Learning how to be more confident is an art, but it is something that you can improve with conscious practice.
Don't feel like you are stuck the way you are, if you want to become more confident you can. Some of these tips are things for you to work on mentally.
Others are behavioral suggestions which, if you make a habit, will lift your confidence.
Break Down The Social Barriers
A lack of confidence is not something that you were born with. We are all born independent, free and full of wonder. Lack of confidence is something learned and erected as a social barrier. This means it is something that can be unlearned.
Try and identify areas in your life where low confidence may have been learned. These could be things like unsupportive and critical parents, bullying as a child or something similar.
The first step to challenging these social barriers is to figure out where they came from and why you erected them. Then you can slowly and surely crumble them. Journalling is an effective method to delve into your inner thoughts and acquaint yourself with long ago buried traumas.
Know What You Are Good At
Often learning how to be more confident is a matter of shifting your focus from negative to positive. Do you always focus on your shortcomings and your failures? Do you refuse to acknowledge your strengths and successes?
If that is the case you need to cultivate a more positive attitude towards yourself. It is not that you necessarily need to behave differently but you need to reorient the perception you have of yourself.
Find out what you are good at and congratulate yourself on your strengths. Be grateful for the positive attributes that you have and you won't need to dwell on the negative so much.
Aim High and Expect to Succeed
Success breeds confidence. The more you achieve, the more you feel like you can achieve. But you have to get started somewhere. Some people who are stuck in a negative cycle think that they will become positive when they see success, but until then they will continue in their dour ways. Inevitably people with this attitude wallow in perpetual misery because the success never comes. Your attitude has to change first, then you will start to see the results.
So set some audacious goals. Then go out into the world and make them happen. Expect success, take a positive attitude and this will breed confidence.
Become a Risk Taker
If a confident man takes a risk is he more likely to succeed than a less confident person?
Maybe, maybe not. But he sure as hell is more likely to take the risk in the first place, be unafraid of failure, and pick himself up and dust himself off if he falls.
If you live life too conservatively and are always afraid of failing then you will perpetuate the low confidence thought process. You have to put yourself out there, take some risks and see how the dice rolls.
Look Good, Feel Good
An easy way to improve your confidence is to make sure you look good. This isn't about vanity. It is the simple act of regular personal grooming and wearing nice clothes. Making a small effort here can help improve your self esteem.
Improve Your Posture
Do you walk around with shoulders hunched staring at your shoes. You will be amazed what it can do for you if you pull your shoulders back and look people in the eye. This is one of those small behavioral changes that can have a huge impact on your mental state of being.
Make Eye Contact
Another little behavioral change you can make is to start looking people in the eyes and to stop averting people's gaze. Avoiding eye contact is a sign of insecurity. Make an effort to hold the contact and you will develop the ability to confidently assert yourself.
Get Fit and Healthy
Having a regular exercise program helps you both physically and mentally. When you are working out you are mentally sharper, you feel good and it builds confidence. Physically the act of constant improvement develops goals setting and the sense of achievement.
The body is the best place to start in terms of personal development. Setting small targets and achieving them is an excellent way to boost confidence, as is losing weight and building muscle.
Do Something Nice For Others
In the modern day we often spend too much time in our own little bubble, caught up with our own problems. A nice way to get perspective on things is to take the time to do something for others less fortunate. The act of kindness will make you feel good and help develop a sense of gratitude for the things you have.
The fact that you can put the smile on the face of someone else will lift you up on the inside.
Fake It Till You Make It
If you practice conscious confidence, it will become automatic eventually. Just decide to be confident even if you don't feel it. Act like a confident person, talk like a confident person. Eventually you will rub off on yourself. Self image is all about perception. There is no absolute objective reality that says you must go through life forever as a low confidence person because that's "just how you are." You have the power to change that perception. All you have to do is decide to. This way learning how to be more confident is just a matter of time and determination.