Confidence plays a major role in countless of our daily interactions, whether you realize it or not.
Your confidence affects your personal satisfaction, how you speak with others and even the choices you make throughout the day.
It may not surprise you to learn that happiness and confidence are inexorably linked, and that the more confident you can make yourself, the happier you'll become.
But how can you make yourself feel more confident when you don't feel confident at all? Does it take a revolutionary overhaul to your life to make a difference?
No, in fact, you can start making a difference with tiny, almost unnoticeable changes:
1. Find a new hobby.
First, find yourself a new hobby.
It doesn't have to be a life-changing event or cost you thousands of dollars. It can be something as simple as folding origami or cooking new types of food.
If you like your new discovery, you can expand it further. For example, you could turn it into a business and growth hack it to success.
But if you don't, you'll walk away with a new experience, a new story and possibly some new friends.
2. Take pictures of yourself.
Taking selfies is frequently chastised or mocked in the general public, but taking pictures of yourself is not only a reflection of but also a contribution to your self-worth.
Consider taking a picture of yourself every day or at least a few times a week. You could even take pictures of yourself doing some of the other things on this list to double down on the benefits.
You don't need to have a gym membership to exercise, and you don't need to launch a several hours-long weekly program to start getting the benefits of physical movement.
In fact, even if you have five minutes, you can reap the confidence and mental benefits of exercise.
Go for a brisk walk outside, do some calisthenics or get involved with some yoga and deep breathing.
Just make sure you get yourself off the couch or out of the office chair.
3. Stand up taller.
It's a small change that takes less than 5 seconds to do. When you stand, think about your posture and correct it; straighten your back, face forward and keep your shoulders even.
Do the same while you're sitting, too. Both posture changes will make you feel more confident.
4. Dress nicer.
You have to get dressed to go out anyway, so why not take a few extra minutes to dress up nicer than you ordinarily would?
Pick out your best clothes, spend some extra time on your hair, shave or put on your favorite makeup.
It's not about looking good for others; it's about feeling like your best self, and that will do wonders for your confidence.
5. Write down positive thoughts.
Take a few minutes out of your day to write down a handful of positive thoughts.
These could be compliments to yourself, things you're grateful for or things you feel good about.
The more attention you pay to the positive thoughts in your mind, the less you'll pay to the negative ones, and the more confident you'll feel overall.
6. Do something new.
The human brain rewards novel experiences, which is why it's easier to remember weird or unusual things you've done than it is your daily routine.
Even if it's something simple, like trying the new restaurant down the block, find a few minutes every day to do something new.
You'll feel good about it, and over time, you'll develop more confidence in dealing with unfamiliar situations.
7. Speak more slowly.
Speaking with a more deliberate, slower pace has a number of benefits.
People will be more likely to hear and understand what you're saying, you'll get more time to think your words through and you'll feel more in control of the conversation.
Cumulatively, these effects will make you feel more confident, and as an added bonus, you'll likely earn more respect from all your conversational partners.
8. Remember the importance of consistency.
These strategies aren't life-changing, and they don't require much effort. But the tradeoff is, they won't do much for your confidence when used in isolation.
Instead, you need to be as consistent as possible with these strategies, using them in combination with each other over the course of weeks, months or years until you start to notice a difference.
When they start to accumulate in power — and they will, as long as you remain committed — you'll start holding yourself in higher esteem.
You'll walk prouder, you'll speak more confidently and ultimately, you'll feel more satisfied with your life.