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7 Science-Backed Ways to Get a Quick Self-Confidence Boost

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An extra dose of self-confidence can go a long way.

Building self-confidence takes time. You can’t change your belief system; increase your feelings of self-efficacy; become fully aware of your true value; and gain new skills and knowledge overnight.

Everyone who feels that they need more self-confidence should create a self-development plan for increasing their self-confidence over time.

However, there are times in life when you need a jolt of confidence, and you need it right away. Here are some examples:

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  • You have to give an important presentation at work.
  • You have a job interview.
  • You’re going to attend a meeting at which you’re expected to contribute ideas and suggestions.
  • You’re going out on a date with someone you really like.
  • You’re making a sales pitch to a prospective client.
  • You’re going to the bank to ask for a business loan.
  • You’re going to compete in a sporting event.
  • You’re going to have lunch with your boss to negotiate a raise.

Of course, for all these examples the more you prepare and practice ahead of time, the better off you’ll be. Nonetheless, right before an important event there are things you can do to create a self-confidence boost that will help you reach your peak confidence level and perform at your best.

Below you’ll find seven science-backed ways to get a quick self-confidence boost, which just might make the difference between getting what you want or falling short of the mark.

7 Ways to Get a Quick Self-Confidence Boost

When you need to impress, give yourself an edge with these quick self-confidence boosters.

1. Strike a Power Pose.

For a quick self-confidence boost, strike a power pose.  In my post, Seven Ways Your Body Language Can Positively Influence Your Life, I refer to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy.

In a TED Talk she gave in 2012 which has been watched over 40 million times, Cuddy explains that studies show that power poses increase confidence and make you feel more powerful. Here’s what to do:

  • Stand up straight;
  • Push your shoulders back;
  • Widen your stance;
  • Hold your head high; and
  • Raise your arms up in a “V” shape.

Instead of raising your arms you can also stand akimbo–with your hands on your hips and your elbows turned outward–like Wonder Woman does.

Take a moment to hold the power pose for one or two minutes before an important event in order to increase your self-confidence and make a powerful impression when you walk in through the door.

In addition, if the event requires standing, make sure that you stand tall. If the event requires sitting, make sure that you sit up straight.

2. Listen to Heavy Bass.

When you want to feel empowered, listen to empowering music. A study led by Adam Galinsky and Dennis Y. Hsu from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University shows that bass-heavy music can make you feel more confident.

Study participants were divided into two groups. Researchers played music with high-levels of bass for half the participants, while the other half listened to low-bass music. While they listened to the music, both groups were administered a series of tests involving filling in the blanks and rolling dice.

Researchers found that the group that listened to the high-bass music was more likely to fill in the blanks with power-related words. They also preferred to take charge of the dice rolling instead of letting someone else do it. Even after the music stopped, the high-bass music participants continued to act in a more powerful and authoritative way than the other students.

These were the most powerful songs from the study:

  1. “We Will Rock You” by Queen
  2. “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited
  3. “In Da Club” by 50 Cent

Have your high-bass music ready for when you need some quick self-confidence.

3. Dress for Success.

You’ve probably heard the adage, “dress for success”. It turns out that there are studies that suggest that what you wear can have a direct effect on how secure and powerful you feel.

Researchers from the Kellogg School of Management–which was mentioned above–found that clothes can have symbolic meaning for people, which impacts how you feel. Here are two examples:

  • When research subjects wore a scientist’s or medical doctor’s white coat, they made half as many mistakes on a test requiring care and attentiveness than those who wore street clothes.
  • If you associate suits and ties with power and confidence, it’s going to have a huge impact on how powerful and confident you feel when you wear those articles of clothing.

Ask yourself the following: “What clothes do I associate with power and confidence?” When you want a quick self-confidence boost, make sure to wear those clothes.

4. Spritz on Some Perfume or Cologne.

According to science, wearing fragrance can make you more confident. Here’s what two studies found:

  • A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences found that men who used cologne exhibited an increase in both self-confidence and self-perceived attractiveness.
  • In another study, 90% of all women tested as part of a fragrance study reported feeling more confident when they wore fragrance than when they did not.

The bottom line here is the following: find a fragrance you love the smell of, and wear it whenever you want to bring your A-game. It will be your very own quick self-confidence boosting fragrance.

5. Think Powerful Thoughts.

When you need some confidence in a jiffy, think of a time when you acted in a powerful way.

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, channeling a moment when you were genuinely captivating can make you feel–and, therefore, act–more confidently. For those times when you need to do your best, power-prime yourself with thoughts of previous successes.

Looking at your resume may also do the trick. When you need to feel good about yourself at a moment’s notice, University of Chicago psychology professor Sian Beilock recommends that you remind yourself of how talented you are by looking at your credentials and accomplishments.

6. Charm  It!

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan wore his North Carolina shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts in every game. They were his lucky shorts. It turns out that those shorts may have helped him with his winning game.

Research has found that lucky charms actually work. In a 2010 study, researchers from the University of Cologne found that the “activation of a superstition” can result in performance-enhancing effects. Here’s what they did:

  • They told half the golfers on a putting green that they were playing with a lucky ball.
  • They told the other half that their ball was normal.

Those with the lucky ball sank 6.4 putts out of 10, nearly two more putts on average than the others.

Thinking that you’re using or carrying an object that is “lucky” will positively affect your performance. What’s your lucky charm? A special necklace? A pebble you found when you were six years-old? The watch your grandfather gave you when you graduated from high school?

Whatever it is, make sure you carry it with you when you need some extra confidence.

7. Follow a Ritual.

Rituals–even simple ones–can be extremely effective in boosting performance and reducing anxiety. Recent research from Harvard professors Michael Norton and Francesca Gino shows that rituals have the power to make you more confident. Here’s Gino:

“What we find is that if you engage in a ritual prior to a potentially high-anxiety task, like singing in public or solving difficult math problems, you end up being calmer by the time you approach the task and more confident in what you’re about to do. As a result of that, you actually perform better.”

Following a “power ritual” when you need a quick confidence boost can increase your ability to perform well in a stressful situation. It can be something short and sweet, like drinking a cup of coffee while you read some positive affirmations to yourself, and then taking a few calming breaths.


We could all use some extra confidence now and then. Fortunately, science has found ways to give ourselves a quick confidence boost right before an important event. Live your best life by being ready to increase your self-confidence on-the-spot with the tips and tricks explained above.

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