Confidence is a tenuous thing. One minute you're on top of the world, and the next, you feel like a walking garbage pile shedding bits of trash in the wind. Little, everyday things can affect your confidence in big ways.
Confidence is generally defined as a person's faith in their self and their abilities. It sounds so easy on paper, but wow is it hard to keep up. Self-esteem and confidence tend to go hand in hand: Confidence is trusting yourself to do a good job, while self-esteem is your ability to like and take care of that self. A lack of either, or both, can lead to some serious mental baggage. The painful kind. For those of us who have dealt with depression and anxiety, we know firsthand how draining it can be to drag around feelings of inadequacy.
Studies have shown that a chronic lack of confidence can not only affect your mood, but your career as well, which in turn affects your confidence. It's a vicious cycle, dudes. But in honor of yesterday's National Poetry Day, I will use Mary Oliver's words to express the talk I have with myself when I'm feeling especially low on the confidence scale: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
LIfe is too short to let these little confidence jabs get to you.
1. When People Screw Up Your Name
My name is not particularly difficult, but people often misspell it in emails or texts — which immediately deflates my little confidence bubble, making me feel tiny and insignificant and unimportant. Even worse, have you ever had to correct people on your name after you've already been introduced? That is straight-up no good.
2. Telling A Joke And Watching It Fall Flat
Making a goof and being met with a straight face or just uncomfortable silence is the worst. The joke will rattle around my head for no less than, like, four hours. And I'll also probably swear to never, ever make a humorous comment ever again. Or just like speak in general.
3. Having Someone Talk Over You
Interrupters are the worst; having people just talk over your thoughts and opinions is also the worst. It can bring on a cloud of doubt about everything from your intelligence to your competence and ability to do a job.
But! While there is a whole world of little things that can bring down your confidence, there are also little things that can boost it. They may not work immediately, or dramatically, but just like seemingly inconsequential, negative things add up, so do little positive ones.
4. Give Someone A Compliment
Even a little one, even to a stranger, and watch their face light up. You have the ability to make a difference in someone's day. Trust that.
5. Stand Up Straighter
Not a whole lot of research has been done on the relationship between confidence and posture, but a recent study had participants either sit straight up with their chests out, or slouched down and looking at the floor. They were then asked to write down what they considered to be their three best and three worst qualities. Those sitting in traditionally "confident" poses generally rated their best qualities higher, while those in slouchier poses rated their worst qualities more negatively.
6. Wear An Outfit You Like
Since self-esteem and confidence go hand-in-hand, putting on an outfit that makes you feel hot and capable and good is a great way to give your confidence a little... kick in the pants.
I'm terrible. I KNOW.
But it's also true, so you know, rock those pants. Literally.