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9 Things Confident People Do

9 Things Confident People Do

Confidence is a foundational piece of being able to do great things in life. If you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, you’re more likely to try different things and take risks—ask your boss for a raise or promotion, approach an attractive guy or girl in public, or start working out. Whatever it is, chances are that if we don’t feel confident in our ability to succeed, we won’t try it. Confidence is something that is often easy to notice in people, but is difficult to figure out what exactly it is they’re doing that is making them so visibly confident. Here are ten things that confident people do regularly and that you can implement immediately to start building your confidence.

1. Smile

Something as simple as smiling more can do wonders to improve your mood and stress levels. Smiling makes your brain feel like you are happy, which in turn projects positivity to the rest of your body. Next time you are walking down the street or around the halls at school or work, smile at the first person you see and notice the change in your mood.

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2. Encourage others

Confident people are aware of their abilities and don’t feel threatened by others. Instead, confident people encourage others to be successful and inspire others to seek out beneficial opportunities. Next time someone approaches you—a coworker, friend, colleague—about an opportunity they have or are interested in, encourage and inspire them to go through with it.

3. Open, positive body language

Projecting positive body language not only impacts how others view you, but it also affects how you feel. Similar to smiling, doing something as easy as standing taller or slightly puffing out your chest can make you feel much more confident. Next time you are in a stressful situation, straighten up your posture and feel your feet plant firmly into the ground.

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4. Ask about others

Confident people don’t feel the need to talk about themselves every chance they get. Yes, they want to be heard, but they don’t feel a need to prove themselves.  This confidence allows them to get to know another person quicker, as they are making that person feel like the most important person in the room. Next time you’re talking to someone you don’t know (or barely know), try to keep the conversation about them while being genuine. To do this, I use a mental framework I call FORGE: family, occupation, relationships, goals, environment. Once you find something that they seem passionate about or that you have in common, go further on that topic. Once a person realizes you’re genuinely interested in them, they are more likely to open up.

5. Listen

Listening goes a long way in how you make people feel. Confident people listen and hear what others have to say. This is a way to remain open-minded and understand others’ perspectives. One of the best tips I was ever told was to listen to someone’s viewpoint and wait at least three seconds to reply. If you reply too soon, you’re defending your response or replying with your own thoughts and it’s likely that you didn’t actually listen—you were concentrated on your perspective. As you wait to reply, the other person is also more likely to reveal more about themselves. Next time you feel the urge to reply immediately in a conversation, stop, wait for three seconds, and really let that other person’s words sink in.

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6. Think confidently

Thinking confidently may seem obvious or easy, but it’s important (and sometimes harder than you’d think). To think confidently, try remembering a time when you felt confident in a situation. Maybe after you received a compliment from someone after your last presentation, you felt great about yourself and confident in your skills. Before you give your next presentation or speech, remember how this felt, and remember that other people saw how well you performed previously—this lets your brain know you are more than capable of succeeding because you’ve done it before.

7. Dress for success

This may seem vain, but the way you dress impacts how you feel. Think about it— you don’t put on dress clothes to lounge around all day, watching Netflix. So, the same holds true if you want to feel confident. Next time you go into a situation where you need to feel confident (a presentation, negotiation, crucial conversation, etc.) wear clean, well-kept clothes that fit properly and notice how more confident you feel.

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8. Glass half-full mentality

Rather than focusing on the negative and pessimistic side of things, confident people focus on being optimistic; they’re confident in their ability to see an alternative path to achieve their desired outcomes. It’s easy to think about what can’t be done due to limited resources, skills, time, etc., but confident people approach a situation they’re given and think, “How can I make this work?” When you feel defeated or that the odds are not in your favor, focus on what you have and be optimistic that you can make it work.

9. Meditate

Meditation is one of the best ways to improve your presence, and presence is one of the key contributors of charisma. Confident people have great awareness of the situation around them and they focus all their energy and attention on those they are talking with. Meditating opens your mind to feeling in the moment, and when you’re in the moment it’s easier to see your abilities and skills in action, which can help you to feel more confident in yourself. Meditating can improve your mindfulness and make you more aware of your own thoughts. If you can recognize your thoughts, you’re able to catch the negative ones before they manifest in your body and turn them into positive thoughts, which will help you to feel more confident.

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Dominic DeMartini

Founder of DrivenProfessional, helping professionals improve leadership and social skills.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

7 Simple Brain Training Habits to Boost Your Brain Power

Throughout the ages, there have been many beliefs in various tricks to boosting brain power, yet when held up to scientific scrutiny, most of these beliefs don’t add up.

When I was a child, for example, my mother told me if I ate fish it would make me more intelligent. Of course, there’s no scientific proof this is true.

