7 great ways to get the confidence boost you need
What would you do if you had more confidence? If you’ve ever dreamed of the person you could be and what you could achieve with more self-esteem, you’re not alone.
While we don’t have the data to hand, we’re willing to bet that millions of people frequently say to themselves, “If only I had more confidence, I’d [insert goal here]”. But there are ways to achieve the confidence you know you need.
So now you’ve thought about how confidence could transform your life for the better, now is the time to make those changes…
We list 7 great ways to get the confidence boost you need. Keep reading to find out more.
Benefits of self confidence
Self-confidence is all about you – and how you feel. If you lack confidence, this can lead to an unhappy life and career – and who wants that? Not you, that’s for sure.
But it works both ways; while success can bring happiness, happiness can also bring success1.
In the movies, when a main character is happy, they often notice the sun shining and birds singing more – and more people just seem to want to be around them. Of course, this is a dramatic representation of happiness, but it’s pretty accurate.
By reducing negative thoughts, you can gain freedom from social anxiety and you exude a more positive attitude . And other people – including potential wives or partners, clients and employers – are more likely to be drawn to you.
Become more attractive
Confident people have a magnetic energy – they draw people to them. And that applies as much to potential partners as it does to bosses, clients, or the customer listening to your sales pitch.
As a confident person, you’ll get noticed more – you’ll stand out from the crowd because you’ll carry yourself in a way that makes a potential partner want to get to know you – and really want you.
Why is this? Experts think it may have something to do with self-assurance. When you’re confident, you know what you want and you’re determined to go and get it. And from a primal perspective, that’s attractive for someone looking for a mate.
As Psychology Today states, women – often subconsciously – look for a man who displays good earning capacity and who is likely to be a good father2. In the same way, men appear to appreciate a self-sufficient woman as they represent themselves as an equal partner in the relationship – meaning they’ll be able to overcome any difficulties together.
Perform better under pressure
Confidence can increase your ability to stay calm under pressure. And this is great news for your career. Why? Because, as an article in Forbes magazine states, “the ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance”3.
So why does confidence improve performance? Well, when people panic in high-stress situations, it’s usually because they’re not confident in their ability to do their job – which can cause their heart to race; they may even start sweating.
By contrast, confidence keeps you calm. While it may appear to other people that you’re fast on your feet and a quick thinker, that’s an illusion. In reality, confidence helps you slow down enough to think and react in the most appropriate ways.
To be a leader, you need to make others confident in your ability to make the right decisions. Again, this goes back to the old adage that you need to be confident in yourself before others can be confident in you.
In your role as a leader, self-confidence is arguably more important to you than experience or knowledge. Because a leader without confidence will never have any followers.
As we say earlier in this article, confident people are more magnetic; confidence gives you an executive presence. It also helps you make the right decisions under pressure – all of which are valuable qualities for success in life and in business4.
Achieve your goals
If there’s one thing we’ve established up to this point, it’s this:
Confident people are generally more successful than unconfident people.
And while knowledge and experience are important, they are perhaps less important than the confidence you have in your own abilities.
According to experts at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, this may be partly because confident people are confident in their ability to absorb relevant information, which in turn could make them faster learners5 6.
Experts also say that when you’re more confident, you may have a better ability to choose your goals wisely by understanding your strengths. You may also be able to monitor and adjust your actions according to how they fit your goals – making you more likely to reach them.
In other words, confidence can help you rise as high as you want in your chosen field .
Tips to get the confidence boost you need
Here’s the overriding tip of all tips to achieve self-confidence: overcome self-defeating behavior.
This may encompass a long list of traits that come together to wreck your belief in yourself.
With this in mind, here are some tips to help transform your self-image and achieve everything you want in life…
1. Dream big, but be realistic
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Dreams are great things – they feed our imaginations as we ponder what might be in the distant future. But often, these dreams are never realized.
That doesn’t mean you’re not a success – it just means you have a better handle on what your limitations and priorities are as an adult.
And there’s no doubt that you don’t need to achieve the unrealistic goals you had when you were a child to become a success.
In his book Positive Realism, Italian philosopher Maurizio Ferraris describes the importance of maintaining the right balance between optimism and pessimism – the essence of being realistic.
The book drives home the need to set several different goals on the way to achieving your ultimate goal. In other words, by setting out – and reaching for – sets of achievable goals, you get closer to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
What does that have to do with confidence?
Well, if you set unrealistic goals and don’t plan your route in a realistic way, you’ll never achieve the success you want and this will knock your confidence.
