It’s pretty freakin’ impossible to feel 100% confident in every situation, every day of your life! And you wanna know what? That’s perfectly okay. Let’s all just give ourselves some grace and acknowledge that it’s normal to experience self-doubt. Welcome to the human experience :)
Many of us have confidence in one area of life, but then completely lack confidence in another area of life. Like having work confidence but lacking relationship confidence, or vice versa. Again, that’s perfectly okay. Please take the pressure off yourself to feel confident in every area of life!
At the same time, when important moments in your life pop up, it’s nice to face those moments with a certain level of confidence, peace, and relaxation. The alternative is to feel a low sense of self-worth, paired with anxiety and stress. And that just sucks.
Situations Where Confidence Easily Goes Downhill & Anxiety Kicks In:
You have a big job interview and you really need this position, like, yesterday!
You’re headed to a first date with that v handsome guy from Hinge that feels low-key out of your league.
You were volun-told to do an important work presentation tomorrow that your boss will be attending so… yeah, enough said.
You’re going to a family reunion that you’re not looking forward to because you already know that your family will ask you a thousand belittling questions that make you feel like you’re too old to not “have your life together”.
Or hey, maybe it’s simply one of the first in-person Happy Hours in over two years so you forgot how to be a “normal” socializing human, thanks COVID.
So although it is SUPER normal to feel anxious before these kinds of situations, there are also tools you can use to immediately boost your confidence so you can face those moments with a little more peace and self-trust!
7 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Immediately:
1️⃣ - Stand in front of the mirror and say these 6 affirmations out loud with authority. “I am lovable. I am worthy. I love myself. I am enough exactly as I am today. People enjoy being around me. I am a bright light in this world.” You guys real talk- I used to think affirmations were dumb. I didn’t think they actually worked, I thought they were nice for other people but not my thing. Then I began reading “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay and started implementing 7-8 affirmations each night. I’m not going to go into detail in this article, but I can tell you that I am living proof that this sh** works!!
2️⃣ - “Repeat after me: “Everyone is thinking about themselves, not about me!” I know it’s easy to think that everyone is thinking bad thoughts about you or judging you for every little thing during that date, presentation, or happy hour. But the truth is that likely no one is actually thinking much about you… because they’re so busy thinking about themselves! There’s no need for you to be self-conscious, constantly thinking, “I wonder what they’re thinking about me?!” We are all innately self-focused, so likely no one is noticing that you’ve put on a few pounds during covid, and he or she hasn’t thought twice about that awkward pimple in the middle of your cheek! They’re too busy thinking about their own body or skin or the words coming out of their mouth... Or worrying about what you’re thinking about them!! In a weird way, when you start to realize this truth, it takes the pressure off of you to perform or show up a certain way, and therefore you can simply be yourself.
3️⃣ - Move your body to positive, upbeat music for 3 minutes. Dance in your car, kitchen, or hell even a bathroom stall, and get really weird with it! Sure, you will not *feel* like dancing when you’re on the verge of a panic attack - but I promise if you choose to do it anyway, you will instantly change your mood. Turn on a song, feel the beat deep inside of you, close your eyes, and move your body to the beat. You might feel funny doing this, which is great because then it’ll put a smile on your face too! When I’m feeling “low vibe”, I listen to one of these songs: Rejoice, Celebrate More, Happy, or Confident. (PS all of those songs are available on The Next Level Confident Boost Playlist on Spotify I created)
4️⃣ - 2 Minutes of Power Posing. If you haven’t yet watched Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk on Power Posing - I highly recommend you watching! I show it in every Confidence Workshop I teach for women's ERG's (Employee Resource Groups). And then we all stand up, even if we're on Zoom, and Power Pose together as a group! It’s super empowering. A woman reached out to me after my last workshop at Accenture and said: "The workshop's Power Posing really spoke to me. I have always allowed my insecurities about being tall subconsciously to convince me to make myself small so that I wouldn’t come off as threatening. I’m finally tired of it. I deserve to take up as much space as I need to, figuratively and literally." Amen to that! Making your body “big” and taking up space in turn lowers your cortisol levels (your stress hormone) and raises your testosterone levels (your power hormone). And don’t worry, boosting your testosterone via power posing will not make you manly! The main point is this: take up space in society because your presence matters, because you matter. Try power posing for 2 minutes in the mirror before your presentation or date. See what happens!
5️⃣ - Try 5 rounds of the Grateful Box Breathing Technique. This is a technique that combines Box Breathing (which I did not come up with) and stating things you’re grateful for (which I also didn’t come up with!) but when put together, it is something that a client and I came up with called The Grateful Box (okay fine, she came up with it lol, thank you for this tip Kristi!). When we’re nervous, frustrated, fearful, or even simply rushing from thing to thing - we often forget to breathe! Box Breathing (also called Square Breathing) is inhaling slowly to the count of 4, holding your breath for 4, exhaling
slowly for 4, and then not breathing in air for 4. Then, repeat. It helps slow down your breathing. Our twist on this is to think of one specific detailed thing from your day to be grateful for in between the “boxes”. Example: Inhale 4 seconds. Hold 4 seconds. Release 4 seconds. Be still for 4 seconds. While you’re still, you think: “I’m grateful for the way the sunshine is entering my living room window right now”. Then, repeating the breathwork, and this time finding a new detail from your day to be grateful for. Try it 5x and see how much more calm & happy you feel! (PS if it takes you a moment to think about what you’re grateful for, please just breathe normally during that part. I don’t want you to be there with no air in your lungs for an extended period of time if it takes time to think of something to be grateful for! :))
6️⃣ - Watch this video: You are more beautiful than you think. Dove did this study in 2013 and the evidence is shocking. I cry every time I watch this video because it’s THAT powerful. If you’re feeling anxious about your appearance, and you feel like it doesn’t measure up to society's standards of beauty, this video will remind you that you are more beautiful than you even realize. You’re being far too hard on yourself. In reality, people see you as more beautiful than you even see yourself! Take 3 minutes to watch that video and then go look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of how beautiful you truly are.
7️⃣ - Focus on the loving other person. Lacking confidence in any given moment often comes from focusing too much on yourself. You’re wondering how people are perceiving you. Do they think I’m smart? Does she think I’m fun? Does he think I’m beautiful? Instead of focusing so much on yourself, allow yourself to simply focus on loving the other person. Ask yourself these questions before the interview, date, happy hour, or presentation: “How can I make this person's life more enjoyable? How can I add value to these people’s day? How can I ask questions to get them talking about themselves, so that they feel welcomed and appreciated?” People love talking about themselves. Ask them questions and hold the space for the person to share what’s going on in their world. Likely they will leave loving you because of how loved and accepted you helped them feel.
If you implement even 1 of these 7 tools on a regular basis, I guarantee you will see a positive change in your mindset that allows you to show up to intimidating situations with more confidence, peace and self-trust.
If you feel you want further support in growing your levels of confidence, grab my new book, Flex Your Confidence Muscle: How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs and Finally Take Action. And of course, never hesitate to hire a therapist or a coach to help you discover that deep-rooted self worth that already lies inside of you. Now go out there and be your authentic self!
Janelle Lynnae is the founder of Next Level Confident. She is a best selling author, social media thought leader, confidence coach, and highly sought-after public speaker. Her mission is to help every woman step into her power and see herself as the valuable badass she is. Janelle is a woman of faith and lives in sunny San Diego with her husband, Frankie, and their dog, Deni.
For more valuable confidence building tips, connect with her on Instagram or TikTok @janelle_lynnae.