Day 1: Fake it to make it
According to Sarah Litvinoff, author of The Confidence Plan, ‘Confident people believe they can succeed.’ Following this advice, you need to change your mindset and believe you are the assertive, self-assured person you wish to be. Tell yourself that you can achieve everything you want to and that you can take on any challenge. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology studied more than 500 students, academics and workers and showed that those who acted more confidently reached a higher social rank than their peers. So, it’s simple; believe you’re confident and others will believe it too.
Day 2: Learn that no one is perfect
It is quite common to make assumptions about people based on a snapshot of their lives, but even the most confident-seeming person could have underlying issues and insecurities. Don’t just assume that because somebody can speak to a crowd or have a career in modeling that they are confident. Once you understand this, you can begin your journey to become more confident – but in your own way, knowing that confidence is different for everyone. Today, write down what you define as ‘confidence’. Then ask yourself, are those traits that you would like to possess, or are you basing this definition on what you have seen in others?
Day 3: Say ‘yes’
Granted, saying ‘yes’ isn’t realistic in all circumstances, but using this positive word more often than you do can help in boosting your confidence. Danny Wallace, author of Yes Man, is indeed an advocate of saying yes, explaining that ‘probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said yes to something. Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.’ The man’s got a point. Surprise yourself by saying yes to at least one thing today that you would normally decline; a night out? A date? A run? Even if you don’t end up having the best time, you will always learn something and take something away from the experience.
Day 4: Make plans
This can stem from point three, as saying yes to more of the opportunities life throws at you will keep your schedule jam-packed. Having a full diary can give you zest for life as you always have something to look forward to. Keep things varied with activities and people, such as a meal with your sibling, a post-work swim with a colleague or volunteering for the day with your partner. Not only will keeping busy leave less time for worry and doubt, but it will give you a feeling of purpose and will give you a boost knowing that others love spending time with you.
Day 5: Try something new
It can be all too easy to settle into a routine that slowly becomes comforting and a kind of safety net. But when you see others, be it on television or within your group of friends, living their lives to the full you can become disheartened which can knock your confidence. Regain your zest for life and challenge yourself to mix up your routine by trying something new. Do you fancy learning a new language or attending a new fitness class? Or how about joining a cookery course or trying an adventure sport? The feeling of learning something new and meeting new people will leave you with a more confident attitude to life – you’ll think ‘If I can do that, then I can take on anything!’
Day 6: Do something that scares you
‘Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.’ – William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure. The bard has a point! It can be tough, but try to ignore that negative voice that gives strength to your doubts and fears. If you live your life always taking the safe options then your confidence won’t have the chance to flourish – confidence grows when you constantly test it. So sign up for that marathon, go for that job interview and go on that blind date!
Day 7: Accept yourself
One of the healthiest ways to build your levels of confidence is to learn to accept who you are. One of the main causes of low confidence is having negative opinions about yourself, and after years of believing the same negative things your confidence indeed takes a hit. Instead of thinking ‘I’m unconfident’ or ‘I have nothing going for me’, focus instead on your positive attributes. Write them down, say them out loud or in front of a mirror. Yes, you might not be the most confident person in the world, but you will have many other positive traits that others don’t.