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3 Easy Ways to be Twice As Confident in 70 Days

3 Easy Ways to be Twice As Confident in 70 Days

Having the confidence to back yourself even when people are turning their back on you is an important skill in life. People who rely on others to boost them when they’re feeling down ultimately may not be prepared for the hardships they will have to face when bad things happen. Sometimes, these bad things are self-imposed, for example, when you’re striving to achieve a personal goal.

James Altucher is a prolific writer. With experience running several businesses and failing at them, he’s fast-tracked his personal growth and has a lot to share about how you can become a better person. If you read any of his blogs, there is a piece of advice that he mentions a lot: improve by 1% every day.

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If you do the maths, improving by 1% every day actually means that you will be 100% better after 70 days. This applies to everything you want to do: fitness, intelligence, emotional well being, and confidence. Question is, what can you do on a daily basis that will allow you to be twice as confident in 70 days? Here are 3 suggestions:

1. Talk to Someone New Every Day

Human beings are social creatures. We can be made antisocial by bad habits, like playing video games all day. We look for solutions to confidence when the answer is right in front of us: it’s each other. So many of us feel like we’re alone even when we’re surrounded by people, but how many of us actually try to reach out to someone else?

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We’re afraid of being rejected, which is why we don’t reach out. We don’t reach out because we have low self-confidence. In this case though, biting the bullet and facing the rejection is the antidote of low self-confidence. It might hurt every time we reach out to someone. They might think we’re weirdos, but imagine talking to a new person every day for 70 days… every day your confidence will increase.

2. Saying ‘No’

Our society is built on agreement. We all want to please and make sure that our relationships are in harmony with the people around us. Unfortunately, when it comes to growth, this won’t improve you one bit. Disagreements, while being mildly painful, actually force people to listen to you. It also forces you to think of what you want and the reasoning behind it.

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Saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re necessarily disagreeable either. It actually means that you’re attentive and caring. You hear what someone is saying and you’re suggesting something else which could be a better fit. The problem with saying ‘no’ is that some people are just scared of doing it.

By changing your opinion around this, you end up being more confident and having the ability to gracefully disagree with someone. This ultimately ends up making you into a more thoughtful person that people respect.

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3. Writing Online

Everyone’s got a voice. Some people prefer to speak orally, others prefer to write. A lot of wannabe writers are perfectionists. What ends up happening is that they get so caught up in chasing perfection that they don’t polish or hone their voice. It ends up reading and sounding unauthentic, forced, and unsure.

Confidence comes from being yourself. Writing online is no exception. A lot of bloggers now started off years ago just writing and aligning their words with how they naturally talk. In a world where everyone’s trying to be perfect, it’s ironic that natural conversation is the most confident sort of conversation. Write online everyday for 70 days on sites like Lifehack.org with big audiences and you will be surprised by how much more confident you will feel with yourself.

So, have you got another suggestion? What helps you feel more confident?

Featured photo credit: North Jersey Hypnosis via northjerseyhypnosis.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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