Fact of the day: you are an awesome, smart, unique, extraordinary, marvelous person. Do not forget it. Even if you just found out you did not get the job or were dumped by “the one” or were assigned a daunting project that you have no idea how to do.
Want to feel more confident? Here are easy ways to feel good about yourself today:
1. Turn to Your Life Cheerleaders. These are the people who can easily remind you of why you are so fabulous during challenging times that shake your self esteem and confidence. Call your mom. Grab dinner with your best friends. Your closest friends and family adore you for your amazing strengths and qualities. Do you know what they are? Ask them to list five positive words they would use to describe you. Let them butter you up. When you associate with people who think you are a 10, you will start to believe you are a 10 too.
2. Keep a Brag List. It can be too easy to forget all of your impressive accomplishments when something terrible happens that makes you doubt yourself. To prevent your brag moments from going into a memory black hole, keep an on-going list where you can file your gold star achievements. It could be a binder that holds pictures, article clippings and documents of your proudest life moments or simply a digital folder. I have a “booyah” folder within my inbox where I file shout-out emails from clients and co-workers that praise my work. On a rough day when I feel overwhelmed and start to doubt myself, I reference that folder for a dose of confidence. (Bonus-your brag list will also serve as a useful reminder of accomplishments to discuss during a performance review or interview!)
3. Focus on Your Strengths. Accept that you are not perfect. Trying to be perfect is just exhausting. You can not be the best at everything, but when you focus on your strengths rather than your shortcomings you can be the first-rate version of yourself. To help identify your strengths, Tom Roth’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a terrific resource. The book comes with a self assessment that helps you realize your top five talents.
4. Embrace Uncomfortable, New Situations. When you start a new job or learn a new skill, you can feel vulnerable and doubt yourself. It is natural, embrace it. Do not let your doubts derail your confidence. Remember that the uncomfortable feeling is only temporary. With practice and time, you will eventually feel confident. The first time I had to present in front of a senior leadership team, I was beyond nervous. However, my confidence grew each time I rehearsed the presentation. Practice made me feel comfortable and ready for the real meeting.
5. Dress the Part. Put on your best outfit that makes you feel like you could strut down the sidewalk and run the world. Your outward appearance and body language are a reflection of how you feel about yourself. Invest in staple pieces that fit well and make you feel fantastic. Also, evaluate your posture–do you stand up tall? Do you slouch in meetings? Even when you have your doubts, portray confidence with your body language.
Go ahead and feel good about yourself. People are attracted to confidence. Hiring managers want to hire confident candidates and people want to date confident people. When you believe in yourself, others will too.