How can I develop self-confidence and self-esteem? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

  1. You are going to die, bro - You are going to die, and when you die no one is going to remember that you didn't answer the question right, no one is going to remember that you said something awkward after class. Remind yourself that you're going to die, so you don't take the small things so seriously.
  2. Take improv 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. It makes you get good at talking with confidence, and the teacher will make you do things that get you WAY out of your comfort zone.
  3. Realize that all socialization 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 kind 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 will be received.
  4. Travel by yourself and stay in hostels - Traveling by yourself forces you to socialize with people, and staying in a hostel, you will be around other people who are also going by themselves too.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Have a friend that will help you laugh at yourself - Last year I bombed at a big comedy venue called The House of Blues. When I called my friend to tell him, "Man, I just bombed at The House of Blues," I was upset. What my friend said was, "Yea man, you should just accept you aren't funny and so 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.
  8. You are enough - Just say this your head when you are having anxiety. Repeating this mantra dispels worry. Because it's true, and it's what society is always telling us we're not.
  9. 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. So you've already made it, so act like it.

If you liked this answer and wanted to hear more of my thoughts on confidence check out my podcast The Lazy Philosopher!

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