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10 ways to boost your self-confidence
Shilpa Shet
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August 28, 2007

How many times during your growing years did your parents tell you to walk straight or sit up straight? You may have casually dismissed it, or maybe you didn't really pay attention. As an adult, though, you realise the wisdom of the advice.


Simple practices like these don't just help you physically but also psychologically. Psychologists say that there are many little ways that can instantly help boost self-confidence. Here are some easy tips on how you can do just that.



The first thing that works for a confident person is his or her personal hygiene. Right from your hair, your face, your body, your fingers, and your skin -- keep them clean and well maintained. If you have a body odour problem, take remedial measures (use deodorants and bactericidal soaps).

Check your teeth and get them fixed if there is a problem. Brush everyday twice, if you can, even after meals. You can even pop in a mint after your meals.


Take care of your skin by eating the right food and drinking lots of water. If it needs more care, take help from professionals.


Knowing you look your best is an easy and effective way to help you act your best.


Dress for success

Dressing well and appropriately can do wonders for one's self esteem. Many of us wear clothes that look nice on the clothes rack but do not necessarily suit our body type. Wear clothes that fit you well. If you are on the healthier side, wear clothes that aren't too tight yet not loose or baggy, which just adds to the bulk and does not make you look any better.


Dressing well does not mean you need to spend your entire salary investing in designer brands. Choose your clothes wisely -- it's quality not quantity that counts. Pick up a few outfits that make a statement instead of loads of outfits that do nothing for your confidence.


The other thing to do is watch the popular verdict. If most people say pink is your colour and you feel comfortable wearing pink, do it.


Good posture

Good posture has an immediate and lasting impact on your confidence. Do you recollect the time you were at the door, about to face an interview? What did you do instinctively? Didn't you take a deep breath? By doing that two things happen -- your stomach goes in and your head is held high.


Always hold your head high, throw your shoulders back, keep your back straight and walk with confident steps. Practice in the mirror a few times to make sure your doing it right, without looking too stiff.


Walk smart

Do you take small, shuffling steps? Do you fling your arms around when you walk? Stop! You may be doing something sub-consciously that does not really compliment your style.


Be aware of how you walk. Be quick and energetic with a spring in your step. Think of a nice outdoor activity that you like doing, feeling the breeze on your face and letting your heart guide your walk.


If you are still not comfortable, try this age-old trick. Place a big book on your head and try to walk without dropping it. This is a great way to improve posture and gait.


Smile often

To complete the look, make sure to smile. Smile as often as you can and, if you can manage, let a tiny smile hang around the corners of your mouth.


In all your interactions, look people in the eye, greet them and smile. You'll see the other person transform in front of you.


Be empathic

Your confidence levels rise drastically when you successfully connect with people around you. For that you need to be empathic towards your family, friends and colleagues to begin with. Once you can deal and help other people with their emotions and problems, you immediately increase your influence with your circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues.


Learn to calm yourself

This is probably the most important factor when it comes to confidence -- being able to face every situation calmly. But this does not come naturally to everyone, which is why you need to train yourself.


Find activities that calm you -- like talking a walk, listening to music, dancing, talking to your friends, reading, writing, gardening, cooking -- any activity that makes you feel happy. Do it once or twice a week or month, depending on the time you have.


Meditation techniques help too.


Empower yourself

Knowledge almost always boosts self-confidence. Empower yourself with knowledge -- of your surroundings, of your job, of people, of the world around you. A good grasp of current events helps you strike up meaningful conversation and ensures that you're not left out.

One of the simplest things to do is read the newspaper, talk to people and be aware and observant.


Keep a soul knick-knack

A soul knick-knack can help you tide over those times when your confidence is tested. It could be your guru's photo, a gift from a loved one, your lucky charm, or even a photograph of a loved one. This soul knick-knack needs to be something that can bring a smile to your face, specially during testing times.


Find solutions to problems

Do not procrastinate or run away from your problems. The sign of a confident person is that he or she takes the problem head on and finds a solution. If you don't think you can handle it on your own, there is no shame in seeking help.


Talk about it with friends or colleagues, or write it down while listing out various solutions, pros and cons.

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