It’s a fact of life that everyone has insecurities — while there are days that we’re feeling ourselves, strutting to work pretending we’re in a music video (just me?), there are going to be days that we’re not feeling as confident as we’d like.
On those days, it can be hard to pull ourselves out of our shell and feel good in our skin — and when you’re feeling insecure, it can trickle into all areas of your life. Confidence is vital both in our personal and professional lives, and just as importantly, is the glue that holds together our relationship with ourselves. Sure, there are times that a period zit the size of a penny is going to make us not want to leave the house, but there are things you can do to forget about it — and that you can use to feel as confident as possible on a daily basis.
1. Say “hi” first
When you walk into a room — be it a party with your friends or your office on a Monday morning — it can create an awkward, unnecessary silence when you’re waiting for everyone else to address that you’re there. Instead, get in the habit of saying hi first. It will help you both command your presence and get out of your shell.
2. Start your day with your favorite music
While my go-to is always going to be ‘90s Britney (how can you not feel like a million bucks when you’re listening to Baby One More Time?) listening to the music that gets you ready to take on the day can turn around your entire morning. Instead of getting ready in silence, put together a playlist of the music that can take your day to the next level from the get-go — it’s a small step that can turn your mood from I’d-do-anything-to-go-back-to-sleep cranky to ready to tackle anything.
3. Give yourself credit where credit’s due
If you’re someone who’s inherently hard on yourself, it can be easy to get into a mode of tunnel vision, where all you see are the things that you still need to accomplish, rather than giving yourself a pat on the back for the things you’ve gotten done. At the end of the day, take a moment to think about something you’re proud of from the day — be it getting a workout in, killing it in a meeting, or checking a task off your to-do list that you’ve been dreading. Shifting your mindset to acknowledge your progress will give you more motivation to get up and work toward your goals the next day.
4. Give yourself a daily affirmation
When it comes to journaling, affirmations, or anything in that neighborhood, I’m generally the least likely to do it — I make it a week, and then never revisit it again. But back in the fall, my coworkers talked about the daily affirmations that they remind themselves of every day, and I’ve completely converted. Develop a mantra that you remind yourself of in the morning and if things get rough throughout the day. Keeping a positive affirmation at the forefront of your mind can prevent your from immediately reaching for a negative thought — and after you keep reminding yourself of it, it’ll be impossible to not believe it.
Or, just watch Jessica’s on repeat:
5. Exercise in the morning
I know, I know, this is the most basic one in the book, but hear me out: you don’t need to be an Iron Man or marathon runner to feel the mental benefits of exercising in the morning. We all know the magic of endorphins and getting your body moving and blood flowing — be it from a walk during your commute or an early-morning gym session — can completely change your mindset and outlook on your day. If you’re skeptical (or aren’t a morning person — I’m with you), commit to giving a morning workout a try once a week. If you notice you feel different throughout your day, keep increasing the days of the week you give it a try until you make a habit of it.
6. Set goals for your day
Adult life can get monotonous — days start blurring together, then weeks pass, and before you know it, months have gone by without us even realizing it (depressing, right?). Keeping yourself challenged and on your toes is vital to feeling good about yourself, and there’s no better way to keep yourself in check than by setting daily goals. They don’t need to be big — getting a chore done can count! — but acknowledging yourself getting concrete things done will boost your self-esteem on a daily basis.
7. Dress in clothes you love (that actually fit you)
You know the pair of jeans that just magically makes your butt look better than all your others? And the shirt that fits you like it was made for you? When you’re wearing clothes that make you feel your best, you stand a little taller and feel a little better all day long. While we can’t wear our favorite outfit every day, we should strive to replicate that feeling as much as possible. Donate your clothes that no longer fit you or appeal to you, and put the clothes that make you feel your best at the front and center of your closet. When you get dressed every morning, ask yourself what is going to make you feel your absolute best, and choose the things that fall into that category.
8. Complete an act of self-care every day
By now, we’ve shouted the wonders of self-care from the rooftops for months on end, but the point of it isn’t just to have glowing skin or shiny hair — self-care is supposed to make you feel better about yourself. Try to do self-care every day — whether it’s having a cup of tea that you love before bed or spending a little extra time on your nighttime skincare routine.