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9 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for a New Love in 2015

9 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for a New Love in 2015

Finding new love can be a daunting dream.

You want to fall in love but the way your last relationship ended hurt and the fear of that happening again haunts you. It feels much safer to stay alone or believe that love will find you if it’s meant to. But the question is — would you be ready if the right opportunity suddenly stared you in the face? Ready to receive and to give and hold and accept the good with the bad?

Most of us are not, which causes us to run or make a bad choice because we are afraid we will be alone if we pass it up. So, start preparing your heart before Mr. or Ms. Wonderful show up. Here are 9 ways to do that.

1.  Get serious by writing it down.

Find yourself a beautiful journal. Start by writing your favourite love poem into the front. When you are done, put your hand over your heart and feel it beating. Forget you are afraid. Forget you think it won’t happen. Go behind the beating and feel what your reaction to the poem is.  Write down everything that your heart says it wants to hear from someone someday. You don’t have to tell anyone — it’s just for you alone.

2.  Learn to listen with your heart.

Ask a friend to go out for dinner to a special restaurant you have been wanting to go to. While you are with her (or him), practice listening for their heart. This will begin to train you for how to  listen on a date. Pretend there is a bridge running from your heart to hers or his. Walk across it, leaving your own thoughts behind and just be in their thoughts while you are with them.

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Listen for phrases like, “I wish…”,  “Sometimes it seems that…,” “I love it when….” Ask questions so that they share something that they might not talk about often. Smile at them and if you don’t know how to respond, just acknowledge how that must make them feel, such as, “That must have been really hard for you….” Do your best to keep the focus on them out of caring and interest. Talk about yourself a little less than usual.

3.  Watch a romantic movie and observe what it is your heart longs for in love.

Yes, this can apply to guys too.  Instead of feeling sad about being alone or not having the love you want, go into your heart by placing your hand gently over it to feel it beat. Go beneath the beating to the feelings inside it. Ask yourself: What qualities do I want that the guy or girl in this movie had? What attracted me to the man or lady in this story?  Or if not the qualities, what did they say or do that made my heart wish? Do I want those qualities in someone I would like to have love me?  Do I want to hear those words, have that feeling, be able to open my heart like that?

Use the movie to teach you, to train your heart to know what it wants. Write your thoughts and your lists into your journal for safekeeping.  This is just for you and your heart to know.

4. Tie your deepest dreams to something you see everyday.

Decide that this next year is going to be different, that you are going to find every reason you can to believe in yourself, if it takes you until 2016 or infinity and beyond… that you are going to find love again.

Find a symbol that represents that commitment — something that you can keep out all year where you will see it everyday for the next year — to remind yourself. I used to carry a rock in my pocket that said “Believe” on it. I also bought myself figurines that I placed all over my house representing strong qualities I wanted. Don’t feel the need to tell anyone; it’s just yours to know, to believe in. Use it to convince yourself: “I am going to learn to love and appreciate who I am.”

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5.  Teach yourself to give without expecting anything in return.

There are so many ways to give. Did you know that, if you step outside yourself for a few moments, and give something to someone without expecting anything back, it will skyrocket your serotonin (the feel good hormone in your brain)? You will be left with a sense of fulfilment that creates a deep contentment. Walk yourself to the store and buy several pairs of socks to donate to the local shelter, bake a batch of cookies and take it to someone lonely, volunteer at the soup kitchen… do something, no matter how small, to make someone else feel good.

Be a Secret Santa, even if it isn’t Christmas. And expect nothing — not a thank you, not a smile, not anything. Just give to give. This, too, is practice for loving someone special in your life. There are many times when true love is giving “just because” without expecting anything back. You will need that skill. Giving without expectation builds your heart to meet a need that we all have, whether you know it or not  Have fun and let your creativity flow!

6. Ramp up your attraction factor — do something to make you feel better about yourself.

Do you know what a man finds sexiest on a woman? It’s her smile. A sincere smile from a contented heart causes you glow without you even knowing. Do you know what the main qualities are that attract a woman to a man? Being strong and tender all at the same time. A woman’s smile and a man’s true strength radiate from a confident heart. So what is something that would assist you in building your confidence? Picking up an old dream and signing up for a class? Learning something new? Planning to do something on your own that you had hoped to do with your partner?

Start with simple ways – for example, for most women, feeling pretty is part of that. Book yourself a manicure, a pedicure, go for a new hairstyle, buy yourself something colorful (great sales on this time of year) — do something that makes you feel just a little prettier. For a man, a haircut does help a lot. Perhaps renewing that gym membership and starting to work with a trainer to begin building up some of that great muscle would be the ticket. You know yourself, and your heart needs to know you are still alive. That you are not only alive, but gorgeous and gifted and lit up when your heart is invested in becoming all you can be. You are a long way from being knocked out of the game, baby!

So start moving forward — progress, not perfection, is happiness.

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7. Transform your bedroom into an inviting boudoir.

Many of us don’t think about whether someone special would fit into our bedrooms. Take the time to consider how you would like to change some things in your “inner sanctum” that would remind you that love is welcome here: get rid of stuffed animals, dirty laundry spilling out everywhere, or anything that is cluttered and worn. Right now it’s yours, yes, but someday it may be yours and his or hers. It’s fun to dream but it’s even more fun to take action. Pretty up your bedroom by adding some color, perhaps a new comforter, and complimentary curtains… maybe buy some candles.

8. Plan your focus: what will you think about, talk about, work for?

Time to make a plan. Remember, if you don’t write it down, chances are it won’t happen. Decide specifically how you are going to spend your time when you are not working or caring for family. You owe this to yourself. Your heart needs a break from its sadness. What will you think about? What will you focus on? It’s okay to give yourself a little time to grieve what was and how you wish it were. Sometime when you are alone, write those feelings down in your journal or express them in some other creative way original to you like writing a song, painting, or composing a poem. Then close your book or purposely set your project aside.

Go from there, determined to focus on one moment at a time today, every day.

If you are with family, observe what it is that you really do love about them. If you are with friends, do the same. Be there entirely in the present — not in the past, not in the future. Really look at what is bright and beautiful around you. Stare at a star. Squint your eyes to see how different they look when you do. Listen to the music you are hearing — hear the instruments, the beauty of the voices, feel the feelings it brings. Find something warm to hold in your heart. Your child’s laughter. The kind feeling you have when you pay for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive through coffee shop. A casual thank you received.

9. Allow your heart to dream again. Put it out there by asking specifically for what you want in love.

Take some time to dream. Divorce may have broken your heart and you may think that it has left you as damaged goods. You may think that love is too scary to try again or that there are no more good men or women out there.

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But you are wrong! Someone is searching for you, waiting to love and be loved by you. So find a picture that represents where you would like to be a year from now. Do you want to be in love?  Do you want to live in a new place? Do you want to be smiling? Begin to write down what you want. Start to learn about what a good relationship truly looks like. Dream it!

2015 is your year – go for it!

Featured photo credit: Copyright: konradbak / 123RF Stock Photo via 123rf.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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