Boost Your Confidence: 10 Strategies for Unleashing Your Inner Strength
Need a confidence boost? Here's 10 tips from experts.
Self-confidence is an important factor in having a fulfilling life, but oftentimes people lack confidence in themselves, which can lead to unhealthy relationships, a feeling of inferiority that can prevent personal growth and a list of other challenges. Self-doubt has a way of creeping in, but "confidence is a state of mind," Erkeda DeRouen, MD, triple-board certified, best-selling author, and physician consultant says. "No one can make you feel good about yourself better than yourself." Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies adds, "You are the only one who can make things happen for yourself- so believe that you have the power to do so." We can all use a shot of confidence from time to time, so here's 10 ways to find your inner strength, according to experts we spoke to, and build up your confidence.
Not having total control in your life and the world around you, but learning to accept that and focus on what you can control can give you more confidence, Dr. Carolina Estevez, Psy.D and I'm a Clinical Psychologist at Infinite Recovery says. "The way you think, the way you act, and how you choose to respond to outside situations, are things you can control. Developing your inner strength involves having a sense of control over these areas. By taking mastery of them, you can start making positive changes that will benefit not only yourself, but also those around you."
Self-respect is a vital part of your identity because it reflects how you view yourself, which in turn impacts how others treat you. "Building up your inner strength requires that you take time for self-care, both mentally and physically," Dr. Estevez explains. "By actively taking steps to nurture and care for your wellbeing, your confidence will start to develop naturally."
No matter how much you have, it's never enough for some people, while others don't appreciate the blessings they do have. Dr. Mitchell says, "The key to inner strength is being content with yourself and what you have now. However, being content does not mean you don't strive for more; you appreciate each stage of the journey while you continue to dream and press forward."
Keeping track of small and big success daily can help build confidence, according to Jessica Turner MD, a Brown University trained, board certified psychiatrist. "I recommend keeping a victory log, to chart your successes daily, no matter how small," she says. "It could be that your success is simply getting showered and dressed for the day. Once every week or two, review your successes. Success tends to have a domino effect. One good thing leads to another. Over time, you will gain confidence to take on more challenging projects".
It seems like we have compassion for everyone but ourselves, which is something we can overcome and regain confidence at the same time. "Practicing self-compassion is an effective way to boost confidence," Nicole Franco Gateley, LPC-MHSP says. "When feeling insecure, imagine talking to yourself as if you were speaking to a loved one. People are often great at boosting the self -esteem and confidence of others, but will be hard on themselves in similar situations.By doing this on a regular basis, you can begin to change your thought patterns into more positive and helpful ones that will improve your overall self confidence."
Good music can instantly change how you're feeling and Dr. DeRouen suggests "creating a playlist of songs that make you appreciate yourself. Music makes your endorphins bounce." She adds, "Try to find a song that makes you feel like a million bucks. Dance in the mirror and sing off key. This can be done in the morning before heading into work, but make sure that you check the clock in order to avoid getting lost in your personal concert; letting your inner Beyonce shine."
Visualize your way to unlocking your confidence. "Inner strength and confidence gets a boost when you imagine and visualize a strong symbol like lion or lioness. Celeste Labadie, LMFT, tells us. "Confidence comes through action. When you take action with the energy of a lion or lioness, you are present, clear, self-assured and loving. Those qualities serve as a foundation and inner-reminder to your conscious and unconscious mind. I recommend practicing a short meditation that simply looks like picturing a lion/lioness being fully present, clear and strong. Breathe in that image and breathe out slow for 10 breaths. Then go do 'the thing' or action with your inner lion/lioness with you. Practice every morning and every evening before bed for 2 weeks. Notice how that imagery serves you in your day."
"Confidence comes with competence, and competence in turn comes with experience," Dr. Joe Gardzina, a licensed psychiatrist and the founder of – ADAPT Programs says. "Hence, I recommend people embrace new experiences within their range of passion. If you are interested in let's say, creative writing, I would suggest you put yourself out there, by working as part of a writing group. Such new experiences instill confidence in us."
Having goals gives up a path to follow and a plan of action. They give us focus, help us stay motivated and give us a sense of purpose. Clarifying goals helps build a roadmap for the future, and achieving them boost confidence, according to Matthew Schubert, a mental health counselor with Gem State Wellness. "Break down goals from long-term to short-term and get after them. The hardest thing about gaining confidence is the first step. If the first step is a small goal that can be built on to lead to the larger goal, confidence will be gained!"
There's value in patting yourself on the back and lifting your spirits with daily positive affirmations that help brighten your outlook. Uplifting language can not only help boost your mood, but your confidence, says Boston-based psychotherapist Angela Ficken, LICSW. "Positive affirmations involve repeating positive statements about oneself to cultivate self-belief and confidence. These affirmations can be related to specific qualities, achievements, or personal goals that individuals want to reinforce or develop," She adds, "This method helps build confidence by rewiring the subconscious mind and replacing negative self-talk with positive and empowering thoughts. By consistently repeating affirmations, individuals can shift their mindset, challenge self-limiting beliefs, and create a more positive self-perception. This can lead to increased self-confidence, improved self-esteem, and a stronger belief in one's abilities.
To make the most of positive affirmations, here are some helpful tips for readers:
- Be specific and relevant: Tailor your affirmations to your unique needs and aspirations. Focus on areas where you want to boost your confidence and address self-doubt.
- Use the present tense: Phrase your affirmations as if you already possess the qualities or have achieved your desired goals. This helps reinforce a sense of confidence and belief in the present moment.
- Make them realistic and believable: While stretching beyond your comfort zone is essential, affirmations should still feel attainable and authentic to you. This will enhance the effectiveness and resonance of the statements.
- Please be sure to practice consistency: Regularly repeat your affirmations, ideally daily. Consistency is critical to reinforcing positive thought patterns and establishing a new mindset.
- Engage all your senses: Visualize yourself embodying the qualities or achieving the goals described in your affirmations. Engaging multiple senses can strengthen the impact and make the affirmations more vivid.
- Use supportive tools: Write down your affirmations and place them in visible locations like sticky notes on your mirror or screensaver on your phone. You can also record your affirmations as voice memos or listen to pre-recorded affirmations available in various forms of audio content."