Confidence is not arrogance. Rather, it is the knowledge that you are capable and sufficient just as you are. That deep acceptance of your true self is key to happiness. But attaining and maintaining that level of confidence can be challenging. Some people turn to self-help books and psychotherapy, which may work for many, but there are easy alternative ways to boost faith in yourself.
Reframe Your Self-Talk
You may not be aware of it, but your mind engages in a continuous monologue. Left unchecked, these messages tend to be negative. This constant stream of criticism, even at a subconscious level, can be devastating to your self-esteem. For example, imagine you're a salesperson preparing to make an important pitch. As you're waiting for the meeting to begin, your thoughts are racing: "I'm so nervous. What if I blow it?" How likely is it that you will come across as self-assured?
Fortunately, there is a simple method you can implement immediately that will help improve your sales skills. Interrupt that negative mental monologue by utilizing affirmations. By intentionally repeating positive statements as truths, you can retrain your mind and send your self-confidence soaring. An effective affirmation is short, specific, and focused on the positive.
In the example above, you could silently repeat something like this: "I am prepared for this moment. Everything I need for success is already within me." Consciously slowing and deepening your breathing while focusing on the affirmation will lower your anxiety and sharpen your mind.
Connect With Your Environment
Centering yourself in your body and the physical space around you can be a boon for self-confidence. One easy way is to take a moment to ground yourself. Stand comfortably, knees relaxed, shoulders down, and chin parallel to the ground. Breathe slowly and imagine that you are a tree, with your roots firmly entwined in the earth, holding you steady but flexible.
Practicing yoga is another way to use physicality to increase confidence. Mastering mountain pose and warrior pose, among others, will make you feel powerful and competent. One of the many beautiful aspects of yoga is that it can be customized to your unique circumstances. The poses can be adapted to your comfort level and you can progress at your own pace, allowing you to reap the confidence-boosting benefits of this ancient practice.
One often-overlooked aspect of the environment is the variety of aromas surrounding us. Smells can invoke a range of emotions, from sadness to excitement. By infusing carefully-selected essential oils into your personal space, you can subtly shift your mood. Scents believed to increase confidence include peppermint, jasmine, rosemary, and citruses such as lime and grapefruit. Experiment with a variety of essential oils to discover which ones lift your spirits, then infuse your surroundings with their power.
Project Your Energy
It may seem counterintuitive, but focusing too much on yourself can damage your self-confidence. We are meant to coexist in love with the entire universe, so obsessing about our own fears and insecurities creates a barrier to our natural state. One way to rectify this is by connecting with the positive energy within you and projecting it to others. Practicing this consistently in stressful social situations will lead to new levels of confidence.
To do this, breathe slowly and evenly, close your eyes, and locate your energy center, which may be just a tiny flicker at the beginning. Focus on this energy and concentrate on expanding it to fill your entire body. Then, as you enter the potentially difficult encounter, use the force of your will to project that positive energy throughout the room and into each person present. Couple this with an affirmation such as, "I am filled with loving energy. I freely offer that positivity to everyone and they send it back to me." Ironically, giving yourself away is one of the best methods for feeling more confident.
Remember, it is within your power to maintain a healthy level of self-confidence. Use the above suggestions to build an intentional practice of self-awareness and growth.