How to Look and Feel More Confident

Did you know that people who are truly confident tend to exhibit more signs of success in life and business? The reason why is obvious — people who are confident are more likely to try new things and push themselves further because they believe their efforts will have a positive outcome.

This concept, known as self-efficacy, leads to better results in business, academia, relationships and leadership. And it’s not necessarily because self-confident people are actually more capable, talented or lucky. It’s because they’re more productive and active. They try more things more often, and the good stuff sticks. Over time, the attempts turn into measurable skills that lead to successful outcomes throughout life.

But how do you build confidence from the ground up? Follow a few of these helpful tips to set off on your self-confidence journey!

Fake It Till You Make It

And, as so many successful people will tell you, confidence often begins with pretending or “faking it.” From there, true self-confidence grows. As cliché as it sounds, this old trope has actually been well-researched and, well, it works! There are a number of studies that can be cited to prove that faking the appearance of confidence helps you actually become confident. When you act confident, you appear confident, and the only person who knows the truth is you. Even if you’re uncomfortable or off your game, act confident by striking up conversations, standing tall and not being afraid to enter situations that are scary or unfamiliar.

Take a Stand (Quite Literally)

You’ve heard that smiling actually makes you feel happier, even if you’re sad, but is there a similar hack for feeling confident? Indeed, there is, and it has to do with body language. For example, in the popular TED Talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses how taking specific physical stances — “postures of confidence” — can boost our feelings of confidence and impact our chances of success, even if we don’t feel especially confident.

In other words, she posits, if you stand in a posture of confidence for a few minutes before an interview, you might have a better chance of landing the job. Pair that with a nice smile and you’re pretty much unstoppable. If you’re looking to enhance your smile, check out VIP dental practice for more professional dental advice.

Make Small Changes to Your Appearance

Going out and dramatically altering the way you look or sinking thousands into a new appearance isn’t a good idea nor a viable option for most people — side note: studies actually show that plastic surgery probably won’t boost your self-esteem. However, making small changes can do surprisingly big things for your self-esteem. For example, boosting your smile with teeth whitening products can enhance your mood and confidence quickly for a relatively small price. Dental care as a whole is an amazing way to dial up the self-esteem, whether it’s finally addressing the yellowing or looking into aligners to make your teeth straighter. Nothing says true confidence quite like a great, big smile!

Dress for Style and Comfort

There are two things that can knock you off the top of your game faster than anything else: a bad outfit and clothes that constantly need adjusting. Messing with your clothes during an interview or presentation can signal insecurity and distraction, even when you feel totally self-assured. So spending the time to create a wardrobe that makes you look great and feel comfortable is quite a powerful confidence-building tool.

Get Healthy

One of the most valuable efforts you can take on your journey to self-confidence is to invest in your physical and mental health. And we’re not just talking about hitting the gym, either. We’re talking about addressing some of those small but challenging things you may have been ignoring. For example, seeing a dermatologist can help you improve your skin and your physician or therapist can work with you on finding the right treatments for feelings of depression or anxiety. Finally getting on a good mental and physical health plan will make you feel amazing while also boosting your quality of life.

Learn a Positive Affirmation

Not only do you sometimes have to trick others into thinking you feel confident, you sometimes have to trick yourself, too! Positive affirmations of self-confidence are little reminders you tell yourself throughout the day to stay on a course of positive thinking. Sometimes, you literally have to tell yourself — maybe even out loud — that you are a capable person and that you can do anything you set your mind to. Repeating mantras in yoga or meditation may help with this as well.

Write Out Your Strengths

We’re willing to bet that if you made a list of your personal strengths, down to the smallest thing, you would see that you have a ton of positive qualities. Nothing is too small or insignificant to list — maybe you’re amazing at making scrambled eggs or have beaten every video game you’ve ever played. That counts! This strategy is useful before heading into a stressful scenario, such as a job interview or a big presentation at work.

Spend Time with Friends

You know what makes for an incredible confidence boost? Time spent with good friends. The people who surround you should be your supporters and your sounding board, and a solid group of friends is always good for a quick pep talk. Try your best to be vulnerable with those around you, expressing your struggles as best you can so they can help you along the way.

One final thought: Remember to take it slow! Self-confidence is somewhat of a skill, like learning yoga or riding a bike, and you get better at it the more you practice. Take the time to consciously work on your self-esteem by following these great tips and you’ll be well ahead of the curve in no time.

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