We've all been there:
You wake up, and you don't feel like your best, most confident self. Maybe you feel overly negative... maybe you feel spaced-out... maybe you're just overthinking things.
And it's tough:
There's stuff, that's really important to you, that you want to be 100% for (like: a presentation, asking a beautiful girl out, taking a final).
And the worst part: there always seems to be that guy who's always 'on'. Always happy... confident... motivated.
So... for the past few years, I've been trying to figure out how the hell these guys do it... how they never seem to have an off day. And through a lot of testing and trial and error (in my own life), I've determined it came from a mix of three simple things:
#1: Regular exercise/eating well + #2: regular sleep schedule/consistent sleep + #3: a morning routine, designed to boost your confidence.
...And today, I want to focus on the one I think is covered the least: the well-designed, purposeful, confidence-boosting, morning routine.
So... below, I'm going to show you the morning routine, I created to help boost my confidence. It's the exact same morning routine that I use (almost) every morning to help me become my best, most confident self.
It's 13 quick and simple steps (ps: these steps are in order of when I do them):
Special thanks to Wahl for making this post possible. Check out their new line of shavers, designed to get back to the grooming fundamentals (speed, comfort, convenience, reliability and ease).
1. Get Up Early
You've heard this before:
All the iconic CEO's, actors, philanthropists, and athletes you look up to... they wake up early (guys like Tim Cook, Richard Branson, and Jack Dorsey). And with them in mind... let me ask you a question:
Are you where you want to be in your life? If you're a regular reader of Mantelligence, you're probably like me (you're always striving to be better in some way).
So... think of waking up early like a head start. You're not the lazy guy sleeping in until 10 AM... you're up early, grinding, getting what you want in life. This sets the pace for your life, and, every morning when you're up early, becomes a reminder and proof to yourself that you're working to be the man that you want to be.
PS: it doesn't hurt that research shows that morning people tend to be both happier and more agreeable. source
2. Wake Up on Time (Skip the Snooze)
I know, I know... on some mornings, the snooze button seems like a gift from above.
...But there are two proven reasons why you need to skip the snooze button:
Reason #1: Quality versus quantity. When you snooze an extra 5 minutes, you're getting 5 minutes of some of the lowest quality sleep (since it's at the very beginning of your sleep cycle). sourceReason #2: It confuses your body. When your alarm goes off, your body think, "Okay, I'm ready to start the day." But then you snooze 5 minutes more... and when you wake up again, your body thinks, "Okay. I'm ready... again. I guess now we're starting the day?" Repeat this cycle a few times, and you wake up groggy and fuzzy-headed. source
...And, in my opinion, there's, a psychological benefit that's even more powerful:
Skipping the snooze button is a small, but powerful 'win' to start your day. To do it, you had to use your willpower and pass on something you really wanted. It seems small... but it can give you a lot of momentum to start the day.
3. Turn on Your Morning Playlist
Music has a long list of health benefits (Greatist counted 20 total benefits here)... but there's one reason why it's such a powerful confidence booster:
Listening to music is scientifically proven to make you feel powerful. sourcePretty great, right? And even better, music gets you in the zone. Think about it:
You have music to get you pumped up before a big moment (think: a presentation, sports game, big date), right? Same concept. Your morning playlist will become your 'get-yourself-going' soundtrack. This makes it a powerful, and subconscious daily jump start.
PS: I like to have my alarm be my morning playlist (so I wake up to it... and then it keeps playing while I get ready).
4. Make Your Bed
In 2014, former Navy SEAL, Adm. William H. McRaven gave an iconic Commencement speech to the UT graduating class, where he shared 10 powerful lessons he learned from SEAL training.
...And, to my surprise, the lesson that stuck with me most was probably the most basic:
The power of making your bed every morning. See... as Adm. McRaven explains that while it's a "mundane" task, making your bed every morning does two really important things:
- It's a quick win. You start every day by accomplishing a task. And while on its own this is beneficial... it also encourages you to continue accomplishing tasks.
- It's a reminder to do the little things well. Just like Adm. McRaven says, "If you can't do the little things well, you'll never do the big things well."
5. Do 100 Pushups (or Some Quick, but Strenuous Exercise)
You know how important exercise is for your body's health (think: heart health, weight loss, decreased risk of disease)... but what a lot of guys don't realize is how important exercise is for your mind and your mental health.
For example, regular exercise can:
- Reduce stress
- Boost happiness
- Boost self-confidence source
And if you want to boost your confidence each morning... don't those three seem like a powerful start (especially #3)?
You don't necessarily need to do pushups (but I like them because they require no equipment and can be done just about anywhere).
Your goal is to pick something that's quick (you don't want to stunt your morning's momentum with this), and something that's strenuous to you (this helps you get the three benefits above, and also adds another accomplished task to your morning (are you seeing a theme here)).
...And there are some things you can do to improve your physical attractiveness (like #10)... but all of these things are worthless if your facial hair looks scraggly, sloppy, or otherwise unkempt. Because think about:
Your facial hair plays a huge role in your overall appearance. It covers a huge percentage of your face (which naturally draws a lot of attention), and it's darker than your skin color (which draws more attention).
So... with that in mind, imagine this:
You see a beautiful girl sitting alone at a coffee shop. You're thinking about walking up to her... but then you remember that you haven't shaved for a few days (and your beard is overgrown and scraggly).
Do you think that's going to boost your confidence or wreck it?
It's an easy answer, right? It's going to wreck it. So... spend the 5 minutes it takes to clean up your beard (and get the confidence boost of knowing something so physically prominent looks its best).
Note from the Editor, Kyle:
Wahl sent me the three new shavers (the Wahl LifeProof Shaver, Speed Shave, and Smart Shave)... and guys I gotta say, I was impressed. To be honest, they weren't fancy... they weren't flashy... they weren't new or innovative. But that's what I liked about them.
