No one is immune to the odd bout of low confidence and self-esteem. But if you don't fancy looking in the mirror while you recite cheesy self-loving affirmations, there's not really much at your disposal to give you a boost.
But student William suffers from low self-confidence, and he's written nine ideas that can help you out in a confidence crisis:
1. Take improvisation classes
I have done Toastmasters, studied trial advocacy and performed standup every night for almost a year, but improv classes are by far the most efficient way to develop social confidence. They make you better at talking with confidence, because the teacher will make you do things that are way out of your comfort zone.
2. Realise all socialisation is a game
When you’re talking to an old friend, you could be playing the nostalgia game. When you’re talking with a girl at the bar you’re playing the flirting game. Interview, the interview game. Every type of interaction is a different type of social game with different rules. Figure out the rules and strategies for the social setting you’re about to go into, and that way you can be as much as yourself as possible without worrying how you'll be received.
3. Travel by yourself and stay in hostels
Travelling by yourself forces you to socialise with people, and by staying in a hostel, you'll be around other people who are also travelling alone.
4. Assume everyone is your friend
When I go into the room, I act like everyone is already my friend. I will talk with them about what I talk to friends about, once we have a bit of rapport, I’ll tease them a bit, like I would a friend. Even if they are cold to me upfront, I don’t let that change how I act towards them. Eventually, most people eventually warm up, because it’s exhausting trying to be mean to someone who’s treating you like their friend.
5. Accept that everyone talks behind your back
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I assume that everyone talks shit about me when I’m not around. Even if this isn’t true, I accept this to be true so that you don’t worry about what other people are saying behind your back. Just assume they say some bad and good things, and move on.
6. Have a friend that will help you laugh at yourself
Last year, I bombed while performing at a big comedy venue. I called my friend and said: “Man, I just bombed at The House of Blue”. I was really upset. What my friend told me was, “Yeah, you should just accept you aren’t funny and quit comedy because you will never be funny enough to achieve your dreams”. That made me burst out laughing. It boosted my mood because it reminded me that what I was going through wasn’t that serious.
7. You are enough
Just say this in your head when you are having anxiety. And repeat. It will help you stop worrying because it’s true, and it’s what society is constantly telling us we’re not.
8. You are the product of billions of years of evolution
Your genes have survived asteroid collisions, plagues, war, slavery, and to top it off… you beat 500 million sperm to be here. You’ve already made it, so act like it.
9. You are going to die
You are going to die, and when you die no one is going to remember that you didn’t answer that question right. No one is going to remember that you said something awkward after class. Remind that you’re going to die, so you don’t take the small things so seriously.