How to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

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If you’re feeling down about yourself, don’t despair. There are things you can do right now to increase your confidence and bolster your self-esteem. Pour yourself a glass of water and get ready to change your attitude.

Sometimes, it feels like the world is determined to crush our spirits. When you start to feel battered by the slings and arrows of modern life, it’s all too easy for your self-confidence to falter.

Do Some Introspective Journaling

woman sitting and writing in a book or journal

Journaling can be a powerful tool for organization, motivation, and self-reflection. Take ten minutes to free-write about your current feelings or try one of the prompts below. Limit yourself to no more than 15 or 20 minutes of journaling, as ruminating on negative feelings can be almost as harmful as ignoring them.

Sample Journal Prompts:

  • Make a list of five people you think are self-confident. What qualities do they have that make you feel this way?
  • What are three things you do really well? How did you learn to do them? What was it like when you first started compared to now?
  • Imagine a dear friend was struggling with the same issues as you. What advice would you give them?
  • When was the last time you felt proud of yourself? What happened to make you feel that? How could you achieve that feeling again?

Read More: Why You Should Pick Up a Journaling Practice

Work on Your Posture

“Sit up straight and don’t slouch!” The age-old advice of our elders is harder than ever to follow these days. If spending hours hunched over your phone, laptop, or keyboard has left you with the posture of an aged crone from a fairy tale, then try this experiment.

Sit up tall with your hands in your lap or lightly braced on your legs. Try to lengthen your spine while simultaneously relaxing your shoulders and jaw. Imagine that a straight line runs down from the ceiling through the top of your head and down your spinal column. Take a few big breaths. Notice any points of tension or tightness and gently relax them, too.

While you don’t need to balance a book on your head while you work from home, it’s not a bad idea to do a posture reset once an hour or so.

Challenge Your Negative Self-Talk

woman with her hand on her palm looking sad and stressed

Often, our most hurtful thoughts are repeated so often that they become almost automatic. Many of us who struggle with low self-esteem and negative self-talk run the same scripts over and over again. And unfortunately, the more often we repeat these anti-mantras, the more entrenched they become in our brains.

What’s the solution? It might seem like you have two options: shove the self-criticism away or accept it as fact. But there’s a third option that you can try. When negative self-talk pops up, try challenging it. If the thought claims, “Everyone hates you,” recall that you have several friends, family members, and coworkers who like you. The more you challenge these thoughts, the less power they’ll have over you.

Do a Social Media Detox

Social media has been shown to have a negative effect on us, yet it’s so hard to unplug. According to the experts at Columbia University’s Malman School of Public Health, social media presents a real threat to mental health: “Although there are important benefits, social media can also provide platforms for bullying and exclusion, unrealistic expectations about body image and sources of popularity, normalization of risk-taking behaviors, and can be detrimental to mental health.

If deleting your social media accounts feels too dramatic, consider taking the rest of the day for a detox. Sign out of your accounts, disable your notifications, and enjoy a few hours without liking, tweeting, sharing, and posting. I promise that you—and your social life—will survive. If you find that it helps improve your mood, consider blocking out a period of phone-free time every day.

Take Care of a Quick Task You’ve Been Putting Off

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Procrastination can have ripple effects throughout your life, impacting not only productivity but also your sense of self-worth. This is especially true for people who base their confidence on their abilities and achievements. Perfectionism and procrastination are often two sides of the same coin, after all.

Is there a task on your list that you could tackle right now in less than twenty minutes? Do it! Once you get rid of whatever was hanging over your head, you’ll feel so much better. And you might just find that it was easier and took less time than you were dreading. These tasks become bigger in our minds the longer we put them off, so slay that dragon!

Put on Your Favorite Outfit

Here’s an easy one. The next time you get a chance to change clothes, put on your favorite outfit. Whether it’s jeans and a t-shirt or evening clothes, wear whatever makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Take the time to fix your hair and put on makeup, if you wear it. Treat yourself to whatever little rituals of self-care that make you look and feel great.

If you’re going through a tough time and getting dressed up feels impossible, then at least grab a shower and put on fresh PJs or lounge clothes. It’s okay not to be okay, but you will feel better after you clean yourself up.

Read More: The Best Winter 2022 Fashion Trends

Exercise for Fifteen Minutes

woman stretching on yoga mat at home and looking at laptop screen

Unfortunately, all those experts were right. Exercise really is good for you. While burning calories won’t directly impact your self-esteem, fifteen minutes of exercise can help improve your mood and make you feel better about yourself.

Taking care of your body is a gift that you can give yourself every single day. Knowing that you made the decision to exercise will give your ego a little boost. Plus, you’ll get those feel-good endorphins after even a brief workout.

Read More: Easy Exercises You Can Do Without Leaving the Office

Make a “Ta-Da List” Instead of a “To-Do List”

Do you struggle with feeling like you never get enough done or achieve enough of your goals? Is your to-do list a seemingly endless series of tasks that you can never quite seem to tackle? Consider making a “ta-da list” instead.

Usually, we make lists of all the things we should do in a day and then cross them off one by one. Today, try writing down tasks as you accomplish them. You’ll see the list expand as you add more to it, but you won’t have the baked-in sense of failure that to-do lists can cause.  

Your list can be daily, weekly, or even monthly. Whatever system works best for you. Decorate your list, if it makes you feel good. True confession: I bought myself a package of gold star stickers to reward myself for a job well done.

Shift Your Focus to What You Can Control

Wellbeing Coach, Middle Aged Woman Practicing Mindful Acceptance Meditation. Positive Mindset Concept
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Setting good goals is trickier than it seems. Many times, we focus on milestones that are not under our direct control. Losing weight is a common example—you can’t directly control the number that shows up on the scale, but you can choose to eat more vegetables or do some light exercise every day.

When you spend too much time thinking about the things you can’t change, you can start to feel small and powerless. Maybe even hopeless, if you dwell too long in those feelings. And speaking of feelings…

Reframe Your Relationship with Emotions

Emotions are like the weather. Regardless of whether it’s a spring breeze or a summer thunderstorm, emotions have one very important thing in common: they’re temporary. In fact, the strongest, most upsetting emotions usually have a much shorter duration. If you’re feeling bad about yourself right now, acknowledge that you won’t feel that way forever. The same goes for every other emotion—including the happy, positive ones.

Your emotions will always change in response to both the things that happen to you and your thoughts about yourself. Once you can embrace the fact that your emotions aren’t in control—and that they won’t be sticking around forever—it becomes a lot easier to maintain a calm, confident sense of self.

Check in with Your Tribe

young women having salads for lunch in courtyard at restaurant

Finally—and perhaps most importantly—when you feel down, talk to the people who lift you up. You don’t need to let them know why you’re feeling down if you don’t want to. I’d also advise against blatantly fishing for compliments. Just give a loved one a call or text or arrange to meet them somewhere for a chat.

You probably think your loved ones are awesome, right? And they wouldn’t spend time with just anyone. That means you must be pretty great, too! A note for folks who feel like they’re alone: I promise that you aren’t. Even if you haven’t met them yet, there are people out there right now who’d be honored to call you a friend. Go out there and find them.

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