You’ve probably been told a million times that “confidence is key” to navigating whatever personal or professional problem it is you’re facing. As well-meaning as this phrase is intended to be, it’s mostly just frustrating for those of us who are sorely lacking in the self-esteem department. It made me think of some confidence boosting ideas.
Let’s face it, confidence can be tough to build. Though we often tell ourselves that some people are just born with natural confidence, it’s actually an acquired skill—and a continuous labor of love, at that.
If you want to become more self-assured in the coming year, you need to start building your confidence from the ground up. How do you do that? Read on for a few confidence-boosting ideas to help you in 2020 and beyond.
- Make Fitness a Top Priority
It’s a proven fact that exercise can improve how you feel about yourself from the inside out. We’re not just talking about losing belly fat or any other perceptible physical changes that come from hitting the gym every day, but also the many mental health benefits of exercise as well.
In fact, exercise can make you feel better even when the scale hasn’t budged an inch. According to a 2009 study published in the journal Psychology and Health, just a single workout session can immediately boost self-esteem and improve overall mood.
These confidence-boosting benefits are even more pronounced the longer you stick with your fitness regimen. So, why not try to beat the New Year’s gym rush and get a head start on your fitness? Your mind and body are sure to thank you for it in 2020.
- Upgrade Your Wardrobe
Want to start bringing your A-game to work? Then focus on getting yourself a new wardrobe for the new year. Not only can your fashion choices influence how others perceive you, research has shown that they can also change how you perceive yourself.
Don’t believe in the power of clothes? Consider this study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, where researchers asked male participants to negotiate wearing either sweatpants or a suit. The men wearing suits were found to have better negotiation skills compared to their sweatpants-wearing counterparts.
Don’t have a large budget going into the new year? Just start small and work your way up to sporting fresh duds. It will pay off tenfold in terms of your confidence level.
- Start Taking Better Care of Your Skin
Sure, wearing quality clothing is always a confidence booster. However, nothing beats feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin.
Before you get any crazy ideas, we’re not suggesting you walk around in the buff to feel more confident in yourself (although, if that works for you, no judgment from us). We mean getting on a regular skin care routine and taking better care of your skin.
Whether your face keeps breaking out all of a sudden or you struggle with dark circles under your eyes, finally doing something about those minor skin imperfections can dramatically boost your confidence. Stick with your routine for a couple of weeks and you’ll be getting tons of compliments on your glowing complexion in no time.
- Challenge Yourself to do Things That Scare You
Keep in mind that we’re using the definition of “scary” pretty loosely here. We’re not suggesting that you try your hand at skydiving or go swimming with sharks. It can be something small, such as taking a dance class when you have two left feet or asking someone out on a date.
When you step outside your comfort zone, you embrace some degree of risk, however small or large it may be. And with that risk comes unfamiliarity and anxiety, which can then be a catalyst for personal growth and opportunity.
Commit to stepping outside of your comfort zone every day. Write it on a sticky note and put it on your alarm clock if you need to. Just put yourself out there and, eventually, you’ll feel unstoppable in everything you do.
- Fix Your Posture
You’ve likely been told to sit up straight your entire life, and there’s actually several good reasons for that. Practicing good posture is not only key to maintaining muscle strength and balance, it can also have a big influence on your self-esteem.
Several studies have shown that our body language has the ability to shape our thoughts. In a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, researchers found that students who were asked to sit up straight were more likely to believe they were qualified for a job compared students who were asked to slouch.
Bottom line? Fake it until you make it. In the meantime, check out these tips from the American Chiropractic Association to help you practice better posture.
- Nix the Negative Self-Talk
Admit it, we’re all guilty of negative self-talk on occasion. Unfortunately, the bad things we say aloud about ourselves are usually nothing compared to what we say in the privacy of our own heads.
Negative self-talk is harmful in every way and serves zero purpose—nada. To remove this critical self-talk from your internal dialogue, you need to actively challenge your harmful thoughts.
If this sounds daunting to you, consider seeking help from a professional therapist. A good therapist will teach you the skills you need to poke holes in your negative self-talk argument and help you become more confident as a result.
- Set Yourself Up to Win
There are two types of people in this world: Those who whole-heartedly embrace the idea of New Year’s resolutions and those who consider it a true and utter waste of time. If you’re part of the latter camp, then we challenge you to rethink the goals you’re setting for yourself each year.
Oftentimes, people set unattainable goals that they’re destined to fail, which only lowers their confidence and self-worth. For instance, what does, “I’m going to eat healthy in 2020” mean, exactly? Are you going to eat healthy for the entireyear? That’s a pretty lofty goal for someone who currently eats nothing but junk food.
If you want to set yourself up for success in the coming year, start by setting smaller, more reasonable goals for yourself. With every goal you conquer, you’ll be riding that high and feel more confident than ever before.
There are few things in this life that have a greater influence on our potential success than our confidence. Like it or not, it’s behind virtually every action we take. If you want to start feeling more self-assured in 2020, now is the time to start working on it through small, daily habits. With consistent little changes over time, you can finally become the confident person you’ve always wanted to be.