It’s a complete myth that some people come out of the womb just bursting with confidence. You’re not born with or without it; it’s learned. This is important to remember if you have a tendency of sitting in your office chair, stewing with imposter syndrome, wishing you were a bit more like the calm and collected woman giving off total boss vibes to your left.
According to life coach and author of What If It Does Work Out? Susie Moore, there are small rituals you can do every day that in time lead to increased confidence and self-assurance. Both Moore and Joanna Stahl, CEO of Go2Practice, put their own confidence tips into practice every day, and it’s easy for you to follow their lead.
Tips for confidence
1. Smile like you mean it
“Yes, even f you don’t feel like it,” Moore says. “Roll your shoulders back, tilt your chin up, and put a smile on your dial. Studies show that acting the way we want to feel can impact our mood and confidence levels, fast.” She’s right: A study out of the University of Kansas found that smiling actually works to reduce the body’s response to stress. And when you aren’t stressed, it’s much easier to give off chill vibes.
2. Throw out a Compliment
While you want to make sure it’s genuine—giving out compliments you don’t really mean is and seems insincere, Moore says that complimenting someone else is a quick way to give your own confidence a boost. “Confidence people give compliments freely,” she points out.
3. Think optimistic Thoughts
While it may be easier said than done, Moore says part of feeling your most confident self requires gassing yourself up and pushing away any thoughts of self-doubt. “People who don’t feel great about themselves tend to veer more towards cynicism,” she says. “If you dial up your positive attitude, you’ll appear more relaxed and confident to the people around you.”
4. Hit the gym
Joanna Stahl, CEO of Go2Practice, a country-wide fitness directory, says regularly working out her nerves (literally) helps her feel more confident all around. “For me, endorphins from a workout are needed daily,” she says. “My workout doesn’t need to be intense, but the feeling of sweat solves so much negative energy. There’s something about throwing on my workout clothes, feeling powerful, and then getting back to real life programming. It’s an instant confidence boost for me daily.” Sweating it out purposely means she’s less likely to break a sweat later, when she’s in total boss mode.
5. Use your shower For more than getting clean
Post-workout, Stahl says showering really helps to clear her mind and make her feel more centered. “If possible, I often take showers within an hour or two of meetings,” she says. “There’s nothing like walking out the door to a meeting feeling fresh and clean; it truly adds a layer of confidence to you.” It’s also a chance to practice deep, calming breathing—especially if you incorporate a shower mist you love. If you have a big meeting coming up and can’t exactly hop in the shower right before it, Stahl says the next best thing is brushing your teeth.
6. Follow (and unfollow) judiciously
What you see while scrolling on Instagram impacts the messages you tell yourself, for better or for worse. This is why Stahl says she likes to follow thought leaders she admires, including Eckhart Tolle and Brené Brown, instead of people who make her feel self-conscious. It sounds cheesy, but sometimes coming across the right inspirational quote sets off a chain of events to change your mood for the better.
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