Confidence or self-esteem is simply the collection of thoughts and feelings about yourself. It is the esteem in which you hold yourself or the value you put on yourself. A person can feel confident in one area of a specific skill or situation but still feel insecure in another. So technically, confidence is simply the knowledge that things will be fine. Most introverts are nervous and unconfident.
Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than anyone. It’s walking in knowing you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. You are comparing yourself to another person who isn’t in your system. Everybody has a unique identity and personality. So you can build or look confident through your process, but some common techniques help you to be confident easily. Let’s start!
What is confidence?
Confidence relies heavily on the person’s identification, personality, and social environment. For example, you might have learned from watching favorite celebrities that a confident person should be comfortable in the spotlight. But what if your friend thinks confidence dares to achieve goals? Both are valid definitions of confidence but require very different skill sets.
So as you each work on becoming more confident, would you practice the same techniques and habits? No, you’d focus on things that relate specifically to your definition of confidence. You might do more public speaking, immerse yourself in social settings, or practice conversing with strangers. On the other hand, your friend wouldn’t get anything from these exercises. They’d build confidence by creating more digestible goals and taking advantage of new career opportunities.
These two approaches are entirely unrelated, yet both can effectively yield particular confidence. Now, the problem is very few people understand their definition. You probably haven’t sat down and reflected on what confidence means to you. Instead, you might have skipped steps.
You started searching for strategies to become more confident without narrowing down this incredibly diverse concept. But that’s like trying to plug a leak in a boat without knowing where the hole is. To change an element of your personality, you need a definition to give you that all-important sense.
Otherwise, even if you absorb every piece of advice, you’ll never get anywhere. You’re learning to portray someone else’s definition of confidence instead of your own. Even if you did everything perfectly, you’d only seem confident in their eyes. You’d feel as doubtful and insecure as you did previously.
So before taking any of these tips into the real world, you must be honest about confidence. What does it look like to you? What does it sound like to you? Who do you think is truly confident? Why do you? The more specific you are, the better. Every detail will help you develop your unique brand of self-confidence.
There are initially 5 types of confidence:
- Confidence in others.
- Confidence for a reason.
- Confidence for change.
- Confidence to know.
15 psychological tips to look confident
Confidence can be hard to see initially, but you’ll begin to feel bold, capable, and proud as you rack up achievements. When we first meet someone, our brains start moving in overdrive to turn the small pieces of information into personal behavior.
After understanding your strengths and building that initial foundation of confidence, you should begin to recognize your weak spots. But it’s more complicated than listing flaws. You first have to accept that some things will not change.
For example, there’s no point in wasting time and effort thinking about how to fix it. No matter how successful, powerful, or perfect you think they are, everyone in the entire world hates something about themselves.
So instead, shift your attention to the things you can change and find ways to address those weaknesses to make you stronger gradually. But you must remember throughout this process that your strengths define you far more than your weakness, even if it feels the other way around.
Where does self-esteem come from? It’s a general question with many answers, but some methods work better than others. Let’s focus on one very common strategy for building confidence.
1. Act like a winner, not a loser
Do you look like a winner when you walk into a networking event, office, or restaurant? It may seem strange, but research from the University of British Columbia clarifies that we innately get bigger when we feel pride but get smaller in our bodies. We feel defeated or ashamed.
Why does this matter? When we look at someone, we try to decide if they look more like winners or losers. If someone takes up space, they have their head held high, shoulders down, and relaxed. Do they look like losers with their shoulders rolled from their chin to their chests?
Without realizing it, we snap judgments of people when we see them. Then put them into one of two buckets. To be confident, your body language must show it first. The easiest way to look like a winner is to claim our territory.
Action step: Keep your arms loose by your side, relax your shoulders, and open the chest. When you walk, don’t drag your feet, don’t walk looking down at your feet. Keep your head up and walk with intent like you’re late and have to be somewhere right now. Don’t keep your arms crossed all night at a bar or a party. Act like a cool person and show your smartness.
Many people think acting is fake and bad for personality, but daily acting is a habit. It turns act into reality, and after a few weeks, you will not feel acting and feel real. These will show others that you’re confident and sure of yourself. Be wary of low-power postures like crossing arms or turtling shoulders to your ears, as this may signal defeat. Your voice must project confidence when you answer the phone and start a new conversation.
2. Do a checklist at the workplace
Does happiness equal confidence? Happiness and confidence go hand-in-hand. If you’re curious about how to be more confident at work, one of the best ways to feel professionally confident is to have meaningfulness in your job. Do you know your company’s mission? Do you know the impact of your work? When we don’t know how daily responsibilities contribute to a larger mission, we can feel disengaged or hopeless in the workplace.
