17 Effective Tips on How to Be More Confident in 2020

Give yourself a much needed self-esteem boost and gain more confidence this year.

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The "new year, new me" resolution is often easier said than done. However, you don't have to be stuck just talking the talk this year. To really put your words into action in 2020, give yourself a much needed boost of self-esteem. These self-esteem raising tips can teach you how to be more confident, and truly make this year one where you're a new and improved version of yourself.

1
Practice better body language.

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Changing your outward self can help you feel more confident within. Certified integrative professional coach Jennifer Jakobsen, MSW, pushes the idea of "confident body language." If you stand tall with good posture, you're more likely to feel more confident immediately. On the other hand, being slumped forward "makes you feel unsure," and other people will notice this, as well. If you appear more confident through your body language, people will be more likely to treat you accordingly.

2
Only wear clothes you feel good in.

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Also in terms of outward appearance, make sure you're happy with how you look every day. Forcing yourself into clothes that you hate or don't feel good in will only diminish your confidence. Therapist Lauren Cook, MMFT, says that if you have an outfit that makes you "feel boring or downright unattractive," just get rid of it! Even if you don't feel completely confident in your body, wearing clothes that make you feel appealing can make more of a difference in your overall confidence than you might realize.

3
Put on some fragrance to make yourself feel good.

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It's true: A simple spritz can make all the difference. In 2003, American psychologist Rachel S. Herz found that 90 percent of women felt more confident when wearing a fragrance than when they didn't. And it's not just the women, either. The more men wore a scent they liked, the more they felt confident.

4
List out every hardship you've overcome.

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Sometimes to truly feel confident for our future selves, we must first look back at what we've done in the past, says Tiffany Toombs, mindset expert with Blue Lotus Mind Institute.

"Make a list of challenges or failures you've overcome in life," she recommends. "Beside each one, write down the lessons you learned in those situations. This helps the mind to develop confidence, in that you've overcome a number of challenges or obstacles in the past, and have the confidence to overcome anything that may pop up in the future."

5
Take time to always plan ahead.

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It's difficult to feel good about yourself when you're always worrying about your decisions last minute, says Jakobsen. If you're looking to feel better about yourself in 2020, focus on preparation and planning ahead.

"For example, if you are giving a presentation and are not prepared, you are not going to feel good about it," she notes. "Being prepared helps you feel calm and confident. Otherwise, you will feel stressed out and overwhelmed—which is not good for anyone."

6
Get in the gym.

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Exercising doesn't have to be just about losing weight. According to the American Psychological Association, exercising has mood-enhancing benefits, making you feel more confident both inside and out. Even just working up a sweat for five minutes can have you feeling better. And the benefits don't stop at the short-term, either. Over time, those who exercised regularly were said to have lower a chance of depression and better moods overall.

7
Take it day by day.

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Many people want to completely turn themselves into a new person over night, but that's not possible, and those unrealistic expectations lead to nothing but disappointment. Instead, take steps to improve yourself day by day, says life coach Sukhi Jutla, author of Escape the Cubicle.

"When it comes to becoming more confident, I advise to avoid chasing perfection and instead aim to give your best on a daily basis," she says. "Only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday."

8
Take time to note what went well in your life each day.

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While you're taking it day by day, make sure you're taking into account all the good things that are happening on a daily basis. Cognitive neuroscientist Irena O'Brien, PhD, founder of The Neuroscience School, says the key to boosting self-confidence is by focusing on improving self-acceptance.

"Complete the statement 'This went well today because I am…,'" says O'Brien. "Every day, choose three things that went well that day and complete the statement. Your self-acceptance will start to improve after the first day as you realize the many things you're good at."

9
Challenge yourself to learn something new.

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Stuck in a cycle of low confidence and self-esteem? Give yourself something new to focus on! Jacob Olesen, lifestyle expert with Easy Ways, says that learning something new "expands our knowledge," and in turn, "expands ourselves, leading to a natural boost in endorphins in the brain." Not only that, but many people surprise themselves with their ability to "understand new concepts and develop new skills" when trying something new, which gives them more confidence in themselves.

10
Especially something that scares you.

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While learning something new in general can help boost your confidence, it's even more helpful if it's something that makes you uncomfortable. For instance, many people are scared to engage in public speaking. Teacher Kristine Thorndyke, founder of Test Prep Nerds, recommends Toastmasters—an internal organization that holds weekly public speaking events and workshops for those looking to improve their speaking skills—to those who find themselves fearful of this. Taking time out of your comfort zone to educate yourself can help you learn something new and overcome your fear—two things that boost confidence.

11
Break big goals into smaller ones.

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If there's a big goal you're looking to accomplish in life, make it more manageable by breaking it into smaller achievable goals.

For coaching expert Dee Clayton, managing director of Simply Amazing Training, her first small step to becoming more fit was just showing up to a fitness class! She was able to cross that small goal off her list, continuing to cross other small items off as she worked her way up to her overall goal. This helped boost confidence over time, and gave her the ability to meet that bigger goal.

12
Create boundaries in your inner circle.

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While working on yourself in pursuit of more confidence, look at those around you, as well. James Sheppard, co-founder of Centriq, warns that "one of the biggest factors that can affect self-confidence is negative people." If you're surrounded by negative friends, family members, or even coworkers, that negativity can trickle its way into your self-confidence. Surround yourself with people who radiate positivity within themselves, and they'll also push that positivity onto you.

13
Seek out the ability to help others.

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It helps to help others. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence found that voluntary behavior in order to benefit someone else helped adolescents have a higher since of self-worth. After all, if you know that you can help someone else through a hard time, you'll have confidence that you can help yourself, as well.

14
Practice self-compassion rather than comparison.

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Treating others with kindness is important, yes, but you also need to be doing the same for yourself if you want to be more confident. Self-compassion allows you to acknowledge your flaws and limitations. An 0ft-cited 2008 study published in the Journal of Personality found that higher levels of self-compassion predicted more stable feelings of self-worth and confidence (compared to just searching for higher self-esteem by comparing yourself to others). This, in turn, boosted happiness, optimism, and positive mood states.

15
Give yourself a nod.

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A simple head nod hardly seems significant enough to change your confidence, but it can. A pivotal 2003 study publish in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology held an experiment where people either nodded or shook their heads while listening to a persuasive message. By nodding, the participants enhanced their confidence in the message they heard. Shaking their heads, on the other hand, undermined their confidence.

16
Don't be afraid to smile.

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Fake it until you make it! A simple smile can boost your self-esteem in no time. In a 2012 Psychological Science study, psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman found that manipulating positive facial expressions improved stress recovery in times that people felt anxious or unsure of themselves. So, smiling through the stress can help you feel more confident in what you are doing or experiencing.

17
Take on the 100 Days of Rejection challenge.

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If all else fails, try your hand at the popular 100 Days of Rejection challenge. Jia Jiang, founder of Rejection Therapy, came up with this project to make himself more confident over time. He embarked on a challenge where he made strange requests—that were most likely to be denied—for 100 days. This constant rejection helped him to desensitize the pain that comes from a "no." And overcoming the fear of rejection can help you feel more confident in your everyday life.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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