As magnificent as you are, you aren't born with an endless fountain of self-esteem. In fact, nobody is, not even Angelina Jolie — something I have to constantly remind myself of. While you're full of magic on some days, strutting around like you're the best thing invented since double-stuffed Oreos, it's perfectly normal to also experience those mornings when you would rather crawl into the corner of your closet than face the world. Those are the days when you need some help feeling more self-confident.
Author and Fortune 500 executive Becky Blalock says our ancestors had to be cautious to survive, and that has been passed down through evolution, resulting in our occasional shy, inhibited moments. There's nothing wrong with that — but you don't want to get stuck in a state of constant shyness and fear, either. Luckily, she says, confidence can be reinforced with the right daily habits.
If you need motivation beyond yourself, remember: being confident is important humanitarian work. As the Dalai Lama says, "With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world." See? The world needs us to be vain from time to time, so don't be afraid to tell yourself how fabulous and generally mind-blowing you are.
Here are 14 ways to be more self-confident every day.
1. Be Kind To Others
If you temporarily feel like you don't mean much to the rest of the world, bring that homeless lady down the street a home-cooked meal. Or help out your elderly neighbor with her weekly cleaning routine. By doing selfless things for others, you will eventually convince yourself that you're not so bad after all.
2. Wear Yellow
Psychologist Dr. Carole Kanchier from Calgary says that research has linked this color to calm energy and bright moods. How couldn't it be? When was the last time the sun made you feel like crap? A marigold top is bound to remind you of all the reasons why you're rad.
3. Stand Tall
If you're slouching, you're more likely to feel down and out about yourself. A study published in Health Psychology found that improving your posture is an "instant mood lift." You immediately feel more confident, more assertive, more badass. Yep, that last one was scientifically proven, for sure.
4. Learn Something New
Download a trivia app on your phone or just read something new every day; you'll be doing yourself a solid by placing the smallest amount of fresh information into your brain. You immediately cultivate a sense of satisfaction, which increases overall belief in yourself.
5. Clean Your Room
It's the simplest lesson in Feng Shui — if you want a clear mind, clear out your bedroom. There's a Japanese concept called esho funi , which means oneness of life and environment, and when you achieve it, you're much more likely to be the owner of happy, uplifting thoughts.
6. Take A Selfie
Yes, really. Apparently, 65 percent of girls who saw their own smiling faces on social media reported that they felt more confident afterwards. When you see yourself happy and vibrant, you trick yourself into feeling that way, and suddenly you actually are. Remember that less is more, though. No need to take 20 in a row, or else you'll get completely sucked into the Facebook vortex.
7. Set One Specific Goal — Then Do It
When we are filled with a sense of accomplishment, we are flooded with positive affirmations about ourself. It doesn't have to be an elaborate goal, like finishing that memoir you've been half-heartedly considering writing since college. Even if you put something as simple as "call mom" on your to-do list, checking it off will give you an instant boost of joy and confidence.
8. Turn On Happy Music
Did you know music can make you feel more powerful? Now you do, so crank those tunes and let yourself dance it out. A good song can psychologically alter your state of mind; if it's an upbeat melody with a happy message, you'll quickly reach a state of dominance and confidence.
9. Try Something New
Being stuck in our comfort zone isn't any fun, but it also stops us from feeling expansive. Make it a point to do something new on a daily basis, no matter how small it may seem. Try a different coffee shop, take another route to work, or just listen to a new album while you're getting ready in the morning. That tiny feeling of adventure will make you feel bulletproof.
10. Ask For Help
Don't think for a second that asking for assistance is a sign of weakness; we're not meant to do everything on this planet alone, and it can actually be quite liberating to ask your co-worker for some help on that big project you've been slaving over. They'll be flattered, and you'll feel confident for being brave enough to ask for help.
11. Make A List Of All The Good Stuff In Your Life
Take out a piece of paper and write down all the things that are going right in your life, because there are so, so many. It's easy to forget them when you're not at your best, so the physical act of reminding yourself will bring you back to reality. In other words, be grateful; it sure beats being mopey.
12. Use Perfume (If You Like It)
Scent is arguably the most powerful sense, especially in regards to memory and emotion. Studies show that 90 percent of women who spritzed on a little perfume felt more confident than their fragrant-free friends. You can even get your hands on hair perfume these days, making that head toss even more effective when flirting.
13. Talk With Your Hands
Research from Colgate University shows that the part of the brain that controls movements and the region that is responsible for speech overlap; your hand gestures could actually make you believe your own words more strongly (think: Obama). Make sure your body language feels natural, and you'll instantly seem more poised to everyone, including yourself.
14. Look At Pictures
Surround yourself with happy visual memories, and those past nuggets of delight will involuntarily bring smiles to your face, making you feel more confident and loved. Put up a few Polaroids in your office of you and your besties giggling at the beach; take a few minutes to scroll through those cute shots of you and your SO from last Christmas. You'll promptly get a rush of bliss.
Images: Bustle Stock Photo; Giphy (15)