health

6 easy ways to boost your confidence - all before 9am.

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With the possible exception of Kanye West, there’s not a mere mortal on Earth who feels confident all the time. It’s no secret that believing in ourselves is important… But sometimes it’s a hell of a lot easier said than done.

However, you don’t need to radically overhaul your life in order to feel more confident.

“Self-confidence is something we can all cultivate, by making a commitment to fostering an accepting and compassionate way of relating towards ourselves and to taking consistent action towards this,” explains Tal Schlosser, Clinical Psychologist and Director of My Life Psychologists.

That’s not to say negative, self-critical thoughts aren’t perfectly normal, or something we need to permanently sub out in favour of positivity or affirmations. In fact, Schlosser says that attempting to do this is like fighting a losing battle.

how to boost your confidence
“It’s no secret that believing in ourselves is important… But sometimes it’s a hell of a lot easier said than done.” Image via iStock.

“Rather than waiting to feel confident to act confident, we need to flip this and start with actions, so that low self-confidence no longer holds you back from living the full and rich life you want,” she explains.

These actions needn’t be complex or time-consuming. In fact, there are a number of strategies that can help you kick off each and every day with a confidence boost – all before 9am.

1. Focus on your strengths.

It’s a cruel fact of life that we tend to be our own worst critics. A level of self-awareness is important, but be careful not to let the criticism override your belief in what you can achieve.

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“Work towards cultivating self-acceptance by compassionately acknowledging what you perceive as your weaknesses, and choosing instead to start your day by focusing on your strengths,” Schlosser recommends.

2. Stretch.

Nothing beats a stretch to wake your body up and squeeze out any stiffness you’ve developed throughout the night. According to US psychologist Amy Cuddy, doing so can also benefit your frame of mind.

Speaking at a recent event in New York, Cuddy mentioned that people who start the day with a big ol’ stretch — and in the process, make themselves “huge” before they even get out of bed — are typically happy and positive.

how to boost your confidence
“Nothing beats a stretch to wake your body up and squeeze out any stiffness you’ve developed throughout the night.” Image: supplied

3. Don’t self-sabotage.

Some of our typical morning behaviours can dampen our positivity without us even realising it. Schlosser says habits like checking social media, weighing yourself, or trying on multiple outfits before you head out for the day can all have an impact.

“Avoid starting your day with something you know usually triggers your critic and drains your self-confidence,” she advises. Instead, use that time to do something that boosts your mood – work out, have a cup of tea, listen to music — whatever it happens to be.

4. Plan a positive action for the day ahead.

Time for a little rhetorical thinking and forward planning. “Ask yourself how your life would be different if you had unlimited confidence. Eg. ‘If I had unlimited confidence how would I walk or talk differently? How would I treat my body differently? What activities would I start doing?’” Schlosser says.

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Next, choose a small, achievable step towards this that you can put into action throughout the day. It could be as simple as adjusting the way you hold yourself – after all, research indicates your posture can influence how you feel about your capabilities. Time to channel your inner Wonder Woman, then.

how to boost your confidence
“Research indicates your posture can influence how you feel about your capabilities.” Image: iStock.

5. Listen to something upbeat.

It might sound like a gimmick, but it might be time to create a “confidence-boosting” playlist. A 2014 study found that certain types of music can make listeners feel more powerful and confident, which in turn affects their thoughts and behaviour.

The trick? Choose tracks with heavy bass notes – in other words, anything that sounds vaguely anthemic. Naturally, Beyonce is a good starting point.

6. Process any critical thoughts.

It’s important to realise when that critical voice inside your mind is getting a little too loud. “Instead of giving it ‘air time’ and treating these thoughts as facts, ground yourself by taking 10 mindful breaths and practice letting these thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them,” Schlosser says.

The best part? You don’t even need to get out of bed to do that.

How do you boost your confidence?

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