Ways to Improve Self-Confidence

A lack of self-confidence can prevent you from living life to its fullest and accomplishing everything you are capable of attaining. Self-confidence can be so low that it cripples your ability to function normally in society. Recognizing you have low self-confidence is the first step to improving your quality of life. Even small, simple changes in your daily life can help build your self-confidence.

Exercise & Appearance

Part of taking care of your mental health is tending to your physical health. According to the Mayo Clinic, consistent exercise can reduce stress and feelings of depression and increase self-confidence. Even something as simple as a daily walk can improve both your physical and mental well-being. Your appearance also plays an important role in how you feel about yourself. If you look sloppy and unkempt, you will likely feel that way. Regardless of your physical fitness level, you will feel more self-confident if you take the time to wash and style your hair, wear clean, pressed clothes, and cater to the small things you enjoy, such as a pedicure or facial.

Facing Your Social Fears

If attending parties, meeting new people or being observed by others makes you nervous, you may have a social phobia that needs addressing. The first step to addressing a social phobia is reducing your intake of stimulants, such as caffeine and alcohol; stimulants heighten anxiety. Sleep deprivation can also contribute to anxiety, so make sure you get plenty of quality rest. Learn breathing exercises and relaxation techniques in order to help control or diminish the anxiety. Slowly expose yourself to situations that you normally don’t have the self-confidence to handle well. Set one goal, such as “I will introduce myself to one new person at the party,” and do not push yourself beyond that result until the next opportunity. As your anxiety decreases, your self-confidence will increase.

Owning Your Feelings

If you take complete responsibility for your feelings, then that lessens the ability of others to change the way you feel about yourself. Create a list of affirmations to help remind yourself of all your good qualities for those times when negative thoughts begin to creep in. When you start thinking discouraging thoughts, switch mental channels and think of something positive instead, such as an upcoming event or a walk with your dog. Do not dwell on negative thoughts or past failures. When presented with an issue you would normally avoid confronting, remind yourself why you are able to deal with the issue now. Give yourself time to respond to the situation rather than react.