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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 February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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