It’s Friday night at your local bar. Everyone’s out with their friends having a great time, while you’re racking your brain for self-confidence tips.
A bunch of rowdy lads are loudly ribbing their buddy hipping at a nearby table. Youngsters are whipping and nae-naeing on the dancefloor. There’s a group of hotties giggling and sipping cocktails by the bar.
You’d love nothing more than to loosen up like everyone else. Maybe you daydream about approaching hot women and winning them over with your charm and charisma.
Yet, something pulls you back.
Your head floods with all the things that could go wrong. An inner voice says you’re not cool enough to try anything like that.
So you stay in your shell.
And remain unfulfilled.
This lack of self-confidence limits you in all areas of your life.
Your social life. Your love life. Even in your career.
Perhaps you believe confident people are ‘born that way’ and shamelessly expressing yourself ‘isn’t for you’.
You can’t be blamed for feeling like this, such is the lack of actionable self-confidence tips out there.
But here’s the truth: poor self-confidence isn’t natural. It’s nurtured.
As we age, it’s easy to be influenced by school bullies or unsupportive parents. We listen to their criticism and start to doubt ourselves. Over time, we hide our true awesomeness for fear of further disapproval.
Thankfully, there are many proven methods for fixing your self-confidence.
Below is a list of actionable self-confidence tips to help you control your anxiety, skyrocket your charisma and dominate social situations.
#1 Write a List Of Reasons Why You’re Awesome
You may have been told “think positive” or “believe in yourself” when faced with a daunting social situation.
This is a flimsy strategy when not backed up by anything. It’s important to be aware why people would want to be your friend.
Grab a pen and write down 50 reasons why you’re awesome.
That might sound like a lot. It’s supposed to. This exercise is designed to encourage deep thought about your greatness.
Include physical attributes, personality traits, and previous achievements. They can be obvious strengths or tiny secrets.
Feel free to add anything you’re working on improving. After all, most people aren’t trying to better themselves in any way.
Self-confidence is the belief you’re awesome. This list provides written proof it’s true. You now have 50 reasons why people would want to spend time with you. Truly one of the easiest self-confidence tips.
#2 The Five-Second Rule: Act Before Your Brain Has Time To Think
When we try something new, our brain often perceives it as potentially dangerous. This is its way of keeping us alive.
It floods our bodies with adrenaline, adds weight to our muscles and poisons our mind with thoughts of something going wrong.
This is great for our survival, but not so good for encouraging bravery in social situations.
A proven technique for overcoming this sensation is to act before you have time to think.
In her book “The 5 Second Rule”, Mel Robbins recommends counting backwards from five as soon as you see something you know you should do. This will quieten your mind, so you’re ready to take action as soon as you hit “one”. She says:
“Hesitation is the kiss of death. You might hesitate for a just nanosecond, but that’s all it takes. That one small hesitation triggers a mental system that’s designed to stop you. And it happens in less than—you guessed it—five seconds.”
#3 Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is based on the idea that putting yourself through something is the best way to eliminate your fear of it.
Indeed, once your brain sees enough evidence that a certain activity is safe, it will stop panicking.
It’s your job to provide that evidence.
- Toastmasters events or improv comedy classes are great for conquering a fear of expressing yourself freely
- Speed dating is a useful way of exposing yourself to single women
- If this all sounds a bit much, ask a friend to drag you to a social event and introduce you to people
Exposure therapy has been used to treat a range of phobias and it works just as well for curing social anxiety.
#4 Train Your Willpower Muscle
They say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.
Indeed, those who have been through adversity tend to have the mental strength needed to take on daunting situations with confidence.
Exploding out of your comfort zone requires willpower.
The part of the brain responsible for this is called the prefrontal cortex – and you can strengthen this through repeated use.
The more you use your willpower, the easier it is to do so in the future.
Whatever your choice of exercise, you’ll become mentally stronger overall.
