15 Ways to Gain More Confidence Today

Photo: Horace Ko

Boy, is it hard to get out of this mid-winter funk.

The holidays are over, you may have gained a bit of weight, the weather is wreaking havoc on your skin and social life, and, worst of all, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Yes, this time of year sucks. But it’s not just you who feels that way. We’re all in the same boat, actually. And we can all use any one of these 15 ideas to get us out our rut and feeling more confident — today. (See also: Sound More Confident in One Easy Step)

1. Go to the Gym and Release Those Endorphins

Even though I hate cardio, I will admit that a run or brisk walk on the treadmill makes me feels so much better. All that movement gets my blood pumping and gives me more energy throughout the day. Of course, knowing that I did something beneficial for my body — instead of stuffing my face on the couch — provides an added boost of serotonin that’s so necessary right now. If only there was an easier way.

2. Get a Spray Tan So It Looks Like You Just Came From Vacation

You know, I’ve never had a spay tan, mostly because I think I’ll look super silly. I’m very pale — like Anderson Cooper pale — but after seeing the journalist/talk show host getting a spray tan on his show recently, I’m reconsidering. He didn’t look bad, and it didn’t look unnatural. Plus, it’s certainly better than real tanning, which is a no-no for someone who recently had skin cancer removed.

3. Schedule a Facial to Rejuvenate Your Skin

Don’t you dare schedule a facial at a spa. Those are expensive, and a facial is something that you can do yourself in the comfort of your own home. You can either buy a mud mask at the store or you can make you own facial mask using yogurt, eggs, honey, oatmeal, and lots of other items you have in your pantry. At the end, there’s nobody to tip but yourself — maybe with a bowl of ice cream.

4. Take a Shot of Something With a Decent Proof

Have heard the phrase “liquid confidence?" That’s what’s so great about alcohol — no matter how you’re feeling, it makes you feel even better. At least for a little bit, that is. If you’re suffering from a real depression, it’s probably best to stay away from the hooch. But if you’re just in need of a pick-me-up that’ll get you drunk enough to admire yourself in the mirror, by all means have a few swigs.

5. Wear That Outfit that Makes You Feel Like a Million Bucks

You know there’s at least one outfit in your closet that makes you feel like a winner. Isn’t it funny, though? I love all my clothes when I buy them, but I have a few favorites that I know will boost my confidence as soon as I put them on. As the old saying goes — if you got it, flaunt it.

6. Watch a Feel-Good Movie Where the Underdog Comes Out on Top

When you’re feeling down, just pop in a DVD of a movie whose main characters are having a rougher time at life than you are right now.

7. Turn Up the Volume on a Favorite Song and Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

I’m not one bit embarrassed to tell you that my all-time favorite when-I’m-feeling-blue song is Michael Buble’s “Everything.” Not only is it incredibly upbeat with a positive message, but it’s also the song that my husband and I share together.

8. Remind Yourself That “You Is Kind. You Is Smart. You Is Important.”

It worked for that little chubby girl on The Help, so it might just work for you.

9. Go Through Old Pictures Where You Look Your Best

So I’ve gained a few pounds over the winter months. I’ll get over it. But before I do (because I’m too lazy to go to the gym right now to do anything active about it), I like to look back at old photos where I’m super skinny and smiley. I remind myself that that cutie patootie in still inside me somewhere; it’s just that he’s having a slice of pizza right now.

10. Tell a Friend That You Need Is to Hear a Few Nice Words About Yourself

Do you have friends who you can call up and tell them that you’ve had a horrible, no good, very bad day — and they know just what to say? They blow smoke up your bum with all kinds of false truths and compliments that make you feel so much better even though you know there’s not an ounce of accuracy to them. I love those friends more than life itself.

11. Say No to the Fatty Foods in Favor of Something Healthier

I should take my own advice here — and maybe I will — but I’m trying to build your confidence, not my own. When you feel those cravings for fatty foods coming on, just say no. Apples and nuts are especially good at making you feel full — albeit not as fulfilled as piece of pie. Just sayin.’

12. Go Out and Score a Deal on Clothing That Makes You Look Hot

Had your eye on a stunner of a piece that you’ve been afraid to buy? Do it. Money isn’t everything. That doesn’t mean that I’m saying that it’s not important, but I am saying that you’ll make more of it. If splurging on said item will boost your confidence, go for it.

13. Sit at the Bar and Wait for Someone to Approach You

It’s not often that I’ll sit at a bar by myself, but just the other day I found myself at one having a drink and following up on e-mails on my iPad when a guy a few stools down asked the bartender to send me a drink. Sadly, I had to decline it. I’m married — not that that ever matters when free drinks are involved — but more importantly I was driving. Also, he was kind of busted, so there was that too.

14. Sign Up for a Free Dating Service

Everybody’s looking for love these days, most frequently on the Internet. Personally, I’m not on any dating sites, but what I remember about them when I was is that I would receive messages from all kinds of random people, solely based on my picture and profile. It felt good for a stranger to choose to message me among the many other potential suitors on the site. Could work for you, too.

15. Engage in an Activity That You Know You’re Good At

My friends (and my husband, especially) don’t like playing games with me because I’m reasonably competitive and I don’t often lose. Here’s a little secret that I hope my friends and husband don’t read, however — I won’t play any game that I don’t think I can win. Scattergories, I’m in. Chess, I’ll pass. I’m not sure they’ve caught on yet, but if they have, they’re nicer friends and lovers than I think.

Have additional ways you can boost your confidence today? Let me know in the comments below.

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15 Ways to Gain More Confidence Today

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Guest's picture
Carl Lassegue

I've never tried to get a spray tan but whenever I'm having a down day the gym always helps. I'm a skinny guy so it's not like I'm benching 500 pounds every time I go but my day always seems to get better after I go to the gym. I need to befriend some your friends because none of my friends have the ability to "They blow smoke up your bum with all kinds of false truths and compliments that make you feel so much better"

Guest's picture

Sorry, but these suggestions are rather superficial, don't ya think? None of them add any real strength to knowing who you are, to understanding yourself better in relation to your true power, or value that inner core that's worth more than any external, measurable ...and temporary "confidence booster."

Guest's picture

Isn't that what they were supposed to be... just quick pick-me-ups? With any luck, some of them would stick and really do the self-confidence boost trick (like going to the gym and eatting better).

And Mikey... volunteering at a food shelter, or at an old aged home or someplace does WONDERS.

Guest's picture
Doug Wilder

Many of these recommendations center on narcissism and shallow ideas about "looking good". And several essentially repeat the one valid tip to get some exercise. Recommending in a blog like that that someone boost their confidence via alcohol seems unwise. And leaning on a friend to shower you with on-call praise is not a good strategy for maintaining strong friendships.

The real way to boost confidence is to set some achievable goals and achieve them. Start small; then go big. Or instead of hoping some friend will heap praise on you, try heaping some unsolicited praise on a friend. Their reaction will likely erase any negative feelings you may be having.

Guest's picture
Doug Wilder

The "confident" guy in the photo accompanying the article is hilarious. I wonder if he realizes that the button is undone.

Guest's picture

Interesting perspective on boosting your confidence. Some of the methods listed are great such as getting exercise and choosing healthier eating. Reliving past moments of greatness through pictures can be helpful.
However, using alcohol, and sitting at a bar seems to me to be counterproductive and not at all helpful.