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Confidence Problems? Learn How to Be Satisfied with Yourself

Confidence Problems? Learn How to Be Satisfied with Yourself

The standards forced upon both men and women are unrealistic and unreachable. Our constant efforts to achieve those standards very often lead to anxiety and frustrations. When built up, these two powerful enemies of our confidence, joined by criticism, will eventually destroy what little confidence we have.

You shouldn’t allow for unjustly factors to shatter your belief in yourself and turn you into a faceless piece of machinery – you’re not that. The fact that you don’t seem to fit into those standards only means that you should look for a different type of metric system that fits your qualities. But, first thing’s first – let’s start from the beginning.

Talk Nerdy to Me

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    Psychologists don’t really agree on one single theory about confidence and what it really is, but they do meet halfway when it comes to certain terms. We should start by clearly distinguishing between the two terms – self-esteem and confidence; the more you appreciate yourself, the more will your levels of self-esteem grow and you’ll become confident.

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    That being said, you should further be aware of the fact that there’s not only one kind of self-esteem. They vary from how you feel about yourself as a member of your family, of your business team, in a relationship, as a member of society, etc.

    The kinds of self-esteem should be on an importance scale, so to speak, because not every area of your life is a priority, right? Therefore, if you’re perhaps preparing a meal and it seems to taste awful, even after you’ve spent hours on it, you will be very frustrated if you’re a professional chef. On the other hand, if you’re an amateur, you might even have a few laughs over your burnt dinner.

    A person’s self-esteem varies not only as a result of actions, but also because of many smaller factors, like waking up with a pimple, having a bad hair day and being complemented or not.

    Another interesting fact is that narcissism isn’t considered to be the highest level of confidence. As the melodramatic kind, these people love spotlights and a lack of attention makes them incredibly frustrated, which leads directly to self-doubt. Being a narcissist is quite unstable, and their mood depends on their environment and the feedback they receive.

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    On the contrary, people with very low self-esteem don’t respond to positive feedback and negative feedback makes them feel even worse about themselves. When someone tries to show appreciation and make them feel good about themselves, they perceive this affirmation as a form of pity.

    Obviously, moderation is the solution here. Those lucky among us who have stable self-esteem, which isn’t affected by minor turbulences, they are the confident ones.

    Determine the Cause of Your Problem

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      I’m sure you have managed to recognize yourself in at least one of the situations mentioned up until now. Introspectiveness is a powerful tool if you want to have your confidence problems resolved, so you need to begin by finding the source of your instability.

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      Take some time off and spend it with yourself in order to find out which part of your life makes you feel generally miserable. Perhaps you neglected your friends and now you feel selfish and self-centered, or you might have missed your kid’s last few games or recitals, which makes you feel like you failed as a parent. You might have managed to miss a deadline or two in your office and that makes you doubt your skills.

      Try to be a better friend, spend some quality time with your family and work harder – within a reasonable timeframe, you’ll feel better about yourself.

      Embrace Your Unique Qualities

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        I’m sure you know at least one person that’s perfect; they get everything done in time without complaining one bit and they don’t even look tired – ever. Well, we can agree that people like that are born under a lucky star, but there’s one other thing you should be aware of; their abilities simply fit into today’s conventional standards more than yours.

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        Now, I’m not trying to suggest that there’s not any hard work involved; that’s not my point. My point is that it’s easier for them to fit into an average environment and resurface as brilliant, capable people; you just need to dig deeper and look harder for yours. After you embrace your qualities as such, finding the right environment to show them in will be easier.

        Do Some Work on Your Body and Mind

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          Confidence isn’t necessarily connected to general attractiveness; beautiful people tend to be more confident in some situations, but they also tend to be vain because they are used to special treatment.

          Let me draw you a little picture; imagine two people who are equally attractive – one of them confident and another filled with self-doubt. The confident one has a positive attitude, their selection of clothes is more attractive and they are communicative, and all of that just because of higher levels of self-esteem. I’m sure you can assume that the second person will avoid any attention and that will be obvious through their behavior and appearance.

