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8 Things Will Happen When You Start To Believe In Yourself

8 Things Will Happen When You Start To Believe In Yourself

People who are generally inclined towards regular self-improvement will likely continue to do so. Others may not. The difference has nothing to do with their external situations. Success or failure in almost anything starts from within. Once you start believing in yourself, you create a domino effect of positive outcomes. This is true whether you are trying to lose weight, start a business, or just be happier in life.

Here are eight things that happen when you start to believe in yourself:

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1. You become less judgmental.

Judgment and negative energy are a reflection of the giver, not the receiver. People who spend a lot of time judging others generally spend very little time working on themselves. When you put your energy into your own life and choices, you stop focusing on everyone else. The road to truly believing in yourself is paved by knowing and accepting yourself, flaws and all. Walking that journey also makes you much more compassionate and aware that others may also be traveling down a path that you cannot see.

2. You can actually do more.

The biggest excuse people have for not doing what they need or want to do is, “I don’t have the time.” Yet, every human being on the planet has the same amount of time in a day. Time is a constant, not a variable. It is what it is. Luckily, although time doesn’t change, you can. Lack of confidence manifests as fear and perfectionism. However, you can start building confidence at any given moment. Believing in yourself requires little investment and is very liberating, both mentally and physically. As Henry Ford one said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t… you’re right.”

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3. You inspire others to believe in you.

Authentically confident people are inspiring. When you truly believe in yourself, you hold the power of influence. Others will want to aid your efforts. This is especially important if you are growing a business or embarking on any endeavor that requires support.

4. You handle criticism more objectively.

Nobody likes to get negative feedback. The most successful people are those who can take input from others, weed out the valid points, and make adjustments for the better. Believing in yourself forms a more solid emotional foundation. It allows you to rationally consider both the information and the source. You also won’t get your feelings hurt as easily, as you’ll be able to compartmentalize negative intentions. If there is some truth to what the other person is telling you, you will be confident enough to take it with gratitude and put it in action to your benefit.

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5. You increase your power of persistence. 

Everyone faces tough times. While falling down is universal, the ability to get up and keep going is individual. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean believing you are all-powerful or perfect. It means trusting your ability to figure things out and keep going. If anything, those who are truly confident expects some bumps in the road. They know that those stumbling blocks will either teach them something, make them stronger, or propel them to some unexpected place. Believe in yourself and keep going.

6. You attract miracles.

By default, believing in yourself creates positive energy. As you begin to expect the best, you will start to see things happening that are perfectly aligned with your desires and goals. Energy attracts like energy. It is not blind faith or luck; it’s the way things naturally work. It’s knowing that you are doing what you need to do towards creating your ultimate outcome. My personal mantra is, “As I am moving towards my goals, they are also coming towards me.”

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7. You become more disciplined.

A deep internal belief in oneself invariably leads to better habits in life. You don’t want to let yourself down! Accepting and believing in yourself is extremely empowering; with great power, comes great responsibility. You can no longer blame others or wait for external forces to make things happen for you. People who have a deep inner belief in themselves also tend to develop great external strategies.

8. Your potential for success becomes exponential.

Tapping into pure self-confidence is like finding an ocean. When you first start testing the waters, it may feel uncomfortable. As you find initial success, your initial hesitance fades and excitement starts to take over. Eventually, you are the ship with unlimited potential, eager to see what’s next. Everyone’s journey may be a little different, but once you get there, the possibilities are endless. Increased confidence brings increased capacity.

Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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