Tried & Tested Confidence Boosters (Part 1)
Updated: May 18
Confidence... some say you’ve either got it or you don’t! Realistically, it’s more likely that your confidence has ebbed and flowed over the course of your career in different roles and moments.
This week I’m doing things a bit differently. I decided to ask some of my best friends and trusted advisors for their number one, go-to confidence boosters. So, whether you’ve mastered confidence or are trying to develop more of it, this article may be for you! Oh, and since we collectively came up with SO many ways to boost confidence, there’ll be a part 2 coming soon!
These first five boosters can help in the moment, and are also great practices to integrate into your confidence-building journey as habits:
1. Name your Gremlin (or Inner Critic) and Tell it to Knock Off!
Let’s start off with your inner critic or gremlin. You know that little voice in your head that pops up from time to time, telling you “you’re not smart enough”, “you’re not a good public speaker”, or “you sound silly”? Whatever you call the voice in your head, know that almost all of us wrestle with it to varying degrees.
This is one of the top blocks to confidence and depending on how loud your inner critic has become and what it says to you, it may take more deliberate practice to quiet the beast. Know that your gremlin has served you well and protected you when you needed it. But, until you can take back control it’ll likely continue to keep you in your comfort zone and limit you from being able to fully experience all that life has to offer.
How can you do this?
One effective method is to Notice It, Name It & Tell it to Knock Off.
Over the course of this week, I invite you to actively listen to your inner critic and start noticing what it says. Write everything the little voice says on a list. At the end of the week, review each statement and ask:
How objectively true is this?
How kind is this? Would I say this to a friend?
What evidence do I have that these statements are untrue? (list as much as possible)
What pattern exists amongst these critical statements?
Next, give your inner critic or gremlin a name/persona. So, the next time that Belinda or Marcus shows up at your doorstep, you can kindly ask them to knock off - not only will you know that they’re there to keep you small, but that what they're saying is either a.) unlikely to happen or b.) untrue.
Want to dive deeper? Check out David Carson’s book, Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way
2. Assume a Power Pose Position
The next time you’re preparing to go into an interview or deliver a presentation, consider assuming a more powerful position. In Amy Cuddy’s now famous TedTalk, she shares with us some surprising methods to boost your confidence and improve performance with something as simple as getting into a power pose!
It's all about embodying a lion, even when you feel like a little kitten.
Check out her talk for yourself.
It’s important to note that there was some debate about Cuddy’s research, and you can read all about it here, but it looks like power posing is here to stay. Why not give it a try?
3. Speak Kindly To Yourself with Affirmations
One of the easiest ways to build more confidence is to integrate positive self-talk through daily affirmations. Now, if you think this is some “woo-woo” stuff, hear me out. According to this study, affirmations can activate the reward centre of the brain. By regularly integrating future-focused affirmations, we’re able to better manage stress, pain and negative or threatening information.
The key here is to develop a habit around affirmations. If you’re not sure how to get started, try one of the many free affirmations apps, like the I AM app that I’ve recommended before.
4. Remember Past Experiences Where Your Rocked It
We often forget about the hurdles we’ve overcome, the times we didn’t think we could do something, or WOULD do something, and managed to get through it, or better yet, rock it!
Take out your journal and think back to your most recent memory of doing something that was difficult for you or outside of your comfort zone. Reflect on these questions:
What about the situation or experience was difficult or uncomfortable?
What strategies did I use to get through it?
What was the outcome?
How might I be able to use similar strategies in the future?
5. Get your Sweat On
Want a quick confidence boost? Consider getting a good session in at the gym or going for a run. A sure way to boost your confidence is to get out of your head and into your body. Exercise is a proven method to positively improve self-esteem directly and indirectly. Why? Because exercise releases the endorphins we all covet, but don’t necessarily want to work for. So, the next time your confidence is waning, lace up and sweat for it.
Which confidence booster are you planning to try out? Stay tuned for part two of this article where I’ll share several more methods to boost your confidence!
As always, if you ever need support, feel free to reach out!
About Lauren McCreery
Lauren is a Certified Professional Coach and real-life SWERVE success story. When she isn't working, she's spending time going on big adventures with her rescue dog, Finley! As the founder of Swerve Coaching & Consulting, she helps smart professional millennials who are stressed, stuck or burnt out to Ride the Swerve towards work that's engaging, energizing and empowering.
Feeling burnt out and want a career change? Book a discovery call today.