And let’s face it – without confidence, you won’t have the tenacity to take calculated risks or ride with the punches that come your way as you strive for more.
So by breaking down your big goals into smaller, more realistic ones, your confidence grows as you inch closer to the kind of success you want.
2. Visualize what you want to be
Research suggests that the brain does not distinguish between real or imagined images7. Meanwhile, further studies show that the imagination releases dopamine (a so-called ‘happy hormone’) in response to the expectation of pleasure8.
By visualizing the kind of person you want to be, or by imagining yourself achieving certain goals, you can raise your confidence. And by replaying this thought over and over in your head like a movie, you make yourself believe more in your own talents – and your own future.
3. Compare yourself to how you were yesterday
In a way, this tip may seem to contradict the previous tip about visualization. Why? Because sometimes, visualization can involve imagining yourself as a celebrity or movie character you would like to emulate9.
That said, wanting to be someone else is a waste of your talents and who you are.
Of course you want to improve. But as Professor Jordan Peterson says in his book 12 Rules for Life, you should “compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today”.
What if you work in a competitive environment?
Of course, it’s natural to compare yourself to others – especially in sports or in other highly pressurized workplaces. But the point here is that there is always going to be someone who is faster, or better looking, or who earns more money than you.
In light of this, work on improving yourself by looking to your past and comparing the person you were to the person you are now.
This could either jolt you into action to change your ways – thereby setting you on a path to boosting your confidence – or make you feel better about yourself right now.
4. Challenge negative self-talk
Take a few seconds to listen to your inner voice. If you’re constantly berating yourself and telling yourself you’re not good enough – stop! Of course, we’ve all been there. And it’s hard not to berate yourself when you make mistakes or run into setbacks that you could’ve avoided.
But think about the kinds of things you say to yourself and think: Are these the kinds of words you’d say to a friend or someone you care deeply about?
The point here is that you need to be more of a friend to yourself.
So every time you start beating yourself, stop yourself and remember to cut yourself some slack.
5. Create personal boundaries
We often think of aggression as means for getting respect – and that may be because the bully often gets the most respect in the schoolyard and even the office.
But creating personal boundaries helps you demand respect from people – whether that’s from your boss, your colleagues, your social circle or family members. And most importantly – it helps you respect yourself.
Don’t be a people pleaser
Is there a disconnect between what you’re saying in your head and what you’re saying to someone out loud? Do other people treat you in ways that make you feel uncomfortable – and do you let them do it?
Do you often ignore how you feel to see to the needs of others?
If so, then it’s no wonder you lack confidence. By not creating strong enough boundaries, you are vulnerable to being taken for granted and attacked by others – all of which can break down your self-esteem bit by bit.
To change this, you must stop people pleasing and let people know when they are asking too much or just brazenly crossing the line.
It doesn’t mean you have to be rude either. You can make your boundaries clear without damaging your personal or professional relationships. Whether at home, at work or with family or with friends, here are a few tips to help you set better personal boundaries:
Define your limits: You can’t set boundaries if you’re unsure of where your boundaries are. Tune into yourself and make a list of things you find uncomfortable.
Use body language: There are lots of ways to use body language to communicate boundaries. For example, if someone is chatting too much while you’re trying to concentrate on your work, avoid eye contact and give one-word answers to show them you can’t – or don’t want to – talk right now.
Be direct: From time to time, people may fail to read your physical cues, perhaps because they’re not good at it, or because they’re from a different cultural background. In this case, it’s worth being direct and telling them straight that you don’t have time to speak right now. Or if your boss or client gives you an unreasonable or unrealistic deadline, be clear that this is the case and offer a more viable alternative.
6. Step outside your comfort zone
There are people out there who shy away from doing anything even slightly challenging. Due to your lack of confidence, your comfort zone acts like a cocoon that protects you from the things that make you feel uncomfortable.
That’s completely understandable. All the negative self-talk we talked about earlier may have given you a distorted view of yourself and your abilities.
But staying in your comfort zone makes it harder to develop and grow your talents – so it might be time to challenge yourself.
When you pull yourself out of that cocoon, you’ll begin to gain a sense of achievement and strength – because even though you weren’t comfortable to start with, you did it anyway! Knowing that fills you with a sense a pride and confidence10.
7. Take care of your body
Many celebrity entrepreneurs and CEOs would have you believe that you need to work 16-hour days and skimp on sleep to be successful. This also means you don’t have time to cook healthy meals or exercise – right?
