Boost Your Confidence, Boost Your Performance: Six Simple Ways to Raise Your Self-Assurance

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe, professional American tennis player.

Even if you’re normally an upbeat person, it helps both you and your team when you do little things to boost your confidence. It all comes down to this: when you feel better physically and mentally, you’re more confident, and that comes through in your performance. Recent studies have shown that confidence is just as important as ability in achieving tasks.

So let’s look at a few things you can do to pump up your confidence—some impromptu, some that take a little effort.

1. Get your coffee fix. Seriously. Nothing picks you up like a cup of coffee, especially when you’re dragging. Drink a cup of water before or after, since too much coffee can be counterproductive, but do get your caffeine fix in. I recommend coffee because nothing works better as a caffeine delivery system; tea and sodas do fine, but they don’t have near as much caffeine, and those caffeine pills can upset your stomach. If you dislike the taste of coffee, cover it with sweeteners and various creams. Like unsweetened chocolate, straight coffee can taste awful, but also like chocolate, a few additives can make it remarkably palatable.

2. Get some shuteye. You owe it to yourself and those who love you to take care of yourself, and it’s a lot easier to do that when you get enough sleep. When you feel refreshed in the morning, you’re more likely to do your planned exercise, stick to a diet, hydrate yourself through the day, etc., if only because you’re more alert and remind yourself to do so. And when you’re alert, don’t you feel better and more confident about life anyway? Believe it or not, restful sleep also affects hormones that make you hungry or not, so it contributes to maintaining an energetic weight; all the good-health practices cycle back and feed back to each other.

3. Get some exercise. You have to know by now that regular exercise just plain makes you feel better, because you’re not carrying around extra weight, you’re healthier, and it’s easier to do anything physical. You feel good, you feel more confident, period. Plus, if you look better because you’ve increased your muscle tone or lost weight, well, you’ve got another reason to feel a little cocky. And needless to say, during exercise your brain releases endorphins—feel-good chemicals your body provides that reinforce your choice to exercise.

4. Get yourself looking and smelling good. Dress better. Stand up straighter. Smell good. Simply improving your posture can slightly increase your level of testosterone, increasing confidence, while lowering cortisol, which does the opposite. When you like your own scent (whether perfume or cologne), you feel more confident.

5. Get your groove on. Your favorite music can pump up your spirit and get you moving. Most athletes listen to power songs as they work out; you can too. Shared songs played at certain times (before meetings) can also help forge a collective identity. If nothing else, good music improves your mood, making it easier to remain confident. Just don’t bother others if you’re rocking out loudly.

6. Get some training. This is probably the most difficult thing on this list. Technology has advanced to the point where we all need regular training just to use our work tools, and what’s the natural result of good training? Confidence. It’s a lot harder and less cost-effective to do your job when you have to teach yourself how to use everything on your own, though you can do it. Similarly, you’ll need occasional refresher courses to keep your knowledge of your field and specialty honed. If the company won’t pay for these (and they just might), then do it yourself. The ROI isn’t limited just to learning more and becoming better informed about recent discoveries and schools of thought. As you get better at your job, you’ll inevitably become more confident.

Kick It Up a Notch

None of the tips I’ve listed here should surprise you. Some you can do with little if any preparation, although others require at least a few hours of forethought. If you can apply the necessary willpower to put these few in place, and can find other ways to kick your self-assurance up a notch, you’re in business. And the best thing is, all these things reinforce one another. When you’re confident, you perform better, making you more confident, and so on. What a lovely feedback loop!


About Laura Stack, your next keynote speaker:

Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, CPAE is an award-winning keynote speaker, bestselling author, and noted authority on productivity and performance. Funny, engaging, and full of real life strategies that work, Laura will change mindsets and attitudes so your people can maximize productivity, strengthen performance, and get the job done right. Her presentations at corporate events, sales kick-off meetings, and association conferences help audiences improve output, increase speed in execution, and save time in the office. Stack has authored seven books, including her newest work, Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time (Jan. 2016). To have Laura Stack speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401, email, or CONTACT US.

Here’s what others are saying:

“Laura Stack’s session with a group of our seasoned operations managers was eye-opening. We all learned new ways to be more productive with the tools we already have. I’ve never seen each of our seasoned, experienced operations managers so engaged in a session. Many of our senior and mid-level leaders were wowed by what they learned and have already begun using the new techniques with their teams.”
—Mary Pawlowski, Learning Design, Piedmont Natural Gas

“What I enjoyed most about your presentation was that it was not only engaging but also practical in application. I’ve read everything from Covey’s system to “Getting Things Done,” and you presented time management in a way that is the easiest I’ve seen to digest and apply. Thank you for helping our system today!”
—John-Reed McDonald, SVP, Field Operations, Pridestaff

“Laura is an incredible speaker who takes practical information to improve productivity and efficiency and makes it interesting and fun! She has a great sense of humor and completely engaged our corporate and sales team. Laura motivated everyone to take steps to make their lives more productive and efficient.
—Molly Johnson, Vice President Domestic Sales, Episciences, Inc.

“Ms. Laura Stack’s program received the highest scores in the 13-year history of the Institute for Management Studies (IMS) in Cleveland! From the 83 participants, the workshop received a perfect 7.0 for “Effectiveness of the Speaker” and 6.8 for “Value of the Content.” Managers especially valued learning about task management, how to minimize interruptions, organizing with Outlook, prioritizing, effectively saying ‘no,’ how to set boundaries, and recognizing self-imposed challenges to time management.”
—Don Gorning, Chair, Institute for Management Studies Cleveland