You’re successful. You’re going places. You’re an expert in your field. But, some days…? Even though you know you SHOULD feel confident, sometimes you just DON’T.
Fortunately, confidence is a mindset that can be fired up again, even when you are feeling low. Like a fire, it needs attention and tending to keep it strong and bright. Here are some suggestions and strategies to help you get out of a funk and back to: “Yes, I’m pretty great. I know my stuff. I got this!”
Feel Good (Physically)
- Dress the part. Being “put together” and professionally dressed not only projects a confident attitude to others, but can even change your own attitude as you focus on looking your best.
- Get moving. The increased blood flow, the extra oxygen, and the loosened muscles all do wonders to change your attitude. Even if you don’t have time for a full workout, a quick stroll outside, climbing a couple flights of stairs, or doing some stretches and deep breathing can change your energy flow to a positive place in just a few minutes.
- Nourish yourself. Drink some water, eat a healthy snack, or prepare a nice light meal. A stiff drink or a bowl of chocolate ice cream may sound like it will make you feel better, but you know it really won’t. Try something good for your body first.
Feel Good (Emotionally)
- Prep for success. Of course, being well-prepared for an interview or a presentation will only boost your comfort level and confidence. Other less-obvious prep work can keep your confidence high as well: plan your outfits out for the week so you’re not scrambling at the last minute to look your best; cut up some fruits and veggies so you have healthy snacks on hand; or put your gym clothes in your car so it’s easy to stop right after work.
- Give yourself some time. It’s OK to cancel something that’s not imperative in exchange for some time to relax or regroup. Don’t feel bad about saying “no”! Read more of our advice on that topic here.
- Listen to something motivational (and avoid the things that will bum you out). Sure, news shows keep you informed, but their focus on the negative can make it difficult to feel very positive first thing in the morning. Try some of your favorite music, an audio book that makes you laugh, or a motivational podcast from one of your favorite speakers when you need a pick me up.
- Reboot your thoughts. It’s takes as little effort to focus on your successes as it does to focus on your fears or failures. Realize that your negative thoughts are just that: thoughts. Take a minute to recall a big success or make a list of all the progress you’ve made toward your goal, or focus on the great things you’re accomplished in other parts of your life. It’s OK to give yourself a pep talk. What would you tell your best friend if he’s feeling low? Treat yourself as well as you would your friend. Speaking of….
- Choose the company you keep. Limit the time you spend with people who shake your confidence or wear you down. Make more time in your life for people who are supportive and inspiring. When you need a quick boost, call a friend or a mentor — they are sure to have some supportive words for you.
- Practice gratitude. Even appreciating “little” things — a beloved pet, a hug from your kid, a comfortable home — can help turn thoughts from negative toward the many positives in your life. Make a daily habit of pausing to focus on the things for which you are thankful — even better, take a minute to show appreciation to someone who’s made your day (or your life) better.
Confidence can lag. Reinforce it by finding which of these suggestions work for you. Make them a regular habit to keep your confidence alive and healthy. Confidence is based on learning, moving forward, and knowing that you can handle whatever life throws your way — because you can!