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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.

More by this author

Dominic DeMartini

Founder, DrivenProfessional

How to Handle High-Tension Situations and Tough Conversations 9 Things Confident People Do

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

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