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Confidence is a trait most women either wish they had more of or had altogether. Just as we lift weights to strengthen our muscles, confidence is something that can be built and strengthened, too. While at times you can “fake it ’til you make it,” taking action to build yourself up is the only effective way to bring about lasting confidence. Here are five my go-to actions to feel more confident in myself.

>> Read more: 10 Confidence and Mood Boosters Too Good To Skip

Work out: Exercise is an instant mood lifter. During exercise, your body releases endorphins which make you happy. When you’re happy, you naturally feel better about yourself and your abilities. For me, working out and being active daily contributes to making healthier choices all day. When I make healthy choices, I feel better about myself and I am more confident.

Smile: Have you noticed how hard it is not to smile back at someone who smiles at you? Or how about how nearly impossible it is to feel bad when you’re smiling? When I am entering a group setting and I don’t know many others in attendance, I walk into the room smiling. I try to make eye contact and grin at those around me while standing in an admission line or while getting food or drinks. Rarely will the other person not smile in return. Having the confidence to strike up a conversation is much easier when started with a smile.

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Put on the Overcomer Outfit: In the 1980s, it was the “power suit.” More recently, Barney Stinson called it “suiting up.” I call it my Overcomer Outfit. I actually have two: one for casual outings and one for business events. These are my go-to outfits when I need to put forth my best impression. They both fit me and accentuate my body perfectly. They are my most flattering outfits, making me feel my prettiest and, therefore, most confident.

Affirmations: Affirmations are exactly that — statements that affirm your worth. I buy colored index cards and group them into categories. Then I write down statements which reflect a trait or strength I want to have or improve upon. For example, when I began speaking more publicly, one of my affirmations was, “I am an articulate speaker, sharing information others want to hear.” I keep the cards in my purse and try to repeat them out loud throughout the day at stoplights, when I’m getting ready in the morning and during other down times. I have even put several affirmations in the Notes app on my phone so I always have them on hand. Repeating positive statements about yourself helps to build your self-confidence and helps to shake the negative thoughts to which we can easily fall.

>> Read more: Can Good Vibes Really Change Your Health For the Better

Get out there: I took an online academy in building confidence called the Courageous Confidence Club. This is where I learned that one of the most effective ways to quickly boost your confidence is to do something that scares you. It could be as simple as introducing yourself to someone at a networking event or volunteering to be a “room mom.” Each time, you will walk away more confident for having stepped out of your comfort zone. This makes it easier to step out confidently the next time.

What do you do to feel more confident in yourself? Share in the comments below!