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We Know What We Are, But Know Not What We May Be

We Know What We Are, But Know Not What We May Be

This is a world filled with expectations. Every person on the planet expects something from you, and it seems like there’s no pleasing anyone, even ourselves. The fact of the matter is that we are surrounded with this mentality that we SHOULD be doing something other than reading this article. Mentalities like that can be so controlling, so dangerous. Living in a world of expectations is useful in the fact that we can become whatever it is that we want. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the fear of what others want, or what we think they want, that we lose sight of that.

Living in this world, and knowing who we are now can be cathartic. Every once in a while, it’s good to stare into the mirror and take stock of who you are. But if you live in the mentality of living up to expectations, it puts a heavy limitation on yourself. It doesn’t give you the full creative freedom you need to step out of the world’s shadow, and into your own sunshine. You can’t achieve your dream if you’re taking everyone else into consideration.

Sometimes The Generic Life Can Destroy You

The simple life of working 8 hours a day for life, having kids and a house sounds wonderful. It sounds simplistic enough to work in theory. But while some people are okay with just going through the steps, many people have been destroyed by it. You know that life. You go to school, get a degree in a job you can do, get said job, get married, have kids, buy a house, and eventually retire to enjoy your twilight years.

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That sounds amazing, but unfortunately, that’s still a life guide by expectations, by limitations. There’s no room in that process to live your dream life. That’s a generic life that you just follow, not something you aspire. More than that, there’s overwhelming evidence that shows that when you finally escape from that, then you begin to succeed!

Life Isn’t Given To You, You Go Out And Build It

There was a woman once, she followed the exact steps you hope for. While she had a love for writing novels, she was afraid of failure and bought into everyone’s expectations. She went to school, got a job, got married and had a daughter. Unfortunately, she’d been released from her job, and gotten divorced before moving to Edinburgh and was living on government assistance. But she back tracked, wrote a series of novels, and became one of the most well-known authors of her time. Her name is J.K. Rowling!

“You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.” – J.K. Rowling

This man focused his life on living within the norm. He went out and got a job at a fortune 500 company…then absolutely hated it. Within 11 months, he had left his job to find something that he could mess up! From that, he built the group called Live Your Legend. Scott Dinsmore passed away living the life he wanted, and the community built on his dream lives on in his honor!

“It’s about doing something that matters to you, and makes an impact only you can make.” – Scott Dinsmore

This man started out living his life entirely based on his parents’ approval. He was taken out of school to take over the family farm. When it was seen that he was failing at that, he was sent back to school to finish. He then moved onwards to attend Cambridge University and became one of the most prominent scientists in our history! Sir Issac Newton lived that life that only he could, the one that he wanted to! He wasn’t going to let anyone else ruin that for him.

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“We build too many walls, and not enough bridges” – Sir Issac Newton

Only You Can Live Your Life

This world can be vicious, life is tough at the beginning. After that, it gets even more difficult. But you only get this one life, only one shot to do exactly what you want. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do. Think about those limits that you’ve allowed yourself to live by. If you want to go live your life on your own terms, have success in the way that you want, you need to get to work right now.

Barring the moral limits such as theft and violence, you need to take every limitation in your life and completely disregard it. So far, the limitations you’ve set have only gotten you to this point, and you have so much more to do! If you have a dream, why does anyone else have a say in what you should do? You know what you want to do, and you owe it not only to yourself but the world to see it through. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to take a lot of effort, blood, sweat and tears.

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But one day, you’ll look back.You’ll see all those people who put those expectations on you, and the limitations that you set on yourself. You see just how far past all of that you’ve gotten. The world is a dull place at times. It takes your dream, the color you can bring to this world to make that impact that only you can make.

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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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