Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Post: How To Boost Your Confidence

It's normal to feel insecure once in a while, but you can help yourself out of these slumps. These tips should get you back to feeling your best.

Step One: Boost your Look The easiest way to get a confidence boost is to freshen up your style. Your clothing, hairstyle, and make-up can make a big difference in how other people see you, and how you see yourself.
  1. Update your wardrobe.

Don't worry, you don't need to max out your credit card to stay in style. Basic pieces like tank tops, jeans, and black heels look about the same no matter where you buy them, so shop for these things at thrift stores. For trendier items, stop by your local mall and visit H&M or Express. These stores offer less expensive versions of the latest fashions. For purses or accessories, visit an outlet mall. At outlet stores, companies sell their brand-name products straight to customers. Some of items have small imperfections, so they are sold at big discounts.

  1. Change your hairstyle.

Having your hair cut, highlighted, or braided doesn't have to be expensive. If you visit a cosmetology school, students can work on your hair at a low price. Their teachers usually watch and fix any mistakes, so it's a pretty safe deal.

  1. Pick out new make-up.

Many stores at the mall, like Bare Escentuals or Sephora, will give you a quick make-up lesson for free. They also let you test out make-up before you buy it. Try buying something you wouldn't usually use. If you normally wear lip gloss, try lipstick. Or, if you usually use clear mascara, try dark eyeliner instead.

Step Two: Boost Your Attitude Of course, these tricks only change the way you look. To really change how you feel, you'll have to change how you think.
  1. Don’t put yourself down.

This is harder than it sounds. Sometimes, certain thoughts pop into your head without you wanting to think them. In cognitive psychology, which studies how people think, these are called automatic thoughts. If you're in a slump, you need to think positive, helpful thoughts instead of negative, stressful thoughts.

For example, if you aren't happy with how your hair looks at the moment, tell yourself “I might be having a bad hair day, but I can fix it later” not “I have ugly hair.” If you feel frustrated or confused, think “I'm feeling out of it right now, but I'll get the hang of things,” not “I'm so dumb.” You’ll get used to thinking positive thoughts soon.

  1. Compliment yourself.

When was the last time you told yourself you're attractive, interesting, or lovable? Sure, I've never met you, but I don't need to know you to know that's the way you should think about yourself. Try saying nice things to yourself, even if you feel silly and don't believe them right away. Positive thoughts inspire more positive thoughts, which can pull you out of a slump.

  1. Know when to get help.

If none of these tips work after a couple of weeks and your self-confidence is so low that it stops you from living a normal life, talk to your doctor. You could be dealing with a mental disorder, such as depression. Therapy or medication can help.

Most of the time, periods of insecurity are normal, but you can help yourself out of them. Try making small changes in how you look, along with bigger changes, like stopping negative thinking patterns and complimenting yourself. You should feel better in a few weeks.

Daniela Baker contributed this article. Daniela is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison website.

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