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5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Imagine being able to overcome any obstacle that might come your way at work or in relationships. Then try to picture yourself taking risks and not having to ask for advice or someone’s approval every step of the way. This is what self-confident people do every day.

If you lack assurance and are low on self-esteem, read on because here are 5 easy ways to boost your confidence

“Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered-just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport

1. Boost your self image

If failure is getting you down, just remember that there is always a solution. You may have to try again but you can always analyze what went wrong. The best way to boost your self image after a setback is to write down all your accomplishments and star qualities. Make a list and put it on your computer desktop or near where you spend most of your time. You can also make a list of all the things you should be grateful for. The benefits of gratitude on your overall health and happiness are truly amazing, as you will see from this infographic.

2. Set realistic goals

You know your talents and strengths. Set your goals to match these. Reject those that are just beyond your skills set and capabilities, qualifications or experience. This is where you can realistically assess your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

3. Get on the positive thoughts track

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person in the US to gain a degree and she obviously used a lot of positive thinking to help her achieve that amazing feat.

So, why positive thoughts and not negative ones? Negative thinking may be useful when imagining failure scenarios, threats, and obstacles. Once you get on a negative streak, your brain filters out everything else and you only think of failure. The human brain is wired to think of problems and fears, perhaps because of an anthropological necessity to cope with harsh and hostile environments.

The best solution is to build on positive thoughts. Here are some practical tips to do just that:

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  • Make your own mantra where you often repeat phrases such as “I can succeed” or “we are capable of….” It was no accident that the Obama presidential campaign chose “Yes, we can”.
  • Every time a negative thought invades your territory, kick it off the playing field and substitute it with a positive thought, plan, action, or emotion.
  • Court optimism like a seductive lover. Visualize happiness and success. But don’t waste too much time on fantasizing as this will affect productivity and positive action.
  • Do not ignore obstacles entirely. If the plan is feasible, repeat that you know about all the roadblocks along the way but you are well equipped and prepared for them. They will not throw you off the road.
  • Reduce your exposure to negative media and gloomy news broadcasts. Once a day is more than sufficient.
  • Aim for positive leisure time so that you can refresh your mind and body by indulging in comedy, sports, social occasions and avoiding toxic colleagues.

4. Actions and body language speak louder than thoughts

It is all very well to have a positive mindset but you need to accompany this with large doses of action. One study at the Colombia Business School showed that even one minute of using a dominant pose, such as being a confident boss with legs on the desk, led to more confidence. They also found that the right power pose actually changed the levels of testosterone. This would seem to suggest that our body language and the way we walk and other behavior can boost our confidence and chances of success!

5. Increase your will power

If you lack motivation and optimism, there are actually a few tricks that can help you increase your will power, so that you can get things done. Researchers have found that those on challenging diets should eat with their less dominant hand. This forces them to think a lot more about the quantity and the quality of the food. They get better results than those who never bother to change hands while eating.

When people were tempted to indulge in smoking, they found that by tensing certain muscles such as their fist or biceps, helped them to resist. Even gripping a pen in your hand was found to be helpful. Researchers at Rochester University found that the participants who sat up straight and crossed their arms had a much higher persistence rate and were more successful than those who adopted a more relaxed body pose.

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Once you see the results from increased will power, positive actions, and the right mindset, your confidence will be boosted.

Let us know in the comments how you manage to increase your confidence.

Featured photo credit: Yes, We Can (44th/52)/ Alexandre Normand via flickr.com

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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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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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