If you've experienced a major change in your life such as a move to a new city or the ending of a long-term relationship, you may be experiencing feelings of doubt and confusion when it comes to your self-image. A lack of confidence can also come from not fitting in with the people you feel are popular, or from being afraid to assert yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to boost your confidence, which will help you look at life in a new and positive way. Here are five suggestions you may find helpful.
Generally, when you look better, you feel better. To gain more confidence, try doing something different with your look. Get a haircut or update your hair color to a shade that flatters your skin tone. Add more color to your wardrobe. Visit a makeup artist for practical ways to change up your makeup routine in a way that will bring out your best features. When you're satisfied with what you see in the mirror, you're more likely to be comfortable in social situations or to pursue the career you want.
Learn New Things
You can also increase your confidence by learning something new. Take a cooking class to learn how to make your favorite gourmet fare. Visit your local community center and sign up for a swimming or dance class. Or, return to school to obtain an additional degree. If after taking a cooking class or two you find that you'd like to be a chef, enroll in your local culinary institute. When you receive formal training that matches your passion, you're proving to yourself that you're smart and capable.
One of the best ways to take the focus off your own problems is to help others. Volunteer at your local soup kitchen or donate to your city's clothing or canned food drive. You can even help out friends and family by babysitting or running errands for a friend who is ill. When you know you've helped someone else, you're reminded that you can also engage in effective self-help.
Change Your Body Language
When you lack confidence, your body language often reflects this. Make a conscious effort to stand sit up straight and look people in the eye when you're speaking with them. Remember to give firm handshakes and to smile often. Even if you don't always feel like doing these things, the more you make them a part of your daily life, the more people will view you as a confident person, which will make you more comfortable with yourself.
Be Your Own Cheerleader
To truly be confident, you've got to be loving and patient with yourself. Encourage yourself daily by reading an inspirational quote each day. Do something that will directly benefit you, like eating healthier or working out a few times a week. Tell yourself that you're smart, beautiful and talented. Enforcing these messages in your mind so that you'll start to believe them and behave positively in every part of your life. While applying these principles is often easier said than done, the more you incorporate these practices into your daily routine, the better you'll feel about yourself--and life in general.