Our self-esteem — or lack thereof —profoundly impacts nearly every facet of our lives. Moreover, self-confidence is one of the most important tools we have to achieve our goals in life. Read on for some surprising, and surprisingly simple, ways you can give yourself a little boost of self-confidence.
1. Rate Yourself.
Step one? Figure out how much self-esteem you have in the first place. Take Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale Test, a quick self-assessment that has been used by researchers for decades. The test certainly isn’t a perfect measurement — after all, quantifying self-esteem is fraught with gray areas and it’s no diagnostic tool— but it can give you a general idea of where you stand.
2. Sit Up Straight.
Studies have shown that the way you carry yourself can have an impact on your self-esteem. One 2009 study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that people were more willing to give themselves a higher self-assessment of their work life and job candidate potential when sitting up straight rather than slouching over.
3. Get to List-Making.
When we only focus on our negative attributes and our failures in life, it can be hard to remember all of the great things we’ve accomplished. Write a list of your accomplishments, including everything from small stuff like perfecting that killer meal to graduating from college, and anything else you’re proud of, and keep this list in an important place. When you’re momentarily doubting your abilities, pull the list out as a reminder. Continue adding to the list as you achieve more and more!
4. Get Creative.
You don’t have to be Jimi Hendrix to play a guitar or Picasso to paint — creative pursuits have been proven time and again to boost the self-esteem of both children and adults. Sing in the shower. Doodle on the bus. Journal before bed. Carving out even just a few minutes each week for creative activities can help boost your self-confidence.
5. Be a Joiner.
Self-esteem, research has shown, isn’t just about you as an individual — it’s also about how you identify with the social world. Research has shown that people who participate in activities like book clubs and sports teams have higher-than-average self-esteem, and that joining and identifying with groups of people is a definite self-esteem booster.
6. Make Your Bed.
Taking a minute or two to make your bed as soon as you wake up can have a surprisingly profound impact on your self-confidence. It sets the right tone for the day, that of being productive and getting things accomplished.
7. Add a Little More Exercise to Your Day.
If you already have a regular exercise routine going, great! But want to really get the most self-confidence boosting out of it? Extend your workout by even just a few minutes. Adding a few extra crunches or a few more minutes on the elliptical can help your self-confidence, and, hey, burning a few extra calories doesn’t hurt that, either!
8. Ask a Friend.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the great qualities we ourselves have. But our loved ones certainly notice! If you’re struggling for something good to say about yourself, ask the people you’re closest to what they think.
9. Start Small.
Even the smallest tasks — scheduling that appointment you’ve been putting off, cleaning the backseat of the car, making plans to see an old friend — can boost your self-confidence. Pick an easily manageable habit to change — like, say, flossing more often or drinking an extra glass of water every day — and make it happen. The easier the habit, the better. Start small and build your way up to bigger habits.
10. Gossip! No, Really!
Gossiping about failed marriages and how much your neighbor spent on that new car may not be so great, but spreading positive gossip about others? Well, researchers have found that this can have a positive impact on your own self-esteem. So, go ahead, tell your friends all about how awesome someone is!