7 Things You Can Learn Today To Build Confidence And Self-Esteem

A man in a denim shirt sitting at a table and clutching a cup of coffee
Ben White / Unsplash

Confidence is a short supply in our society today.

Most of us underestimate our abilities and spend too much time caring about what other people think.

Ironically, our self-esteem tends to be at its lowest when we’ve achieved very little in a category, and also when we’ve had high achievements.

This tells us two things:

1. Most of us deserve to have a higher self-esteem than what we already feel right now

2. Self-esteem and confidence are subjective, and it can be shifted by changing how we think

Since our mindset is the key factor driving our confidence and self-esteem, let’s talk about 7 things you can learn today to build confidence.

1. Meditation

Meditation has been a long-standing tradition in many Asian countries like Japan and China, but it has recently been hitting the Western nation.

Many high-level CEO’s, business leaders, and athletes have reaped the benefits of meditation, and so should you.

Meditation helps us reduce our anxiety levels, increase our productivity, and even improve our memories. This clarity in our mind helps us make better decisions, feel less stress during the day, and yes — boost our confidence!

2. Public Speaking

Many people have said that the fear of public speaking is bigger than the fear of death.

The reason, according to one psychologist, comes from our ancestors.

For millions of years, humans roamed in groups in order to fend off life-threatening risks, such as large predators and starvation. The great part about this is that it’s the underlying reason why humans are still social today.

But it also means that anything threatening us our status from being excluded from a group seems very risky to us. This is why we’re fascinated by great public speakers that can win over an audience because it’s something we can’t fathom doing ourselves.

Once you understand this human desire, you can use it to your advantage by working on your public speaking skills. A great place to start is to record videos of yourself, talking about a topic that interests you, and uploading it publicly when you’re ready. Another place we recommend is checking out your local Toastmasters meetup, where you’ll be surrounded by a supportive group of people.

3. Growth Mindset

Do you have a glass ceiling that’s limiting you?

This is why Carol Dweck, bestselling author of Mindset, calls a fixed mindset. Someone with a fixed mindset seeks success as affirmation for intelligence, versus a growth mindset, which thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a catalyst for growth and stretching beyond our existing abilities.

While an obstacle may lead to lower self-esteem or confidence for someone with a fixed mindset, it only fuels a person with a growth mindset.

4. Foreign Language

Learning a new language is no trip to the park, which is why it’s so rewarding once you make progress.

I remember when I first learned Spanish. There was a thrill of excitement and confidence that ran through my body because I could now speak to someone that I could have never been able to before.

Most of us are limited to only one language, which puts a ceiling on the number of cultural experiences we can have, career opportunities, and most importantly, people we can build a relationship with.

But the simple act of committing to learn a new language can be a game-changer to build confidence because we’re setting out to take on a form of communication that few around us have the ability to understand.

That’s powerful.

There’s no excuse not to know another language in the multicultural world we live in.

5. Starting a Business

Creating a business from scratch is like having a baby. And as the baby gets bigger, you have to now overlook other people who are taking care of the baby with you.

These people depend on you for putting food on their family’s tables and paying their bills every single month.

Talk about pressure, right?

Yes, starting a business is tough. But after starting several online businesses, I can personally share it’s one of the most fulfilling things you can do.

When you wake up every day with the mission to serve someone or something that’s beyond yourself, what other people think of you start to matter less and less.

Even if you’re starting a business as a solo entrepreneur, you have to think beyond yourself, because you have clients, customers, and users to accommodate.

6. Selling

We’ve all heard of the used car salesman term. Some people jump across to the other side of the room when they hear the word “selling.”

It comes off sleazy or dirty, and when asked to do it themselves, they’re uncomfortable at the sight of it.

Let’s face it, all of us could use some form of sales skills. Whether it’s to win over a client, receive a promotion, or even persuade our friends to watch one movie over another.

Most importantly, selling trains you to look at the world from someone else’s perspective. When you’re focusing less on yourself, but rather the person sitting on the other side of the table, your self-consciousness diminishes almost immediately.

7. Weight Lifting

Lifting weights to build confidence is nothing new.

You’ve probably seen inspiring videos of people losing 50lbs, and how it has transformed their lives.

Beyond the obvious benefits, weightlifting contributes heavily to our mental health. It improves our blood circulation, which in turn increases our energy levels and overall happiness. Moreover, studies have shown that it also improves our cognitive functions, such as our attention, memory, and decision making. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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