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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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            Last Updated on March 30, 2020

            How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

            How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

            You may have heard someone say they are “totally right brained” or that they’re “a left brained person.”

            There is a pervasive myth that’s been making its rounds for over a century: people have two hemispheres of their brains, and if they have a dominant left brain, they’re more analytical; and if they have a dominant right brain, they are more creative.

            Before we go debunking this theory and then giving some tips for how people can access their creative brain centers, let’s first take a look at where the left brain/right brain lateralization theory comes from.

            The Left Brain/Right Brain Lateralization Theory

            In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when patients injured one side of their brains, certain skills were lost.[1] Scientists linked those different skills to one side of the brain or the other. Thus began the left brain/right brain myth that continues to this day.

            Then, in the 1960s and 70s, Roger W. Sperry led 16 operations that cut the corpus callosum (the largest region that connects both brain hemispheres together) in order to try to treat patients’ epilepsy. Sperry wrote about the differences in the two hemispheres as a result of those surgeries.[2]

            Sperry’s work was popularized in 1973 with a New York Times article about his lateralization theory—that people were either right brained (read: logical) or left brained (read: creative). From here, Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his work and numerous other publications spread the right brain/left brain myth.

            Debunking the Right Brain/Left Brain Myth

            If anything, the lateralization theory of the brain is a gross exaggeration. It is true that people have two hemispheres of their brains. It is also true that there are differences in the composition of those two hemispheres.

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            However, the hemispheres are actually much more interconnected than Sperry’s work initially made it seem.

            In a 2013 study,[3] scientists scanned over 1000 people’s brains, checking for lateralization. They confirmed that certain brain functions occur predominately in one hemisphere or the other but that, in reality, the brain is actually much more interconnected and complex than the right brain/left brain lateralization theory makes it seem.[4][5]

            A New Metaphor for Right Brain/Left Brain

            How do we get past this right brain/left brain myth?

            First, let’s look at what contemporary cognitive science says about brain regions, and creative and logical modes of thinking.

            My background is as an improviser and improv researcher. I wrote Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition and think looking at improvisation and the brain can shed light on a new model for talking about unlocking the brain’s creative potential.

            Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans have shown that while trained improvisers improvise (musically on a keyboard, rapping, and comedic improvisation) an interesting shift happens in their brain activity. [6]

            A region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases in activity and creative language centers such as the medial prefrontal cortex increase in activity. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked with conscious thoughts—that inner voice that tells you not to say something or criticizes you when you do.

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            The medial prefrontal cortex is among the brain regions linked with creativity. So, instead of thinking about right brain and left brain, perhaps it’s more current and correct to think about more specific brain regions instead of hemispheres. Perhaps, it’s more useful to think about which activities and strategies will allow us to inhibit our dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and allow our medial prefrontal cortexes to flourish.

            How to Enhance Your “Right Brain” — Creativity

            Whether we’re talking about right brain versus left brain, creative versus logical, or medial prefrontal cortex versus dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we still know enough to talk about strategies to tap into your creative brain’s full potential.

            So, now that we’ve dispelled the right brain/left brain myth and looked at a more contemporary, cognitive neuroscience theory of brain regions and creativity centers, let’s look at how to tap into the potential of your creative brain.

            1. Performing Arts

            One way to tap into your creative brain centers is to participate in the performing arts. Whether you improvise, act, or dance, the performing arts allow you an embodied experience that will help you snap out of your habitual, logical thoughts.

            Another benefit of the performing arts is that it changes your attention. Attention and creativity are inextricably linked. When we improvise, act, or dance, we have to focus intently on our fellow performers. This means we are forced to focus less on our conscious, logical thoughts. This frees us up for more creative thinking and expression.[7]

            One of the conclusions of my research on improvisation is that focusing intensely on fellow improvisers and the task at hand makes it more likely that we experience a flow state. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,[8] a Professor of Psychology and Management defines flow as an optimal psychological state when our skills match the difficulty of the task at hand. Our perception of time is altered as we get into the zone and become more present and in the moment during our chosen activity.[9]

            A flow state is a creative state. It’s the opposite of crunching numbers and forcing ourselves to work out a problem with the conscious regions of our brain. So, get up, improvise, act, or dance to access your creativity.

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            2. Visual Art

            Art teacher Betty Edwards[10] wrote a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Here again, we see that a shift in our attention can lead us to an increase in our creative thinking.

            Edwards’ book gives art students tricks to shift the way they see the world. For example, one exercise encourages students to literally flip whatever it is they’re drawing upside down before they draw it. This forces budding artists to literally see the object in a new way. This shift allows them to focus more on the individual components and patterns of the object, which allows them to draw it better.

            Shifting how we see things is another way we can access our creative brain centers. Take an art class to shut off your conscious, critical thoughts and start seeing things from a new, more creative perspective.

            3. Zone Out

            If there’s one thing creativity doesn’t like, it’s being coerced.

            I think we’ve all felt that awful feeling of trying to force ourselves to be creative. When we force it, we’re really trying to force our logical brain regions to be creative. It’s like asking your gardener to perform your appendix surgery. It’s just not what she does.

            Instead, stop forcing it. Take a break. Take a long walk or a relaxing bath or shower. Let your mind wander.

            Whatever you do, stop forcing it. This break lets your creative centers rise to the surface of your attention and get heard.

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            4. Practice Mindfulness

            The final trick to start accessing your so-called right brain is to practice mindfulness.

            Now, there’s a lot of different ways to go about mindfulness. You can take a more physical approach with a yoga class. Or you can try meditating to become more aware and in tune with your thoughts and feelings: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

            You could also try to incorporate fun mindfulness exercises[11] into your everyday routine like forcing yourself to go on detours or pretending you’re a detective who needs to examine people and places closely.

            Any way you do it, mindfulness exercises and training can help you become better versed in how your brain works and what your normal thought process is like on a day-to-day basis. If we’re ever going to reach our optimal creativity, we have to become an expert in how our individual brain functions. Mindfulness is one way to become your very own brain expert.

            Mindfulness also has added benefits like calming us, slowing our breathing, and helping us become more observant, which are also great ways to start tapping into our creative potential.

            Final Thoughts

            So, it may not be correct to say that our right brain is our creative brain, but it is still a valid pursuit to try to optimize our creative brain centers.

            The key to do so is to relax, become observant, shift your perspective, move your body, try something new, and, whatever you do, don’t force it.

            Creativity can feel slippery. It can abandon us when we need it most, but by slowing down and looking at things from a new perspective, we can give ourselves a better chance of tapping into our ultimate creativity, even if that doesn’t exactly mean our “right brain.”

            More Tips on Boosting Creativity

            Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

            Reference

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