- Take cold showers. You’ll hate me for suggesting this. It’s a torturous way to start the day, but also your first opportunity to escape your comfort zone. Instead of washing in a pleasant warm shower, blast your naked body with freezing cold water. There are a number of physical benefits to doing this too
- Lift weights. Do you even lift, bro? If you’re pushing yourself properly, you’ll need incredible willpower to pull off that final rep. As an added bonus, you’ll get ripped
- Try new hobbies and practice in public. Your brain will tell you not to look silly in front of other people, but most beginners will do so. This is a great way of showing yourself that failure isn’t a big deal
- Sleep for at least eight hours. This replenishes your prefrontal cortex. Notice how much harder it is to resist that jam donut or complete any meaningful task when you’re underslept
- Eat healthily. Get those greens inside you. There are numerous studies linking a clean diet with improved mental health
This is one of my favorite self-confidence tips. Meditation has done wonder for me.
Meditation helps you separate yourself from your thoughts.
The feelings of self-doubt that enter our minds can feel so powerful in the moment.
They stop us approaching that beautiful woman or speaking up in that business meeting. In doing so, they ruin our lives.
Yet, they’re only thoughts…
They’re not part of us and we don’t have to listen to them.
Meditation is a practice that helps us realize that.
The simplest form of meditation? Sitting still in silence and concentrating solely on your breathing.
Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold for a couple of seconds, then exhale through your mouth. Focus on nothing but this.
This is more difficult than it sounds. Thoughts will frequently drift into your head. Don’t beat yourself up when this happens. Simply, shift your focus back onto your breath. Do this for 20 minutes a day using a timer on your phone.
Meditation will teach you to recognize self-defeating thoughts for what they are. An unhelpful voice in your head…
Confident people barely hear this voice. Unconfident people can’t ignore it. They see it as part of themselves. It stops them from approaching beautiful women and speaking up in business meetings.
Once you learn to separate yourself from this voice, you can begin making bold decisions based on what you actually want.
Other proven benefits of meditation include improved focus, better sleep, decreased stress and lower blood pressure.
#6 Practice Confident Body Language
Our body language has a powerful impact on our mood.
Try frowning and slouching with your hands in your pocket and your head facing the floor.
Now, adopt a power stance with your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart. Straighten your back with your arms raised like a champion. Smile so big that all your teeth show.
Notice how much better you feel!
The power stance might be a bit much for normal social situations, but it’s worth consciously adopting positive body language whenever you’re speaking with someone.
A simple self-confidence tip that can have an incredible effect on your self-esteem.
#7 Learn How To Tell Compelling Stories
We become more confident at activities once we’ve seen evidence we’re good at them.
It’s easier to handle the pressure of a game-winning free throw once you’ve been taught the proper technique, practiced it thousands of times and learned to score consistently.
You’ll find it simpler to play music in front of a packed stadium once you’ve honed this skill and earned a few standing ovations.
Speaking charismatically is also a skill that can be improved with practice.
- Hook them with an introduction. I learned how to tell epic stories from a Rabbi at a ju-jitsu class that went horribly wrong…That’s not true, but it illustrates the point. A great introduction presents a cliffhanger, explaining the situation without giving away the conclusion. Without this, you’ll struggle to win anyone’s attention, let alone keep it.
- Vary your vocal tonality. Enthusiasm single-handledly makes or breaks your story. Speak loud enough that everyone can hear. Vary the tone, speed, and volume of your voice. Masters of these skills can make any story sound interesting.
- Add emotion. A great story is more than a timeline of events. It should also describe the emotions of the characters, or at least encourage the listener to imagine how they felt.
- Paint a picture. When necessary, detail any of the five senses the characters experienced during the story. This helps the listener feel as if they were actually there.
- Include humor. The basic anatomy of a joke is pretty easy to recreate once you understand it. It’s nothing more than a set-up with a surprise at the end. This guide explains it in more detail.
- A killer punchline. …then the Rabbi said: “No Dan, this is jew Jitsu.” Just as with any joke, end your story with the surprise twist. The best punchlines are the ones you don’t see coming. (Maybe that one was a bit obvious…)
- Be as brief as necessary. As a rule, the story should only be as long as the punchline is epic. The best way to ruin a story is with unnecessary details. Don’t be Grandpa Simpson.
The more you practice these skills and notice people hanging on your every word, the easier it will be to speak confidently in the future.
After all, you’ve now seen evidence you’re a charismatic story-teller.
#8 Social Freedom Exercises
Social freedom exercises require people to perform an outrageous challenge in public.
They’re designed to put ‘normal’ social interactions into perspective. If you can run through the high street screaming with your shirt off, you should find it easy to approach that beautiful woman at the bus stop.
