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7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Believe in Yourself

7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Believe in Yourself

Some people say it’s resources, luck, background or connections that create successful people. Whereas I surely agree that all these and many other factors influence the path of every individual, the most contributing factor to achieving something significant is self-belief. Without this key ingredient, there’s not a lot that could help you.

“The biggest difference I’ve noticed between successful people and unsuccessful people isn’t intelligence or opportunity or resources. It’s the belief that they can make their goals happen.”

James Clear

To put yourself on the track to success, you need to understand that your brain always plays against you. It doesn’t care about your big goals, the only thing it wants is to keep you alive. Therefore, we experience procrastination, self-doubt, negative thinking, anxiety and so on. The sure-fire way to overcome these obstacles is to not believe in them and truly believe in yourself.

1. If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?

Honestly, if you don’t believe you’re going to succeed, then how on earth would anybody else do? Let’s say you want to build a successful business and you need to convince the investors that your idea is the one worth putting funds into.

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The first thing is to absolutely believe your concept is going to succeed, otherwise no one will trust in it. You won’t either.

Imagine living a life without arms and legs. This is the reality of Nick Vujicic. Most people including himself doubted his ability to live a normal life. He even attempted suicide. The moment he found belief, however, was the turning point.

Now, Nick lives a life without limitations, traveling the world and inspiring millions of people to believe in themselves, regardless of circumstances.

2. You build self-confidence

If you are not confident enough, you’ll break like a twig the first time you face an obstacle. Whatever you want to achieve, there will be countless barriers questioning your competences. The only way to get through them is by being confident enough that you can and will.

This confidence comes from within, from the deep belief in yourself and your abilities.

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3. You are one step closer to winning and succeeding

There’s that one goal you have in mind for a long time. You know what it takes to get there and you know the examples of people who did it successfully. Now that the path is clear, what you need is to believe that you can do it as well, and then take action.

By creating that positive attitude, you realize that what separates you from accomplishing your goal is just the matter of time and work. This feeling of being closer to your target drastically increases your chances of hitting it.

4. You inspire yourself to take action

Once you literally see yourself arriving at the desired finish line, you are highly motivated to work toward your goal. You know it’s doable and within your reach, so you attempt until you finally get there.

Michael Jordan failed countless times. As he admits, he missed thousands of shots and lost hundreds of games. However, he realized that’s part of the process so he used it as a driving force to work even harder. He also emphasizes it’s failure that enabled him huge success.

Jordan’s attitude is something everyone should borrow. When you fail over and over again, be aware that you are just getting closer to a triumph.

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5. You form positive attitude required to success.

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Winston Churchill

Being negative and visioning the worst scenario is the easiest way to never achieve your goals. Due to self-belief, your attitude becomes the right one. There’s no way to convince a man with the wrong mindset that he can. Same goes for telling people with a positive attitude that they can’t. It’s like water off a duck’s back, they don’t hear the negative talk from the naysayers.

6. You realize failure is part of the process and temporary

Niklas Hed together with his mobile game development team created 51 games and all them were failures. This, however, enabled them to build Angry Birds, an app that dominated the app store and became a world wide phenomenon.

Countless failures seemed to be the secret to succeeding. Some could think that creating 51 unsuccessful games means the failure is inescapable. But it turned out to be just temporary.

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Now, when you experience nothing but constant failure, don’t give up, maybe the next attempt is your pivotal moment.

7. You let the negative thoughts fade away

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

Willie Nelson

How many times did you tell yourself you can’t? I used to do it way too often. Finding an excuse that seems reasonable is incredibly easy, since our brains love to rationalize.

By feeding your brain with positive thinking and self-belief affirmations, you create no space for pessimistic thoughts. And even when they arrive from time to time, your confident attitude beats them instantly.

Featured photo credit: Helmuts Guigo via flickr.com

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Oskar Nowik

Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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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.

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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]

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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.

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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]

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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

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