In the WorkWell Podcast, by Deloitte, Jen Fisher — Human Sustainability Leader at Deloitte and Editor-at-Large, Human Sustainability at Thrive Global — sits down with inspiring individuals for wide-ranging conversations about how we can develop a way of living and working built on human sustainability, starting with ourselves. 

This week, Selena Rezvani, author of Quick Confidence: Be Authentic, Create Connections and Make Bold Bets on Yourself, shares how to take small effective steps to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. 

On trusting yourself: 

“Confidence is knowing on a deep level that you’re able to face challenges and deal with curveballs in life. It’s knowing that you are your best resource and your best compass. That doesn’t mean ignoring other people, but that you’re not just looking for external validation. How can people know the real you if you’re not cultivating that awareness and saying: ‘This is what I stand for and who I am?’” 

On our ability to build “quick confidence”: 

“We don’t have a lifetime to build confidence if we want to make an impact or go after our dream opportunity, whatever it may be. So my goal is to share small, bite-sized, everyday actions that we can take to build lasting confidence. I had this idea at one point that confidence was an elusive trait, that you’re born with it or you’re not. And one of the things I like to dispel is that no, we can build our confidence muscle. And it’s made up of our beliefs, our mindsets, our body language, the way we carry ourselves, and our interactions.” 

On bringing balance to the stories we tell ourselves: 

“Rarely is a situation just all negative and bad. So we need to catch ourselves when we notice we are speaking about something as negative, like, ‘Ugh, I did a terrible job in my presentation yesterday, I’m probably going to get fired.’ Instead, you might say something like, ‘You know what, I actually do a pretty good job presenting most of the time. I left a couple things out of my presentation, but I’m going to use that and learn for next time.’”  

On the power of a good mantra: 

“One thing that can be wonderfully helpful is to affirm ourselves, not just with general platitudes, but with a mantra addressing our specific insecurity. I was talking to someone who was at a job interview and questioning their place in that company. So a mantra in that situation might be, ‘I earned my place here.’ There’s something to be said about specific mantras that really speak to our doubts or our fears in that moment.” 

On boosting self-confidence with body language: 

“Don’t play small, even if you’re not feeling particularly confident in a particular situation. Claim your personal bubble of space. Start at your feet, using what I call ‘surfer stance,’ where you stand with your legs a little more than shoulder width apart. And be willing to gesture freely. We see people who gesture as warmer and more engaging. Make a point of standing tall, try to brush the ceiling with your head. The idea is not to shrink in a situation. Be conspicuous. Celebrate what your mama gave you because that sends a really powerful message to your own psyche that you do belong.” 

To hear more from Jen and Selena, listen to this full episode of WorkWell here, available wherever you get your podcasts. Visit the WorkWell library for the full collection of episodes.