Written by Cora Gold, Guest Writer & Editor-in-Chief at Revivalist
We’ve all been there. It’s the night before the big interview or your first day on a new job. Do you have what it takes to hack it?
It’s natural to feel self-conscious and question your abilities, especially when the stakes are high. However, you can’t hide in your shell if you hope to grow. Here are 10 tips for feeling confident when facing self-doubt.
1. Upgrade Your Skin Care Routine
Some folks argue that the psychological benefits of getting dressed up should still have everyone donning suits and pantyhose to run to the grocery store. While there’s little need to wear your Sunday best to pick up a quart of milk, you probably feel a little self-conscious when wearing pajamas in public. Conforming to societal grooming norms makes you feel less awkward when your neighbor knocks on your door at 11 a.m. to borrow a cup of sugar.
While you shouldn’t feel pressured to change everything about your appearance, there are ways to look your best that will make you feel good and have health benefits. Why not invest in a rich new moisturizer with ceramides to bind moisture into your skin? Skin care is a great example of something you can do for yourself that will boost your confidence without changing who you are.
Exercise makes you more confident in your skin in several ways. Prioritizing your fitness can improve your health and energy levels.
Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins, which are natural body chemicals that produce a mild euphoria while killing pain. You’ll move more confidently when you feel good about yourself and ensure that you make the right choices to nurture your total health.
Finally, exercise improves how you move. It makes you more coordinated and less prone to embarrassing slip-and-fall accidents. It improves your posture, helping you project an invisible air of confidence even when you feel rather timid inside.
3. Phone a Friend
Humans are inherently social creatures. Hearing words of approval and affirmation from someone you respect during a “dress rehearsal” can fill you with more confidence when the time comes for your star performance.
For example, if you have a big interview coming up, why not call your BFF and ask if they’ll role-play the part of the interviewer? You’ll get comfortable answering challenging questions like, “where do you see yourself in five years?” and “tell me about a time you overcame an obstacle.”
Rehearsing what you plan to say also helps the words roll off your tongue more smoothly when it’s time to take the stage. Stammering and stuttering makes you look less confident, leaving you on shaky ground even if you felt okay when you entered.
4. Wear Power Colors
Color affects human mood. You can notice this effect by using your imagination. Visualize a field of lavender flowers, and it probably makes you feel relaxed. Conversely, the bright red of fire engines screams, “pay attention and take action.”
Your best power colors are those that make you most comfortable. That said, the business world tends to prefer solid neutral shades like navy and gray for job interviews. A bold red pants-suit is a move you might consider if you’re looking for work in an assertive, extroverted field like sales and marketing.
What if your favorite shade is green? You can still incorporate it into your wardrobe choices to boost your confidence. Make it an accent, perhaps tying a pretty mint scarf around your neck or pairing a striking emerald belt and shoe shade with your otherwise prim and proper gray attire.
5. Ask Questions
Here’s a secret that should instantly make you feel more confident: most people simply aren’t paying that much attention to you. Like you, they’re too worried about how others perceive them to spend much time worrying about how “appropriate” you are unless you do something wildly out of character – like dressing up as a pirate for an interview as a tax attorney.
The secret to making people like you? Ask lots of questions. Give them an open stage to talk about themselves and project your interest by leaning forward and nodding at appropriate moments.
This trick takes the heat off you to come up with witty conversation. Better yet, it leaves the other party thinking you’re the most interesting person they’ve met so far at the networking gala.
6. Adjust Your Posture
It’s no secret that slouched shoulders and a defeated expression make you look less confident. Unless you have a spinal condition that makes standing up straight impossible, work on improving your posture.
You instantly feel more confident when you stand straight. If your back muscles are weak, try switching out your current office chair for an inflatable exercise ball, at least for part of the day. This device forces you to engage your core muscles to remain upright, encouraging better posture over time.
7. Nourish Your Neurons
What you eat impacts more than your waistline. It also affects your mood. Some people with a magnesium deficiency recover better by supplementing with the mineral than by taking a tricyclic antidepressant.
What should you eat? Plenty of plant-based foods that are close to their natural forms. Nuts and seeds are particularly valuable as they contain high levels of magnesium, selenium, and zinc, all crucial for neurological health.
Should you avoid certain foods? Yes. Stay away from convenience goods laden with sugar and white flour. These substances cause blood sugar spikes that drive cravings and weight struggles that sap your self-confidence.
8. Consider Therapy
Therapy isn’t only for folks with severe mental illness. Tons of people seek professional help every day for assistance with overcoming inhibitions and reaching their goals.
If you prefer, why not seek a life coach? They won’t require you to spend much time examining your childhood influences. Instead, they’ll provide practical tips for overcoming your inherent shyness.
9. Learn Something New
You can improve your sense of agency and self-confidence by learning something new every day. It doesn’t have to relate to your career. For example, mastering the art of changing a tire improves your security on your next road trip.
Seek something new to learn every day. It can be as silly and simple as asking, “Hey, Siri, why do hummingbirds like sugar water?” You’ll still increase your knowledge base.
10. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Finally, a lack of sleep can leave you feeling less confident. We’ve all experienced feeling “off” the entire day after accidentally oversleeping through the alarm.
Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by eliminating electronics as much as possible and using stickers to hide the blinking neon from the devices you can’t unplug. Surround yourself with softness and banish interruptions like your roommate’s rock music with the right noise-canceling headphones or white-noise machine. A spritz of lavender on your pillow provides an aromatherapy train to dreamland.
Tips for Feeling Confident in Your Skin When Facing Self-Doubt
It’s natural to feel a bit nervous when facing a big job interview or traveling to an unfamiliar place for the first time. However, a lack of confidence can create less-desirable outcomes, making you stumble over answers or miss out on opportunities.
Follow the above tips for feeling confident in your skin when facing self-doubt. Embracing the attitude of “fake it till you make it” and setting the stage through positive choices will lead to your desired outcome.