Confidence can be hard to come by. And it seems like every time you need it most, your self-assurance just slips away. But before a first date, a big interview, or some other situation that demands poise, there are some things you can do to summon the confidence you need.
Long-term confidence building, including everything from feeling better in your body to improving your self-esteem, takes effort and some real long-term commitment. You can’t transform your self-image in a day. But sometimes, you just need a quick fix to feel a little bit better — fast.
We consulted Susie Moore, professional confidence coach and author of What If It Does Work Out?: How a Side Hustle Can Change Your Life, to ask: What can you do to feel more confident right now?
Here were her top three suggestions:
The easiest thing you can do? Moore advises you make yourself physically larger. No, she doesn’t mean gorge yourself with pizza in the hopes you’ll gain weight — she means to just change the way you’re posed to change the way your body is oriented in the situation.
“Typically, if you’re feeling sad or scared, you make your body physically smaller,” Moore told us in a phone interview. “You have slumped shoulders, your head is down. Instead, you can put your shoulders back, put your chin up, and smile. It’s actually proven to improve your mood.”
She suggested that you might want to put your arm around a chair or uncross your legs. “Manspread,” if you will. But you don’t have to be a man to do it.
“Just do whatever it takes to make your body bigger. Take up more space.”
Someone who’s just finished a race, for instance, raises their arms. Expanding your body’s presence makes you feel more accomplished and, as a result, confident.
2. Remember your accomplishments
“Our minds attract similar thoughts,” Moore began. “Think about an elephant, for instance, and you might think of a safari, then a vacation, then about how much money you have. The mind spirals based on what you give it.”
The confidence coach recommends that when you need a boost of confidence, you simply remember something you’re proud of.
“If you remember an achievement, you’re already in a place where you’re winning,” she explained. “Think about a time when you got a promotion, maybe. Then your mind will wander to other things that make you feel proud and confident.”
3. Give a compliment
This might seem counterintuitive. After all, it’s you that needs the confidence! How would it help to give confidence to someone else? But it really does work.
“Lifting somebody else’s mood reminds you that you’re powerful and can make a difference in this world,” Moore said. “Give out positivity and you’re more likely to feel it when it’s given back to you.”
No matter whether you believe in karma or not, this tip is legit. People are attracted to people with similar energies to their own. If you complain a lot, you’re likely to spend more time around others who complain, too. If you give out lots of compliments and radiate positivity, so will the people who surround you.
What also might help? Getting rid of the hidden sources of anxiety in your life.