Today, there is a myriad of games you can download to your phone that claims to improve your brain’s cognitive skills. While we are still waiting for a conclusive scientific verdict on these, recent studies by neuroscientists at Western University in Ontario[1] and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia appear to contradict these claims.[2]

So, how can we really boost our brain power? Well, it turns out there are a number of simple things you can do that will improve the function of your brain. Here are seven to get you started.

1. Do Your Most Difficult Tasks in the Morning

Our brains work at their best when they are fresh and energized after a good night’s sleep.

If you have a task to do that requires a lot of thought and focus, the best time to do that task would be first thing in the morning when your brain is at its freshest.

This is one of the reasons why checking email first thing the morning is not a good idea. You are wasting your brain’s best hours on a simple task that can be done when your brain is not at its freshest

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Throughout the day, you will find the amount of time you can focus for will fall. Your decision-making abilities will also begin to weaken as the day progresses. This is called “decision fatigue” and that means the decisions you make later in the day will not be as good as the decisions you make earlier in the day.

It’s far better to do your most difficult, creative tasks early taking advantage of your brain’s higher energy levels.

Try to avoid meetings first thing in the morning and schedule work that needs higher creative energy and concentration.

2. Get Enough Breaks

Our brains are not very good at maintaining concentration and focus for much more than an hour. Once you go beyond a certain amount of time, doing focused work, you will find yourself making more and more mistakes. This is a sign your brain is tired and needs a break.

Taking the right kind of break is important. Switching from working on a complex spreadsheet to checking your social media feeds is not going to give your brain the right kind of break. Instead, get up from your desk and head outside. If that is not possible, go to the nearest window and look outside.

Your brain needs a break from the screen, not just the spreadsheet, so leave your phone behind so you are not tempted to look at it and just savour the view.

3. Read Books, not Social Media Feeds

There are no shortcuts to improved knowledge and you are certainly not going to improve your general knowledge about anything useful by reading social media feeds. Instead, make reading books a regular habit.

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When you read good quality books, you increase your ability to use the knowledge you learn to solve problems as your brain will apply the knowledge you learned to existing situations.

Learn about economic theory, history and psychology. All these topics have real practical applications for us all today.

4. Exercise Regularly

Humans did not evolve to be stationary animals. You need to move.

Had our ancestors spent their days sat around, they would not have survived very long. To survive and find food, our ancestors had to keep moving. Our brains have evolved to function at their best when we are exercised.

In his book, Brain Rules, Prof.John Medina explains when we exercise, we increase the amount of oxygen in our brains and this helps to sharpen our brain’s functions.

In studies, when a previously sedentary group of people began a light exercise programme, their cognitive skills improve as well as reaction times and quantitive skills.

This is why you are more likely to find the solution to a problem when you are walking somewhere or exercising rather than when you are sat at a desk in front of a screen.

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5. Get Enough of the Right Food

You probably have experienced the afternoon slump at some point in your life. This is when you feel tired and fatigued in the mid-afternoon. This is a result of the carbohydrates you ate at lunchtime, stimulating your body to produce insulin which then causes a drop in your blood sugar levels.

When you go into an afternoon slump, concentrating for long periods become almost impossible and you just want to curl up and go to sleep.

To prevent the afternoon slump, try to eat a protein-rich lunch such as a tuna or chicken salad without pasta, rice or bread. Keep some healthy snacks such as mixed nuts and dried bananas around your workspace and when you feel a little peckish, eat a few of these.

Not only will you avoid the afternoon slump, but you will also improve your overall general health and feel a lot more energetic.

6. Drink Enough Water

Your brain is made up of about 70% water, so without enough water, your brain will not function at its best.

When you are not drinking enough water, you will find your ability to concentrate, make decisions and stay alert will reduce. You will feel sleepy and lack energy. Your brain functions at its best when it is properly hydrated.

The solution is to keep a large bottle of water at your work station and sip regularly from it throughout the day. This will increase the number of trips you need to make to the bathroom which is a good thing. It will keep you moving and taking regular breaks from your screen.

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7. Don’t Deprive Yourself of Sleep

You probably don’t need a long scientific study to convince you that if you are not getting enough sleep, you are not going to function at your best.

You just need to go a couple of days without getting enough sleep and you feel your abilities reduce. Your decision-making skills become erratic, your energy levels drop and your ability to stay focused on your work diminishes.

If you want to improve your brain’s ability to function, then start with getting enough sleep. The number of hours you need will depend on your own circadian rhythms, so find what works best for you.

Six to eight hours is usually enough for most people so make sure you are hitting that number of hours per night as a minimum.

The Bottom Line

Improving our brain power is not difficult. All we need to do is develop a few simple habits such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating the right foods.

These seven tips will go a long way to helping you to become more alert, able to focus longer and make decisions. All simple common sense tricks anyone can use.

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Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

Reference

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