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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 May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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