          The second person isn’t a happy person, and all of that because of imaginary obstacles set by their mind. If you’re not satisfied with yourself, you should do some work on you – inside and out. Listen to your thoughts and try to recognize those negative and unrealistic ones and shut them down for good. Then, open your closet and get rid of those awful baggy clothes that make you look like a shadow. Go shopping and find flattery garments that express who you are inside.

          Anything Is Possible

          Woman Kicking Leg Up In Front of Graffiti Wall
            I know this is a used phrase that’s constantly used, but that doesn’t make it anything less true, because anything is possible. It’s never too late to go parachuting, move to Africa, learn how to knit, become a painter – as a matter of fact, you can even grow taller. What you need for any of the things I just mentioned, all you need is the right mindset because with it comes determination and the will necessary for you to complete your goals.

            The bottom line is that we all have our insecurities and that’s only natural. The difference between confident people and those who have a lack of it is in whether or not they allow those insecurities to get to them.

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            Published on July 7, 2020

            Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

            Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

            Exercise isn’t just for your body. Just as important is keeping your mind strong by training your brain with fun mental workouts.

            Think of your mental and physical fitness the same way: you don’t need to be an Olympian, but you do need to stay in shape if you want to live well. A few cognitive workouts per week can make a major difference in your life.

            The Skinny on Mental Workouts

            Physical fitness boosts your stamina and increases your muscular strength. The benefits of working up a mental sweat and brain training, however, might not be so obvious.

            Research suggests that cognitive training has short- and long-term benefits, including:

            1. Improved Memory

            After eight weeks of cognitive training, 19 arithmetic students showed a larger and more active hippocampus than their peers.[1] The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory.

            2. Reduced Stress Levels

            Mastering new tasks more quickly makes the work of learning less stressful. A stronger memory can call information to mind with less effort.

            3. Improved Work Performance

            Learning quickly and remembering key details can lead to a better career. Employers are increasingly hiring for soft skills, such as trainability and attention to detail.

            4. Delayed Cognitive Decline

            As we age, we experience cognitive decline. A study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 10 one-hour sessions of cognitive training boosted reasoning and information processing speed in adults between the ages of 65 and 94.[2]

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            Just like in physical exercise, what’s important isn’t the specific workout. To be sustainable, cognitive workouts need to be easy and fun. Otherwise, it’s too easy to throw in the towel.

            Fun Brain Training Exercises for Everyone

            The best about fun mental workouts? There’s no need to head to a gym. Feel free to mix and match the following activities for daily brain training:

            1. Brainstorming

            One of the simplest, easiest ways to engage your brain? Coming up with solutions to a challenge you’re facing.

            If you aren’t good at solo ideation, ask a partner to join you. When I’m struggling to come up with topics to write about, I call up my editors to bat ideas around. Friends or co-workers are usually happy to help.

            2. Dancing

            Isn’t dancing a physical workout? Yes, but the coordination it requires is also great for training your brain. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

            Studies suggest that dance boosts multiple cognitive skills.[3] Planning, memorizing, organizing, and creativity all seem to benefit from a few fancy steps.

            3. Learning a New Language

            Learning a new language takes time. But if you split it up into small, daily lessons, it’s easier than you might think.

            With language learning, every lesson builds on the last. When I was learning Spanish, I used a tool called Guru for knowledge management.[4] Every time I’d learn a verb tense, I’d create a new card to give me a quick refresh before moving on.

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            4. Developing a Hobby

            Like languages, hobbies take time to develop. But that’s the fun of them: you get a little better—both at the hobby and in terms of brain function—each time you do them.

            If you’re trying to train your brain and improve a certain cognitive skill, choose a hobby that aligns with it.

            For example:

            • Attention to detail: Pick a hobby that requires you to work patiently with small features. Woodworking, model-building, sketching, and painting are all good choices.
            • Learning and memory: Choose an activity that requires you to remember lots of details. Your best bets are hobbies that require lots of categorization, such as collecting stamps or coins.
            • Motor function: For this brain function, physical activities can double as fun mental workouts. Sports like soccer and basketball build gross motor functions. Fine motor functions are better trained through activities like table tennis or even playing video games.
            • Problem-solving: Most hobbies require you to problem-solve in one way or another. The ones that test your problem-solving skills the most, however, take some investigation.

