“If I have failed more than you have, I have won”- Seth Godin
We happen to think we are big failures when we are failing. We aren’t failures, we just need to go through the process of life when we try things. That’s the reality. We have to overcome the negativity. The sad part is that we low-key know about this but ‘fail” to take this approach because it’s unconventional. But you know what? Everything I have ever succeeded at was done through failing many times and not giving up.
“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden
Volleyball had many practicing hours before I could even learn to serve. Writing took me writing 83 essays to every 1 my classmates wrote so I could top them. In all of those essays, 1 in every 15 would be really amazing. My driving test took me two attempts. So what I want you to do is to learn to fight the thought of failure being a bad thing. See the word “fail” and turn it mentally to “learn”. It’s hard but only through failing will we learn the most. It’s painful but it shouldn’t have to be.
“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel
Bear with me for a second.
I asked my boyfriend what “failing” means to him. His response was “The End”.Advertising
What really is “failing”? I googled it and look what I found
You see this? A weakness in a character! A weakness! Weaknesses can be strengthened if practiced enough! Failing isn’t a life-ending and detrimental factor. It’s a good thing. It shows you what needs to be strengthened, not what needs to make you feel like you’re the worse person on earth and that you have no purpose. Ugh! I just hate it when people over-exaggerate. Don’t fall for their trap of allowing you to not believe that you can accomplish your dreams.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Here are a few things we often “fail” at but it turns out beautifully if you keep working at them with an open mind:
You’ll fail with friendships
Friends forever? Ahh no. There will be times when your “friends” aren’t who you expect them to be. It hurts but it’s just one of those things that we have to get through as humans. Some will lie to you, have babies, get married and straight up not have the time for you. These are all normal because through it all, a select few will always be there no matter what and more than likely you will develop more friendships as you go along. Well, those often are more worthwhile. Don’t be afraid to allow this process to take its course. Be open to it and let it transition. Here you will learn who really has your back and who will be there for you no matter what. Most importantly, you’ll learn to be much wiser.
“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch
You’ll fail to make big decisions
As a 20-something, I cannot explain how many decisions I’ve failed at. Nope, I’d probably be embarrassed to say it all. Well, I’d look beyond that; anything for you. The point is that especially when you don’t have guidance (there is always some sort) we tend to make the crappiest decisions and then feel bad after. One thing is sure, if you’re tired of this happening then this is a pain point to make a change. Read more, find a mentor, a coach… something. How long will we be comfortable making the same bad decisions? Guidance from someone who is more knowledgeable at life will suffice. You can even get Cheatsheets on how to turn your life around on the internet. Here’s one I wrote specifically for you guys.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael JordanAdvertising
When you get older, naturally your priorities will change. Parties, liquor and whatever else is there to distract you doesn’t count as much. Getting ahead in your life becomes the main objective. You will begin to get curious and try new things to secure a future. However, trying new things has much trial and error in it. This can sometimes be a burden. We fail a lot by not having the results we want immediately but who cares? It’s okay to fail. Yes… it’s not okay to give up after you have failed though. This will teach determination and discipline. Keep going until you win! And you will win!
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Ken Robinson
You’ll fail to compromise
As a 20 something we feel so many pressures from everyone. We want to find what our purpose is but try to please our moms and dads at the same time. That within itself curates failure. Don’t worry, we always figure it out. Just know it takes some time. By going through this process, you learn patience, kindness and the ability to reason from someone else’s point of view.
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter
You’ll fail to look after your body
Before you get to that stability level, you will fall short and cheat on certain things. Sugar, salt, alcohol, exercise you name it. It will take tonnes of effort to get to eating healthy but sometimes you’ll succumb to the junk. Look at it this way, when you wake up in the morning, beat it in your head that today is a brand new day. Forget the failures from yesterday then exercise that “discipline muscle” and start one more time. The biggest investment is you. No one should beat you up for this. Learning about mind conditioning and will power will do wonders for you. Trust me.
