We all know that self-confidence is a powerful trait that often goes hand-in-hand with success.
But did you also know that the latest scientific research shows anyone can improve their self-confidence in just minutes with a couple easy tricks?
We’ve put together a list of 11 surprisingly simple confidence boosters–most of which you can do while sitting at your desk. Check out these simple confidence cures and then take a deep dive to learn how to easily boost your self-esteem so you can tap into your inner power anytime, anyplace.
#1 Love is in the Air. Literally.
Find your signature scent, and you’re off to a great start. A new study from the University of Liverpool shows that when you like the way you smell, you give off confident nonverbal cues which boost your attractiveness.
Take Action: Splurge on scent that makes you feel great, and don’t forget to look beyond the perfume counter. Some studies confirm that aromatherapy can improve your mood. Geranium and sandalwood may aid relaxation and ease anxiety. The key is finding a scent that makes you you feel good when you wear it, and then to use the right amount so you don’t overpower anybody’s senses.
#2 Strike a Power Pose.
Yet another reason to stand tall.
Why? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has shown that your posture not only affects how other people see you, it affects how you see yourself.
So you can fake it until you make it.
Take Action: Spend two minutes posing like a winner: Arms up. Head lifted. Think VICTORY. Sit tall, and pull your shoulders back. Tap into the power of posture.
#3 Go the Extra Smile
“You’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
Why? That old jingle from Annie may have been before its time. Time Magazine reports that smiles and eye contact can make you more attractive than people who rank very highly on the physical attractiveness scale. Smiling is a signal of openness which conveys that you’re interested and available, and sometimes that’s half the battle.
Take Action: Make meaningful eye contact and make your smiles genuine. Alternatively, try the so-called pencil trick which is a great way to mindlessly improve your mood. It’s simple: just hold a pencil between your teeth for up to two minutes. This forces your facial muscles into a smiling position which makes your brain a believer.
#4 Dress Like a Superhero
There’s power in your wardrobe.
Why? Apparently, you are what you wear, and your wardrobe could be one of the keys to boosting your inner and outer confidence. In Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion, author Karen Pine argues that there’s a hefty grain of truth in the motto “Dress for Success”.
Take Action: Start with your workout! Invest in workout gear that you love to wear to help keep up your motivation. For casual events, think leather, boots, and jewelry–all are associated with strength and status. When it comes to professional networking, spruce up your career wear with a tie or scarf in a color that makes you feel radiant.
#5 Pump Up the Volume
In fact, it is all about that bass.
Why? According to Dennis Hsu of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, music with a strong bass beat can create an empowered mentality in the listener. Not surprisingly, feeling strong and empowered has some major benefits when you’re facing adversity.
Take Action: Turn on some tunes. The bigger the bass, the better. For an added bonus, listen to some hits with motivating lyrics to make you feel like a real winner.
#6 Get Them In On the Joke
It is a laughing matter.
Why? According to the University of Sheffield, parents who joke and pretend with their kids are giving their kids a big advantage. At it’s base, humor is about pattern recognition and finding outliers, and if your kids can do that, they’ll be way ahead, and so will your parenting skills.
Take Action: Be silly with your toddler. Wear a crazy hat. Learn a new knock knock joke, or invest in a joke book for your eight-year old.
#7 Make a Magic Moment
Conjure up some social skills.
Why? New research out of the University of Hertfordshire shows that kids can elevate their playground status by showing off some magic tricks. Magic requires a trifecta of social skills that include self-discipline, understanding your audience, and showmanship.
Take Action: Teach your kids a card trick or two, so they can have a reason to show off. Take them to a magic show (or hit up YouTube) and get them hooked on the power of illusion.
#8 Reframe the Problem
Embrace the growth mentality.
Why? In her renowned book Mindset, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck shows that long-term success is based on having the right short-term attitudes. Learning how to transform your attitude into a positive one can help you push through setbacks with grace.
Take Action: If you suffer a setback, look for the learning potential, and then work for improvement for next time. Take a cue from some of history’s most respected writers: Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected thirty times while Agatha Christie had to wait four years for publication. The upshot? Perseverance isn’t just about not giving up; it’s about using defeat to teach us how to succeed.
#9 Affirm Thy Self
Yes, you can do it.
Why? The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has shown that if you are in a position of lesser power (like when you’re negotiating with your boss) you can benefit from affirmations. Personal affirmations help eliminate perceived power imbalances, so people with less power can achieve better results.
Take action: Writing down the affirmations seems to work best, so pick a topic, like negotiating, and write down your best skills or tactics. For a general pick-me-up try something simple like: “my training has prepared me for today.”
#10 Make a Ritual
Create habits to prime yourself for success.
Why? Harvard professors Michael Norton and Francesca Gina have found that repeated rituals can can make you confident and calm at performance time and that can help you perform better–especially when you’re tackling tough tasks.
Take Action: Empower yourself by belting out a lively tune, or doing a hundred jumping jacks. If you’re used to procrastinating a certain type of project, make it a three step process:
- I make a coffee.
- I tidy my workspace.
- I craft my presentation.
#11 Think Small
Try training like an Olympian
Why? When Daniel Chambliss watched the US Olympic swim team practice, he noticed they focused their energy on micro-improvements and small wins: a strong pace, a better kickturn, a streamlined stroke. Setting smaller goals helps you realize the progress you’ve made giving you the motivation to continue.
Take Action: Even small wins will make you feel like a winner. Break down that massive project into actionable steps. As you cross each one off the list, give yourself the high-five you deserve.
There you have it!
Just working a few of these easy tricks into your daily life will give you the extra boost you need to be more confident and assertive.