How to Get a Self-Confidence Boost, According to 22 People


How to Get a Self-Confidence Boost, According to 22 People
Photo by Mairin Mulcare on Unsplash

Want to hear a fairytale? It’s of the girl-meets-perfect-self-confidence-boosting-tool subgenre. Like Sleeping Beauty finally perfecting her *morning* skincare routine or Rapunzel learning about purple shampoo.

Once upon a time, I was writing a post for this very website when my best friend came over. 

My friend—her name is Emma—was in a good mood. She had stories to tell that I couldn’t wait to hear, but I wasn’t the best listener in the moment. Realizing that I needed a bit of headspace before we could get the show on the road, she took matters into her own hands to pump herself up for the evening. 

“Be right back,” she probably said, excusing herself from the room.

“Okay,” I probably replied, typing away.

Ten or so minutes later I broke away from my computer. Though she hadn’t reappeared, a welcome soundtrack had trickled into the room. The muffled-yet-unmistakable sound of Normani’s “Motivation” playing over…and over…and over. 

I walked out of the room and there she was: my Emma sitting on the floor watching the music video on her phone on repeat. She’d listened at least three times thus far (and if you’ve seen the “Motivation” music video you know that’s…maybe not enough!).

I don’t remember what we did the rest of the night, but I do know that there have been many other instances where I’ve seen “Motivation” work its magic on Emma. Which (as many a pop anthem is prone to do) got me thinking…what is my “Motivation”? Who is my Normani? We all have one, whether or not we realize it right away.

When something makes you feel good, take note. Come back to it as often as you need.

In the past, I’ve gained my self-confidence boost by slow-sipping a cup of herbaceous tea and scrolling through my own Instagram grid. Also: “Queen Bitch” by David Bowie, being in water, my grandma’s earrings, Marc Jacobs’ Sofia Coppola-inspired lipstick “So Sofia” that I’ve been wearing since I was fourteen, the affirmations on my flower essence tinctures, and paging through a Grace Paley anthology.

When something makes you feel good, take note. Come back to it as often as you need.

In conjunction with Wit & Delight’s October theme, here are twenty-two people on their go-tos when searching for a boost of self-confidence. While it’s unlikely yours is exactly the same as anyone else’s, let these people offer a little inspiration if you’re feeling stuck in a rut.

Please, please let us know your go-to as well. And if you can’t think of one…I will say a lot of people said taking nude pictures was up there for them. Maybe try that?

Otherwise I’m sure Emma wouldn’t mind sharing.

The song ‘Motivation’ by Normani gets me excited for the obvious reasons (Normani gassing me up) but it also brings me back to a time in my life where I was at a new beginning and everything was fresh and mine for the taking. When I listen to ‘Motivation’ I can remember that feeling and get pumped.

-Emma Zvanovec: artist, analyst

“This may sound silly but whenever I need a self-confidence boost I like to scroll through my Pinterest boards and Spotify playlists. In reflecting on things that I enjoy, I start to realize again that I actually have a pretty cool taste for a lot of things. I also think some of my Pinterest boards inspire me to get out of whatever creative/styling funk I am in. Another thing I like to do is shower, apply an ample amount of moisturizer/serum so that I am glowing, and then put on a fresh matching set of cozies. This is definitely a reoccurring moment where I think ‘I am so cute.’”

– Ava Vilensky: student, baker

Honestly, doing my eyebrows makes me feel so good. I also love putting on Pop Smoke and dancing.

– Marley Applebaum: marketing associate

“Sometimes I try on cute fancy outfits that I never get to wear, or read a few chapters of an old book I love!”

– Jenna Schmidt: server, bartender, sommelier

“Freshening up. Or being in nature.”

– Julie Larsen: executive assistant

“[Making] a killer oat milk latte, [putting] on some balm dot com, and [playing] some Sammy Rae.”

– Joe Hammer: graphic designer

“[The song] ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ by Caroline Polachek and @wearilive on YouTube. Also tbh, mirror selfies in my favorite underwear.”

– Aria Vettraino: nanny, personality

“High ponytail, good posture, and dark sunglasses.”

– Audrey De Ridder: customer service manager

“My throwback playlist of middle/high school jams playing as loudly as possible.”

– Rachel Salem: buyer

“Filling my eyebrows in and drinking so much water.”

– Emily Hill: graphic designer

“Statement earrings and my favorite jean jacket.”

– Gabby Granada: writer, advocate

“Calling my sister.”

– Helena Reising, medical student

“Watching Teyana Taylor be a badass woman in Kanye West’s ‘Fade’ music video.”

– Stephanie Kellner, financial analyst

“Doing something that I love makes me feel good! Like dressing well or coming back from a workout or making a kickass art piece.”

– Will Ornburg, graphic designer

“Going for a walk or run outside with some great music. Sweating! Cooking something new and yummy! Dancing!”

– Leslie Vilensky: naturopath, mom

“My best friend. Her name is Leslie.”

Tasha Kallal: designer, mom’s best friend

‘I’m Every Woman’ by Whitney Houston and ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers.”

-Jennifer Gauyan: teacher, (also) mom’s best friend

Usually, I go for rap music! [Drake and Future’s] What A Time To Be Alive album is a particular confidence/motivation booster for me.

– Libby Anderson: designer

“My beloved Santal 33 or speed walking on the treadmill on an incline to ‘Hung Up’ by Madonna.”

– Grace Kamish, student

“Any time I hear ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac. :)”

– Rose Kamish, hairdresser

“Doing interior styling for rooms or getting my hair colored.”

– Mary Kamish, interior designer

“Ultimately lack of self-confidence for me is a healing issue. We are all capable and miraculous and if we don’t believe that then we need to heal. I think we all struggle with feeling capable and miraculous. I know I do! If I’m in a place where I don’t feel confidence in myself it’s important to realize why I’m in that space. I’m usually in a funk. And when I’m in a funk, I’m low energy. It’s this mucky space where all I want is Diet Coke and distraction in any form. From the muck ANY small task is Herculean. Pretty soon my list of ‘should-dos’ grows too long and I feel hopeless. I get caught in loops of negative, overly critical self-talk. It doesn’t help. So what does? 

Meditation. A goldenrod tincture. Movement. Enneagram training. A song in my head.

I also swear by turning the cold on in the shower for the last 5-30 seconds. So invigorating! The easiest and fastest way to change the direction of my day. After 30 seconds in the cold (even in the winter), nothing can stop me. I’ve already done the hardest thing. Everything else seems like less of a big deal to tackle.”

– Adam Oling: server, herbalist, wise man

BY Sophie Vilensky - October 23, 2020

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October 24, 2020 8:05 pm

Love this! Starting a new playlist with all these suggestions now. Also, really appreciate Adam’s breakdown in his response, wise man indeed!

October 25, 2020 2:57 am

Loving this post! It’s so inspiring to see what other people do x

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