I often get asked, usually in the comments of my Instagram posts, or through DMs and emails, “How did you become so confident?” This brazen babe didn’t always carry a sure-of-herself charm; I was a very insecure person for a good chunk of my life. Becoming confident was a conscious decision I made in order to protect myself and get to the places I needed to be. Confidence was like an outfit that I put on every day to trick the world into thinking I was worthy, but eventually, it became apart of me. I no longer feel like I am faking it (although some days I still need to). Here are some of the steps I took to appear more confident and eventually feel more confident:
Strut your stuff.
Strutting and grooving is a huge part of how I gain confidence throughout the day. I started noticing during my first year of university that whenever I walked, either in public or around the house, I would do so with a posture that wasn’t a) good for my back and b) didn’t make me feel or look confident. I decided that I need to change that and forced myself to puff my chest out, strut my way down every street I walk down like it’s a catwalk, and serve bitchy facial expressions as I do it.
A good way to start doing this is to pull out your headphones every time to leave the house, and put on a power anthem as you walk or roll to your next stop. If you are able, straightening you back, relaxing and pulling back your shoulders, as well as looking straight on can help you perfect your confident strut. Additionally, if you’re a person who hates interacting with people in public like me, looking straight on and walking quickly can make it look like you’re important and/or in a hurry which will minimize people attempting to approach you.
Be your own hype-person.
I didn’t have a lot of emotional support from friends or family growing up, so I had to be the only person hyping myself up and telling myself that I was great. I was really lucky to gain this as a habit from a young age and is something that has snowballed me into the confident person I am today. My strategy is to counteract negative thoughts about myself with good ones. Take time to write a list of qualities you love about yourself on sticky notes to put around your room, or in the notes app on your phone, to look at during bad brain moments. Write down your accomplishments (and even ones your working towards) on a list to read when you encounter imposter syndrome. I also have started keeping a photo folder on my phone where I put screenshots of compliments or hot sexts people send me to look to at times where I feel undesirable or loved.
Take up more space.
If you’re socialized as female, like myself, I’m sure you’ve also encountered moments in public spaces where you notice that you’re making yourself take up less space. Squishing your legs together to make yourself feel smaller on the bus for example. It’s ingrained in people socialized as female to make ourselves feel smaller. For myself, I know a lot of this is related to my fatness too, but it’s something people of all body types experience.
My tip here is to notice the now your body relates to your surroundings; times which you tense your muscles or pull your shoulders into your body as you’re trying to make space for other people (usually men). For me, I notice this most when I’m at the bar trying to get a drink. Once I notice that I’m making myself smaller, I can purposely spread out my arms more, stand with more authority and relax my muscles. This both makes me feel confident and helps establish my presence in the fight to get the bartender’s attention. Women and gender non-conforming people shouldn’t literally have to bow out of the way to make room for people who already take up too much space socially.
Pretend you’re an actor.
This last piece of advice is one I practice when I’m filled with anticipation nerves. In order to get myself to go through with an action that causes me anxiety, I tell myself that I need to pretend that what I’m about to do is actually a scene in a movie and that I’m the actor acting out those actions. That way, I instil a false sense of “anything can go wrong and you’ll still be okay” feelings in myself. While this does seem arbitrary, it’s a strategy I use to get it through times where I wasn’t feeling that I complete an action I need to do. Putting myself into a “this is all just pretend” headspace makes me feel limitless, and limitless makes me feel confident.
I know my suggestions are often times easier said than done, but they’re the actions that have gotten me to the confidence levels I have. Everyone has different ways of changing themselves up, so try out some new strategies and continue on with what works for you!
What are some ways you boost your confidence?