Self-confidence is the trait the makes you stand up for your beliefs, make your voice heard and go against the flow. Traditionally, self-esteem and self-confidence are associated with “manliness” and society expects men to have a positive image of themselves, but contrary to common belief, self-confidence isn’t embedded in your genetic code. It’s something that you build, something that you work towards and that can be taken away from you very easily. From an overly strict parent with unrealistic standards, to a school bully who makes you his laughing stock or an ex-partner that undermines you, these are all social influences that can destroy your ego and make you think less of yourself. But don’t worry, what was destroyed and be built back up again. It’s not a process that happens overnight, but by practicing these healthy habits, you’ll manage to boost your self-confidence.
Building a positive self-image starts with feeling good in your own skin. You don’t necessarily have to start doing intense work-out sessions to build muscle and you don’t even have to go to the gym if fitness isn’t your thing but engaging in some form of physical exercise for at least one hour every day does wonders for your body and your mind. Even something as simple as walking 10,000 steps every day, going jogging in the evenings or playing a sport every week can boost morale and confidence.
Improve your posture
Your posture says more about you than you think. Standing up straight, with your shoulders pulled back and your chin up will not only make you feel confident, but also project this image to whoever you’re talking to. So, if your 9-to-5 desk job makes you stand a bit slouchy, pay more attention to your posture – this is literally a 2-second hack that makes a huge difference.
Climb a mountain
This may sound a bit intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be Mount Everest. Start out by going to indoor climbing sessions and then move on to practicing your new hobby outdoors, during weekend climbing trips. Climbing a mountain, even if it’s a small one, is one of the most empowering and rewarding experiences one can try and once you get on top, you’ll feel like you can do anything.
Cross an item off your bucket list
Whether we write it down or not, we all have a list of things we’d like to do before we die. It can include some big dreams, like travelling the entire world or smaller ones, like trying spicy ice-cream or dyeing your hair a crazy color. No matter how your bucket list looks like, don’t leave it untouched. Crossing one item off of it, as small as it may be, will make you feel in control and give you the confidence to work on achieving larger goals.
Complete a major DIY project
If you can find a spare weekend, grab your gloves and toolbox and start a major DIY project such a complete garage makeover, installing a pool or repainting the walls. Why do this instead of just calling a contractor that’s both reliable and popular? Well, first of all, you are saving money and second, completing a large-scale project just by yourself will remind you that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
If you think that yoga, mindfulness and meditation are just for women, you’re missing out. In fact, meditation is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, understand your emotions and fight your insecurities. Taking a few minutes every day to tune out the outside world and stop comparing yourself to others will help you build more confidence and invest in self-growth.
Make time for self-care
The way we present ourselves to the world say a lot about what we think of ourselves. If you don’t remember the last time you had a clean shave, bought a fancy suit for yourself or paid for a good haircut, it’s time to make time for self-care. Don’t think it will make a difference? Look at these incredible before and after’s.
Unless you are unnaturally lucky, life will throw at you all sorts of challenges. And it’s normal to feel disappointed with yourself if you didn’t get that executive job or if your business idea didn’t work, but don’t let a bad experience destroy your self-confidence. Try again, don’t let haters grind you down and believe in your ambitions.
There are two ways to look at failure: one, you can see it as the end of the road and a sign that you should stop whatever you’re trying to do or, two, you can see it as an opportunity to learn and get better. The best things in life were not made in one day. They took years and years of trial and error and if the world’s biggest innovators stopped after the first failure, the world would be a much more different place.
Self-confidence should not be confused with arrogance and obnoxiousness. On the contrary. Being kind to others, becoming a better listener and helping your friends, co-workers and family will surround you with the positive energy you need to become a more self-confident man.