Do you ever feel as if you’re crippled by a lack of confidence and poor self-esteem? Would you prefer to chat with anonymous people online, rather than spend time with people face-to-face? Are there certain issues you feel like are preventing you from putting yourself out there? Well, you certainly aren’t alone. The question is, what will you do about it?
5 Tips to Bolster Your Confidence
There’s nothing wrong with being introverted. You’re not the only one who dreams of curling up on the sofa with the Infinity Gauntlet series on a Friday night, or binge-watching every Superman flick in a weekend. But you have to consider if you’re introverted, or if you simply lack confidence. It’s the latter issue that can be problem.
A lack of confidence can weigh you down in multiple areas of your life. It can impact your relationships – romantic and otherwise – career, hobbies, interests, and physical and mental health. Hell, it can even take your video gaming skills down a notch. And though you may feel that confidence is elusive, the truth is that, much like anything else, it can be cultivated and improved.
Here are some suggestions for doing so:
1. Deal With Underlying Issues
The first step is to acknowledge the underlying issues that impact your self-confidence. Is there something physical holding you back? Is it psychological? Do you have past emotional trauma that weighs heavy on your mind? Whatever the case may be, the best approach is to deal with these issues head-on.
Here some examples of common issues and how you can deal with them:
- Premature balding. It might sound silly to some people, but premature balding is a confidence-killer for many men. If you suffer from hair loss, you should deal with it right away. Laser caps systems are especially effective and provide a simple way to regrow hair in the privacy of your own home.
- Verbally abusive upbringing. A lack of self-confidence can be a direct byproduct of a hostile upbringing in which parents or other authority figures verbally berated you and constantly implied that you weren’t good enough. If this is your story, a therapist can help you uncover some of these issues and provide practical strategies for silencing these lies.
- Past failures. Perhaps you used to be confident, but numerous failures have led you to believe that you’ll never amount to anything. Ironically enough, the best course of action is to get back on the horse and try again.
2. Put Yourself Out There
You’ll never amass a healthy level of confidence if you’re constantly hiding in your basement and playing video games in the dark. You need to take some chances and put yourself out there.
If you’re scared of being ridiculed, force yourself to sign up for a public speaking class where you learn to speak in front of people. If you’re fearful of heights, sign up for rock climbing lessons at a local gym. If you’re scared of feeling dumb, go to a trivia night at a local bar. By putting yourself out there, you accomplish two things: (1) you gain experience, which actually allows you to improve in these areas; (2) you begin to realize that other people are just as fearful and inadequate as you are. These revelations will boost your confidence and encourage you to keep trying.
3. Embrace Your Strengths and Weaknesses
People often assume that confidence comes from being really good at everything, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even the most confident people in the world have glaring weaknesses. The key to improving your confidence is to embrace both your strengths and your weaknesses. In other words, get real clear on what you’re good at and where you need help. This clarity paves the way for growth.
4. Change Your Body Language
Body language is typically a direct result of what you’re feeling inside. If you’re nervous, your body tenses up. If your mind is at ease, your muscles relax. If you’re lacking in confidence, your shoulders droop and your facial muscles tighten. But there’s also reason to believe that this relationship works in reverse. By changing your body language, you can convince your mind to respond accordingly.
If you want to become more confident, be conscious of your posture. Stop slouching and stand up straight. This means pulling your shoulder blades down and back, picking your chin up, and looking straight ahead. (Also, you should try making eye contact with people and smiling more often.)
5. Schedule Social Time
It’s really hard to establish any level of confidence if you’re always spending time alone. If you’re introverted, try scheduling social time into your calendar. By putting it in writing, you’re committing to doing things with others. This makes it harder to back out.
You don’t have to do anything crazy. Scheduling social time might look like going to a local arcade and playing a few rounds of Space Invaders or Street Fighter with a couple of close friends. Or it could be something as simple as setting up a comic book club where you share and discuss stories every Tuesday night. Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be!
It’s Time to be Proactive
The longer you let low self-esteem and lack of confidence fester, the more of a problem it’ll become. By proactively dealing with it – starting today – you can chip away at some of the issues and lies that have held you back.
Confidence doesn’t spring up overnight. The key to bolstering your self-esteem is to make daily incremental gains. The objective is to become marginally more confident today than you were yesterday. Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to become slightly more confident than you are today. If you do this with consistency, you’ll discover that you’re a totally different person in 12, 18, or 24 months. Steady as you go – that’s how you build confidence.