Every time I’ve discussed confidence building tactics with others, or read anything on the subject, the most basic and commonly mentioned tactic has been, “fake it until you make it.” The issue I have with the continual advocation of this particular method is the vagueness with which it is nearly always presented.
Everyone’s self esteem issues stem from different times and places, but my personal issues have been present for as long as I can remember. I find it difficult to listen to adults complain about the traumas of their childhood, but it is widely acknowledged that certain aspects of your upbringing will have a lasting effect, and it is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to work the hell through it. If your story is like mine, and your self worth has been a pile of wreckage for as long as you’ve been talking and walking, then you probably understand why the idea of feigning confidence can be problematic. The obstacle at hand is that I don’t know what confidence looks like or feels like- confidence is not something I once had and eventually lost later in life, it is a completely foreign concept to me, and I find it fascinating that it’s almost impossible to find any sort of elaboration on faking confidence when so many people seem to agree that it’s a useful reparation tactic. I want to break down exactly how to tackle this first step in boosting confidence, not only for myself, but for everyone who struggles with the idea of faking it, because we deserve a chance to love ourselves.
Adjust that resting witch face.
Making a conscious effort to smile more is one of the more obvious forms of faking it, and is easily carried out. If need be, create several “smile” reminders on your phone, and place them throughout your daily schedule. Doing this will probably make you feel like a robot, but the reminders are temporary and will act as a sort of happiness crutch until it comes naturally to smile more often throughout your day.
Stop listening to music that makes you want to die.
I listen to music at home, in the car, and at work. I couldn’t tell you how many hours a day I spend listening to music, and there is a noticeable difference in my mood when the music I’m listening to just sounds buoyant. Spotify has a whole array of playlists specifically designed to boost confidence, and if you’re unable to find one that suits you, create your own and listen to it when you need encouragement.
Trade in your rarely worn clothing items for clothes that make you feel attractive.
Feeling like you look your best is a massive confidence boost. Organize your wardrobe, weed out items that make you feel dumpy, and replace those items with pieces that flatter and make you feel good about yourself. The positive effect this simple task will have on your self esteem will astound you, I promise.
Use your imagination.
Looking forward to unpleasant events and situations can sometimes make you nervous, whether it’s speaking in public or attending an event for work, thinking about everything that could go wrong and spending all your free time dreading the the situation is only going to heighten your panic and discomfort. Instead, try to imagine yourself already in the situation, and it’s going well. Try to envision every detail, and what you might look and sound like as you handle the situation with a confident attitude.
Kill them with kindness.
Have you ever noticed how great it feels when you do a good deed? Complimenting others often produces the same result. Being consciously kind really can make you feel almost giddy, and it can also positively affect other people and the way they perceive themselves. If speaking to people you don’t know well makes you nervous, my advice is that you don’t over think potentially complimenting someone, just say it.