Four confidence-building tips for women

Nearly everyone knows the saying ‘fake it till you make it’, meaning you should act as though you have confidence until you actually do. Unfortunately, you many people find this is easier said than done.

If you’re been faking it without much success or you need more tools than that, these four tips can help.

1) Preparation and role play

Success breeds confidence. When things go well in one encounter, you’re generally primed to assume they will go well in the next one. A good way to ensure that this happens is by practicing ahead of time. If you have a sympathetic friend, you can do this as a role play, but you can also practice on your own.

Maybe you’re working on getting the courage to strike up conversations with people. You could choose two or three topics of conversation and practice them. You could record yourself on your phone or just while looking in a mirror as watching and listening to yourself recorded could have an effect on your confidence.

2) Get professional help

You might be able to get professional help. This could mean talking to a counselor, who might help you with negative behavioral patterns, or it could mean hiring someone like a life coach. Another possibility is talking to your doctor, especially if you suffer from anxiety or similar issues.

A prescription beta-blocker like propranolol helps minimize anxiety and its physical symptoms, such as your heart racing. Finding a way to short-circuit your physical reaction to stressful situations can help you meet them with more confidence the next time around. You can keep this prescription handy for when you have big moments that you know are going to provoke your anxiety.

3) Keep records

There’s an ironic thing that happens when you are making progress, and it’s that you can actually lose track of how much progress you are making. When you are moving steadily along, it can be easy to forget where you started or what things were really hard for you at first. Therefore, it’s a great idea to keep some kind of record of your progress. Maybe you’ll just jot down a few words in a notebook or on your phone of things you did well that day that were difficult.

4) Practice positive thinking

It can be tough to remain positive sometimes, and it can be frustrating when people make it sound like it’s all you need to do. However, positive thinking instead of negative can help you shore up your confidence. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself or think about how an event will go.

Do you tend to say things like “I’ll probably mess it up, I always do”? Every time you find yourself doing this, force yourself to reframe it: “It will be challenging, but I’ll do fine.” On the other hand, maybe you went into a situation and you didn’t do fine. You can reassure yourself that this doesn’t define you or your abilities and that you can try again later. Learn to give yourself pep talks you would give a close friend instead of constantly being self-critical.

Photo by Ruben Ramirez