5 ways to trick yourself into being more confident in your everyday life

Confidence seems to come more naturally to some than others.

We all want to be that person who walks into a room with their head held high and charisma flowing through every word they speak, effortlessly commanding the undivided attention of their peers. The trick to getting to that point of feeling so self-assured that others long to know your secret to carry yourself free from doubt might be more attainable than previously considered.

If you’re struggling with your self-assuredness lately try any of the following 5 psychological tips to trick yourself into being the boldest version of yourself possible.

1. Adjust your posture

Feeling more confident can be as simple as straightening your spine while sitting in a business meeting or standing straighter with your chest out when meeting someone for a first date.

Both scenarios can be anxiety-inducing but that simple physiological adjustment can work wonders to boost your self-confidence. This phenomenon is known as embodied cognition which essentially means that the relationship between our mind and body is a two-way street. Our mood can affect the way we carry ourselves and the way we posture our bodies can trigger a negative or positive effect on our thoughts and how we view ourselves.

If you’re interested in learning more about this I highly recommend checking out Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on “power poses.” She breaks down how a mere 2 minutes of practicing these confidence-boosting positions every day can lower your cortisol levels and increase testosterone. Not only will you look more confident to everyone around you, the decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and increase in testosterone radically improves your mood.

2. Listen to uplifting music

If you’re feeling nervous about giving a big presentation in front of your co-workers listening to a power ballad with a positive message can help boost your self-esteem. Workers who feel more confident after listening to an upbeat song also tend to be more productive.

According to a study conducted by Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, a playlist containing high-energy, empowering songs provided a “psychological armor” to the listeners. The case study had listeners decide how powerful and determined each song made them feel and the ones that boosted their confidence were put into the high-power playlist. Conversely, if any tune had the opposite effect on the listener those songs were categorized into a separate low-power playlist. The second part of this study was to have an entirely different group listen to both playlists while completing various tasks. Here’s an excerpt from the study to give you an idea of how music informs how we view ourselves in any given situation.

“In one experiment, participants were shown word fragments like P _ _ E R, which could either be completed as a word related to dominance (e.g., POWER) or as an unrelated word (e.g., PAPER). Sure enough, those listening to the high-power playlist were more likely to complete the fragment using power words than those listening to the low-power playlist. Because participants were instructed to complete fragments with the first word that came to mind, the study suggests that the empowering effects of music may be somewhat unconscious and automatic.”

You can find the full study here.

3. Come up with a positive mantra you say to yourself in the mirror every day when you wake up

Another trick to ensuring you start your day off in the right mindset is by creating a positive mantra you can say out loud to yourself before tackling your to-do list.

Including positive affirmations in your daily morning rituals have the power to encourage an optimistic outlook which begets confidence. Some examples of positive mantras that can lead to a more confident you are:

  • “I am love, I am purpose, I was made with divine intention”
  • “I don’t sweat the small stuff”
  • “I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness”
  • “I will not compare myself to strangers on the internet”
  • “I am my own superhero”
  • “I am enough”
  • “I have the power to create change”
  • “I am adventurous, I overcome fears by following my dreams”

Pick any of the following positive affirmations or make one up that you say to yourself daily. In order to glean the positive cognitive effects of daily affirmations, it requires regular practice. Just like going to the gym regularly to exercise your body on a daily basis will keep your muscles supple you must regularly exercise positive thoughts to keep your brain agile as well.

4. Exercise on a regular basis

Breaking a sweat at the gym can have a powerful effect on how you perceive yourself.

Working out has numerous mental health benefits and those folks who lead an active lifestyle reported feeling less anxious and depressed than those who opted out. The physical benefits are not to be discounted either. When you look in the mirror and notice how great your new form-fitting outfit looks on your sculpted, athletic frame you tend to carry yourself more confidently.

Exercising is a form of self-care and when you value yourself you’re more capable of contributing meaningful contributions to those around you. Altruistic acts also increase your self-worth so not only are you helping others you’re also improving how you view yourself through the positive impact you have on those around you.

5. Keep a list of obstacles and hardships you’ve overcome in the past

When you’re feeling stuck and lack the immediate conviction to get through an insurmountable situation think back to a time when you felt the same way but overcame that mental roadblock.

David Goggins calls this act “reaching into your cookie jar.”

Goggins wrote the book “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” which told his story of being a traumatized, underprivileged youth with zero self-esteem to a person that overcame his hardships and inspired millions to love themselves and believe in their own potential.

James F. Zender Ph.D. explains how you can apply Goggin’s method of reaching into the cookie jar in your own life to aid you in feeling confident you can do anything based on past achievements in the following brief published in Psychology Today.

“What is the Cookie Jar? Imagine a large jar into which you place all of your past accomplishments—the things you did which you once believed would be too terrifying, too difficult, or too impossible. But you did them anyway. You transcended your own self-limiting belief. Those are the “cookies” you place in the jar. Then, when you are confronted by obstacles in life that feel too overwhelming, remember to go into your cookie jar and remove cookies of past accomplishments and draw from your past victories.”

Now go out there and command every room you enter as the new more confident you!