Human interactions are hard. Believing you're capable of love is even harder.
Believing in yourself is sexy and cool. People put such a high premium on it. But, nobody tells you how to like yourself enough to give your reflection a quick wink and finger gun in the mirror before leaving the house.
Confidence: If it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right? Well, from one overly self-conscious worrier to another, there are ways to trick your brain into believing you're a confident, outgoing person until the day you actually are.
Here is a list of things to try the next time you make plans to go to a bar (or really, plan to even leave the house at all):
1. Dress like a fictional confident character.
Say the things that he or she would say, but in a charming, casual way. Don't you know the characters on TV and movies who have fully embraced all their flaws and quirks? They're the ones who will spill food on someone, and then will just sigh with a knowing smile on their faces that screams, "Oops. I'm just a klutz."
My go-to character is Bridget Jones. I wear small skirts and tights, and I am honest about my drinking habits in front of strangers. This is because I am confident like Bridget Jones, and Mark Darcy will come along and love my quirks.
2. Learn a new skill.
The day I learned how to french braid my hair, I felt skillful and interesting. In turn, I felt confident.
You feel like you have more to offer the world when you learn something new, even if you just learn that a juggernaut is not actually a juggling astronaut.
Learning makes you smart. Being smart is sexy, and sexy people are confident. See where I'm going with this?
There are endless wonders of information in the tutorial section on YouTube. You can learn how to do things you've never even imagined: things so great, you might even add them to your resume.
3. Find a joke to keep on hand.
Use this joke when you feel awkward and nervous. Somehow, when people laugh at something you've said, you feel cool.
You don't need a perfectly constructed joke with a setup, angle and punchline to make people laugh. Sometimes, it's as easy as comparing your large margarita to the size of your head.
They might not pee themselves laughing, but they'll at least let out a small chuckle or a hearty giggle. While they're laughing, you will bravely smile as the confidence washes over you like you're an ice bucket challenge participant.
4. Look in the mirror and compliment yourself.
You can't dislike everything about yourself, and you can at least like what you're wearing. Start there. You hand picked your outfit. You spent your hard-earned money on it, and it looks good on you. You can say it: That top looks good on you.
Get creative with your compliments. Look into your beautiful eyes in glorious appreciation. If you can't appreciate your hotness, other people won't be able to either.
Will you feel silly because – in a sense – you're hitting on yourself via the mirror? Maybe. Will you feel more confident? You should if you're doing it right.
5. Show gratitude.
Remind yourself that your day and life are going better than many other people's. It's sad, but it will help you feel appreciative and confident that things aren't as bad as they could be. You can't change the unfortunate outcomes of other people's situations, but you can use it to make yourself feel more appreciative of whatever you have going on in your own life.
6. Study your animals.
Animals are weirdly confident creatures. They will poop right in front of you, stick out their tongues for no reason, roll around in the sun and flash their naughty bits with reckless abandon. They are confident as hell, and they are happy.
However, they are almost too confident. So channel like half their confidence. Although it would be freeing, you probably shouldn't roll around on your porch naked. Channel a Pomeranian that has just left the groomer, and prance into your next group hang.
7. Clean your bathroom.
There's nothing like having a clean bathroom to make you feel like you have your sh*t together. When your makeup is on your face instead of on the counter, and when your hair is on your head instead of stuck to the wall of the shower, you have this life thing figured out. Then, the world is your oyster.
8. Wear a wig.
That's right: If you had an Elsa wig from Halloween, whip it out, throw a baseball hat over it and wear big sunglasses. You can pretend you're a celebrity who just wants to grab coffee and be left alone for once. (Gosh.)
People might stare at you or try to guess who you are. You will probably develop a pep in your step, and that'll last even once the wig comes off. Or, you can simply feel like someone else for day and get out of your head. Look at yourself from an outside perspective.
9. Get your photo professionally taken.
Yes, do so in true senior portrait fashion. Call up that friend who owns a semi-decent camera, or go to the nearest JCPenney and get your portrait taken.
There's something about a professional photo that makes you feel beautiful and famous. There's nothing wrong with pretending you're Kim Kardashian and having a virtually pointless photoshoot. Plus, you can use the photo as your new profile picture on LinkedIn.
10. Fake it 'til you make it.
If you pretend you're confident, you'll become confident. You'll talk louder, people will notice you more and you won't have to repeat yourself all the time. When you talk, people will listen.
If you fake your confidence, one day, you just might find you don't need to fake it anymore. You'll wake up, and you'll have the courage to tell that guy how you feel. You will say "yes" to karaoke, and you will embrace your flaws and quirks like Bridget Jones does.
Confidence comes with a certain fearlessness that can change your life. It can open you up to new experiences. So, channel your confidence in any way you can.