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11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Look at you. You’ve made it this far, haven’t you? No need to be insecure. Just the simple fact that you’re reading this means you’ve at least accomplished something in your life. Sure, it’s easy to get down on yourself sometimes. But there are so many reasons you have to be confident, and so many ways you can help yourself know it.

1. Only compare yourself to your past self

If you keep comparing yourself to others, of course you’re going to feel insecure. There’s always going to be someone out there better than you (unless you’re a world record holder or something, in which case I doubt you’re reading this).

The only person you should compare yourself to is…yourself. Look at who you were yesterday, a month ago, five years ago. Then look at who you are now. Then, think about where you’ll be tomorrow, a month from now, or five years from now. Keep building on who you were, and who you are, to become the person you want to be.

2. List your life’s accomplishments

Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished in the face of adversity. And again, don’t compare this list to someone else’s. I walk with a mild limp, which sometimes gets me down. But when I think of the fact that doctors told my parents I would never walk, every step I take feels like an accomplishment. I’ve also earned two degrees and gotten married to the most amazing person I’ve ever met.

Okay, enough about me. What have you done in your life that you have to be proud about? If I can be proud of being able to walk to the fridge for another Mountain Dew, you have to have something of your own to proudly brag about.

3. Be honest about what brings you down about yourself

Everyone has qualities they want to improve. There’s nothing wrong with admitting shortcomings. There is something wrong with acknowledging your shortcomings without doing something about them.

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If you know you’d feel better about yourself if you could lose some weight, don’t just wish it would happen; put a plan in motion to reach your goal. Don’t just wish you finished college when you were younger – look for a way to fit in night classes at a local community college.

It’s never too late to improve yourself, until it is, and you’ll never get the chance to do better.

4. Admit past mistakes, and work toward fixing them

While we’re being honest with ourselves, let’s look at some of the mistakes we’ve made in our lives. Everybody messes up once in a while, and that’s okay. But just like it’s not okay to become complacent about our shortcomings, it’s also not okay to keep making the same mistake over and over again.

Making a mistake can be a turning point in your life – the moment when you realize you could be doing better. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that one mistake leads to failure. Realize that failure, when taken advantage of, is simply a pathway to success.

5. Smile more

It sounds simple, and maybe a bit silly. But smiling is not just a reflex to a positive stimulus; it can actually be a positive stimulus. Try it. You can actually trick your brain into believing you’re excited or happy about pretty much anything.

When you wake up and face the day with a smile, you’re more likely to feel positive about everything around you, including yourself.

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6. Dress to impress

Just like smiling can make you feel better almost instantly, dressing “to the nines” can have the same effect, especially on your self-confidence. I am definitely not the most confident person in the world, but when I don a three-piece suit, I feel like I can take on anything.

Even on a daily basis, wearing slacks and a sweater rather than jeans and a sweatshirt can change your entire perspective of the world, and of yourself.

7. Face the world – literally

Put your phone away for once. Look straight forward when you walk down the street, or even when you’re sitting outside waiting for a friend. Greet strangers with a friendly, sincere smile. Make eye contact when conversing with people.

Stop staring at your shoes as you shuffle through the world. You’ll find the rest of the world to be much more pleasant than the ground. And you’ll feel more confident as you have a perfect view of your surroundings.

8. Live by the Serenity Prayer

Not George Costanza’s prayer. That just leads to insanity later. You know the one:

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

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Some things in life can’t be fixed, and we must let them go. Some things can be fixed, and we must be the people to fix them. Some things, we’re just so passionate about that we would do anything to change them, but no matter what we do, our efforts will be in vain.

Having command over these issues in your life means you are in complete control, and can be confident to make improvements in your life and your world.

9. Live with integrity

Reinforce your words and ideals with actions. Don’t be that person that complains about the government but doesn’t vote, or the person that thinks sharing a Facebook post will help save the endangered rhinos.

If you believe in something, act on it. It’s much easier said than done, I know. But once you get moving, it’s hard to stop until you reach your goal. Strive for excellence and you’ll feel excellent.

10. Be kind to others and yourself

Being nice to others for the most part guarantees that you’ll get it in return. Although you shouldn’t simply be friendly just to get it back, a byproduct of this is that you’ll feel great when others are nice to you.

Not only will you feel great about having others be nice to you, you’ll also put yourself in a position to meet new people every time you step outside. This could lead to bigger opportunities, close friendships, and relationships that could last a lifetime.

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11. Think positively about others and yourself

Along with being kind to others, find positive aspects of everyone you meet. Thinking positively about others has many benefits. For one, focusing on the good allows you to see the struggles they overcame and makes you appreciate them more.

Secondly, the way you think of others is subconsciously how you think others think of you; if you only see people in a positive light, you will begin to magnify the positives in your own life.

Lastly, thinking positively about others reflects well on you, and will lead to better connections and opportunities.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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