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Question: How can I improve my self-esteem?

Answer: The truth about self esteem is that it starts on the inside. It is the sum of a positive mindset, positive thinking, and positive actions that you reinforce day in and day out.

Now, no one ever said being confident is easy, because it’s not. But you can start your journey to improving your self-confidence with a few simple techniques:

1. Power words.

Your thoughts and spoken words are very powerful tools for reinforcing confidence. Think of the type of person you want to be and the qualities you want to have. If you are giving a presentation, you might think “I am quick-witted, intelligent, and prepared.” Use this as a mantra to repeat to yourself over and over again. In a moment of self-doubt, you will be able to say your mantra to reassure yourself that these things are true.

2.  Good posture.

Surprisingly enough, good posture is one of the quickest ways to give off a confident vibe. Keep your spine straight, your head up, and your shoulders back. Studies show that others perceive those with good posture as more confident. By having good posture, those around you will respond to you differently, which in turn will reinforce your confident self.

3. Keep a gratitude journal. 

Jotting down a few tidbits each day in a gratitude journal will help you focus on the wonderful things in your life. In your journal, write about the things that made you feel good and more confident. You’ll soon be focusing only on the things that have positively impacted your self-image. Once you have a journal full of examples that show how amazing you are, you will be able to flip through on days when your confidence is lacking.

4. Practice your smile daily, update your wardrobe, and find beauty products you love.

Looks may be superficial in the long run, but let’s face it: fashion and makeup can do wonders for your self-esteem. Take pride in your appearance and allow yourself to find looks that you love. When you look good, you feel good — it’s really as simple as that.

5. Fake it ’til you make it.

If all else falls, the tried-and-true method is to fake it ’til you make it. Take your fears head-on and put your situation in perspective. Pretend that the speech you are about it give is actually being read aloud by one of your favorite activists. Channel their confidence and capabilities and prove to yourself that you really can do this.

Confidence doesn’t just happen overnight — it is developed over time. Push away your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.

By the way, you look really cute today.