Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
People in general can be described as social animals. We need interaction with others in order to develop. Most people do not like the initial stages of adversity. Conflict and difficulty create uncertainty and impact our judgment and focus.Advertising
As much as people try to avoid it, hard times are a part of life. Positive change can come from conflict. The key is to deal with the issues at hand and push through towards resolution. Avoidance and inaction only intensify the problem. Stop doing these 10 things so that you can push through hard times.
1. Hiding from reality.
There is a classic bumper sticker stating, “Life Is A Beach.” Sometimes this is not true. Tough things happen and are part of reality. You cannot ignore problems and wish them away. Accept things for what they are. It is the first step to overcoming obstacles.
2. Playing the blame game.
Picture this scenario. Your neighbor has a brand new SUV in their driveway. You see your 6 year old sedan in yours. You want to get a better vehicle but financially are not able. Resentment may build for your neighbor’s ability to buy the car. However, the responsibility ultimately rests with you. Accept your situation and take accountability so you can move on.Advertising
3. Reliving the past.
Most people seem to have a stage that they look back on where life was good. Too many think back on those times and wish to relive them. It is not possible to go back in time and relive memories. Think back on them to remember what made them good. Use those memories as momentum to create positive things now and in your future. Alternatively, if you tend to relive negative memories, try to let them go. You can’t change what happened in the past; you can only change what is going to happen in the future.
4. Being complacent.
Have you ever seen an upset three year old curl up in a ball and suck his thumb? It looks cute for a three year old, but not for an adult. But that is what you are doing when you are complacent. Problems do not take care of themselves. Take action, even if it is the wrong action, to get through hard times.
5. Worrying too much.
It is natural for us as people to have blinders on. When hard times occur we have a narrow of view of things. Remember the big picture of situations. Sometimes you will see a solution that you may not have realized before.Advertising
6. Thinking it’s worse than it is.
You feel like you are pushing a boulder up a hill when faced with difficulties. But a solution can be found with resolve and tenacity. Take personal debt as an example. It may seem overwhelming, but can be overcome with planning and time. Work at a problem and eventually it will be overcome.
7. Not smiling.
You have probably heard the saying, “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.” When complications in life occur, it is easy for us to have a miserable outlook. Smile more and be good natured to others even through difficulties. That attitude will reciprocate and help buoy your spirits.
8. Not having answers.
Information is so readily available in this day and age. You can just Google anything or check out topics on Wikipedia. When conflict occurs it seems like there are no answers. Take a step back and look at the problems you face. Get input from others with a different perspective.Advertising
Imagine walking down the street and then stopping. You don’t move forward or back; you just stand there. It may seem kind of silly, but that is what you do when you procrastinate. Part of the problem may be “analysis paralysis,” which when you over-think something instead of taking action. Set a goal and work towards reaching it.
10. Doing it alone.
When hard times occur you may feel the need to tackle problems on your own. This could stem from feelings of guilt or frustration. There are times when you need to reach out to others for assistance. Everyone is wired differently and have different ways of thinking. Use the experience of others to get through hard times. The time may come when they may need your help.
History provides great examples of hardships faced by people throughout the world, with stories of how adversity was overcome and triumph followed. This can happen for each of us in our own lives. This post started with a quote from Benjamin Franklin and ends with one from Kelly Clarkson: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Featured photo credit: Tambako The Jaguar via flickr.com
Last Updated on January 16, 2020
12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now
The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.
However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.
“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous
Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.
1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.
When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.
Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success. As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’
2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).
That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”
Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.
3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.
If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.
For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.
People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.
This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.
4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.
Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.
Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!
Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.
Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
5. Crack a smile.
If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.
Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?
6. Break a sweat—with exercise.
Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.
And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.
7. Groom yourself.
This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.
A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.
8. Dress nicely.
Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.
While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.
9. Do activities you enjoy.
Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.
You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.
10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.
Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.
Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.
Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.
Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.
Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?
Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.
12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!
Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.
The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.
Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com
|||^||Psychology Today: Seeing Is Believing: The Power of Visualization|
|||^||Association of Psychological Science: Grin and Bear It! Smiling Facilitates Stress Recovery|
|||^||Science Daily: Want a better work-life balance? Exercise, study finds|
|||^||The New York Times: The Right Stance Can Be Reassuring|