If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time on this planet, it’s that a man with confidence has the keys to the kingdom. But while some men are raised in an environment where this trait is facilitated and encouraged, most aren’t. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can build confidence the same way you can build python biceps or a washboard stomach. Here’s how.
1. Think positive. Yeah yeah, roll your eyes all you want. Positive thinking isn’t going to keep your cancer from metastasizing, but it will help you gain confidence over time. Here’s what you do: Spend a month looking on the bright side, finding the silver lining in things like ruining your car or running out of beer. My method is, for every negative event, stretch and think of three positives that can come out of it. Pretty soon, your brain will be trained to find the positive in just about everything. This in turn will make you a more optimistic—and confident—guy.
2. Be a cheerleader... for yourself. All too often, men don’t acknowledge the things they do right. You spend time calling yourself on perceived inadequacies, but you probably don’t take credit for the aspects of life where you’re totally killing it. Why the hell not? Any time you do something right, no matter how inconsequential it might seem, give yourself some mental daps. One easy way? Keep a record of at least one cool thing that you do every day. After a month, go back and take a look at it. You’re going to be pretty amazed at how much ace stuff you get done.
3. Get some exercise. There are a couple reasons exercise works. The endorphins your brain releases combined with your growing muscles make you think you’re one bad mother-... hey, I’m just talkin’ ’bout exercise. But another benefit comes when you actually do start looking good, and the ladies can’t keep their hands off you. That does wonders for any guy’s ego. Oh, and for those of you who “don’t have time” to work out, ask yourself which option fits your busy schedule better: exercising for one hour three times per week, or being dead 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
4. Pick up a new skill. Not only will learning French or ballroom dancing give you a great way to meet women, it also boosts your esteem. Because really, what makes you feel better about yourself (and in a totally lasting way?) than manufacturing a new talent. Pick the thing you’ve totally always wanted to do, but thought was impossible, like preparing filet mignon or how to weld. Even the smallest accomplishments can make you feel like a million bucks, giving you energy you can carry to other aspects of your life. Bonus: guaranteed turn-on for women? Being totally stoked on something. Anything. True story.
5. Take a breath. You know what kills confidence? Anxiety. And how do we get rid of anxiety? Barring a severe anxiety disorder, breathing is great start. When you feel out of your element or about to lose it, step back for a few, take a couple deep breaths and collect yourself. Then hold your head high, push on and take control of the situation. That’s what confident guys do.
6. Set and meet goals. Just having a goal gives you the confidence of forward momentum, the feeling of going somewhere. The trick to goals is to make them SMART. Specific: Learn a foreign language is a bad goal. Complete a semester of Chinese at the local community college is better. Measurable: Get better at running is a bad goal. Shave a minute off your mile is better. Attainable: Become king of the moon is a seriously bad goal, dude. Relevant: The goal should have some kind of significance to you personally. Timely: Set a realistic deadline by which you are aiming to reach your goal. Otherwise it just becomes another thing you don’t do.