How often do you talk yourself out of something before you’ve even tried? Years of negative messages may have worn you down, but an innate confidence and ease is at your fingertips—if you just take a moment to discover it.

1. Start your day out right

The way we start our day makes a big difference in how we feel the rest of the day. Take a moment to pause, check in with how you’re feeling, relax your body, think about what you’re grateful for, and bring a sense of presence to your morning routine.

2. Check your body posture

Science shows that how we hold our bodies directly impacts our confidence. Try slumping over and saying, “I feel confident today!” It doesn’t compute. Throughout the day, try relaxing the body, rolling your shoulders back, and standing straight. Go ahead and fake it till you make it—your brain will soon get the message.

3. Take time for your confidence team

Make a list of the people who nourish and encourage you. Make an extra effort to have more regular contact with them and less contact with people who are depleting to you. Ideally, you can do this is in person, but a simple text back and forth will also help.

4. Do something you’re good at

One of the best motivators to continue a behavior is when we feel like we are “good” at something. Whether it’s drawing, running, being a good friend—do more of what makes you feel good about yourself.

5. Invite your fears for tea

We each carry around deep-seated fears about ourselves, from “I’m not good enough,” and “I’m not worthy” to “When will they see that I’m a phony.” What if instead of running away from your fears, you invited them in with curiosity. Ask yourself, “What am I believing right now, and is it absolutely true?” You may be surprised by the answer, and by how much that can take the intensity out of your fear.

6. Set small, achievable goals

We often make big goals without thinking through what’s actually achievable. Going from never exercising to making a goal to exercise five times a week is likely setting yourself up for failure. A more achievable goal would be to walk for 20 minutes twice weekly and schedule it into your calendar.

7. Keep track of your accomplishments

Because our brain is wired to focus on what we haven’t done, it’s easy to lose sight of what we have done. Take stock of what you’ve done in a day. Crossing something off your to-do list, even the smallest of tasks, can go a long way in keeping your momentum going.

8. Self-compassion it!

Sometimes life is just hard. The ability to recognize a difficult moment and apply a caring attitude toward ourselves shuts down the inner-critic, creates stability and awareness, and helps redirect attention back to what matters.

9. Remember: You, along with everyone else, deserve love too

Feeling “less than” can eat away at our confidence. But if you sent out a search party, you would not find anyone more deserving of love than you. Stop, breathe, and let that message touch you for a few moments.

10. Embrace difficult people

Say what? Sometimes there are difficult people in our lives that we have to spend time with. See if you can recognize that underneath their irritating behavior is a person. Often when someone is “being difficult” it’s because they are having a hard time themselves. They want to feel cared about and understood. Seeing this truth help brings us back into balance.

11. Most importantly, adopt a learning mindset

If there’s one thing that kills confidence it’s our limiting beliefs of what we “can” and “can’t” do. Obstacles to your confidence are inevitable, but instead of allowing them to shut you down, be curious about them, learn from them, and boost your drive to achieve your goals—including becoming more confident.

Elisha Goldstein

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and conducts a private practice in West Los Angeles. He is author of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Atria Books, 2015), The Now Effect (Atria Books, 2012), Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler (Atria Books, 2013), and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger, 2010).

Stefanie Goldstein

Stefanie Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the director and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles. She specializes in mindfulness while working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She is also the co-creator of the Good Morning America featured popular teen program CALM: Connecting Adolescents to Learning Mindfulness, an 8-week program that teaches mindfulness and social-emotional learning to teens.


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