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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 August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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