How’s your self-esteem? If 2020 gave you a pounding that you won’t soon forget, you might feel a little bit down on yourself. While your emotions are relatable, dust yourself off, warrior — even surviving this unprecedented year took chutzpah.
Your self-esteem can impact nearly every aspect of your life, so it pays to give yourself a little ego-boost. How? Here are eight activities that will boost your confidence and make you a better person overall.
1. Take a Class
Taking a single class won’t make you an expert — but it always gives you a considerable confidence boost to tackle new knowledge. Plus, going to school creates instant dinner-party and happy-hour conversation. If no one asks what you’re studying, you can usually find a place to interject a humorous anecdote about something you covered in class.
What should you study? Many folks decide to go with something that will enhance their career, like mastering a new programming language. However, you can also make a potent argument to take an exciting course merely for fun.
Universities often require students to take unrelated electives so they can socialize with others outside their core courses that they might otherwise never meet. They get to expand their spheres by working with diverse individuals. If you’re hoping to grow your business network, maybe you should sign up for that class in underwater basket weaving.
2. Go on an Adventure
When was the last time you went on a road trip — by yourself? If you never have, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to test your tire-changing and roadmap skills without anyone but yourself to ask for directions when you get lost and your GPS dies.
You’ll want to get your car serviced first and pack essentials such as a spare tire and emergency flares. Hitting the open road with no one to rely on but yourself is one of the best activities to boost your confidence.
3. Master a Manual Skill
Do you call maintenance every time you need to change your furnace filter? No one says you have to transform into Bob Vila, but knowing how to perform basic household repairs without calling for aid can significantly boost your confidence. After all, you’ll feel more secure in knowing what to do should something break.
What if you don’t have anything in need of repair? If you always wanted to learn more about how computers work, start collecting parts to build one and learn the inside skinny on hardware. If you already deal with electronics all day long, most retailers have birdhouse kits on the cheap — you’ll get hammer-swinging practice.
4. Compliment a Total Stranger
Who said every activity that will boost your confidence has to take a long time? It only takes seconds to compliment someone, but the residual effect can brighten both of your days.
Does the woman standing in line in front of you at the bank look striking in her red jacket? Let her know. Did someone catch a tumbling stack of cans at the grocer’s before they could fall to the ground with a crash? Give them a verbal high-five.
Exercise sound judgment — you don’t necessarily want to compliment someone’s natural physical appearance. Doing so can come off as flirtatious, even harassing in some contexts. Even a well-meant “did you lose weight” can sting if the person dropped pounds due to illness. Still, there’s nothing wrong with gushing, “Wow, that dress is fabulous!”
5. Attend a Party Where You Only Know the Host
If you want to win the gold in the confidence-boosting sweepstakes, you have to go hard. Swallow that lump in your throat and attend that party where the only person you know is the one answering the door.
Before the big day, spend some time learning how to make small talk. Once you learn how to ask questions that deepen the conversation, such as, “Oh, you’re from Harrisburg, PA? What’s it like there” you’ll discover you don’t have to chat much at all to be the life of the party — you only need to make others feel interesting.
6. Conquer the Mountain
Testing your physical limits is a surefire way to build confidence. Why not tackle that mountain in your hometown if you always swore you’d reach the summit someday?
If you have an intense fear of heights, maybe bouldering your way up to the Flatiron in the Superstitions holds little appeal. However, you could sign up for an adventure race or take a leisurely hike on a less extreme route.
7. Invent a New Hit Dish
When you serve something scrumptious, politeness insists that your recipients compliment the cook. What a delicious activity that will boost your confidence!
If you adore brownies, go on a mission to make yours the moistest in town. Are you more into a dash of this-and-that than measuring? Put your wok to the test inventing a new Mexican-Asian fusion dish.
Guess what? When you do good for others, it makes your brain ramp up the production of feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and oxytocin. You get an immediate mood — and confidence — boost.
Plus, volunteering creates the sense that your actions can promote meaningful change in your community and world. Few things make you feel more powerful than that. If you’re looking for some ideas, organizations from animal shelters to blood donation centers can always use your help.
Try These 8 Activities That Will Boost Your Confidence
Taking meaningful action is one of the best ways to improve your self-esteem. Try these eight activities that will boost your confidence and help you feel more secure about yourself today.