When we feel confident in ourselves, we allow ourselves to be open to greater opportunities, both personally and professionally. We trust our judgment and abilities and feel worthy of trying new things.
The best bit is that there are ways we can start to rebuild it, and by finding our way back to our most confident self, we can start inspiring others around us to feel their best too.
Tired of battling the inner critic? Kick your insecurities once and for all with these seven confidence-boosting habits.
Adjust your posture.
When you think of a confident person, you don’t think of someone slouched over their computer. You think of someone who sits up straight and carries themselves with a sense of purpose.
But having good posture isn’t all about looking confident; it can also make you feel confident.
Research suggests that when we practice good posture, we have a greater sense of belief in ourselves. Self-deprecation can often mean we’re the first to put ourselves down, which, unfortunately, can wear our self-esteem. Lift your confidence by standing and sitting straight with your shoulders back.
A confident smile is welcoming and tells the world we’re happy. More importantly, it’s a physical action that releases endorphins in your brain and helps bolster self-esteem.
You’ll want to make sure your smile is a healthy one, which means investing in your oral hygiene. Many people avoid smiling because they’re self-conscious about their teeth or breath.
Ditch this confidence-killing trait by using a toothpaste that nourishes teeth, all while enhancing whiteness and helping to combat bad breath. Great oral hygiene will leave you feeling more confident about smiling freely!
Find your workout sweet spot.
Boost your confidence by regularly working out. Whether it’s a walk, gym class, or slow yoga class, moving your body helps memory retention and improves focus. Exercise also helps to reduce long-term feelings of depression and anxiety.
There have been numerous studies that conclude the powerful benefits exercise can have on self-esteem. A study published by the International Journal of Sport Psychology looked at people over a six month period and found that regular physical activity was a highly effective way of building self-confidence.
The best part is that it doesn’t have to be extreme. Simply find your style of workout and keep at it.
Do one thing every week that scares you.
Whether it’s speaking up at staff meetings or going for a jog when you know you’re no natural, our biggest fears are often our biggest opportunities for growth.
Every Monday morning, write down a small yet scary goal that you have to accomplish by Friday night. Stick it to your fridge and make yourself do it. Perhaps it’s as small as reaching out to a lost connection via email or getting that hairstyle you always felt too unstylish to ask for — just do it.
By continually challenging yourself with a small task each week, you’re training yourself to embrace the unknown and are opening yourself to greater experiences. Remember: confidence comes from courage (even the smallest bit of it).
Make yourself a priority.
Self-confidence comes from good mental, physical and emotional health, and to maintain these, self-care is crucial.
When life gets busy, taking time to do things for ourselves is the first thing we cross from the list. However, it’s these positive habits that, overtime, result in self-confidence.
Incorporate something small into every day that’s solely for you. Try reading for 30 minutes every morning, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, switch off and meditate — whatever your style of self-love is, practice it, and make it a priority.
Detox your social media accounts.
Without realizing it, the information we engage with every day impacts on our overall wellbeing.
With more and more of our time being spent on social media, it’s important to make sure we have a healthy perspective when it comes to comparing our own lives with the filtered lives we watch on Instagram and Facebook.
While social media can be a great way to keep tabs on the lives of family and friends, it can also cause us to compare ourselves to others. If you’re noticing feelings of inadequacy, anger, or unhappiness after spending time on social media, rethink your feed and unfollow any accounts that no longer bring you joy.
It may feel dramatic at the time, but you’ll likely begin to see an improved sense of self-focus and be able to view your personal progress on its own, rather than what it is in relation to others’.
Perhaps the hardest element of a confidence dip is being aware of it – and knowing that others are too.
When we think people can see that we’re full of self-doubt, it can cause us to feel even more defeated.
Instead of spending your time worrying about how you come across to others, retrain your outlook and begin viewing your insecurities as an asset.
Do your hands shake during a job interview? Rather than put all your energy into not shaking, let your hands shake and focus on what you’re saying. Wanting to launch a side-hustle but scared of failing? Do it and fail anyway!
Looking silly and feeling embarrassed is more than ok; it’s essential for growth. Once you start looking at your insecurities as normal, rather than anxiety-inducing, they will start to lose their power. We all have insecurities, so what makes yours so special? Embrace them and use them as a way to connect with others.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.