There is nothing worse than feeling like what you do doesn’t matter. Here are some ideas to add meaning to your day.
- First, find out the company’s mission statement. If your company doesn’t have one, write the mission statement you think the company should have. Maybe you can even bring it up to the bosses.
- Second, write your mission statement. Why do you do it? Beyond a paycheck, who are you helping? It could be your colleagues, team, or clients. Put this mission statement somewhere easy to see on the desk or hang it on the cubicle wall.
- Lastly, make a success folder on your computer. This folder contains records of accomplishments, testimonials, and other examples of good status at work.
Action step: Do these 3 steps to be happier at work to boost your day-to-day satisfaction.
If you have a bad day, open the success folder to remind yourself of your worth.
3. Focus on your body language
One of the most important things I would like to share with you regarding confidence is to make your body language work for you. Now imagine if I slouch and try to teach you something. Would you be interested?
- 80 percent of first impressions are dependent on body language.
If you do not have a good posture, people will not be impressed and interested in you. Bio motion lab analyzes and synthesizes biological motion patterns. A fancy way of saying researchers study walking and movement for patterns.
The biological motion looks at how emotions and intentions can change our walk. The human visual system is susceptible to motion. Without realizing it, we can decode things about people from their walk. They investigate how such information is encoded in biological motion and how it can be retrieved. Also, they apply linear methods from statistics to patterns to recognition to analysis.
Action step: You need to keep in mind good eye contact. Make sure that you make eye contact when talking to a person. Also, use your hand gestures to enhance verbal statements and smile when talking to someone. How do you walk? Film yourself walking and see if you can slide more towards relaxed and happy. See how that changes how you feel.
4. Find a confident role model
Confidence is easier to develop when we can watch and emulate someone in action. Do you have someone in your life who exudes confidence professionally or personally, maybe a partner, a colleague, or a close friend? Assign them as your confident role model.
It can be a secret role model you observe and take notes of how they interact or talk to and ask your mentor. There’s no better compliment than telling someone their natural confidence is alluring. It can lead to multiple benefits, including bonding with them deeper.
They share ideas on building confidence and maybe even some insider tips on how they got to their confidence levels. Not sure who to choose, look for a role model in the workplace who embodies the following qualities:
- Shows confidence in their leadership.
- Isn’t afraid to be unique.
- Communicates and interacts with everyone.
- Shows respect and concern for everyone they meet.
- Is knowledgeable and well-rounded.
- Has humility and shows a willingness to admit mistakes.
- Does good things outside the job.
Action step: Check out the list, match your role models, and follow them differently because everybody is unique. So, adopt their best and avoid bad things.
Much unexpected confidence comes in multiple flavors. It isn’t about being the most extroverted, bubbly person in the room. Sometimes it’s about empathy, humility competence.
5. Develop a confident lifestyle
Our look is a big factor for confidence. It’s time to look good and feel good. So how do you look good and feel good? Well, firstly, maintain good hygiene. You don’t want to come out as a stinky person. Do you think people are going to like you if you smell bad?
No people are not going to want to have a chat with you. They would never be interested in talking to you. So it’s important to maintain good hygiene. You need to take a shower daily. Keep your nails and hair tidy. So you would come out as a very confident person.
Our confidence tends to dip. A fun option to ramp up your confidence is creating different confidence playlists. It can be a Spotify playlist it gets you in a good mood or a YouTube playlist that inspires you. Listen or watch when you’re brushing your teeth, getting ready, or on a commute. Anytime you need a pump up.
Action step: Keep yourself fresh, smell well, and be simple. Listen to music that inspires or motivates you. Another thing that you need to work on is maintaining health. You need to sleep well and eat healthy food. Eating too much junk food is going to show up on the face.
6. Overcome imposter syndrome
For many high achievers, success comes at a price. This price is known as impostor syndrome. It is a psychological phenomenon that causes smart, talented people to feel like frauds and undeserving of their accomplishments.
Studies have found that 70 percent of all people feel like imposters at one time or another. It is a huge problem. The most important thing to keep in mind, this is not a defect. Imposter syndrome is not a personality trait. It’s a reaction to an event.
Do you ever think your accomplishments are not enough or are pure luck? Do you ever worry that people will discover you aren’t worthy? It is impostor syndrome at work. It’s temporary and curable. Confidence shrivels and hides away when our minds and thoughts work against us.
Action step: One way to fight impostor syndrome is by motivating self-talk.
7. Keep yourself from social anxiety
On a more serious note, you may suffer from social anxiety if stressed out in social settings. Social anxiety is when you feel nervous, tense, or uncomfortable in social situations. Because you’re worried other people are judging you. Almost everyone has experienced social anxiety at one point or another. Life is rife with moments of self-consciousness, from job interviews to first dates. We all occasionally feel nervous around other people.
