Confidence is one of those things that comes naturally with knowledge--you become more confident as you develop and hone a new skill you feel comfortable sharing with others. Unfortunately, our confidence can be easily shattered by a few negative words from someone else or a mistake we have made. Picking ourselves up after a huge confidence killer and finding our confidence again is important to a successful and happy future.

Here are five, science-proven ways to increase your confidence when you have those inevitable moments of self-doubt.

1. Find a support system

Although surrounding yourself with people who love you is seemingly the most innate thing in the world, few people make the effort to invest adequate time doing just this. We need people who believe in us--those who validate our actions. When you surround yourself with people who remind you how good you are at something, you will begin to believe in yourself again and regain your confidence.

2. Focus on the journey

No matter the task, it's easy to make everything about the end goal. We have a tendency to orient ourselves around the outcome rather than the process. However, many studies have demonstrated the positive outcomes of praising effort rather than innate talent, indicating that you should be proud of results that stem from hard work even if it's not what you originally envisioned.

3. Make a ritual

Having a regimen to come back to, in order to ground your sense of self, is essential for taking pride in who you are. Studies have shown that rituals are extremely helpful in boosting performance, as well as reducing anxiety. In fact, athletic teams almost always have pre-game huddles and musicians often do powwows before going on stage. Adopt your own ritual to up your confidence level and better prepare yourself for the next big event.

4. Take pride in the small

Many people ignore their small feats, instead choosing only to celebrate when something big occurs. This is, however, not the right approach at all. If Olympic athletes use small wins to motivate themselves, we can also rejoice when something minuscule is accomplished. It may not feel useful, but there's nothing more confidence-boosting than knowing you're actively chugging along in the right direction.

5. Start right now

Some people are born super confident--just as many are not and have to work hard for it. Alfred Binet said of the IQ test, "It is not always the people who start the smartest who end up the smartest." The same goes for confidence. Make becoming confident a priority in your life--with confidence comes great success and happiness in life.

Published on: May 5, 2016
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