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9 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

9 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Finding that extra dose of confidence in times of personal uncertainty is a tricky thing to master. And even when you’re able to find it, it can be even more difficult to maintain. Confidence is, however, one of the strongest personal traits we can posses. It has the remarkable power to help you maintain positivity and happiness in your life at a consistent rate.

Building confidence is a never-ending uphill battle, and cultivating it is a gradual process. But here are 9 easy ways to boost your confidence and help you feel like the worthy person you already are:

1. Don’t obsess over others

I used to believe that happiness and confidence was only for the famous or well-liked, but that’s not the case. Comparing your life to others is dangerous because it normally leaves you feeling worthless in some aspect. They have something you lack or they’re leading a life that you think you want. Keep in mind that everyone is human, and part of being human is dealing with things that aren’t always pleasant. Even LeBron James and Jennifer Lawrence have personal issues that challenge their confidence daily. Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on your goals, talents, and the things you enjoy doing most. Cultivate your passions instead of trying to change them.

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2. It’s okay to work in silence

For whatever reason, our culture is led to believe that the loud-mouth, showoff, pompous people are the most confident of the bunch. We believe worth goes unnoticed if you’re not socially recognized for something. This, too, is not the case. It’s often the ones with the most humility, who prefer work out of the public limelight, who are the most confident. Someone who shows a true display of strength, depth, and pure self confidence is the one who can continue pursuing a dream without a constant stream of public appraisal.

3. Everyone isn’t out to get you

I promise, it’s not just you who thinks you’re a walking target. You’re not the only one worrying about how others think about or perceive you. We all do it. Sadly, and thankfully in this case, we’re all pretty self-absorbed. Our internal dialogue, when we’re not petrified that others are judging us, usually defaults to the bills we have to pay, the chores we wished our roommate did, or the spaghetti we’re eating for the fifth time this week (…and it’s only Wednesday). Everyone else is fixated on something personal that’s looming, not the haircut you think looks bad or the small stain on your pants.

4. It’s okay to laugh it off

Everyone messes up from time to time. It’s pretty unavoidable unless you annex yourself somewhere deep underground or far into the woods, which would be a fairly anti-social existence. An easy way to boost self confidence is to accept your flaws, foibles, and failings in stride, with the understanding that mistakes build character. Every rejection or face plant is an opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed on the next try. Even if you can’t muster a chuckle when you fall, try at least smiling.

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5. Let go of what you can’t control

Everyone wants to be in charge of their own life. The things that happen, the people they meet, the way things play out, anything and everything in respect to our life we want to control. Sadly, this just isn’t possible. In an effort to avoid a theological debate, no one can control everything that happens to them. What you can always control, no matter what happens externally, is your attitude and reaction. To echo the previous point, take negative happenings and occurrences in stride with the hope of growth and thankfulness for the learning opportunity.

6. Compliment others

Being internally negative often results in outward negative habits like gossip, insults, and passive aggression. An effective way to help change your negative internal dialogue is to consciously change your habits of praising others. Take a stand against focusing on irritating things other people do and look for the best in them instead. Also, honesty and sincerity go a long way with compliments. People can tell when it’s forced or fabricated. If you try to actively bring out the best in others, you will in turn be well very well-liked.

7. Collaborate with others

We’re all consistently too hard on ourselves. When we initially take on a project, or try to do something, we feel alone and solely responsible for the outcome. This, in turn, causes us to focus on the parts of the project we’re deficient in, lowering self confidence further. So, what if you were to gather like-minded people who share specialized skill sets to make something really great? This will allow and encourage you to focus on something you’re really good at. You’ll not only contribute to something you believe in, but your talents will also be recognized and praised by others.

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8. Take yourself out on a date

We’re existing in the most interconnected period in the history of mankind. With the advent of social media networks, it feels like we’re always having six conversations at one time. Even though a slew of likes, comments, and post shares can elevate your self esteem, it can also leave us feeling worthless in times when we’re not getting any social media engagement. Sadly, lots of people, especially millennials, are letting their happiness run parallel with the amount of likes their latest Instagram post received. This is far from healthy. Try taking a step back, leaving your phone in a safe place, and spending some time alone doing one of your favorite activities.

9. Be kind

A simple idea that’s often the hardest to practice. One of the easiest ways to elevate your self worth is to do worthy things for others and yourself. Going the extra mile to help a friend in a pinch or staying an extra hour to bail out a coworker on a huge report will instantly make you feel confident. And, much like the sixth point above, kindness and “good vibes” always seem to find their way back to you. Simply put, if you act in accordance with the Golden Rule, you’ll start to think more highly of yourself.

Confidence is evasive, but you can find it. Utilizing the tips and steps listed above is a great place to start. Confidence isn’t built when the answers are known, but instead when you’re ready to face the questions.

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Featured photo credit: Smiling Girl Wallpaper via wallpaperseries.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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