by Stacey Kole
Have you ever had just one of those days? Ugh — us too. It seems like no matter how intentional we are about developing self-belief and practicing self-love, some days it’s harder than others to conjure up confidence. Some methods of developing confidence take time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you right now to give yourself a much-needed boost. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled seven ways to banish doubt and replace those negative feelings with a more grounded, confident attitude. So you can take on whatever the day has thrown at you — and look fab while you’re at it.
1. Take a Moment to Recognize You
When you’re having a down day, it’s easy to focus in on the negative — that you skipped your workout, that your makeup isn’t Instagram worthy, whatever — so the first thing you need to do is break out of that thought pattern. It isn’t serving you one bit. Instead, write down your accomplishments or attributes — you know, a list of what you truly love about yourself and things that make you feel good. Once you have that down, take a minute to physically celebrate yourself with a smile. Smiling not only instantly brightens your face, but it also immediately elevates your mood. Getting your grin on releases the neurotransmitters responsible for making you feel good — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin — so why not give it a try? Remember: A smile will make you appear more confident while simultaneously making you feel more relaxed, happy and at ease so that the feeling of confidence is more likely to stick.
2. Move Your Body
Engaging in some sort of physical activity is linked to overall confidence. The American Psychological Association says that it takes just about a five minute sweat sesh to reach a mood-enhancing effect. This means even a minimal amount of exercise not only does the body good, but it does the mind good as well by building confidence in the short-term and decreasing anxiety and depression in the long-term. So if you’ve woken up feeling unworthy or insecure, throw yourself a mini dance party (see tip #4) or go on a quick run around the block — you’ll come back feeling more in tune with your body and less stressed overall.
3. Dial Up Some Support
Rely on one or more supportive women in your life for a little confidence boost. Let them be your cheerleaders, and don’t hesitate to pick up the phone for some positive go-go juice. Then get proactive: Start keeping a list of compliments, cards and encouraging words you’ve received from friends or family, and review them when you need a lift.
4. Turn Up the Tunes
Listening to music has been shown to elevate your mood, improve cognitive function, ease anxiety and, in general, pump you up. So, put on your favorite feel-good music, crank up the volume and jam out.
5. Put On Your Favorite Outfit
Overall self-care and good grooming habits play a role in feeling more confident. While it takes long-term dedication to a good sleeping routine, healthy eating and stress-management, an instant pick-me-up you can give yourself is putting on a favorite piece of clothing, just to remind yourself of how perfect you already are. This isn’t about looking good for others; this is about looking the way you want for yourself. Slap on a pretty lip gloss, rock that outfit and remember you ARE enough.
6. Quit Comparing
Feel more confident and practice self-growth by stopping any envy or comparisons dead in its tracks. This may mean less scrolling through social media and more mindfully choosing to focus on loving yourself. Try speaking affirmations about yourself aloud, saying what you love and appreciate about you. The more you do it, the more you’ll start believing it.
7. Visualize a Win
Going hand in hand with the above is the concept of visualization. Imagining or visualizing yourself doing something with a successful outcome trains your brain to see yourself as capable, prepared and confident. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to conjure up the positivity when you need it most. Don’t know where to start? Try visualizing yourself in a moment in the past where you DID have confidence and success, and let those feelings of strength wash over you. Then work to visualize a new goal — something you can see yourself winning at in the future — and imagine yourself achieving it. You’ll find that, with practice, seeing really can be believing.
Stacey Kole was managing editor of the national beauty and style magazine Savvy and is currently a freelance writer and editor based out of Phoenix, Arizona.