1. Look back, so you can move forward
Sometimes just getting a grip on past achievements can help us focus on our future goals. So why not start a scrapbook and fill it with everything positive that’s ever happened to you? Maybe a wedding photograph, a picture of you with your baby or even a good school report! You can open it up and see all your achievements, giving you the boost to get out there and do more.
2. Remind yourself of your unique talents
Even if you aren’t looking for a job, sorting out your CV will remind you of all the skills you have and the great things you’ve done in the workplace. You don’t have to be Miss Career to be talented — being a full-time mom, or working part-time in a local shop can give you loads of transferable skills. Remind yourself that whatever you do, you do it well — there are plenty of people who would love to have you on their team.
3. Learn from your mistakes
There are some things you can’t change in life, but you are always responsible for how you respond. Cast your mind back to past situations and assess how you dealt with them. Make a note of things you did well and, if you reacted badly, consider why. Understanding why you make mistakes is the key to being in control.
Pushing the boundaries of your experience is one way to get the confidence to make a difference. So wear that acid-yellow top, order the mussels at lunch and try a multiple screaming orgasm (cocktail!). Who knows, tomorrow you might even book that parachute jump you’ve been meaning to do for ages.
5. Do something you’ve been putting off
Ploughing through the housework may be the last thing you feel like doing, but getting things done makes you feel like a winner. Sit down and make a list of all the things you feel have been cluttering up your mind, then act on them. The sense of achievement once you’ve done them will make you feel capable and bold.
6. Look on the bright side
Try to imagine that your negative thoughts or insults from others are being said in cartoon-character voices. Your feelings of panic will gradually begin to subside as the situation becomes funny. Hurtful remarks seem less serious when voiced by Homer Simpson!’
7. Fake it
Meryl Streep once said that when she doesn’t have the confidence to shine on a film set, she fakes it. You might feel like you’re about to die inside, but start pretending to everyone else that you’re the bee’s knees and it won’t be long before your brain catches up with you.
8. Dress your best
The way you look has a direct effect on how you feel. Wear red to feel bold and sexy. If you’re not feeling great, wash and condition your hair, and give yourself a salon-style blow-dry. You’ll look and feel fabulous!
9. Be body beautiful
- Your walk, the way you stand and your mannerisms all contribute to the way you feel and the way others see you. Adopt a powerful, open posture and you’ll find you’re the most popular woman in the room…
- Stand with your legs slightly apart and your shoulders set back. Keep your arms away from the front of your body, but remain loose-limbed. If you tense up, others will feel tense.
- Always face the person you’re talking to directly, and keep eye contact. If you speak with your hands, keep your palms facing upwards, as this signifies honesty.
- If you meet someone new at a party, touch their arm lightly as you speak; it helps to break that boundary of personal space.
- Smile! People warm to a bright, happy face.
10. Keep calm when your confidence is crushed.
Whether your toddler calls you ‘fatty’ in public or your boss laughs at your new hairdo, you’ll stay calm with this breathing exercise…
- Put your thumb by your right nostril, your little finger by your left nostril. Close your left nostril by pressing gently with your little finger, and inhale slowly through your right nostril. Count to three as you breathe.
- Now close your right nostril with your thumb, open your left nostril and exhale slowly. Repeat, and continue until you feel calm and relaxed.
11. Find inner peace for outer confidence
A clear head and a healthy body are important to keep focused on the good things in life. Train yourself to think in a positive manner. The best way to overcome negative thoughts is to use your imagination to recreate a relaxing situation, or picture yourself in a worrying situation and turn it into a success. Seeing yourself achieve your goal in your mind helps give you the confidence you need to turn it into a reality.
Just how confident are you? Take our quiz to find out.