Action step: Try to talk with different people daily and make a friend zone that keeps you in. You, people, are a social touch. Realize the situation of society culture and analyze the people’s behavior. It helps you to accept the situation and criticism quickly.
Stop thinking about what others will talk about or think about you. It’s important for you to feel confident from the inner side. If that confidence shows up, things will be so much better. Don’t care about people, bother too much about other people, and come out as a confident person.
Unfortunately, social anxiety can become, at worst, debilitating and, at the very least, damper our inner confidence. Make it feel impossible to be social in an authentic way. The good news is there are ways to overcome social anxiety with a treatment known as cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. I highly recommend getting professional help. CBT is recognized as one of the most effective treatment options for social anxiety.
8. Spark confidence in your brain
Human thoughts dictate nearly every aspect of existence. Thinking and feeling confident about ourselves is nearly impossible if our thoughts are insecure or demotivated.
Humans are programmed by thoughts. -By Shad Helm Stetter
Mindset and self-truths are the epicenters of our confidence. Self-truths are the ideas we tell ourselves, the beliefs we carry around, whether they are true or not. Is there deeper insecurity that contributes to this limiting belief?
Action step: Go through all your biggest limiting beliefs and do fact-checking. Where did they come from, and why? Keep them bouncing around in your head. Take ownership of the thoughts that only serve you.
9. Limit social media consumption
Research shows that social media is hurting us. The endless comparison we subject ourselves to by this technological vehicle can have lasting and harmful effects. Researcher Clarissa Silva interviewed men and women between the ages of 28 and 73 and found these crazy results:
- 60 percent of people using social media reported negatively impacting their self-esteem.
- 50 percent reported social media having negative effects on their relationships.
- 80 percent reported that sharing social media makes it easier to be deceived by others.
This insecurity is especially rampant in the online dating space. According to Silva, social media creates a paradoxical effect giving off the illusion of many choices while making it harder to find viable options. The paradox effect in dating creates the illusion of having a more social engagement, social capital, and popularity but masking one’s true persona. Social media helps us stay connected and informed, but balancing reality and fantasy is also important.
Action step: Spend the equivalent time with friends or family in person to balance it out. Set a small amount of time to check out your account and status. Go outside and travel to a beautiful place. It helps you to refresh your mind and build confidence. Take steps, even small ones, to up your confidence and kick-start the life you always wanted.
10. Slow down and take a breath
We are a little nervous about having a conversation with people. Maybe when you are in a meeting talking to clients or when you are on the phone talking to someone. If you get a little nervous, you speak very fast, your voice goes up a few notes, and you start mumbling. Whatever you say will not make sense to the other person listening to you.
So it’s time to calm down, take a deep breath, and use pauses as an advantage for you, When you speak slowly, you’ll be able to gather your thoughts, and you’ll be able to come out more clearly. It makes the other person understand what you are trying to say. You tend to speak very fast at a nervous time, and people will fail to understand you.
Action step: Take a deep breath, calm down, relax, and speak.
11. Avoid negative thoughts
To be confident, you need to eliminate negative voices in your head. You are going to do that and put yourself at risk. When you want to take a risk, your brain sends a dangerous alert, “Don’t go.” That negative voice in my head is horrible. It is limiting life and fun. Also, negativity is the ultimate confidence killer. It is a mental game!
The reality is that everyone is going through something right, whether it’s a breakup or a hard time at work. We all have our negative voices in our heads. So no matter what you’re going through, your mindset needs to be sharp and focused.
Action step: You must turn off those negative thoughts and focus on the goal. Try to research the successful person or businessman. Everybody has some hard times, failure moments, and painful memory. So, focus on your goal and have a strong mindset.
12. Be humble
Being loud is not classy and not cool. It makes it look like you need much attention and listening to your conversation. So you are digging and asking for attention. That’s not confidence. That’s arrogant. If you’re being so loud, energetic, and showing too much, doing too much, and being too loud, then people don’t want that.
People will judge you by how you look and your appearance in the real world. But be a humble treat, everyone, the same right no matter what this person is driving, no matter what this person is wearing. It is crucial to listen to everyone’s opinions and give them the time of day, no matter who they are talking to.
Action step: Be classy, and respect other people and the conversations without yelling things out so everyone else can hear.
13. Judge yourself fairly
Praise is a well-known confidence booster because, in one way or another. It changes your perception of yourself. Imagine you bought a new shirt but are nervous about how it looks. You wear it in public for the first time, and someone compliments you.