They’ll also help to eliminate the fear of ‘what other people think’. With most social freedom challenges, you’ll realize people really don’t care what strangers are doing with their lives.
They’ll tend to stare for a few seconds only. Some may smile at you. At worst, they may join in.
People are too lost in their own thoughts to give a second thought to strangers. Even if they do, most are too polite to react in any way.
The only way you’ll truly believe this is by proving it to yourself. Here are some common social freedom exercises to try and improve your self-confidence:
- Clap your hands above your head
- Try and get 10 high fives
- Stand with a ‘free hugs’ sign
- Public star jumps
- Wearing fancy dress
- Yelling or singing
- Lying on the sidewalk
Athletes ‘warm-up’ because the physical state needed for competitive sports is so different from their default.
For most people, the mental state needed to be socially free is also in complete contrast to their default. The social and logical sides of our brains are completely different. It’s difficult to quickly switch between the two.
That’s why it’s important to ‘warm-up’ before any social interaction that requires a lot of self-confidence.
Don’t engage in important business negotiations immediately after seven hours of coding. Call a friend or make some small talk by the water cooler first.
If you’re feeling really brave, engage in one of the social freedom exercises listed above. That’s a super-fast way to wake up the charismatic side of your brain.
Alternatively, keep yourself ‘warmed up’ by making small talk with work colleagues and any employees who serve you throughout the day. Throw in a compliment and notice how easy it is to make someone smile.
This might appear awkward at first, but you’ll soon adapt to being that naturally social person. Before long, you’ll realize most people are friendly, and it’s no reflection on you if they’re not.
#10 Surround Yourself With People Who Empower You
Most tasks are easier when you’ve got a great team supporting you – and much harder when you’re surrounded by people who want you to fail.
Unleashing your most confident self is no different.
That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with supportive friends.
As much as inspirational Instagram posts might encourage you to ‘stop caring what others think’, most of us can’t help but value the opinions of our closest friends.
However, we can help what friends we surround ourselves with.
People who drain your confidence are not your friends. Either stand up to them or (even better) stop hanging out.
True friends will support any positive steps you’re taking in life.
It’s even better if these friends believe it’s awesome to take risks, have fun and be social. As Jim Rohn says:
“You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
By all means, be inspired by people who are better than you, but don’t be downhearted by their superiority. They had a different starting point, and different circumstances to deal with. Whatever you’re trying to achieve, there will always be someone better than you. The only person worth comparing yourself to is your former self.
For this reason, I’d recommend installing a social media news feed blocker. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for building a personal brand, but there’s not much to be gained from scrolling through everyone else’s updates. You can keep up with close friends and colleagues over the phone.
Also, ignore internet trolls. Their opinions are truly worthless.
Self-Confidence Tips: The Key to Success
Developing self-confidence – and the effortless social skills that come with it – makes life so much simpler.
- Everyone wants to be your friend
- Your crushes want to date you
- You close business deals easier
- You effortlessly build professional connections
Perhaps most importantly, you feel at ease in your own body. You stop worrying about what other people think of you. It’s a weight lifted off your shoulders that makes meeting people fun instead of stressful.
These ten exercises might be difficult at first, but they’re worth persisting with. Eventually, they’ll give you the confidence to go for anything you want in life.
Use one (or many) of these proven self-confidence tips to control your anxiety, skyrocket your charisma and dominate social situations:
- Write a List Of Reasons Why You’re Awesome. Include physical attributes, personality traits, and previous achievements
- The Five-Second Rule. Count backwards from five as soon as you see something you know you should do. You’ll be ready to take action as soon as you hit “one”.
- Exposure Therapy. Putting yourself through something is the best way to eliminate your fear of it.
- Train Your Willpower Muscle. By taking cold showers or lifting weights, for example.
- Meditate. One of my favorite self-confidence tips. Sit still in silence and concentrate solely on your breathing or try guided meditations.
- Practice Confident Body Language. Adopt a positive body language whenever you’re speaking with someone.
- Learn How To Tell Compelling Stories. Speaking charismatically is also a skill that can be improved with practice.
- Social Freedom Exercises. Perform an outrageous challenge in public.
- Warm-up. Before any social interaction that requires a lot of self-confidence.
- Surround Yourself With People Who Empower You. “You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”