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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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