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11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

You want to feel confident, right?

You want to be able to walk around, knowing you’re an awesome person and truly believing it. You see everyone else doing it – strutting about full of themselves – but for you, it just doesn’t seem to come naturally. Whenever you try to act confident, your thoughts seem to end up back on your insecurities. Every moment passing is a moment you’ve spiraled deeper into this idea of insecurity and despair.

Stop.

Everyone gets insecure at times, that’s life. But existing in insecurity? That’s a habit that you learn. A learned thought-pattern. You can do something about it. In fact, here are 11 things you can do to boost your confidence right now.

1. Smile more

Sounds weird, right?

Why would smiling improve your confidence? It’s actually pretty simple. Smiling makes you feel good. It fools your mind into being happier. When you feel good, you’re more likely to think you – as a whole being – are good.

So by elevating your mood, you elevate your confidence. You become less concerned with your flaws, or what you perceive to be flaws. You become less fixated on that self-damaging inner monologue, and more absorbed in appreciating where you currently are. Just have a read of this article to understand how powerful smiling actually is!

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2. Recognise your short-comings

Part of being confident is knowing who you are, what you are, and what you do well. Another part of confidence is knowing what you don’t do so well. Why is it important to know what you don’t do well at? For multiple reasons:

  1. You can improve. Knowing you don’t do well at something gives you the insight to actively do something about it. If you’re unaware that you don’t do something very well, you won’t be able to work on it – it’s as simple as that.
  2. You know what you’re capable of. By knowing this, you can easily avoid situations where your confidence may take a blow by these short-comings because you’re already aware of them!
  3. Knowing where you fall short ultimately shines light on where you excel. We can’t all excel at absolutely everything, but this just helps us to appreciate where we excel even more.
  4. We can hand over what we can’t do well, to those who will do it well.

So while it may sound contradictory to feeling confident, ultimately it opens us up to the reality of being human. It frees you from the need to be a perfectionist. That in itself will sky-rocket your confidence because you also realise that everyone else is going through the exact same thing!

3. Wear your best dress

This point isn’t literal, but of course it can be. It’s just a cute way of saying, “wear what makes you feel good.” We all have a ‘best dress.’ It’s not always a dress, of course, it can be a shirt, a tie, a pair of shoes, or whatever. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just find that object that makes you feel good and wear it. Soak it in, knowing you look good. Feeling good shows; the confidence oozes out of you.

It’s a good one when you need that little extra kick of confidence. Just read this interview with David Sarwer, a contributing researcher for the Center for Human Appearance, for an overview of the science behind looking good making you feel good.

4. Ditch the comparisons

You are you. That’s all that can be expected of you. There’s really no point in comparing the unique person that is yourself to someone else. Just remember:

  • You have not walked the same path as the person you are comparing yourself to.
  • You have not had the same opportunities as the person you are comparing yourself to.
  • You do not possess the same set of tools as the person you are comparing yourself to.

There will be places that you excel, where others will fall short. There will be places that you fall short, where others will excel. This is life. Let it go, and simply be the best you that you can be. What everyone else is doing really isn’t a standard to hold yourself to.

5. Let go of other people’s expectations

A lot of insecurity stems from holding yourself to a standard that someone else made up. Just like the above point, no one has walked in your shoes and you have not walked in theirs. What other people expect of you is irrelevant. It should never be how you define your worth. You know what you’re going through, you know what you’ve been through, so only you truly can know what it is you are capable of.

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Free yourself from other people’s expectations. You be the decider of your worth. You be the decider of the expectations. When you can reclaim this power, you’ll realise that a lot of this unease in yourself has been because you’ve been trying to prove yourself to someone who can never truly understand you.

6. List 10 things that you like about yourself

Go ahead, do it. 10 things that you like about yourself. No matter how silly or insignificant they may seem.

Done it? Great. See how easy it is to break away from putting yourself down?

Continue to build yourself up. Make it a daily habit to list the things you like about yourself. Watch as your confidence soars.

7. Be prepared

When you are prepared, you’re going to be more confident with the situation you’re going into. For example, say you were going camping. It would be pretty nerve-wracking to go into it without any gear, any preparation, and no idea of where you’re going, right?

Now say you’ve taken the time to get all your gear together, establish an action plan, and know where you’re heading. You’ll be a lot more confident going into it.

You can relate this to any everyday situation. If you’re going to a party, be prepared by looking good, feeling good and having some conversation topics in mind. If you’re giving a speech, be prepared by knowing your speech. If you’re giving a presentation, practice presenting it. Preparation will lead you to security in the situation. (Confidence!)

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8. Gear the conversation to a topic you know

If you commonly find yourself feeling insecure in social situations, and as though you have nothing to contribute to conversations, there’s a simple trick to fix that: Talk about what you know.

Obviously you don’t need to walk up and just start aimlessly talking about it, just strike up a casual conversation with someone about something they’ve said. Once you’re talking to them about what they said, relate what it is you know to what it is they said. (It’s not as hard as it sounds.)

There are infinite ways to relate topics to each other. Just find the overlap. Practice it on friends first if you don’t feel confident doing it with strangers, every step you take towards practising this will increase your confidence in social situations exponentially.

9. Identify your passions in life

There’s something about passion that brings out the most complex beauty within people. That moment when your eyes are full of awe and wonder, completely captivated by the moment, caught up in an inner sense of purpose and a burning desire.

When you know your passion in life, it gives you a lot more sense of purpose. It gives you direction. It gives you meaning. It gives you security. Ultimately, these all translate into one thing… Confidence.

If you know what you’re passionate about, you’ll always have a reserve of confidence at your disposal.

10. Ask other people for their opinion on you

It’s easy to get trapped in your head, and be convinced all of these flaws that you see are how everyone else sees you. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to remedy this self-damaging thought pattern. Go to someone you’re close with and ask them what they think of you. Listen to all the loving things they have to say about you. Listen as they point out all of your awesome points, that they see, rather than the flaws that you see.

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Once they’ve given you their opinion of you, try to understand it. Try to accept it. Try to realise that very few people, if any at all, are looking at you and seeing these flaws you’ve identified in your head. They’re seeing you when you’re not caught up in all this self-damaging monologue. There’s a beauty to you that you’re often blind to.

11. Be yourself

As simple as it is, and as contradictory as it may sound: being yourself is the ultimate source of confidence. When you are simply yourself, you’ll realise that all the masks you’ve worn were only ever holding you back from being confident.

Owning who you are frees you from comparisons and judgement, because you are what you are – it doesn’t  matter what anyone else thinks.

Ultimately confidence is something you exude when you unlearn the habit of constant insecurity. Deep down, you’re aware you have talents, worth and a unique value to bring to every situation. You just need to peel off the insecurity that you learned and allow that confidence to shine.

If you’ve got anything to add, then please just drop it in the comments below. If you think you know someone that could benefit from this, just share it!

Featured photo credit: Death to the Stock Photo via deathtothestockphoto.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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