That compliment instantly alters self-image. You start to think of yourself as better, looking more attractive, even if it’s a little bit. When your self-image improves, your confidence tends to follow suit. While some degree of praise is good, too much of it can skew your perception of yourself. Praise develops confidence and distorts self-image without any definitive proof.
If you become more confident after accomplishing a goal, you’ve proven capable of something. You’ve overcome a hurdle and faced some adversity. You earned that confidence boost, so your self-image should reflect your achievements. But praise can be hollow, exaggerated, and undeserved. If you constantly receive praise, you’ll struggle to accurately assess strengths, weaknesses, and intrinsic value.
On the flip side, people often equate a lack of praise with worthlessness. My point is that you shouldn’t ground self-esteem in an external foundation. Don’t let other people’s praise, opinions, or criticisms define who you are. It isn’t accurate or fair to understand what you’re capable of.
Action step: To be confident around anyone, you must judge yourself fairly.
Remember the experiences you’ve had, the walls you’ve climbed, the goals you’ve accomplished. Your achievements will allow you to realize yourself as an individual, and chances are you’ll discover you have much more to offer than you thought.
14. Play roll application & setup a goal
Another way to look confident is to assign yourself a role in every conversation. Imagine your role as a goal that you want to achieve. You lay out a purpose for yourself before the conversation starts. That goal can be about anything you might say. It’s my job to make the other person feel interested, or my role is to show the other person that I understand them. Try picking a role that naturally increases likability if you struggle with confidence.
One possible option is to take the spotlight off yourself and choose a role like making them feel interesting. This requires a lot more listening than talking. You would increase their enjoyment of the conversation by displaying genuine interest since you know your role. You know how to behave.
For example, you might not smile and ask open-ended questions. But how does role assignment increase your confidence? Well, it works in two different ways. First of all, role assignment, let’s plan. You can assess the situation, figure out who you’re talking to and choose the best role for that environment.
That way, you don’t feel like you’re going on a blind role assignment. Also, boost your confidence by giving a reason to be there. Many people struggle with the idea that they’re boring, unwanted, and useless. They don’t have the self-esteem to put themselves out there. But having a purpose gives you the courage to do things you never imagined.
So overcoming that obstacle doesn’t feel like much of a challenge. You’ll feel more confident crossing those boundaries and stepping out of your comfort zone if you have a goal. So how do you know which role is right for you? Well, it does depend pretty heavily on the context of the conversation.
For example, if you know you will talk to superiors, your role shouldn’t be self-centered. But you should also choose a role that fits your personality by reflecting on the one thing you do best when talking to others.
Action step: Try to build a role around your biggest strength. That way, you can smoothly transition into a more confident conversationalist.
15. Confront your fears
Fear is a powerful double-edged sword in your life. If you’re hoping to develop more confidence or assertiveness, you’re letting fears control your actions, who you are, and who you will become. Most crippling fear and anxiety stem from a simple lack of practice. If you hope to build confidence, reprogram your psyche by confronting your fears.
In the early 2000s, a game-changing psychological study showed that negatives beat out positives repeatedly. A teacher might be happy to have a room full of interested students. But the one board student will always bother them more.
A restaurant might have a single bad review out of hundreds of good ones. But customers would still avoid the place because of that one negative comment. Our brains are naturally programmed to hone in on negativity and fear. Look at our memories, which take nearly four times longer to store well than bad things.
Action step: You should start small but push yourself to get out of your comfort zone, separate your weaknesses, and try getting familiar with things you don’t understand. Nine times out of ten, they won’t scare you anymore.
The human brain excels at making assumptions. We’re adept at relating people and stimuli in a way that creates some meaning in the world. It is a precious skill set. Assumptions let you predict how different situations will pan out. The more you can assume, the easier it is for your brain to prepare mentally. So whenever you walk into a room or meet new people, you look for small clues to make these educated guesses.
For example, clothing or body language can give you enough information to judge someone’s history, interests, and character. Fancy shoes may convince you that someone is stuck up, or you might see crossed arms and assume they think you’re annoying.
Now, you could be right, but you could easily be wrong. As helpful as our assumptions are, they’re rarely an accurate way to assess the world around us. It’s like using a single puzzle to decide how an entire puzzle looks.
When you’re struggling with confidence, assumptions can be your worst enemy. Your guesses will lead you to believe you’re the only nervous and awkward person in the room. Everyone has fascinating things and great stories to tell no one is interested in getting to know a boring person like you.
Snyder, C. R.; Lopez, Shane J. . Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-518724-3.
Zellner. “Self-esteem, reception, and influenceability.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Judge, Timothy A.; Erez, Amir; “Are measures of self-esteem, neuroticism, locus of control, and generalized self-efficacy indicators of a common core construct?”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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