See... with something like a shaver, I don't care about "innovations" (that, really, seem more like a marketing tactic). I don't want a shaver that has extended-micro-pulse mode... icy-cool-gel-bead spray... instant-one-touch-super shave extension. Why the hell do I need that? It doesn't make the shave better... what makes for a good shave is a shaver that's good at what it's supposed to do: shave.
And that's why I liked these shavers from Wahl. I've been using their new LifeProof shaver for the past few weeks and love it. With my old shaver, I had to shave my entire beard down, then hit it with a safety razor (since the shaver never did a complete job). With the LifeProof, I hit it once... and in a few minutes, I'm done.
If you want to upgrade your shaver, I highly recommend you check them out:
7. Shower and...
At this point through your routine, you're already somewhat awake... but taking a shower is that final kick to wake you up (and a final commitment to being up (you're not going to jump back in bed when your body and hair are wet)).
...And the reason why a shower boosts your confidence is obvious:
It's tough to be confident knowing that the people around you think you smell bad, right?
...So take a shower. It's a quick way to wake you up and prevent you from repelling women (and everyone else).
I know you're probably thinking:
Meditation slows down me way down, and makes me incredibly calm... why would I want to do that in the morning when I'm trying to get myself going? Two simple reasons:
Reason #1: It helps to center you. You know when you feel like you're just going through the motions? You're doing stuff, but it almost feels like it's not really you doing them? This is how I feel when I'm not centered... and that's why I love to meditate. It helps to bring you back to your center... back to you.
Reason #2: It helps clear your mind. Life pulls you in a 1,000 different directions... and this can leave your mind feeling cluttered, with a 1,000 different thoughts. Meditating clears this all the unnecessary stuff out, and helps you focus on what's important.
Imagine starting your day centered and with a clear mind... you would have dramatically more confidence and purpose, right?
So when should meditate during your morning routine? Some people like to meditate first thing out of bed... others like to meditate right before they leave their house...but I like to meditate in the shower. To me, it's a happy medium: If I meditate before my shower, I fall asleep. If I meditate after, I feel like my morning-routine momentum is stunted.
9. ...Pick Today's Micro goals
This is a quick and simple, yet powerful step that helps you focus on doing/getting done what you want to today. I like to ask myself two basic questions:
- What do I want to accomplish today? (for example: finish something at work, study for 3 hours, build a planter's box)
- What do I want to remember as I go through today? (for example: think before I speak, be patient, be kind)
How does this help boost confidence?
It puts you in control of your day... it makes each day purposeful... it helps you make each day a success. In other words: you'll know you're not just floating through your day... but instead that you're doing/getting done exactly what you wanted to.
PS: This is another task that I like to do in the shower, right after I meditate. My mind is clear (from meditating) and there aren't a bunch of things distracting me (like my phone, wanting more coffee, or dogs).
10. Put on "Dressier" Clothing
Guys... I get it:
Some days, you just want to wear what's most comfortable... but here's the thing:
There are countless studies (I highlight 16 in this post) that prove how powerful dressing well is. Need proof? How does this sound... by dressing well, you will:
- Appear smarter, more competent and more trustworthy
- Be more attractive to women (both sexually and as relationship material)
- Be more likely get a job and more likely to make more money at your job
Not bad, right? And, here's the best part:
Studies show that dressing well positively affects the way you think about yourself (it makes you feel more authoritative, powerful, trustworthy, and competent).
How does all that sound as an easy confidence boost?
So... skip the baggy jeans and t-shirt, and put something nicer (see our post on building a high-quality minimalist wardrobe for how to).
11. Eat Something (the Right Something)
Let me ask you a question:
If you didn't eat anything for 24 hours... do you think you'd be your best, most confident self?
Of course not. Food is the fuel that your body and mind need to function optimally throughout the day. So, eat the right type of fuel... here are a couple of foods I like to start my day with:
- Oatmeal. It's quick, easy, is high in fiber, and can help lower (bad) cholesterol.
- Greek yogurt + fruit. Also quick, Greek yogurt is high in protein (to keep you full) and high in calcium.
- Eggs. While eggs take a bit longer to make, I think they're the most filling. While high in cholesterol, eggs are a healthy source of protein and nutrients (like vitamin D).
12. Drink Water
Did you know that you can survive for more than a month without food... but only a week without water? source
Water lubricates your joints, protects and nourishes your brain, regulates your body's temperate, helps with digestion, etc., etc., etc. And in addition to all of those, studies also show that if your body/mind don't have enough water, it can adversely affect your mood source and lower your cognitive performance. source...And think about it:
Your body just went 7-8 hours (or however long you just slept) without water. Not only is this is an easy time to hydrate yourself, but your body is also craving it right now.
So... drink up (I like to use a Nalgene) and set your body up for success for the day.
13. Go Over Your Affirmations
Merriam-Webster defines an affirmation as:
The act of affirming (which means to assert (something, such as a judgment or decree) as valid or confirmed).
In other words: saying something in a way that makes it valid or confirms it. And what's great is that consistently affirming something, can actually have an incredibly positive effect:
A study by PLOS One found that positive affirmation can significantly reduce the damaging effects of chronic stress. source And think about it: are you more confident when you're relaxed and calm or weighed down by stress?
It's an easy answer, right? So... pick something that resonates with you (something like "I am strong", "There is nothing I cannot do", or "This too shall pass"). Repeat this aloud a few times (3+) before you leave your house to affirm the man you want to be.
We all want to be that guy who's always 'on'.
And while I can't promise that this morning routine will get you there every time... it will dramatically help. Use its quick and simple steps to boost your daily self-confidence and win your day.