            Geocaching is a good example: Using a combination of clues and GPS readings, geocaching involves finding and re-hiding containers. Typically done in a wooded area, geocaching is a fun way to put your problem-solving skills to the test.

            5. Board Games

            Playing a board game might not be much of a physical workout, but it does make for a fun mental workout. With that said, not all board games work equally well for cognitive training.

            Avoid “no brainer” board games, like Candy Land. Opt for strategy-focused ones, such as Risk or Settlers of Catan. Remember to ask other players for their input.

            6. Card Games

            Card games build cognitive skills in much the same way board games do. They have a few extra advantages, though, that make them worthy of special attention.

            A deck of cards is inexpensive and can be played anywhere, from a kitchen to an airplane. More importantly, a deck of cards opens the door to dozens of different games. Challenge yourself to learn a few in an afternoon.

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            7. Puzzles

            Puzzles are great tools for building a specific cognitive skill: visuospatial function. Visuospatial function is important to train because it’s one of the first abilities to slip in people struggling with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.[5]

            Choose a puzzle you’ll stick with. There’s no shame in starting with a 500-piece puzzle or choosing one that makes a childish image.

            8. Playing Music

            Listening to music is a great way to unwind. But playing music goes one step further. On top of entertaining you, it makes for a fun mental workout.

            Again, choose an instrument you know you’ll stick with. If you’ve always wanted to learn the violin, don’t get a guitar because it’s less expensive or easier to pick up.

            What if you can’t afford an instrument? Sing. Learning to control your voice is every bit as challenging as making a set of keys or strings sound good.

            9. Meditating

            Not all cognitive exercises are loud, in-your-face activities. Some of the most fun mental workouts, in fact, are quiet, solo activities. Meditating can help you focus, especially if you have pre-existing attention issues.

            Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never meditated before. It’s easy:

            • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
            • Set a timer for 10 minutes, or for however long you have to meditate.
            • Close your eyes or turn off the lights.
            • Focus on your breathing. Do not try to control it.
            • If your thoughts wander, gently bring them back to your breath.
            • When the timer goes off, wiggle your fingers and toes for a minute. Slowly bring yourself back to reality. Remember the sense of serenity you found.

            10. Deep Conversation

            There’s nothing more mentally stimulating than a good, long conversation. The key is depth: surface-level chatter doesn’t get the mind’s wheels spinning like a thoughtful, authentic conversation. This type of conversation helps in training your brain to think more deeply and reflect.

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            Choose your partner carefully. You’re looking for someone who’ll challenge your ideas without being confrontational. Stress isn’t good for brain health, but there’s value in coming up with creative arguments.

            11. Cooking

            When you think about it, cooking requires an impressive array of cognitive skills. Developing a cook’s intuition requires a good memory. Making sure flavors are balanced takes attention to detail. When something goes wrong in the kitchen, problem-solving skills come into play. Motor control is required to stir, flip, and whisk.

            If you’re going to cook, you might as well make enough for everyone. Invite them into the kitchen as well: coordinating with other chefs adds an extra layer of challenge to this fun mental workout.

            12. Mentorship

            Whether you’re the mentee or the mentor, mentorship is an incredible mental workout. Learning from someone you look up to combines the benefits of deep conversation with skill-building. Teaching someone else forces you to put yourself in their shoes, which requires empathy and problem-solving skills.

            Put yourself in both situations. Being a student makes you a better teacher, and teaching others gives you insight into how you, yourself, learn.

            Final Thoughts

            Your mind is your most important possession, and training your brain is needed to maintain its health. Don’t let it get soft.

            To keep those neurons firing at full speed, add a few fun mental workouts to your schedule. And if you’re still struggling to get your brain in gear, remember: there’s an app for that.

            More Tips for Training Your Brain

            Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

            Reference

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