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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.

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

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (and Highly Effective) Ways

Memory plays an integral role in our lives, both in the short and long term. If you’re wondering how to improve memory, I’m here to tell you that there are natural and effective ways to do so.

Despite what you might think, improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it.

Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve memory efficiently and reduce the risk of memory loss.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts, and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder, then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. Research suggests that the more information and distractions you receive, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory[1].

Fortunately, meditation can help.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which, in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

While any amount of meditation will do something to help your memory, one study pointed out that “8 but not 4 weeks of brief, daily meditation decreased negative mood state and enhanced attention, working memory, and recognition memory as well as decreased state anxiety scores”[2].

Therefore, if you’re looking for the most benefits, try sticking with a meditation practice for at least 8 weeks.

However, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then it’s likely that you’re not able to remember well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities, including your memory.

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If you want to learn how to improve memory, how much sleep should you be getting?

Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation[3], you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things[4].

If you want to improve memory, get plenty of sleep.

    Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!), but if you care about improving your long and short term memory, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

    Try these three things to naturally improve your sleep cycle:

    • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
    • Don’t eat too late
    • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

    Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

    However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory.

    3. Challenge Your Brain

    When was the last time you challenged your brain?

    I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or under-sleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and memory games.

    To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

    Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-solving ability, and memory.

    There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

    • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
    • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

    If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

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    Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it; try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

    4. Take More Breaks

    When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctly remember working all the hours under the sun—and many under the moon, too!

    At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat, and tears.

    However, if you want to know how to improve memory, taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative, and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

    Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

    One 2011 study from the University of Illinois concluded that “the brain is built to detect and respond to change…and prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance”[5].

    This is based on something called the “vigilance decrement.” This can be applied to many things. For example, we often don’t notice the feeling of clothing touch our bodies because our brain becomes accustomed to the sensation. However, if you change clothes, you’ll likely notice the difference in texture and temperature for a few minutes.

    When you take a break from memorizing information, it refocuses your attention and energy, leading to increased focus overall.

    It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart, and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

    Basically, make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

    5. Learn a New Skill

    I love this quote, as it’s 100% true but frequently overlooked:

    “Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

    From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

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    Let me give you an example of this:

    Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day, many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

    Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

    The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you rather than letting you work in your own way.

    Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction into learning a new skill (computer coding).

    It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career, and the ongoing learning made the call center job much more bearable.

    Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus, and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking out new information. When learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly becomes a habit, too.

    If you want to know how to learn something new every day, check out this article.

    6. Start Working out

    If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

    Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory[6].

    Regular physical activities increase blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. A well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

    Even if you don’t have much time, research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines[7].

    Interested in getting started?

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    Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

    • Join a gym
    • Join a sports team
    • Buy a bike
    • Take up hiking
    • Dance to your favorite music

    7. Eat Healthier Foods

    I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

    This applies to your brain, too.

    The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health, as well.

    Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. But any fruits, vegetables, or foods high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory. Here’re some ideas: 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

    Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain, leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

    If you want to improve your mental health, eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

    • Turmeric – Helps new brain cells grown
    • Broccoli – Protects the brain against damage
    • Nuts – Improves memory
    • Green tea – Enhances brain performance, memory and focus[8]
    • Fish oilFish oil supplements can increase your brain power

    Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

    Also, remember that your brain is about 75% water, so dehydration can have a huge effect on the way your brain functions. Stay hydrated if you really want to improve memory!

    Final Thoughts

    I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be helpful for you.

    You don’t need to implement them all, but you can try out the ones that appeal to you.

    But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory and avoiding cognitive decline, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested.

    More on How to Improve Memory

    Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

    Reference

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