Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. – E.E. Cummings

With confidence, the world just seems like a better place, a sunny day where anything is possible. Without it, the darkness slowly creeps in and your mood begins to decline.

Just like the plants provides crucial Oxygen, confidence provides the necessary “juice” to succeed in both your personal and professional life. Whether it’s fear of the unknown or the scars of past failures, low confidence can occur for many reasons. Don’t let it over power you.

Without it, it’s all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of self-doubt and negativity. And this not only hurts us on a personal level (anxiety, depression, lonely heart), but it can also put a damper on our professional success. That’s why we made it our mission to find self-confidence shortcuts.

Below are 10 ways to become a more confident person that should help you in all aspects of your life. And you don’t need to do all of them, as if this were a recipe… pick and choose those that appeal to you, maybe just a couple at first, and give them a try. If they work, try others. If they don’t, try others.

1. Fake It Until You Make It

bigstock-young-woman-holding-happy-mask-38832853This is a common term for a reason. Clearly, if you are reading this, you are seeking ways to improve your confidence, so faking it may be a good way to start. Eventually, even you may start to believe all the great things about you!

2. Dress the Part

i-dress-to-killNothing makes you feel better than looking in the mirror and liking what you see. I consider myself a very casual person, but even I cannot enjoy comfort if it isn’t sometimes contrasted with style and effort. This also applies to grooming.

3. Create a Positive Network

Winning team

Surround yourself with positive people who notice your good attributes and give you with good vibes. This will make negative thinking more difficult and less desirable. There are secrets that will help you if have anxiety when it comes to networking, if you want to improve your skills, or enhance your career.

4. Be Prepared

Be_ReadyFeeling unprepared is often cited as a main reason for low self-esteem. If you go into situations ready for any scenario, you will have much less to beat yourself up about afterward.

 

5. Fix Something Small

very-smallChanging one small bad habit will make you feel great, show you what is possible, and lead to bigger changes. More positive changes equals more confidence!

It takes time to do anything worthwhile, but thankfully, we don’t need it all in one chunk. So this year, forget about the year as a whole. Forget about months and forget about weeks.

Focus on days.

6. Sit up straight / Exercise

Comfortable working environment with an elegant young blonde office worker sitting on a pilates ball

Research suggests that people with good posture have more confidence in their thoughts than slouchers. It is no secret that exercise is directly related to happiness. If positive self-talk isn’t helping, you can gain a sense of control by just getting up and moving. Motivation in one aspect of your life can extend into others. According to research, doing so can lead to more confidence in your own thoughts . Plus, sitting with good posture can keep both your self-esteem and mood lifted. Try it: Experts recommend opening up your chest and keeping your head level to look—and feel—assured and poised.

7. Educate Yourself

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Henry Ford

step-1-educate-yourselfFeel behind at work? Concerned about your parenting? Be proactive and take a class. Just the act of doing something about it can make you feel better.

Here is a list of some suggestions for small practices you could implement into your lifestyle. I would not expect anybody to do all of these things every single day, but you can choose a few, and keep your learning varied and fun! At first it may seem overwhelming, but after a few months of this you will reach a point where suddenly you feel like have access to so much more information and knowledge than you ever had before. Simple conversations and discussions with people become so much more interesting. Your brain becomes a very cool place to hang out!

8. Flirt

flirtSocial psychologist Laura Kray, PhD, has demonstrated that smiling, laughing and engaging in slight physical contact when negotiating can help you win the day. So, start flirting today but leave the engaging in physical contact till you’re confident.

9. Be Clean & Nice

scentYour favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice. As it turns out, it can actually make you confident, too. One study suggests that not only can a fragrance inspire confidence in men, but the more a gent likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90 percent of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

Organizing your workspace or house can provide a sense of control that many with low self-esteem lack. It can also help you find things more easily, leading to feeling better in the future.

10. Set Reminders

reminder-lists-topThis refers to both positive and negative reminders. Adding positive ones can reinforce the impact of any achievements you have made. Eliminating the negative ones can reduce the chances of being brought back down.

A good reminder makes it easy to start by encoding your new behavior in something that you already do.

For example, let’s say you want to feel happier. Expressing gratitude is one proven way to boost happiness. Using the list above, you could pick the reminder “sit down for dinner” and use it as a cue to say one thing that you’re grateful for today. “When I sit down for dinner, I say one thing that I’m grateful for today.” That’s the type of small behavior that could blossom into a more grateful outlook on life in general.

