Insecurities. Everyone has them, but that doesn’t mean we all have to embrace them. It’s easy to blame our inability to accomplish what we want on everything from a lack of time to a lack of finances to a lack of motivation. While these roadblocks may exist, there’s no bigger obstacle keeping you from doing what you’ve always wanted than a lack of confidence.
It’s tough to admit, but once you do, you can make a difference. How can you build the confidence to achieve what you want? Here are seven simple ways to start right here and now:
Be mindful of fearful thoughts
Fear is often the reason we hold ourselves back from accomplishing what we want. Whether it’s the fear of rejection or making a mistake, it’s important to catch yourself when you start feeling scared. Even the act of simply recognizing these thoughts can help you stop them, and more importantly, help you realize just how silly they can be.
Watch your body language
Science has proven that the way we all present ourselves affects the way we interact. By simply choosing to cross our arms instead of letting them hang, or tugging at your hair instead of letting it be, can change the way we feel when in social situations. Next time you need a confidence booster, try standing up tall and placing your hands together lightly in front of you. You’ll instantly feel—and look—much more confident.
Focus on listening, rather than speaking
When we feel intimidated, we often find ourselves scrambling for our words and stressing over the way we sound. If you need to feel more confident in what you’re doing, focus a little less on the talking and more on the listening part. A few head nods make us appear well-informed and capable (even if we’re not totally feeling this way!).
Don’t take situations so seriously
More often than not, we tend to psych ourselves out when feeling insecure. The best way to instill confidence in yourself is to stop taking each situation so seriously. The more pressure we place on ourselves, the less likely we are to feel comfortable with the task at hand. Take a breather, and remind yourself that no matter the outcome, you’ll survive.
Practice conquering small fears
Ever hear the advice to tackle the easy stuff first so you can handle the harder stuff later? Turns out, this is all about building confidence. Whether big or small, once you see your successes, you’ll feel more confident in handling bigger things down the line. Try facing a smaller fear first (like practicing crow pose) before going for upside down for a headstand. Not only will you slowly build your confidence, you’ll actually end up accomplishing even more.
Practice positive mantras
Thinking positively doesn’t always guarantee success, but it does get you closer to achieving it. Thoughts such as “I’m capable of doing the best I can” and “No matter what, I’m going for it” can instill an attitude in you that will push you to reach your goals. Simply by believing you are capable of doing something gives you the confidence to actually go out and do it.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
As cliche as it sounds, everyone makes mistakes. No one is confident in absolutely everything they do, and it can take time to build yourself up. Acknowledge when you need a break, and don’t punish yourself for it. Becoming your own worst enemy is the greatest way to deflate your confidence, so thank yourself for trying. And remember, there’s always next time.