Honestly, You might not feel confident about your intellectual capacity as a man or a woman, but if you put a small value on yourself, the world will surely not raise your price and you will become priceless. The best way to build your self-confidence is by broadening your life experiences. Thus, if you want to become smarter and more confident in yourself, increase your knowledge, skills, experiences and understanding.

Confidence and intelligence are something you have to work on it and thinking about the hardest thing to do with it, is probably the reason why only a few engage in it. However, you can always work for it if you have perseverance and determination in life. So if you want to have more with, intelligence and confidence, here are nine ways to get them.

1. Read books.
Reading books will help you gain knowledge about everything you want to know in life. During my university days in Madonna University, Anambra state, I was focusing more on financial books not because I was studying banking and finance but because I love reading books and those books has contributed more to my personal growth. If you are not the type of person that reads, well then, practice yourself now. Become a voracious reader and expose yourself to more ideas and information. Books will take you to a different dimension, it will broaden your imagination and it will surely speed up your learning ability.

2. Improve your mind’s ability.
There are actually a lot of things to improve one’s mind’s ability and one of these is by improving your memory. The ability to remember things is also considered intelligence. Correlate things you want to memorize with the things you already remember. Practice more and soon you will develop new techniques that will help you improve your memory. Aside from improving your memory, one thing you need to consider is to be more curious never be satisfied with what you think you already have in mind, try to look deeper into it. And lastly, exercise your mind in different ways,  challenge yourself to learn new skills. You may want to try solving the rubrics cube in order to exercise your thinking ability or puzzles that will keep your mind working.

3. Do your research.
Don’t be satisfied learning a little about that particular issue. Be more curious and broaden your horizons, it will help you become more intelligent. Learn to research things, you don’t understand. Read books or search for everything you want to know online. Explore the world in depth, create new ideas out of it and always be curious about things because curiosity will lead you to more knowledge

4. Make friends with intelligent people.
This may be difficult for you, most especially if you have low self-esteem, but with clever people, hanging out with you is one of the fastest ways to learn. Being around people that are smart will give you the opportunity to learn from them or you may also get techniques from them on how they keep their intelligence. Instead of being ashamed to hang out with them, feel blessed that you have an amazing resource to draw upon.

5. Practice your writing skills.
Same as reading a book, writing allows you to put your knowledge in a creative way. Writing also broadens your imagination because you’re able to write fantasy or short stories out of your imagination. Try to exercise your brain and write a little every day until you got used to it. You can make a diary where you can write about your daily activities or whether it is describing your emotions. Brainstorming can also help you create new ideas.

6. Explore new things.
Get out of your box and explore new things. If you always wanted to travel around the world, go save your money now, this will help you discover yourself. It may be scary at first, but you will surely enjoy the experience. I once read Harun Yahja sayings “I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” You wouldn’t know unless you try, you wouldn’t know that there is a better place out there or you wouldn’t know that you can be better not unless you get out of your box and explore the other side.

7. Know your strength and weaknesses.
Learn to build on your own strengths and work on your weaknesses. Knowing your weakness and strengths will help you control yourself as well over the situation. If you think you are not good at that field, then know how to make yourself good at it. Focus on your weaknesses rather than your strength because it will help you become better in the future.

8. Embrace yourself.
Remember that you need to be comfortable with yourself first before anyone else. Know your true nature, it may be positive or negative, always practice self-love. Before you gain confidence in yourself, learn to love yourself first and the rest will follow.

9. Speak up for yourself.
The more you can control a conversation or discussion, the more you become smarter. You can’t just sit silently there without expressing what you want to say. Expressive speech is also a key to boost your confidence. A little confidence will go along the way if you practice speaking up for yourself. Remember the relief, feeling when you express yourself to people. However, learn to put across yourself without expecting a certain response from it, whether the feedback is positive or negative care more about your ability to say what you really want and feel.

10. Encourage yourself.
Try to uplift yourself, give yourself a daily affirmation that will help you feel happier like telling yourself “I am beautiful” ‘I am strong” “I am confident”. Self-confidence starts with yourself, so in order to boost it, encourage yourself that you can do it even if you can’t. Also, keep a positive outlook in life and disregard all those negative thoughts. Always keep in mind that you are confidently beautiful no matter what. Still, stay humble and keep your feet on the ground, don’t be too confident as much as possible.

You might be under the impression that intelligence is a fixed quantity that you need to have and your confidence is what makes you look beautiful. However, those things are already fixed on us – we just need to work on it. On the other hand, your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on you, so better believe in yourself that you can do anything possible.