Harsh, isn’t it?
Opportunities refuse to wait while you summon up enough confidence to step up to the challenge…
You were desperate to speak to that special person, but your words stuck in your throat.
You needed to nail that presentation, but your face betrayed your nerves.
You just wanted to chill and order a coffee, but you felt like all eyes were on you.
How can you hope to achieve anything worthwhile when your confidence keeps standing you up like a fickle friend?
I couldn’t. My confidence used to fail to turn up more often than not.
I tried a lot of methods for boosting confidence out there, but good though they were, they mostly seemed to be dealing piecemeal with the problem. What I needed was a confidence building routine that once sorted, would be easy, quick and effective. One that built my confidence, day on day.
So here’s how to boost your confidence in just 10 minutes a day…
Start a Confidence Boosting Morning Ritual
Rushing unprepared into your day leaves your confidence seriously vulnerable. You need to put yourself in control of your thoughts – and body – from the outset. Do this and your confidence will step right out the door with you composed, ready and alert, just like you.
1. Slowly drink a glass of water.
Do this the minute you get up. This seems simple, but is very powerful – Navy Seals among others do this as part of their morning routine.
It replaces fluid lost in the night which makes your mind and body more effective – essential for confidence.
It slows you down, makes you concentrate on the present and stops you rushing – rushing is one of the biggest destroyers of confidence.
2. Think of all the things you have to be grateful for.
Focus your thoughts on all the good things in your life your are blessed to have, including the water you have just drunk.
This is scientifically proven to kick-start your positive mindset, a prerequisite for dealing confidently with the day’s opportunities and challenges.
Starting the day with gratitude creates an optimistic perspective, which makes you happier. Happier people are more confident people – try being confident when you feel down, its way harder than when you’re on top of the world.
TIP: You can do this during your day before a particular event if your confidence needs a minute to recharge. Stop what you’re doing and go get a glass of water at the water cooler, restaurant or tap. Drink it slowly to get your thoughts to stop racing.
3. Do a ‘box-breathing’ exercise.
If you can control your breathing, you can control your body and your thoughts. And with control comes confidence. Try it and see.
Breathe in for a slow count of four, hold, then breathe out, then hold – all for the same slow count – 4+4+4+4 – hence the ‘box’ shape.
Repeat seven to ten times, or more until you feel calm and confident.
TIP: Any time you need to call on extra self-confidence, do a few ‘box breaths’ before tackling it. Want to start a tricky conversation? Try one or two. Delivering a presentation? Try a dozen or so in a quiet space.
4. Make your bed.
Making your bed or a similar task again seems very simple, but it creates order at the very start of your day.
Make your first task a simple, achievable one. This puts you in control of your day.
Concentrate on the task in front of you and keep your concentration and thoughts in the present. Concentrating on the past and future tends to lead to regret or worrying.
TIP: You can do this at any time of the day. If you are at work, for instance, tidy your desk for a quick confidence-boost.
5.Start a Confidence Contract.
The second part of your confidence-boosting morning routine is to make a Confidence Contract with yourself. Writing down your goal(s) in a journal or plain notebook leads to greater commitment as well as the ability to see how well you are progressing.
Write down one to four actions. Make sure that if achieved, they would show that your confidence had indeed grown.
For any that are a big jump in confidence, break them down to the smallest possible steps. Always give yourself time.
6. Check your progress.
Each morning review your Confidence Contract. Look back through your triumphs and congratulate yourself for the steps you have taken.
Never berate yourself if you meant to act and then at the spur of the moment failed to. Instead, analyse why you faltered – maybe the step was too big? Adjust it and try again.
7. Write down the negative and positive people in your life.
Sure they’re just struggling with their own battles but they are undermining your confidence. How confident you are and where you are in life in five years time will largely be down to the five people you choose to spend the most time with.
It may seem heartless, but you need to work out how to cut ties with all those negative or toxic people holding your natural confidence back. For those you can’t, and there might be some significant ones in that list, you need to find ways to restrict your contact with them as much as possible.
Those you have marked as positive influences in your life, you need to find ways to connect with them more often. They will naturally enhance your confidence.
TIP: Make sure none of these people see themselves among your entries. If you’ve opted for a digital journal, you can encrypt your file. If not, don’t use their real names.
8. Choose a role model.
Look for someone who has the confidence you would like. Most people aren’t born super confident. Choose someone who consciously worked on their confidence and has written about how they achieved it.
Find out a little about them each morning and write down the particular characteristic you want to emulate in your Contract journal.
Note what tactics they may have used to gain confidence and emulate them if appropriate.
TIP: Remember, the aim isn’t to ‘ape’ them. It’s to pick up tips and to realize if they did it, you can too in your own way and at your own pace.
9. Write out a definition of you.
Comparing yourself to others or, as mentioned above, trying to ‘ape’ others, is a sure way to destroy, not boost, your confidence. An old proverb says ‘The original is worth more than a copy’. Often ten, a hundred or a thousand times more.
The only way you can guarantee to boost and maintain your confidence in the long-term is to simply be yourself.
Write out a definition of who you really are in your Contract journal. This may take some time initially and a few attempts. Each morning jot down a little more of the true you – desires, dreams and what truly makes you, you.
Each morning read your character statement and remind yourself that’s who you’re most confident being – yourself.
10. Show your individuality.
Boosting your confidence is often a mixture of internal and external actions. Finishing your morning routine by dressing smart can indeed be a confidence-booster, but it doesn’t mean you need to be a faceless clone.
Wear clothes that make you feel good and that fit well. Ill-fitting clothes are an instant confidence-deflator.
Express your individuality in whatever you step out in. Hiding or dumbing down the authentic you eats away at your confidence.
TIP: If you have to wear a particular dress style that may not suit your individuality, say at work, then wear some underclothing or accessory that still shouts ‘you’.
Supercharge Your Confidence
Imagine having the nerve to speak to that special person.
Imagine having the confidence to crush that presentation.
Imagine having the composure to not mind if all eyes are on you.
Your confidence could be your ally, not your adversary.
Your ten minutes completed, your thoughts calm, your body in tune, your day under control.
Start your own confidence-boosting morning ritual and grab the rewards.
Mark & Laura are on a mission to help you build your confidence and grow your happiness. Download their free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict)
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.