I’ve spent a long time giving a damn about what others have thought.
I won’t say that I currently never care about how I’m percieved in other’s eyes. That’s not realistic. But compared with my past, shy self, I’ve taken a few strides.
I’ll share a few tips that have actually helped me.
- Give yourself credit. Basically, a self-pep talk. When you complete a tedious project at work, smooth over a bumpy social situation, or ace an exam…don’t sell yourself short. Give yourself an A+. You know better than anyone else about how hard you worked, even if others tear you down by suggesting otherwise.
- Feel free to brag a little. Know that this isn’t an invitation to be “all that.” It is an invitation to sell yourself a little. Whether it’s at a job interview, on a scholarship application, or at a social gathering, it doesn’t hurt to share a few of your greatest exploits. It can be great for networking and also shows people that you’re a force to be reckoned with.
- Comfort is key. I’m no beauty guru. But I can still say with certainty that trading ‘trendy’ for ‘casual’ is a good idea (within reason). I know that when I wear my blanket-soft, blue hoodie, I give my best (non-capstone related) college presentations, make better small talk with strangers, and leave the house ready to face global warming.
- Binge-watch Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Nothing helps better prepare you for telling the world to talk to your hand. It only takes a few episodes of learning from Chloe. From her hooker toothbrush habits, to the jam fetish website, to her constantly badass repartee, she’s the female Johnny Bravo who can properly teach the art of not giving a f—.
- Do your research. Confidence goes along with knowledge. College? Auditions? Opening a business? Know what to expect so you have the upper hand in your sword fights. Ask questions.
- Buy a witty t-shirt. Whether you’re telling people that you’re a mermaid who’s working Leg Day at the gym, or you’re sporting the phrase “Wingardium Mimosa”, let your smiling toasts and cats-with-shades shirts rock it on your frame. Unless you’re wearing “Doormat, Step Here”. Plus, it’s way easier to break the ice.
- Appear laid-back. This may not be in the cards for your job interview, but if you sling your arm back in a booth or chair, mind science says that you look a thousand times more confident. Essentially, try to look like any situation isn’t your first rodeo.
- Pump the iron. Exercise. (This is sort of the answer to most issues in life. I swear it’s on every list.) If you are working out and feeling the “runner’s high” you’ll be a bit more deaf to the pudge-pokers and general Debbie Downers.
- Make a list. On the days that you don’t feel accomplished, make a list of the things you’ve done. Whether it’s climbing a mountain, winning an award, finishing a huge project, or meeting your favorite celebrity, write it down and read it back to yourself. If you’re feeling precocious, type it up and save it for an emotionally rainy day.
- Connect with the squad. Kind of self-explanatory. Call, tweet, or text the squad. Better yet, go get pizza. Strut your stuff and get the support from the people whose opinions you truly care about.
- Distance yourself from the hate. It’s the other part to # 9. Block your ex from calling. Don’t cross the Internet troll bridge. Overall, keep yourself away from people who bring you down. This includes family members and supposed friends. If you’re surrounded by negative vibes, it can get to you.
- What Would ______ Do? We all have an idol. Insert their name here and ask. Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Don’t regret it later. If I’ve learned anything, it’s go for the gold. (Olympic pun intended.) Life is to short not to do or say what you feel, whether it’s studying abroad, going in for the kiss, or paying a simple compliment. While there might be consequences (it happens), you won’t be up at night wondering what might have been.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list. If I’ve missed something important, let me know. Also, comment below on what makes your confident self tick. It could make it into a part 2…