But an unhealthy lifestyle will do nothing for your career – or your confidence.
If you get less than 7-9 hours of sleep, eat an unhealthy diet (or even skip meals) and abstain from exercise, this can take a heavy toll on your mood and confidence.
Research shows that sleep loss can lead to fatigue and ruin your confidence in your own judgment. It also suggests that regular exercise can improve your body image11 12. Want to know how to improve your body image for more confidence? Check out our article on How to Build a Positive Body Image.
Supplements that may help
To enhance the positive changes above and boost your confidence even further, it may be a good idea to add the following supplements to your diet:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can improve mood and self-esteem. This may be due to the way omega-3 affects the serotonin pathway. More specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is thought to increase cell membrane fluidity to make more serotonin available to the serotonin receptors13.
Why is this important? Because serotonin is a neurotransmitter shown to affect mood, self-esteem and confidence14.
Did you know? Instant Knockout Complete is packed with healthy fatty acids like omega-3 so you can rest assured you’re getting all the mood-boosting nutrients you need to stay focused and motivated. Your body can’t make these from scratch, so it’s important to get them from your nutrition.
Discover more about Instant Knockout Complete here.
Deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to fatigue, low mood, cognitive decline and muscle loss – all of which can have adverse effects on your body image and confidence in your ability to achieve your goals15 16.
According to researchers, vitamin D deficiency affects more than 1 billion people across the world. And this may be because many of us don’t get enough sunlight – either due to working long hours inside or living in overcast countries17.
With this in mind, vitamin D3 supplementation could help prevent such issues and improve/maintain your confidence.
According to medium.com, L-theanine could provide “an instant charisma upgrade”18. While this may be a slight exaggeration, there does appear to be a great deal truth behind the statement.
This amino acid has been shown to help increase levels of GABA, serotonin and dopamine – all of which are thought to play a role in reducing stress, and anxiety while improving relaxation, sleep and mental clarity19 20.
What does this have to do with confidence?
Well, you remember that we described how confidence can boost your ability to relax and think straight under pressure? Well, it seems to work both ways.
By improving these aspects of your life, L-theanine may also increase your confidence in your own abilities.
Did you know? You’ll find a clinically dosed serving of both vitamin D3 and L-theanine inside the Instant Knockout Cut formula. Both of these ingredients are key to providing a strong foundation for maximum performance – in and out of the gym. Vitamin D for instance is thought to play a role in regulating mood and warding off depression21.
Meanwhile, L-theanine works with the caffeine to provide a smoother lift22 and is thought to promote alpha brain waves which are linked to a state of deep but calm focus. Together, caffeine and l-theanine will boost your reaction time, memory, and mental energy. That’s a perfect combo for improving confidence and smashing your targets.
This herb’s name derives from the Sanskrit for “smell of horse”, which is said to denote the herb’s legendary potential for making you strong like a stallion.
Ashwagandha has been shown to have anti-depressant, anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects, which has led users to self-report increases in quality of life and social functioning – both of which are measures of self-esteem and confidence23 24.
As you get older, you may find you’re not quite as sharp as you once were. As Parris M. Kidd, PhD states, this can impact not just your productivity, learning, mood and alertness; it can also wreck your self-esteem and confidence25.
Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance (phospholipid) found naturally in the brain. It is said to help prevent aspects of age-related cognitive decline – including memory and mental agility. In light of this, supplementation could help restore cognitive abilities , which in turn could bring back your confidence.
The final word
Confidence is belief in yourself – and it can mean the difference between success and failure. When you’re confident, other people are more likely to believe in you and follow your lead.
Research shows confidence attracts not just a wife or partner, but can draw potential bosses, employees and clients to you like a magnet. In fact, confidence comes with a host of potential benefits. If you’re confident, you’re likely to be happier, you’ll perform better under pressure – and you’ll have what it takes to take your career as far as you want.
How to become confident
To become more confident, start by visualizing what you want to achieve – but remember to remain realistic, or at least create a number of sub-goals (or stepping stones). That way, you’ll increase your sense of achievement along the way. Otherwise, you could set yourself up for failure and knock chunks out of your self-esteem.
And remember – your life and career is yours and no-one else’s.
In other words, confidence comes from within and not from comparing yourself to others. Take these tips and go out and get the confidence boost you need! But remember to look after yourself along the way – that means eating the right foods and getting plenty of sleep and exercise to maintain your body image and feel good about yourself. Adding the right supplements to your diet may also help maintain your self-confidence.