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What Are the 3 Quick and Easy Ways to Boost Self-confidence?

3 minute read
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

As a general rule, you’re better off being moderately overconfident. Overconfidence is performance-enhancing and increases productivity.

But what about when you’re not feeling so high on yourself? What can quickly and easily boost your self-esteem?

1) Look At Your Resume

Reviewing your credentials can remind you how talented you are and induce a “reverse stereotype threat” that boosts confidence.

Via Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To:

I immediately think about my research credentials, a trick I developed after discovering that getting people to think about aspects of themselves that are conducive to success can actually be enough to propel them to a top performance and prevent choking.


The mere act of realizing you aren’t just defined by one dimension— your SAT score or a speech or a solo— can help curtail worries and negative thoughts. In essence, thinking about yourself from multiple perspectives can help relieve some pressure that you feel.

2) Stand Up Straight

Your mind moves you, but how you move also affects your mind.

Recent research in the area of embodied cognition confirms we can improve how we think and behave by changing how we sit, stand and move.

The military makes soldiers stand up straight for a reason: there’s an implicit connection between posture and power that has been demonstrated time and time again.

Want to increase confidence? Make yourself tougher? Write a better self-evaluation? Impress others? Stand up straight.

3) Talk To Yourself

Might seem crazy but it works.

Talking to yourself out loud can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you focus and even increase athletic performance.

What should you say to increase confidence? Be positive. And when you have doubts about your ability, you should doubt your doubts.

Self-talk is one of the skills that helped Navy SEAL candidates pass their grueling “Hell Week.”

And talking to yourself isn’t the only type of talking that can boost confidence. Seeing your opponent as inferior improves your own performance as well. So, yes, “Trash talk” works.

Are You Confident About Confidence?

Is confidence really that vital?

People prefer others who are prideful. Self-esteem can be sexy.

Some research shows people prefer confidence to actual expertise. Confidence can be enough to get you made leader of a group — even if you don’t know what you’re talking about:

Via The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us:

So in this experiment, group leadership was determined largely by confidence. People with dominant personalities tend to exhibit greater self-confidence, and due to the illusion of confidence, others tend to trust and follow people who speak with confidence. If you offer your opinion early and often, people will take your confidence as an indicator of ability, even if you are actually no better than your peers.

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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