how to build confidence by having the courage to let go of clutter and learning to love your environment.
12. Learn from Muhammad Ali
The world champion boxer may have been most famous for his lightning-fast fists but he became known for his wisdom outside the ring later in life. He famously said that “The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth”.
Learning how to build self-confidence by helping others is a fantastic way to meet other people and discover new life experiences. You could try volunteering, helping out at a local food bank or soup kitchen, or just visiting an elderly relative in need of company.
You’ll feel good about yourself. Other people will like you more.
And it will translate to increased self-confidence. Ali was famous for his confidence – time for the rest of us to take some inspiration from the greatest.
13. Make time for culture
Have you ever been on a date and realized that you’ve got nothing to talk about apart from reality shows and things you saw on Instagram?
Learning how to build self-confidence and self-esteem can be tough, but one way is to try and broaden your interests.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re the most boring person at a party.
Do interesting stuff in your free time – you’ll feel better about yourself. And you’ll be more interesting to talk to in the long run.
14. Travel the world – gain some perspective
Finding out how to build self-confidence when you live an insular life can be challenging. You might worry about your own problems but have no sense of perspective.
Worried about your income?
Try meeting people in countries where the average monthly income is less than you earn in a day.
Travelling can change your perspective on your own life and can make us grateful for what we have.
It can also be a good way to build self-esteem as it forces us out of our comfort zones.
15. Learn to talk about your feelings
Are you worried about how to build self-confidence but don’t know how to talk about your emotions?
Bottling up what we’re feeling can lead to a lot of negative thoughts that have a terrible impact on our self-esteem.
Therapists and psychologists will tell you that unbottling those emotions can be a great way of getting rid of negativity.
Accepting how you feel inside is the first step on the journey towards taking action.
Find a person you can talk to about how you feel.
A friend, family member or even a professional. The key is being honest and open about what’s going on underneath the surface.
16. Dance like nobody’s watching
It might seem like a cliche but music and dancing can have an incredible effect on our emotional state.
Finding out how to build confidence and self-esteem is challenging for most of us, but if you’re a person with a passion for music, it could help.
Wait until no-one’s home, crank up your headphones and let yourself go. It’ll boost your endorphins, and you’ll feel great.
If you’re feeling brave, why not try recreating the same moves in public? Confidence is a sexy quality and you’ll be more likely to find a dance partner if you look like you’re having a great time.
17. Try your hand at public speaking
It’s ok. We can already see you sweating but there’s honestly nothing to worry about. Public speaking is one of those things that we can all learn to do.
Discovering how to build confidence and self-esteem is all part of the same process as learning to become an excellent public speaker.
You’ll need to do things like focus on your breathing, knowing what you want to say, and standing in a room filled with strangers and not freaking out.
Getting good at public speaking also has all kinds of transferable benefits. Want to apply for a management role at work? You’ll probably need to do presentations, so public speaking skills will be useful.
Ever considered standup comedy? Again – learn how to build confidence by going on a public speaking course, and you’ll be fine.
18. Learn to laugh at yourself
It may sound counter-intuitive, but learning how to build confidence and self-esteem isn’t about loving yourself.
It’s also about accepting that you aren’t perfect and that, in fact, some things about you are pretty damn amusing. Think about that photo of you and your brother – you know the one where you insisted on wearing his Batman costume even though it was way too big for you?
Or the time when you turned up at the office in those new shoes and confidently walked past your boss and then tripped over and went flying?
They may have seemed mortifying at the time but learning to laugh at yourself is one of the critical aspects of learning how to build self-confidence.
Remember too – if you laugh about something first, it makes it harder for somebody else to mock you for it. Take a trip from the Brits and try out self-deprecation.
19. Learn from Batman: It’s what you do that defines you
In Christopher Nolan’s movie, Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne, and Rachel Dawes talk about the importance of actions.
The line ”it’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you” can show us a lot about how to build confidence.
If you’re ever feeling morose about how you acted in a particular situation, think about the future.
Remember that confidence is partly determined by how you choose to feel about your situation and the steps you take to build confidence and self-esteem.
20. Be kind to yourself
Are you ready to stride confidently into a room full of strangers or take to the podium and make that flawless speech?
If the answer is no, then don’t despair.
Learning how to build self-confidence is a long journey.
You’re not going to be the most confident person in the room suddenly. Be kind to yourself and try to appreciate the progress you’ve made.
Don’t sit there wallowing in self-pity – find things you are grateful.
21. Find confident role models
We’re not suggesting that you start making Donald Trump impressions in the mirror.
But learning about how to build confidence and self-esteem can involve mirroring traits in successful, confident role models.
Think of people you admire. Maybe they’re famous people you’ve seen on tv and online.
Perhaps they’re people you grew up around who’ve gone on to become more successful and confident than you.
Either way, you can learn how to build self-confidence from their behavior.
Do they always stand a certain way? Do they use a particular language?
Try to analyze their behavior and see if there are any tips and tricks you can pick up.
22. Let’s put a smile on that face
Discovering how to build confidence can start with your facial expressions. It turns out that smiling sends all kinds of signals to people around us and helps us project an image of confidence, success, and ease.
Smiling is also linked to humor, which in the right situations can make the people around us relax and feel comfortable, as well as releasing endorphins that boost our mood.
Try to loosen up and smile more – it’ll help you appear more confident and will give a positive message to your friends, family, and co-workers.
23. Try to make socializing an out-of-body experience
That might sound a bit strange but let us explain.
Research by the UK’s National Health Service has found that shyness and social phobia tends to involve sufferers fixating on their bodies and the sensations that they’re undergoing.