11. Pump Yourself Up

yes-i-canjpgFor a quick shot in the arm, life and business strategist Tony Robbins practices a unique ritual—and, crazy as it sounds, it works. Shake out your body, clench your hands like claws, and rock back and forth, breathing in and out quickly. Stop moving, then shake out your body again. Now clap, shout the word “Yes!” five times—and head out there to face the world.

12. Nod Along

Ron-Burgundy-Stare-and-NodNodding your head isn’t just good for signaling “yes” or warming up in a group fitness class. Research suggests that the up-and-down movement may actually improve confidence in your thoughts, so feel free to nod away whenever you need an extra boost. Just think of this as a way of signaling, “yes we can” to your brain.

13. Deal With Failures

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Failure-Quotes-301And it’s that kind of mentality—being able to live with failure and learn from it—that helps you build self-confidence, says executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, Ph.D., author of What You Got Here Won’t Get You There.

Ask any successful person you ever came in contact with about the secret to success and he will tell you that trial and error is the key to reaching what you want. Whenever you fail you must find out what was wrong during the last attempt then fix it in the next attempt and see if that will work.

As you keep trying and failing you will end up with the formula that works and you will be able to become successful. Remember the first time you were searching for a way to lock the keypad of your mobile phone? Most probably you clicked many wrong buttons and asked some wrong people until you found out what works.

14. Be A Friend

file00090469702Being a good friend isn’t always easy, but taking the time to nurture a lasting friendship is worth every ounce of effort. As the years pass, some people will stay by your side, but many won’t, and you’ll realize that each friendship you keep is priceless. Of course, to have a good friend, you must be one. Be a good friend and deepen a friendship to make it last.

Fact: Life would be way less fun without friends. Not only do besties provide impromptu dance parties, secret handshakes, and giggles galore, but they also improve both self-confidence and self-worth, according to the Mayo Clinic. And the next time you need a boost, reach out to your inner circle for confirmation that you’re having a good day.

15. Snap A #Selfie.

Selfie

Though selfies get a bad rap for leaning toward the narcissistic end of the confidence spectrum, they may actually be a good thing. Sixty-five percent of teen girls surveyed by TODAY/AOL said that seeing their faces on a social platform actually makes them feel more confident. Consider this the green light to snap, filter, and post—just keep in mind that the survey isn’t super scientific, so it may not be everyone’s best line of defense when it comes to a confidence boost.

The way you feel about yourself not only impacts you personally, but also those around you. If there is a purpose to this crazy thing we call life, many believe it is to better yourself. If everyone believed this, it could be the first step to a better world.

16. Be Your Own Cheerleader

cheerWe mentioned that affirmations may help with visualizing successful outcomes, but they may also be powerful confidence-boosting tools on their own, especially during times of stress or struggle. When you use self-affirmations, you’re less likely to focus on failures from your past and are perhaps more likely to learn from your mistakes. Not only that, but the positive outcome that results from self-affirmations could trigger a cycle of positivity—more self-confidence leads to higher expectations and when met, brings even more self-confidence. To harness this particular power of positive thinking, focus on the good stuff that makes you who you are (e.g. if you’re super witty or a truly spectacular cook, own it!).

17. Practice, practice, practice.

deliberate-practiceEven if you’re blessed with oodles of natural talent, the ability to succeed and feel confident doesn’t rely on that alone. In fact, experts suggest that practicing for a task or responsibility is more important than simply relying on your gifts. Prepping for the task at-hand (whether it’s a going through a presentation, practicing public speaking, etc.) will boost your confidence and improve the quality of your work. Bottom line: dress rehearsals aren’t just for drama troupes.

18. Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The time for risk-taking is NOW. Basically, we have control over how big our comfort zone is, according to Becky Blalock, a former Fortune 500 exec. When you take risks regularly, your comfort zone expands, she says. “Even doing something seemingly small every day will lead you to something bigger,” says Nancy Vito, a transformational coach. “You will grow and will begin to feel unstoppable.” Perfect example: for a recent study, researchers asked participants to talk to strangers on their commute to see whether it would be a positive experience .

The outcome? This simple, small (yet admittedly courageous) act made their commute more positive.

19. Cherish Compliments

complimentWhile research shows that overpraise may make you feel worse about yourself, there’s still something to be said for receiving a genuine, heartfelt, and deserved compliment. In fact, experts believe that hearing words of praise leads to a boost in self-esteem and self-confidence . So save those sincere birthday cards, performance reviews, and even emails from mom and read them back to yourself when you need a shot of confidence.