Having confidence isn’t always easy. Whether it’s confidence in social situations or how to boost your confidence at work — self-esteem affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life. That’s why it’s incredibly important to figure out ways to boost and keep your confidence high.
Luckily, confidence is something that can be built up and improved on every single day. In fact, small adjustments to your daily life like listening to music, sitting up straight and even just smiling have been scientifically proven to increase a person’s self-esteem.
To learn how you can boost your confidence at work immediately, here are 10 tips and tricks for boosting your self-esteem and putting you back on track for success.
1. Listen to music.
It’s been long-known that music has a direct effect on a person’s mood. That’s why it’s no surprise that listening to the right music can boost your confidence. And what exactly is the “right music”?
According to research, music that has a heavy bassline can increase a person’s confidence levels. In the study, which monitored a group of students listening to various music genres, those who listened to electro and disco reported feeling more confident, dominant and determined than those who did not.
2. Make friends.
The more the merrier — and that also applies to friendships. According to research, the larger your circle of friends is and the more friend groups you are involved in, the higher your self-esteem.
3. Practice affirmations.
Confidence is a product of persistent self-talk. Thoughts have powerful energy and by repeating positive, empowering affirmations to yourself, you will establish a habit of thought that will develop into belief. And this belief will imprint positive ideas into yourself, which will ultimately help to boost your self esteem. Even if your affirmation is something as simple as, “I feel confident today,” by repeating it, it will begin to manifest itself and come true.
4. Fix your posture.
One quick fix to your confidence can be as simple as adjusting your body language. As social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains in her highly popular TED Talk, when a person slouches, hunches and essentially makes themselves smaller, they are practicing positions of “low power.” However, when you stand tall and open, the body sends signals to the mind that you are powerful, releasing the confidence-boosting hormone called testosterone.
Another simple trick to boost your confidence at work is to start smiling. In fact, smiling can lift your mood, boost your confidence and lower stress. That’s because a smile triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that release dopamine and serotonin.
As Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine, explains, “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.”
6. Dress for success.
How you dress everyday has a direct effect on your confidence. In fact, the more you “dress for success,” the higher your self-esteem is.
We found one study where researchers observed a group of men dressed in sweatpants, another dressed in casual clothes and a third dressed in suits as they role-played negotiation scenes. In the end, the men dressed in suits had the highest confidence levels, thus the ability to win the majority of their negotiations, followed by men in casual clothes and then the men in sweats.
7. Wear perfume or cologne.
In addition to dressing for success, another material way to boost your confidence is a few sprays of perfume or cologne to start your day. Wearing one of these not only increases the positive way you feel about yourself, but also the way others perceive you as well. A recent study found that men who wore cologne had higher levels of confidence than those who did not.
It’s safe to say that staring at a screen all day long doesn’t necessarily result in the healthiest lifestyle. However, whether you’re in the office all day long or out on the field, whatever your profession, it’s vital to include exercise into your weekly, or daily, regimen.
While it’s obvious that exercise helps you stay healthy and keep your weight under control, it also has major benefits when it comes to your mental health. In fact, even just the success of creating an exercise schedule (even if it’s just a quick 20 minute-workout everyday) and sticking to it provides a sense of achievement, ultimately boosting your self-esteem.
9. Pick up a lucky charm.
Of course carrying a rabbit’s foot isn’t going to suddenly make you lucky. However the idea of it will help boost your confidence.
According to psychologist Lysann Damisch of the University of Koln, Germany, “the activation of superstitious thinking directly prior to a task may boost a person’s confidence in his or her ability to succeed—what’s known as self-efficacy—which in turn boosts expectations and persistence, thus improving performance.” Even if lucky charms themselves may not have actual magical powers, they do help to cultivate a winning and confident mindset.
Practicing mindfulness is one of the most powerful ways you can begin to take control of your mind and body. It makes it a great way to take control of your confidence too.
A study published in 2008 found meditation benefits a person’s confidence as it provides self-control and focus. Luckily, today, there are a number of resources online to help jumpstart your meditation practice like Headspace or Calm.
Rose is a writer and artist living in New York City. She writes for magazines, startups and websites, including Entrepreneur Magazine, Frontrunner Magazine, Homepolish and more.