In other words, people with social anxiety will be standing in a group but thinking so much about how other people perceive them that they’re unable to interact with the people around them.
Negative thoughts are likely to overcome your ability just to have a healthy conversation.
Instead, try to focus on being yourself, not filtering your reactions, and listening to other people. If you’re obsessed with your own reactions then people are more likely to find it harder to communicate with you.
24. Learn a form of self-defense
Have you ever wondered how to build confidence and self-esteem worthy of the famous kung-fu master Bruce Lee?
Learning a combat sport or self-defense technique could help you overcome your lack of self-confidence and anxiety.
The options are limitless – from MMA to boxing, Kung Fu and even Krav Maga.
Find out how to build confidence by improving your fitness and conditioning your body to deal with a whole range of challenging scenarios and situations.
There’s a curious paradox at work here.
The more convinced you are about your ability to hold your own in the squared circle, as boxers call it, the less likely you are to feel insecure or anxious about needing to prove yourself.
Think of it as yappy dog syndrome – the dogs that bark loudest aren’t the ones you need to be concerned.
It’s the quietest canines that you need to watch out.
There’s research out there that suggests women who learn self-defense have higher levels of self-esteem.
25. Test your vocal chords at a Karaoke bar
If the thought of karaoke in front of a crowd fills you with fear, don’t worry. Step one is to find a Japanese or Korean style karaoke bar – they’re quieter and they have private booths that you can go to with your friends.
Now it’s time to learn how to build confidence and self-esteem by belting out a few karaoke classics with your nearest and dearest.
Singing is a great way to learn to control your breathing and focus on something entirely for a few hours.
Incredibly, it can even count as a form of exercise as your diaphragm, and abdominal muscles are very active during singing.
Particularly if you pick a song by Queen – and who better to teach you about how to build self-confidence than Freddie Mercury?
26. Learn to take control of your breath
If you monitored the breathing of an average person over a 24 hour period, you’d likely find that they only took control of their breathing during sleep.
However, researchers have found that deep breaths can instantly calm us and make us feel happier and more confident.
Breathing control can teach us how to build confidence and deal with all sorts of challenging situations.
So what can we do to improve our breathing control? Meditation, yoga classes, and mindfulness are all excellent places to start.
If you’re a fitness enthusiast then running, swimming, and cycling can all be fantastic ways to connect with your breath and find calmness within.
27. Set yourself achievable goals
Learning how to build self-confidence and self-esteem is a long distance race, not a sprint. One trick is to keep yourself accountable and set small goals.
Things like “try one new thing a week” or “start a conversation with a
colleague” are all the kind of challenges that you can set.
Remember to keep a record of your goals, on paper, on your phone, or even in voice memos. The key is to make sure you’re traveling in the right direction, one step at a time.
28. Remember that social anxiety isn’t uncommon – it affects at least 8 percent of the population
There’s a tendency when we’re feeling low to think of our anxiety issues as something unique. Why is everybody else so happy and why do I find it so hard to talk to other people?
The truth is that social anxiety is a condition that affects 8 percent of the population.
When discovering how to build confidence we should try to remember that other people find social situations hard too.
We don’t know much about what causes the condition, but it’s far from rare.
29. Look after yourself
Remember that learning how to build confidence and self-esteem can take a bit of time.
Seeing as you’re going to be here for a while, you might as well look after yourself. That means doing the things that you secretly know are important.
Eat well, make sure you get a good night’s sleep and avoid things that are likely bad for your self-confidence in the long run.
Sure, a couple of beers or a burger every night might make you feel more relaxed.
But turning in to an overweight person with alcohol addiction issues further down the line is not going to help you achieve your self-confidence goals.
But turning into an overweight person with alcohol addiction issues further down the line is not going to help you achieve your self-confidence goals.
Try to develop healthy habits as you work out how to build self-confidence and self-esteem. It’ll be harder to change them further down the line.
30. Try to avoid using dating apps as a way of filling the void in your life
At the risk of sounding patronizing, dating apps like Tinder can be a lot of fun but can sometimes turn into a dangerous addiction.
It’s hard to work out how to build self-confidence when you’re always relying on the validation of complete strangers on the internet.
If someone you’re seeing decides that they’d spend their Friday night with a more attractive prospect, it can be crushing for your self-esteem.
It’s also a dangerous road to go down when you’re secretly looking for a longer term, more meaningful relationship.
It can lead to a disposable attitude to relationships that transforms them into the emotional equivalent of fast food.
Fast, filling, but ultimately not good for you – as well as lacking nutrition.
Try to be brave and see if you can find other ways of meeting people – through hobbies, reading groups and even, dare we say it, in real life.
As you can see, there is a whole range of ideas out there on how to build self-confidence and self-esteem.
Remember: becoming more confident isn’t something that’ll happen overnight. You’re not going to go to one public speaking class and suddenly become the most confident person in the room, in your office, or even in your family.
But you’ll start to notice your anxiety becoming less of an obstacle.
You’ll run into people you’ve not seen for a while, and they’ll tell you that you seem different. You’ll also find yourself less inhibited in front of strangers.
You never know – people may even ask you for tips and tricks on how to build
confidence and self-esteem.
The above suggestions are just ideas, but as you can see, there’s a whole range of simple strategies to learn how to build confidence and self-esteem.
Start with a couple of simple ones – doing some regular exercise, eating well and discovering some new hobbies.
Start your journal, keep notes of your progress.
And then look back at how you feel six months down the line. Hopefully, you’ll realize that you’ve progressed a long way and you’re well on the way to being a more confident, relaxed person.