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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 March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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