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11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Are you overwhelmed by negative thoughts and past failures? If you are, then it is difficult to feel confident. My father’s advice always was, “Look on the bright side.” I did not realize that was such good advice until about 30 years later! Here are 11 easy ways to boost your confidence if you are feeling glum and pessimistic.

1. Focus on positive thoughts.

Looking on the bright side means focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Focus on your good health, achievements, talents, and experience. Research has shown that when elderly Canadians were convinced that their health was poor, they were much more likely to end up in hospital than those who were convinced their health was excellent. Time to dismiss all those negative thoughts!

2. Use the power of mantras.

Thoughts need to be verbalized and this is how the power of mantras, repeated to yourself, can work. Perhaps you are dogged by critical comments, desolate because of insults or crippled by setbacks? How on earth can you boost your confidence with all that going on? Many experts believe that when we repeat mantras, we can boost confidence. Try a few of these for yourself:

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  • “What others say is a reflection of them, not me.”
  • “The only approval I need is my own.”
  • “I am good enough.”
  • “I look great.”
  • “I can succeed in this.”

3. Sit up straight.

There are now posture corrector apps which can be attached to your lower back to remind you to sit up straight with head lifted and shoulders back. The experts tell us that when we slouch, this affects our whole outlook on life. One study showed that those who sat upright were much more optimistic about their prospects in careers and their relationships. Those who were slouching were way down the list as regards confidence. Stop slouching!

4. Learn from setbacks.

Maybe you think that there are far too many setbacks and this has ruined your confidence in getting that dream job or getting a great figure. You may be thinking that your weight loss program is useless because you will never achieve your goal. The secret here is think of a setback or failure as feedback. It is telling you what to adjust and how to continue on the road, using a slightly different approach.

“Life’s problems reveal who we really are”- Unknown

5. Think of expectations rather than fantasies.

If you fantasize too much and visualize lots of success, happiness and wealth, there may be a shock coming. Research now suggests that positive expectations are a much safer route to take to boost your confidence. After all, dreaming is part of a fantasy. Expectations are based on past experiences. Studies show that people with realistic expectations were doing better at getting the dream job or finding a partner.

6. Choose 5 things you can easily do.

Maybe you are a great jogger or cook? Perhaps you are kind and compassionate? Whatever it is, choose 5 of these things that you are really good at and always make you feel great afterwards. This is a great confidence booster and an even better one is to tick them off your list at the end of the day.

7. Seek out positive leisure time.

This is where you have to make an effort to avoid toxic company and also exposure to bad news. We are surrounded by disasters and every time we log on, there is news about some catastrophe, There is very rarely good news. This can drag us down into doom and gloom. The solution to boost confidence is to dedicate more time to physical activity, watching funny videos and above all, enjoying the company of positive friends and colleagues.

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8. List your achievements.

You need to constantly remind yourself of what you achieved in your life so far. This often gets overshadowed by problems and worries. These can cloud your vision and make your goal seem impossible. A good idea is to keep a list of your successes near your computer to remind yourself. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion. This is a great confidence booster. The great thing about being self-confident is that you can inspire others to be like that too. Spread the good news!

9. Count your blessings.

My father also said this! Look at what you have now. You are in a comfortable space, you have enough food to eat, and you can even read my article! Did you know that happiness is made up of 90% of how you actually view your life? The other miserable 10% make up the actual circumstances. Too often, when you are not self-confident, you tend to concentrate on this tiny percentage.

Every single day, make sure you list all the things you have to be grateful for. Your list will probably be quite long. That will make you feel happier straightaway and also boost your confidence

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10. Keep taking risks.

Imagine that you have had negative feedback or that you have screwed up at work. These things happen all the time and your confidence takes a battering. The worst possible thing you can do is to crawl back into your shell and decide to keep a low profile. Head down and work away without taking any risks. This is not a good way to recover. We need to keep taking risks and keep moving forward to achieve success. That is the best recipe to get back your confidence. Retirement is not an option yet!

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

11. Forget perfectionism.

We all strive to be the best, the nicest, the most successful. The list goes on and on. But recognizing that perfectionism is simply not achievable can be a great recipe to boost confidence. Nothing wrong with excellence but perfectionism will ensure we spend too much time comparing ourselves to others all the time. That is not healthy at all and can ruin our confidence as we observe their successes. The best way forward to self-confidence is to stop beating ourselves up for our mistakes and our faults.

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“A great figure or physique is nice, but it’s self-confidence that makes someone really sexy.” – Vivica A.Fox.

Featured photo credit: Rainy Day Inspiration :: You Must Believe In Yourself!/Jennifer via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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