5 Confidence Boosters for the Confidence Incompetent

Most of us are not blessed with an uncommonly high level of self-esteem. In fact, most of us have trouble finding positives in even our greatest successes because of the incredibly high expectations we have due to the explosion of ‘optimalism’ created by the mainstream media (meaning that they only show extreme successes on TV and on the radio…it’s good for ratings, but wreaks havok on our personal expectations).

To remedy this, here is a short list of 5 things you can do to boost your confidence level right now (if you are unconvinced of why you should be boosting your confidence, read this first).

1. Put Things in Perspective

Though Newsweek and CNN would have you believe otherwise by their incessant focus on the .0001% of people who are making hundreds of millions of dollars in their teens and twnety-somethings who are unifying quantum theory and Einsteinism physics, the successes that you have in your day-to-day life actually do matter. In fact, most of them probably matter much more than you are even aware of, since you are likely only considering the impact that they have on you personally. You got a new job, excellent! You just made your day, as well as the company you signed on with, that of your significant other, and all of your friends that just found out about it. Even small stones thrown into a pond create ripples, so even if your success is not a tsunami worth covering on the 6 o’clock news, be sure that YOU celebrate it, because at the end of the day, the things that effect you directly are much more important than newsworthy-but-distant achievements anyway.

2. Call Your Mom

Any time I’m feeling blue and need a pick-me-up, I call my parents. This works for me, because I happen to have very supportive parents who will ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ about even my smallest achievements without fail. It’s a small confidence boost that always helps me to realize, hey, what I’m doing is kind of neat. Good for me! It’s very easy to loose perspective and get too deep into what you’re doing so that you forget how interesting your life actually is.

Obviously, you don’t have to call your parents. It just has to be someone who will give you that reality check and take an active interest in what you have to say. On the flipside, be sure to be the kind of person who will do this for others, too. Call it karma if you like, but helping someone out when they are feeling down makes it all the more likely that you will have someone to go to when you need the same.

3. Do Something Mindless That You Are Good At

When I need a short mental vacation that won’t make me lose my momentum but will allow me to get a sense of completion I play a few games of Tetris. I got in the habit back in high school where I would play for an hour before guitar lessons once a week while waiting for my brother to finish his lesson. It’s a game I’ve played enough that I don’t really have to think about what I’m doing, but it’s also complex enough that it keeps my mind active so that I can take a bit of a break without completely shutting down. Additionally, every time I win, or even just last a really long time, I get a sense of worth, like ‘Man, I’m good at this. That’s awesome.’

Again, it doesn’t have to be Tetris (though studies have shown that Tetris in particular does have memory benefits), it can be any relatively mindless activity. Do a cat’s cradle. Knit. Play with a yo-yo. Sing along to a song with complex lyrics. Anything that takes a bit of skill but not so much that you’re going to fail miserably at (because what we’re looking for now is not so much as a challenge as a quick jolt of rejuvinating ego-boost).

4. Work Out

Even when I really really really don’t feel like working out, if I can make myself do it for even 30 minutes I feel a million times better afterward. Working out pumps your body full of feel-good chemicals like endorphins, and your self-image will immediately increase while your inhibitions and self-imposed walls will become more brittle and easy to break through. Not to mention the fact that you will, in fact, be healthier (as opposed to just feeling healthy), and long term your confidence level will grow and grow and grow. Not too bad for a half hour investment!

5. Learn Something

When I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything at the end of the day, I’ll immediately cruise the web to learn something new. There’s something invigorating about adding to your library of knowledge because it allows to you make new connections and potentially change your entire perspective on the world. Some good places to check out for quick doses of knowledge are Lifehacker, Mental Floss and TED.

What’s your favorite way to boost your confidence level? Comment below!

11 comments

  1. Pingback: 7 Ways That Self-Confidence Will Make You Better, Stronger, Faster | Exile Lifestyle

  2. Very well written and some very poignant advice! I would also add that if you are lacking confidence in a specific field or area of your life, seek a mentor who might be able to help you jump some of the early hurdles. Learning from their mistakes and being constantly reminded of their journey can help you keep in perspective that it takes something like 10,000 hours of experience, a lot of “right place at the right times” and just a little bit of luck to be “successful” in the CNN sort of way.

    And, think about how much more you can actually do under the radar!

  3. Very well written and some very poignant advice! I would also add that if you are lacking confidence in a specific field or area of your life, seek a mentor who might be able to help you jump some of the early hurdles. Learning from their mistakes and being constantly reminded of their journey can help you keep in perspective that it takes something like 10,000 hours of experience, a lot of “right place at the right times” and just a little bit of luck to be “successful” in the CNN sort of way.

    And, think about how much more you can actually do under the radar!

  4. Great advice, Colin! I don’t know if this works for everyone, but on my less-than-confident days I dress a little nicer in a favorite shirt or dress. Suddenly, no matter what task it is that I need to tackle (even if working at home) seems a little more important, and I feel extra-prepared to take care of business. Sometimes I’ll do this if I’m feeling a little under the weather. A little mind over matter!

  5. Great advice, Colin! I don’t know if this works for everyone, but on my less-than-confident days I dress a little nicer in a favorite shirt or dress. Suddenly, no matter what task it is that I need to tackle (even if working at home) seems a little more important, and I feel extra-prepared to take care of business. Sometimes I’ll do this if I’m feeling a little under the weather. A little mind over matter!

  6. Hey Rachel!

    Great advice. I find the same, actually: when I really need a boost, if I get a little dressed up I feel how I look. Funny how the world’s (implied) perception of you can be reflected back into how you feel like that.

  7. Hey Rachel!

    Great advice. I find the same, actually: when I really need a boost, if I get a little dressed up I feel how I look. Funny how the world’s (implied) perception of you can be reflected back into how you feel like that.

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