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5 Ways Millennials Can Start Building Their Future Today

5 Ways Millennials Can Start Building Their Future Today

There has been a lot written about the way millennials are approaching the world of work in a very different manor to previous generations. We tend to place a strong emphasis on making sure that we work simply to enjoy life to the fullest, rather than only working to live, and you will often hear many people talking about wanting to live only in the now.

These are positive ideals that I very much subscribe to, but aside from being millennials, we’re also known as Generation-Rent thanks to the way our carefree attitude to life and finances in general mean that many of us will never get to own our own home. This is as much to do with our generation being priced out of the market as it is a question of choice, but this one example doesn’t bode all that well for our long-term futures.

I have zero interest in being the killjoy who tells everybody to get serious and get to work, but I do think there are a number of little things that we could be doing now in order to better prepare ourselves for a slightly more prosperous future.

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1. Get a Roommate

If you’ve already got one, cool, but for many people the moment you move into your own flat is a seminal one that proves you’re now a fully-fledged adult with your own established place in the world. This is awesome, well done, but is it really all that important for you to be living alone right now? I am very guilty of having gone down this same route. I have paid a high price for it, and looking back I realise that I would have saved a lot of money if only I had continued to live with friends.

Even if you aren’t ready to ditch your independence completely, there has never been a better time than now for you to rent out a spare room via Airbnb in order to save some extra cash. This is never more true than when you go on holiday and your home is just left sitting there completely empty. Not only are you blowing all your cash on a good time in Ibiza, but you’re paying the rent too. Rent it out and pass that cost onto somebody else. Doing so should at least cover your drinks’ bill.

2. Turn Your Blog Into a Business

Our generation is able to benefit from technology in ways never previously accessible to our parents and grandparents. The internet may waste almost as much of our time as it does provide us with amazing opportunities, but this is something we really have to turn to our advantage. This is especially true for those people who run their own blogs.

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You might think of your blog as not much more than a hobby where you post your writing, art, photography, or any of the other things that resonate with you personally, but this passion could be something that you could turn into a little cash. Advertisers may be interested in buying space on your page if you’re attracting a lot of daily traffic.

And if you’ve got unique content on there that could be turned into merchandise, there might just be a market willing to buy from you. This could get a little complicated and involve a bit of training and some ecommerce CRM software to make this transition a reality, but the long-term rewards will be well worth the hassle.

3.  Be Money Smart

One of the big problems for many people is not that they don’t have any money. It is more often the case that they just don’t manage it well. When you live hand to mouth it is hard to think about saving, but it’s even harder to do this if you just bury your head in the sand and don’t think about it all.

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Aside from trying to work out little ways in which you could budget and save money each month, you should also review all of your financial arrangements. Banking is a business just like any other. You might be perfectly happy with your bank and credit card, but are they really giving you the best market deal? Chances are you probably have no idea.

You might not be able to pay off your credit card over night, but in a few clicks you could very well move all your debt over to a card where for the next year or more you will have 0% interest on the balance you moved.

4. Learn a Second Language

Budgeting and money saving where you can are great ways to build up a little nest egg but so too is education. If you can promote yourself as being bilingual on your CV, there is a good chance that this will make your odds of getting a new job significantly better. Langue learning via a school or an academy can be quite time consuming and expensive, but there are a number of cheaper ways to go about this.

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In many big cities there are often “intercambio” opportunities where you can find people who want to meet up over coffee and spend half the time speaking in their language and the other half in yours. This is great for those people who already have a base knowledge and want to push on. And for absolute beginners there are lots of free resources online which you can use to get started.

5. Buy a Bike

For city dwellers and those that commute from the outskirts each day, travel costs can take up a high percentage of your monthly outgoings. By investing in a decent second-hand bike, or even a cheap brand new one, you’ll not only save money in the long run, but you’ll be improving your health and saving the environment as you do it.

Many major cities understand how beneficial having a bustling bike culture is with extensive bike lanes and low-cost bike share services being a fixture of places like Barcelona, Paris, New York and London. Even if your own city doesn’t have these kinds of luxuries, there’s no reason why you can’t saddle up anyway in order to start saving some money.

Featured photo credit: http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ via 67.media.tumblr.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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