Advertising
Advertising

13 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Life Extraordinary

13 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Your Life Extraordinary

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to get ahead in life easily and effortlessly no matter what is going on around them? These people are amazing entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, leaders and even motivators. What is more interesting is that they are often not the most talented, hard working or smart people around. Yet, somehow, they achieve much more than the rest of us. What is it that makes their life so extraordinary? How can someone’s life even be extraordinary all the time?

Khalil Gibran says, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” The key to success isn’t complex. Rather, it is the cumulative effect of simple daily habits that bring success. If you are ready to live a truly extraordinary, you should follow the example of extraordinary people and do those simple things that perpetuate success and help make your own life extraordinary.

1. You must be more confident.

Do away with shyness. You are an extraordinary person and you should know that. Confident people have a marked assurance about them that just gives them an edge. Understand your own competences and the value you provide. Be at ease with who you are in full knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses. Act in ways that convey that understanding to others without being arrogant to display confidence. Also, work out, dress better and use power poses like standing with arms outstretched to boost your confidence and appreciate yourself more. These are signs of confidence.

Advertising

2. You need to watch who you allow into your life.

Pay attention to who you allow into your life. Your energy levels grow or diminish based on what you are doing, who you are doing it with and or who you are surrounded with. If the people you allow into your life or surround yourself with zap your energy, deplete it and leave you exhausted, remove them from your life. However, if the people you allow into your life energize you and make you feel fired up and ready to go, cherish them and tap into their positive vibe to achieve more and live happier.

3. You must tell the truth.

The truth can be scary and difficult. But, when you tell the truth you not only set yourself apart from the majority, but also set yourself free to live without worry of contradicting yourself. You don’t have to remember what you said to whom. You earn a reputation as an honest person and people pick up on that and follow your example. They become more truthful to you. Start telling the truth today and never stop. Tell the truth to yourself and to others. Tell the truth when it is easy to do so and when it is not. Tell the truth to underscore you are serious about living an honest, extraordinary life.

4. You should practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about paying attention and staying aware of the world around you. In our fast-paced life, more people need to stop rushing through life, multi-tasking and start paying attention and noticing the world around us. Just slow down and appreciate your immediate surroundings. Focus on your responsibilities and experiences and respond to them with an objective, compassionate and non-judgmental attitude. You will find mindfulness helps you better respond to all of life’s experiences with calmness, sobriety and hope, even when those experiences are painful.

Advertising

5. You need to allow change.

Change is inevitable. From the day you are born to the day you die, you will encounter change severally. People marry, switch careers, re-locate to another city and even move overseas in the course of time. Give yourself permission to feel all of the emotions that come along with change. Deal with any signs of resistance that threaten to obstruct or hinder your progress, such as foot-dragging and inertia. Keep in mind the wise words of Anatole France, “…we must die to one life before we can enter another.”

6. You should smile and laugh more.

This is probably the simplest and easiest one to add into your life right now. Truly extraordinary people seem so happy because they chose to be. They are optimists. They focus on the brighter side of life instead of wallowing in the negatives of life. Recognize that a well-led life is full of humor and humor is the flipside of tragedy. Laugh and smile more in life. Laughter not only makes you look younger and more attractive, but also has numerous health benefits like lowering your stress levels. Besides, smiling and laughter is contagious. It infects others and makes their lives brighter too.

7. You must forgive and move forward.

We have all been hurt or offended at some point and will be hurt and offended in the future. Learn to forgive whenever you are hurt, otherwise the weight of unforgiveness will weigh you down. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened. It also does not mean the other person will change her behavior. Rather, it means letting go of the anger and recognizing there is no point in allowing resentment to dominate your life. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Let go and move forward. Start from a clean slate and you will enjoy a truly happy and extraordinary life.

Advertising

8. You must love what you do.

“Do what you love; Love what you do.” That was the unofficial work mantra of Steve Jobs. He preached and advocated love for your job passionately, attributing it in part to his success. He is quoted saying, “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.” If you can’t find what you love, at least start loving what you do. Focus on the little good things about your job like your workmates and do your best every time. You just might leave a notable mark in this world.

9. You need to seek help and guidance.

Nobody knows everything, which means you can’t do everything completely on your own. The sooner you learn this, the better. You will need help, advice, support and guidance along the way. People who lead extraordinary lives understand this fact and are not afraid to seek help. They are keen on learning new things and know seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of respect for other people’s skills and knowledge. Ask for help, advice or other information respectfully whenever you need it. Make sure you express your gratitude afterwards. You will be better off after it.

10. You need to sleep enough.

You don’t need to work extra hard to lead a happy, successful life. Instead, you can just work smarter. That includes sleeping enough to give your body and mind enough time to rest and recover so that both can function optimally. Get enough sleep each night—seven to eight hours, at least. You will wake up the next day refreshed, energized and ready for the day ahead. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re killing your productivity, killing brain cells and killing your chances of success without even knowing it.

Advertising

11. You need to show unexpected kindness.

A simple act of kindness (even to an animal) is a powerful force that can dramatically alter anyone’s perception and experience in life. Show kindness without expecting anything in return. Acts of kindness prove you care. When you care, people notice. And, when people notice, it is an opportunity to make a positive difference in this world that is mad-dogged with intolerance, impatience and aggression.

12. You should give genuine feedback and compliments.

Give genuine feedback and compliments to others, even those you only interact in passing. Express your sincere appreciation for what they do. This simple habit has a ripple effect that opens doors for you to receive similar feedback, which helps you know how you are doing in your own life and areas you can improve. People instantly like those who like them and genuinely want to help and support them. Words like “thank you” and “good job,” therefore, can pay you back tenfold.

13. You must have fun.

Just have fun, generally. Learn from Sir Richard Branson who believes that if you have fun and do good then success will come. We are only human. You need time off, fun and excitement in your life to blow off some steam and stir up your creative mind. Besides, success is not an overnight thing. You might as well enjoy your way to where you want to be.

Featured photo credit: Adib Roy via flickr.com

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

25 Memory Exercises That Actually Help You Remember More 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer You Probably Never Knew 15 Funny Idioms You May Not Know (And What They Actually Mean) Great Leaders Remember to Offer These 10 Things All The Time

Trending in Communication

1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next