It’s not exactly a secret that people with higher self-confidence tend to better in life. They’re more likely to stand up for the benefits they deserve, more likely to attract partners who treat them well and more likely to succeed in whatever jobs or activities they take on.
But while most people think of self-esteem as something you’re either born with or not (or, something that’s instilled in you by a lifetime of grade school “Participation Awards”), it’s actually a skill that can be learned – just like any other!
So if you feel as though you’ve missed out on opportunities on the basis of your low self-esteem, consider the following tips on how to project a more confident image in order to draw in the things you deserve.
Tip #1 – Dress well
Now, saying “dress well” doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy designer clothes at top-dollar prices. Dressing well isn’t about the label on your clothing or the amount of money you’ve paid – it’s about wearing clean clothing that fits you well and is free of rips, tears or other defects.
To determine whether or not your wardrobe needs some updating, think about how you feel when you wear the items found in your closet. Do you feel confident? Or do you feel uncomfortable because your clothing is out-of-style or ill-fitting? If you fall into the latter camp, investing in some new wardrobe staples could provide you with a quick boost of confidence.
Tip #2 – Improve your posture
Once you’ve got a great outfit on, show it off by standing tall. Perfecting your posture tells people that you’re self-confident and assertive – and much less likely to accept treatment that you don’t deserve.
It can be difficult to straighten out your spine after years spent hunching over on the couch or at a computer desk, but committing a little bit of effort to this pursuit will amaze you in terms of the difference in the way you’re treated.
Tip #3 – Smile more
Much of our low self-esteem comes from worrying that others perceive us incorrectly. And while it really shouldn’t matter to your overall level of self-confidence what others think of you, there’s one surefire way to change this public perception to a more positive one – smiling.
People simply react better to those who smile more frequently, as smiling is an easy way to convey a pleasant personality. Don’t go all Joker on the people around you and become an “over the top” smiler, but do make an effort to put a happy expression on your face whenever possible.
Tip #4 – Compliment others
If you’re insecure about how you’re perceived by others, shouldn’t it stand to reason that everyone around you experiences the same weakness at some point in time? In fact, even the most confident people in the world struggle with low self-esteem sometimes, which makes this tip all the more important.
Instead of getting down on yourself for some perceived inadequacy, focus outward by giving someone in your life a genuine compliment. Don’t fake it (or you’ll risk coming off as insincere), but do let the people in your life know what they’re doing well. Not only will this make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside – boosting your self-esteem significantly – you’ll find that you’re treated better by those in your life who feel more valued as a result of your compliments.
Tip #5 – Practice gratitude
Feeling insecure? Take a few seconds to brainstorm a list of the things in your life you’re grateful for.
Don’t just constrain your list to the physical possessions you’ve managed to acquire. Taking the time to feel gratitude for your natural, inborn strengths is a great way to boost your overall self-esteem.
Tip #6 – Work out
For me, there’s nothing in the world that makes me feel better about myself than getting a good workout in the gym. I’m not the world’s best athlete, but there’s something so inherently fulfilling about taking time out of your day to improve yourself that it’s hard not to experience a boost of self-esteem as a result.
Of course, working out doesn’t have to be lifting weights or running – it might be something as simple as a walk through a nearby park or an easy game of Frisbee with friends. What’s important is that you’re taking the time to invest in yourself and demonstrate conclusively that you’re worthy of self-improvement. When it comes to self-esteem, it just doesn’t get much better than that!
Tip #7 – Turn off your critical voice
Hopefully, the tips described above will help you to feel more naturally self-confident, although be aware that these activities alone may not be enough to shut off the critical voices inside your head.
We all have these voices – so there’s no shame in hearing an inner monologue that critiques your every mistake and misstep. However, by learning to tune it out or to replace it with more positive thoughts based on the self-esteem behaviors you consciously adopt, you’ll be better able to position yourself as a self-confident person who is worthy of all the benefits listed above.