Many psychologists believe that having a positive sense of self is the best predictor of long-term happiness. This can be hard, however, for people who are specifically self-conscious about their own appearance. Whether you are worried about impressing new dates or just looking as great as your friends, you deserve to feel confident in your own skin! Try some of these tips to help.

Spend Time with People That Lift You Up 

The kind of people you surround yourself with dramatically impacts how you feel about yourself. If you leave social interactions feeling worse, not better than yourself, you may want to evaluate who you are spending time with. Your friends should lift others up, speak positively, and have an enthusiastic outlook towards life. Surround yourself with people that push you to be a better person and inspire you to follow your dreams. These are the kind of people that are actively pursuing their own dreams without putting down others, and are more successful in the long run.

Practice Your Body Language 

There’s a direct correlation between how you present yourself physically and how you feel emotionally. Certain poses communicate different messages to people, but more importantly, to your own psyche. For example, crossing your arms in front of yourself is a sign of being closed off. This can come from feelings of discomfort or disengagement. When you stand up tall and avoid crossing your arms, you communicate to your brain that you are open to what is happening around you and you feel confident in that situation. Good posture and positive body language will go a long way in helping you feel confident in whatever situation you are in.

Get Your Hair Done 

For most, hair is a defining characteristic of who they are and what they look like. Fundamental to the way you look, it is perfectly acceptable for your hair to be an important element in the way you feel about your appearance. If you need a change, consider getting your hair done. Sometimes a new color, a haircut, a deep condition, or even a blowout can make all the difference in how you feel when you look in the mirror. It’s the perfect way to give you a boost in confidence and the feeling of a fresh start in your life, not to mention extra glam for everyone else to see. Don’t be afraid to change things up, ask your friends or stylist for advice, or implement small changes along the way.

Dress Well 

Perhaps the secret key to confidence is that when you look good, you feel good. Dressing well and according to your personal style when you go out puts you in the right frame of mind to take on social activities and put yourself out there. So choose the best outfit for your style and the occasion. A casual denim skirt can give you confidence when going out at night with friends, and a stylish but comfy dress is great for first dates. Regardless of your outing, dressing for the occasion helps you get in the right mood and exude confidence when you’re going out.

Only Buy It if You Love It 

Feeling confident in your dress is difficult when you don’t like the clothing you own. But so often people purchase clothing items only because they are trendy or on sale. Every individual is different which means their style is going to be different. If a specific sweater is on-trend but doesn’t match what you like, don’t buy it. You will either waste your money because you don’t end up wearing it, or you’ll waste it because you don’t enjoy wearing it when you do. And getting bulk clearance items adds clutter to your closet only to make you self-conscious in public. Really, the secret is to buy items that you truly love and feel comfortable wearing, whether or not they’re popular. Only make a purchase when you are truly excited about the article of clothing and can see yourself wearing it for years to come. 

Listen to Your Favorite Music 

While you are getting ready, you should listen to your favorite music. Think of this as your pre-game pump up music. Music has a strong correlation with the way our brain and nervous systems are feeling. For some, they need an upbeat loud song to get them excited. Others need calm instrumentals to calm their nerves. Choose what works best for you. Ultimately, an empowering, uplifting song will play a huge role in giving you the confident energy and enthusiasm you need for an outing.

Focus on Your Overall Health 

Confidence in yourself is difficult to have when you personally don’t feel good. Develop healthy routines that fuel your body and your mind. Eating healthy, making time to work out, and challenging yourself intellectually will give you satisfaction and endorphins from your accomplishments. Consider your mental health and how to better take care of it. Your body will feel better and your mind will think better when it has the proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stimulation needed to live a healthy and confident lifestyle. 

Repeat Positive Affirmations 

Your body is an incredible gift, but unfortunately people don’t always treat it like one. The ability you have to heal yourself from injuries, sickness, and emotional trauma is nothing short of a miracle. Take time to be grateful for your body, no matter its weaknesses. Positive self-affirmations in the mirror will help you see the wonderful gift you have. To do this, come up with a list of positive physical, mental, and emotional characteristics about yourself. Repeat them in the mirror each morning and every time before you go out. Your list may change from day to day, but that’s a good thing! Let yourself believe in the unique power and gift that you are, and when you walk out your door you will believe it.

Confidence is the cornerstone of dreams. Those that are confident love themselves for who they are and are more capable of loving others for who they are. They have more healthy relationships, better careers, and happier lives. Confidence doesn’t always come naturally, but consistently building your belief in yourself is a habit everyone should have!

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