“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates
You’ll fail to invest in the future
“You only live once” is the mantra of most 20-somethings. That sounds pretty fun doesn’t it? Time and time again you’ll know what to do deep within yourself. You know it would be right for you but your mind will wander. Remember, if you want to have a family and keep it, more than one relationship isn’t as smart a move. The same goes for any long term goal. You will learn to be laser-visioned.Advertising
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
You’ll fail to develop your own style
Society, family, & friends brainwashed most of us. When we see the whole pattern and is willing to change that, it will take much concentration to find what our “real” personalities are. Our personalities will lean less toward what’s trending and create our own styles. Easier said than done but why not learn about self development?
“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
You’ll fail to socialize differently
It’s kind of hard to put down our phones every once in a while and take a walk somewhere and strike up a conversation with someone new. It’s the norm for us so to go out of our comfort zones will be uninteresting and obsolete. My question to you is how far will the “norm” take you in life? It will absolutely change your life to put your phone down, leave it at home for a few hours and go try to speak to someone new. I dare you to try it. If you have issues making friends, you can find tips here. Now you are challenged to build on social skills.
“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres
You’ll fail to manage your money
Majority of 20 somethings don’t have a set plan. It’s these years that you try to find your purpose and what you should be doing. While some have their lives together, some are in college completing the wrong degree and others are just sitting around waiting for life to make a change for them. You probably know…Life won’t. We just don’t always have it all figured out. It’s the same with money. Funds often slip by until you learn the language of money. Buy what you need only, invest in something long term and in a couple of years, you will have the financial freedom you deserve. Oh how would it feel to buy a car but unable to buy gas? Don’t buy a whole pizza today if you’re not that hungry and don’t know what you will eat tomorrow. Change the perspective young grasshopper. It will take much living from paycheck to paycheck and struggles to teach you to develop your investment skills.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
You’ll fail to value your family
Teenagers and 20 somethings grow intensely apart from their families due to miscommunication and feeling misunderstood. That’s a regular thing but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of talking back, just be quiet even if you’re tuning them out. This helps a lot. Instead of spitting fire with your tongue in return of a conflict, let it slide… just this one time. Your parents will be amazed by this. I know mine was when I figured out this tactic. I failed many times too. Just try it and you too will learn the value of silence.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
You’ll fail to stand up for yourself
We really have been manipulative as kids trying to guilt trip people for what we want. Getting out in the real world where people are hard inside, it gets tough. Here, our defensive mechanism falters. We find it hard to ask for raises and even break down when people put us down. Well, just like a kid it takes years to master getting what we want, we must master standing up for ourselves. This too will take a while. Here you will definitely learn how to strategies, be creative and be quick on your feet. All in all you learn how to become very Independent.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
You’ll fail to love yourself
This is the hardest of them all to me and that’s why so many of us suffer from depression and anxiety. This is just my opinion. There are other scientific and proven reasons of course. I just know that when I felt ugly because of the excess weight I had was because I didn’t work on loving myself enough. I cared more of what others thought of me. Until I learned to tell myself that I was the one living my life, took control and did something about my health, I could not have felt beautiful and love myself the way I do now. Did I fail? What do you think? You’ll be more than successful when you learn self-love.
Unless you want to keep winning and not learn anything which is a bit of an illusion, then learn to think of failure as a good thing. In my tribe, we fail to win. We never give up. I believe in you and I love you! Keep trying <3
“It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” – Zig Ziglar
Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire via pixabay.com
Last Updated on January 15, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension. 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.
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? 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.
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.
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:
“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.
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.
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
- Increasing Confidence with Body Language
- 8 Fatal Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations
- Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips
Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com
|||^||Berkeley News: The 16 facial expressions most common to emotional situations worldwide|
|||^||Science Daily: Teeth grinding and facial pain increase due to coronavirus stress and anxiety|
|||^||National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint & Muscle Disorders|
|||^||Michigan Medicine: Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation|
|||^||Spectra Magazine: Oculesics: Science Speaks Where Words Do Not|
|||^||NCBI: Attention to Eye Contact in the West and East: Autonomic Responses and Evaluative Ratings|
|||^||ResearchGate: An Anthropology of the Handshake|
|||^||Sage Journals: Mapping the Range of Information Contained in the Iconic Hand Gestures that Accompany Spontaneous Speech|
|||^||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Hand Matters: Left-Hand Gestures Enhance Metaphor Explanation|