Lisa Merrick-Lawless, Stylist's therapist and founder of Headspace, reveals some key techniques for improving your outer confidence while staying true to the person you are
1. Keep a positivity journal
Practice feeling more confident in your own ability every day by keeping a journal that only focuses on the things you do well (no negative comments allowed in here). Write in it each evening and think about all the positive things you've have done that day. It could be feedback that you have had from a work colleague, something you are proud of or something small like helping someone cross the road. Use sentences including phrases such as, "I have accomplished...", "I am best at..." or "I have improved my skills in the following..." This will help keep you focused on the positive.
2. Step outside your comfort zone
Take a risk, do something you wouldn’t normally do and this will help to re-enforce your ability to step outside your comfort zone. Go to a social event you would usually decline, have that difficult conversation you've been avoiding with your partner or at work or try something new. It doesn’t matter what it is; anything from rock climbing to knitting will help you realise that you can embrace new things and have the confidence to do so.
3. Adjust your physiology
Spend the day sitting and standing tall. Focus on having a straight back with your shoulders back, stomach pulled in and head held high. A simple shift in posture will boost your self confidence, make you feel like you can take anything in your stride and help increase your energy levels. Also, remember to smile!
4. Dress to impress
Rather than picking something up from a pile on a chair in your bedroom that is kind of clean and not too creased, put some real effort into thinking about what you wear. Learn to understand what makes you feel confident. For some this will be an expensive suit and amazing shoes, for others this will be a favourite well fitting pair of jeans and boots. It really doesn’t matter what it is, though. Focus on the feeling you get when you look in the mirror. If you aren’t saying to yourself "I feel pretty good in this" (or better) get changed before you leave the house.
Picture credit: Rex Features