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You know those people that just exude confidence? Chances are, they’ve had to work it.

Confidence does not come easy. In fact, an estimated 85% of people struggle with self esteem.

If that applies to you, you’re probably wondering how you can become more confident. The fact is, confidence is like a muscle. If you practice it enough, eventually it becomes a part of who you are.

And as you build up this confidence, you’ll notice even more positive changes in your life. Confidence helps you handle conflict, build relationships, and find new opportunities.

So how exactly do you practice being more confident? Confidence doesn’t come from one specific habit. Rather, it’s a state of being. Which is why there’s so many different ways to practice confidence and become more confident over time.

Keep reading to learn 14 simple habits you can practice to become more confident.

1. Practice Affirmations

One of the biggest culprits of low self confidence is negative self-talk, stemming from deeper negative self-beliefs. To overcome these beliefs, practice positive affirmations. Affirmations are short & meaningful mantras we say out loud or write down to improve various aspects of life, including confidence.

With affirmations, you can train yourself to be more self loving and confident.

2. Adjust your Posture

To be more confident, it’s important to look the part. So fake it till you make it and carry yourself confidently by standing tall and sitting up straight. Not only will this communicate confidence to others, but research shows maintaining good posture actually can have an effect on your stress levels & confidence.

3. Make Your Bed

Making your bed first thing in the morning is a small, achievable task. In itself, this might not seem so important. But by achieving a small goal such as this first thing in the morning, you gain confidence that you are able to achieve the things you set out to achieve.

Achieving a goal, even a small one such as making your bed, makes you feel good. By starting the day off on the right foot, you’ll build the confidence you need to achieve other goals throughout the day.

4. Smile— Even if You Don’t Feel Like It

I know, putting on a smile isn’t always possible. But when you experience even the slightest joys, practice cracking a smile. Smiling is proven to make others feel more comfortable, and even reduces stress hormones in the brain.

Smiling daily will make you appear more confident and, over time, become more confident.

5. Exercise

When I first started exercising regularly, I experienced a pleasantly surprising side effect— a boost of confidence.

One of the reasons for this was that, for once, I was able to see tangible progress in my abilities. A workout that once had me sore for days became a piece of cake. I started to realize and become more confident in my ability to grow & improve.

In fact, it’s proven to improve body image.

6. Re-evaluate Your Social Media

Social media is full of unrealistic beauty standards. Pressure to be perfect, and toxic positivity. So, if you’ve ever scrolled through your social feed and instantly felt worse about yourself, you’re far from alone. 60% of people report that social media has had a negative effect on their self- esteem.

What can you do about this? First, commit to spending less time on social media overall. Second, pay attention to who and what exactly makes you feel this way. Is a certain person’s content specifically tough for you? Unfollow them!

You’ll be surprised at how removing this source of insecurity impacts your self confidence.

7. Accept Compliments

It’s said that your response to a compliment reflects how you feel about yourself. Pay attention— when you receive a compliment, how do you respond? Do you deflect or minimize what’s been said? If you don’t feel like you deserve praise, this response is super common.

Practice accepting compliments confidently. For example, next time someone compliments you on an achievement, don’t insist that it wasn’t a big deal.

Simply be proud, say thank you, and take the compliment to heart.

8. Give Compliments & Kindness Generously

On the flip side, give praise and kindness generously.

Giving compliments requires us to look for and express the positive qualities we see in others. Training yourself to always be looking for the good in people helps you also see the good in yourself.

9. Have an Open Mind

Being confident means not feeling threatened by beliefs and opinions different than your own. Practice active listening in conversations, rather than defensiveness.

If you are assured in who you are and what you believe, you won’t fear others opinions. You’ll be able to maintain confidence even in difficult conversations.

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” – Peter T. McIntyre

10. Take Risks

Did you know that taking risks builds confidence? It requires courage to take a risk. Often times, what you’re risking is failure, embarrassment, or more.

To be confident is to muster the courage to take the risk anyway. Even if you do fail, believe it or not, it can still make you more confident. Often, we overestimate the pain of failure. When we actually experience it, we realize its not as bad as we dreamed up.

So even if you’re scared, learn to take risks. You’ll be able to build confidence in your ability to try new things and achieve your goals.

11. Use Visualization

Visualizing your ideal self builds the confidence you need to become that person. Whatever you visualize— whether that be achieving a certain goal, living a healthier lifestyle, it becomes more real to you. This, in turn, builds your confidence in your ability to achieve the very thing you visualized.

12. Embrace your Individuality

Confident people know who they are and embrace their uniqueness. This is something everybody struggles to learn, but is an important part of being more confident.

If you’re not sure where to start, learn more about yourself and your interests. Then, practice being more expressive. Maybe this means wearing unique clothing, expressing unconventional opinions, or making a unique life choice. Embracing individuality looks different for everyone— that’s why it’s called individuality!

This can be difficult at first, but in time, you’ll start to accept being who you are and become more confident in your unique self.

13. Stop Apologizing

Before you ever utter the words “I’m sorry,” look a little more closely at what you’re apologizing for. You’re allowed to achieve great things, speak your mind, and stand up for yourself. You don’t owe anyone an apology.

By not apologizing, you’re giving yourself permission to take up space— and that can feel so empowering. You’re sure to notice an improvement in your self esteem and confidence.

14. Accept Feedback, but Not Judgement

“When we stop caring about what people think, we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think, we lose our willingness to be vulnerable. If we dismiss all the criticism, we lose out on important feedback, but if we subject ourselves to the hatefulness, our spirits gets crushed.” – Brene Brown

Confident people are able to graciously accept constructive feedback, but do not let a stranger’s opinion tear them down. To be more confident, distinguish between judgement and feedback and respond appropriately.

How do you do this? A couple questions to ask yourself when you’re unsure if you’re receiving feedback or judgement:

  • Who is the feedback coming from? Close friends are more likely to give constructive feedback than strangers.
  • Does the feedback have my best interest at heart? Judgement often only focuses on the negative, whereas feedback focuses on how we can become better.

To be more confident, learn to not let the judgement get to you. On the flip side, don’t be defensive when someone offers constructive feedback. If you are sure of yourself & who you are, you should be open to improvement.

Start With Small Steps

This is a long list, but remember, you don’t have to do all of this at once. Each one of these habits can build your confidence in different ways. It’s best to start with a few you feel you can easily adoppt. Start there, and as you notice your confidence improve, try adding in more habits.

Remember, this is difficult for everyone. Confidence appears effortless, but it is not easy. It takes time and practice, just like any other skill.

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