With the exception of maybe Kanye West no one is born with super duper self-confidence. Self-confidence is typically something we build on for years and years, hopefully beginning back when we were kids. Confidence is essential to life. It’s what helps us get through the challenges that work and love, and everything else in between, will undoubtedly bring. It’s hard to keep your confidence up, though, especially if we’ve been through a rough breakup, a job loss, or anything else that regularly makes us question our self-worth (yes, this might include toxic bosses and family members). So how do you keep your confidence up day after day? Lucky for you, we rounded up some essential exercises that will help build your confidence, lift your self esteem, and own your innate superpowers like Yeezy.
Fake it ’til you make it
This doesn’t mean lying on your resume or pretending you know how to do open heart surgery when you’ve never been to medical school. But this does mean pretending you’re more confident than you might really feel. Sometimes this mean putting on the outfit that makes us feel like a boss and creating a persona that oozes confidence that helps us tap into a more empowered side of us. Beyoncé does it. She has Sasha Fierce, and whenever she’s got to own a stage or a photoshoot, even when she’s not feeling it, she transforms into Sasha Fierce and becomes the goddess we know as Queen Bey. So, do what Bey would do. Make eye contact. Listen to empowering music (Beyoncé and Lizzo come to mind) and wear the wardrobe that makes you feel fierce AF. Before you know it, you’ll feel good. And when we feel good, we feel empowered. And when we feel empowered, we make confident decisions and bigger power moves.
Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable
Maybe that means attending an improv workshop or trying rock climbing or attending a Toastmaster’s meeting. The goal is to get out of your comfort zone and let go of your inhibitions so you can get over yourself. When we do things that make us feel weird and uncomfortable, we’re able to trust ourselves and see that we can do hard things. When we realize we can do hard things, guess what? Our confidence levels immediately shoot up and we believe in ourselves more than ever.
Affirm what you want and question your inner critic
Affirmations are powerful tools to deliberately install powerful thoughts and feelings about ourselves. They are always stated in the present first person, starting with, “I am.” For example, instead of saying, “Why do I always attract losers” you would say instead, “I am attracting an emotionally available and positive and successful partner in my life.” Affirmations help us believe in our potential and allow us to focus on what is possible rather than what is not. Consider saying to yourself at least two to three affirmations daily to yourself as you begin your day.
What helps your affirmations start to feel more true is when we start to question your inner critic. When we’re feeling exceptionally low, we usually have a loud inner critic who is choosing to see our flaws and faults instead of everything that makes us amazing. So question what your inner critic is telling you. If it’s saying you only date losers or always make mistakes, ask yourself for evidence that supports the opposite. When have you dated someone who made you feel good and helped you learn a lot about love and yourself? What are examples in which you achieved your goals and triumphed over adversity? Reach for the good.
Allow yourself to be wrong on purpose
So many of us get hung up on being right and accepted by our peers that our confidence takes a huge hit when we’re wrong or rejected by something or someone. Jia Jiang became well-known for desensitizing himself to rejection by purposefully making crazy requests of people in order to be rejected over 100 days. Maybe that means when someone asks you something, you give them the wrong response on purpose. Or maybe that means walking into a makeup boutique and asking the sales clerk if they sell large TV sets. The purpose is to help you get over the need to be right all the time and is a powerful way of developing self-confidence.
Help someone else in need
Whether that’s volunteering at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter, mentoring a young adult, or checking in with an elderly neighbor, helping someone else helps us get over ourselves and focus on the world around us. We’re also able to see just how our actions can benefit those around us. When we are able to see the good in our lives and feel gratitude, we immediately begin to feel better. When we feel good, we see possibilities and potential. Plus, it’s always a good idea to help someone else.