10 Practical Things You Can Do To Increase Your Confidence

Our level of confidence has a major impact on the decisions we make, the risks we are willing to take, and ultimately, the results we create in our lives. To put it simply, confidence really comes down to who we are really being in the world and whether we’re willing to pursue what’s important to us — our dreams.

Having a high level of confidence is important because it reveals to the world how we operate plus it also influences the opinions others have of us. Chances are that if you portray a strong level of confidence, you will attract others who also have a strong level of confidence.

One distinction that needs to be made is that being confident can also be perceived as being arrogant, being abrupt or even rude. While other people’s opinions of us should not matter, I believe it is important to be respectful of others and behave in a way that reveals who we truly are.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While there are a number of mindset-related things that can help increase our confidence such as actually deciding to be more confident, having a positive frame of mind or having integrity in everything we do, I’d like to share some practical things that can be done to help boost our confidence so that we feel good about who we are and where we are heading in life.

Here are 10 things you can do starting today to increase your confidence.

  1. Dress impeccably. There is something about people who are dressed sharply which portrays them as having more confidence. It may seem to be such a simple thing to do but it will work almost all the time. Those who present themselves well give off the impression to others that they are professional, capable and confident. Paying a little more attention to how we dress can make a big difference to our confidence.
  2. Ask someone what you can do for them today. All too often we get caught up in all the things we have going on which means that all our focus is internal. By taking the time and just asking someone what you can do for them which will help them move forward, not only will they be appreciative, you’ll also feel good that you have been able to do something nice for another people. Not everyone will say yes to your offer to help them and that is okay too. The point is to get into the habit of supporting others which will help boost your self-esteem and confidence.
  3. Maintain a good posture. Those who slouch, are hunched over or move around with their head looking towards the floor do not radiate a lot of confidence. Standing tall, smiling more and being present while maintaining a good posture all help to increase our confidence and how we feel about ourselves. A good posture also helps when we walk. Just notice how people around you walk and pick out who you think is a confident person.
  4. Speak slowly. Confident people are generally very thoughtful about their words. They don’t tend to shoot off the hip, only to later regret something they have said. One way to be thoughtful with our words is to speak slowly. That way, we’re able to give our mind the time to formulate what we need to say. Our words convey our values, our beliefs and our integrity, therefore we must be careful with the words we choose.
  5. Create personal affirmations or mantras. Our self-talk plays a massive part in how we think of ourselves and what we believe we’re capable of doing. As past experiences may have caused us pain, regret or felt like we had failed, our self-talk can become self-loathing, negative and damaging to our self-confidence. One way to overcome that is to have personal affirmations or mantras that we repeat to ourselves over and over. Here’s an example of one of my affirmations — I am successful in all that I choose to do. By creating a few of these and reading them out loud consistently, preferably daily, we will change our self-talk.
  6. Do one thing that you have been putting off. Oftentimes we put off doing things that we perceive to be risky. In order to overcome this, we can take one small action which can generate momentum to achieve something we want. It could having a difficult conversation with someone, making a phone call that we’ve been avoiding, or finally enrolling in a course that can be the start of a new career. Doing one thing can make all the difference.
  7. Develop more competence. Competence is having the knowledge, skills and ability to do something. If we’re aware of what our strengths and weaknesses are, then we’re better able to assess which areas we need to further develop ourselves in. Typically the greater our level of competence in something is, the more confidence we’ll have in our ability to do that thing. Learning new skills or acquiring new knowledge all helps in developing more competence.
  8. Confide in a mentor or trusted advisor. It is helpful to have people in our life who can tell us exactly what we need to hear. Sometimes we may not like what they have to say but that is the power of having such a relationship with someone we totally trust. This mentor or advisor can offer guidance when needed plus they can also offer resources that can move us forward in life. Having someone offer us guidance can certainly help in boosting our confidence.
  9. Take small risks. Nothing builds up confidence like taking risks. Confidence is acquired as a result of taking risks. It can be as simple as standing up and speaking when in a group setting, at a networking or social event. Another small risk can be to give praise or compliment someone. The key to building confidence is to be willing to take small risks then gradually increase the level of risk we’re prepared to take.
  10. Be prepared. I have found that people usually lack confidence when they don’t know what to say or what to do. Therefore being prepared is vital to displaying a high level of confidence. For example, one thing that is always emphasised to speakers is that for every speech they deliver, they must be willing to spend more time in preparation than is required for the actual speech. It is the discipline of taking consistent action that will ensure that we’re prepared for that important meeting or speech we have to give. Nothing trumps preparation.

Our level of confidence tells others a lot about us. If we want to be known as someone who can be trusted, has integrity and walks their talk, then it is important to have a high level of confidence. These practical steps can be just the encouragement you need to increase your confidence.

Question: What is one thing you have done to increase your confidence?

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  • Jane Ransom

    One small quibble: I’m more comfortable in jeans. Given that I live in San Francisco, the land of techies, that’s okay. 🙂 Definitely down with the rest of your list though, Neel, especially “Be prepared.”

    • Neel Raman

      Hey Jane, one thing I should have mentioned for that point was to dress appropriately for the occasion or for where you live. Jeans in SF is totally cool. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your perspective.