The 7 habits of highly confident people
SWIPE ON SOME LIPSTICK OR MASCARA
A national survey conducted by Allure found that 86 percent of women feel more confident in their own skin when they use a favorite beauty product.
BUT DON'T SPEND ALL DAY PRIMPING
Americans reported gaining a 28 percent boost in self-esteem simply by stepping away from the mirror, according to a study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Limit your time in the looking glass. And when you do look, "focus on the parts you like," says psychologist Judith Beck.
WALK IT OUT
Fitness apps, like Fitbit and Jawbone, aren't just for taking 10,000 steps a day—they're a great way to strengthen your confidence, too. In an experiment at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, "wearing a pedometer and tracking exercise goals gave women a sense of accomplishment," says study author Kelly Arbour.
Weight training also builds up your body image, according to a study conducted at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. And it's not just the feeling of strength that's a source of self-esteem, the researchers point out—every time people increase the amount of weight they lift, their ego gets an immediate boost.
WATCH YOUR MOUTH
Ragging on your frizzy bangs or pasty postwinter skin with other women can seem like a friendly game of self-deprecating one-upmanship. But instead of a bonding exercise, hearing a woman criticize her looks not only makes her less likeable, it also decreases body satisfaction on both ends. "Fat talk can be socially contagious," says psychologist Michaela M. Bucchianeri. If a friend makes a negative statement, don't match it or even reassure her—just change the topic completely or compliment her on her killer sense of humor.
INCREASE YOUR ME TIME
The most confident people know how to be happy and productive with no one but themselves for company. Solo activities, like meditation, hiking, reading, or even a spa day, can build confidence that you can spend time alone. Better yet, use your downtime to reflect and plan. Forty-six percent of women say they're most attractive when they achieve their goals, according to a study by Dove.
Your mother was right. Slouching is bad for you. And not just your posture. Hunching over can make you less likely to think positively about yourself, according to a study at Ohio State University. So now you know: Stand tall.