7 simple and (mostly) easy confidence boosters

April 20 | Guest post by Angelle Conant
Trust your dopeness sign from Etsy seller Exaltation

From time to time, when I'm in the downward spiral of low self-esteem, these are my go-to confidence boosters. Hopefully they'll be so easy that they'll become yours too…

1. Feel confident and sexy in your appearance in at least one way

At times, when our self-esteem is low, it takes a lot of effort to do anything special with our appearance. However, one small change is usually manageable whether it's putting on your combat boots or wearing that new plum lipstick. Put something on, or make a costume change, that helps you to feel confident and sexy. Yes, this is a superficial change that won't fix deep-seated confidence issues, but it can help give you the encouragement you need to do something more lasting.

2. Tell yourself why you're proud of yourself

It doesn't have to be about some momentous thing. It can be something as simple as: I went for a walk today or I meditated for five minutes today. But don't forget the big things as well: I stood up for myself at work today, or I took a day off to take care of me. It helps to remind ourselves of what we have done and accomplished and just how capable we are.

3. Use daily affirmations

These can be cliché at times, but they really do work. Say them even if you don't believe them. I do this, as needed, during my 20 minutes of morning meditation. I light a candle, sit or lie down in a comfy position, and put on some wordless, relaxing music, and repeat the affirmations I need to hear that day. You can also do them while you're brushing your teeth or completing other simple tasks. Some examples to get you started: I am strong. I am confident. I am brave. I am beautiful.

4. Ask for compliments

Okay, so this one might be a bit of a challenge but it can be very powerful. If you're feeling brave, you can ask trustworthy friends or family for compliments. You can explain to them that you're at a low point in the confidence category and could use a helping hand. If you're uncomfortable receiving compliments, you can start by giving them some as well. You can even incorporate some of the responses into your daily affirmations.

5. Get to the root of it and take steps toward fixing it

Try to find the root of the confidence busting, if there is one, and then take small steps to remedy it. Are you feeling too dependent on someone? Create a step-by-step plan towards independence and then take that first step. Is that one friend constantly criticizing you? Give yourself a little space and say "No thanks" to your next scheduled meeting. This one can be tricky, but will likely have the most lasting effect.

6. Screw fear and do something you've always wanted to do

This can be a huge confidence booster and is usually fun to boot! Shaving my head had been on my bucket list for years but I was too afraid to take the plunge. After I did, I was radiating confidence for weeks. It was so freeing to step out of my comfort zone and cross an item off my bucket list. This one can be as simple as a haircut or as big as a trip to Ecuador.

7. Do something nice for someone else

Nothing increases our confidence like a random act of kindness. Knowing that we've made a positive impact on another person's life can be quite up-lifting. Pay for the next guy's toll or leave flowers on the doorstep of a random apartment. Sometimes, it's important to get out of our own heads and realize that we're all in this together.

I'm always on the lookout for more confidence boosters — please share your tried and true tactics in the comments!

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  1. This was so timely and poignant for me. I'm grieving my nephew's death, and have some heavy PTSD symptoms. With that, I'm learning, can come bouts of acute paranoia: I become convinced all I feel and do is wrong and/or weird, and others sit in judgment of me. Thus, feelings of vivacity and self-worth have really suffered. Yet, what often helps (and it's a lesson I seem to need to learn again and again – duh) is charity. Doing things for elderly neighbors, animals, the homeless – heck! even picking up a candy wrapper from the sidewalk and throwing it in a trash barrel – reminds me that I don't merely "waste space," here. I don't "just exist." I do move towards the positive. Thank you, Angelle, for reminding me to do some of those things, today … they can help me heal.

    7 agree
  2. #6 is IT for me. Nothing I do to talk myself into admiring myself works, no amount of makeup or clothes work, but taking the leap to make life changing moves does it every time. Doing things that scare you to better your life works. Proving to yourself that you are as motivated, talented, smart, or whatever as everyone else you admire is huge.

    Of course most of us experience Imposter Syndrome anyway, but at least it gives you perspective, and you can't say "I wish I could just…." about that thing you've been meaning to do. I've learned a lot of people will date or befriend those who live life the way they want to live their own, but never do it themselves. I've decided no more relationships until I execute my own major goals. There's a meme out there that says something to the effect of "be the man your mom wants you to marry" (the jist is to be the person who you see as "successful" instead of looking to others to help you feel accomplished. Though I never discount help – partners have certainly encouraged and supported me in past endeavors).

    3 agree
  3. My downward self-esteem spiral tends to repeat "you're useless" over and over. So something that helped me in a big way was writing an achievements journal. Like a gratitude journal, but you write down what you did or achived that day. It's mostly so that in a couple of days when the spiral gets too loud I can reread it and have tangible proof that the spiral is spouting garbage.

    1 agrees
  4. About a month ago the girl in line ahead of me at Dunkin' Donuts paid for my coffee. I was so thrilled! It really brightened up my whole day. I was actually on my way to somewhere I didn't really want to go in the first place and I was in a much better frame of mind when I arrived than I would have been without that stranger's kindness. The next time I was in the drive through I bought the car behind me and it made me feel just as good!

    1 agrees

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