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20 Table Etiquette Mistakes To Embarrass Yourself

20 Table Etiquette Mistakes To Embarrass Yourself

So you think you can eat? Politely? If you’ve been spending too much alone time shoving food down your pie hole or hanging with friends whose careers don’t require adult behavior, your manners’ hard drive may be corrupted. It’s time to pull the napkin out of your collar and get serious again about good table manners.

1. Don’t Rush the Table

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    A simple meal at a friend’s home is a great place to practice etiquette skills. Hopefully, you brought along an offering of wine, etc. and once there, are engaged in frivolity. But don’t get too comfortable too fast. Your hosts have some expectations. Let them lead the event including the gesture for seating. Musical chairs ended in grade school and it’s best to wait for their direction on when and where to sit. And naturally, ladies first.

    2. Can you hear me now?

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      Thinking of putting your phone, keys, or purse on the table? This is a clutter free zone, not your kitchen counter. Pack away yourmuteddevices after taking the requisite photos and doing the check in which should be no more than 30 seconds. It’s now considered acceptable to photograph your beautiful food or table mates if the host is doing it, otherwise, save the updates for later. Sara Rimerwas dealing with this a few years ago and her advice is still timely.

      3. Napkin Etiquette

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        It’s so much easier when the napkin is directly on your plate, otherwise panic sets in if you’re confronted with beautifully folded linens placed around the table. Yours is on the left which leaves your right hand free to use your eating utensil. Apologies to the lefties but this was decided long ago by royalty.Napkin History Wait until your host is seated and takes his/her napkin. You may then proceed without great flourish…no snapping or flapping among the refined! Most cloth napkins are big enough for a half fold on your lap while paper napkins can be completely unfolded. A napkin is for keeping hands and face neat; any attempts at using it for a handkerchief will get you promptly moved to the kids’ table.

        4. Place Setting Cheat Code

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          Both hands in front of you now while making this symbol. Look down. Do you see the letterbon your left? That stands forbreadand that’s where your bread plate is located. The letterdis on your right and it meansdrink. No excuses now for scarfing down your neighbor’s bread and water as you’rein the knowwith this tricky cheat code.

          5. Focus on etiquette, not plates

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            You’re seated without your technology which makes googling this puzzle impossible but don’t fear, the wait staff/hosts will guide you at this level. Napkin in place, the service begins and order replaces confusion. You’re the smart one now who recognizes that all thedrinks will be offered to your right and yourbread will be placed to your left. Soups or salads begin using the dish/bowl directly to your front and possibly on your entree plate. They’ve made it easy to find the appropriate utensils as they are placed on theoutsideto be used first. Notice the far left fork (salad) is shorter and wider so as tograbthe greens more efficiently. The soup spoon to the far right is longer and wider to dipdowninto the bowl for every last drop. When getting that drop, you may tilt the bowl but don’t pick it up or even think about bringing it to your mouth!

            When service of your entree begins, your used dishes and utensils will be removed (don’t forget to leave them on those dishes to signal that you’ve completed this course.)

            The entree arrives which leaves the remaining utensils at thesidesfor your use. The smaller ones at the top of the entree plate are waiting for the final coursewhich will be dessert.

            Don’t even worry about the various water and wine glasses placed near you. The staff/host will offer and typically pour your beverage in the appropriate glass saving you the concern over which one to use. But in case you’re a worrier, the water glass and white wine glass are usually simple, tall and slim allowing these clear liquids to be highlighted. Short and wide wine glasses allow red wines to expand their surface while you have room at the top to breathe in their bouquet. Understanding the reasoning behind a shape or placement will help you remember its purpose.

            6. Chew and listen. Swallow then talk.

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              Eating together is fulfilling. Thebreaking of bread in either a business setting or at home with friends and family touches something in our spirit. The ceremony of a meal is conducive to sharing and with that comes a multitude of etiquette mishaps. The most important (and perhaps most abused rule) is DO NOT EAT WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN! It sounds simple but as we get excited sharing our conversation, we forget tochew and listen, swallow then talk. No matter what you are sharing, it gets lost as the audience watches the food in your mouth rather than listening to the content of your words.

              7. Etiquette Food Sneaks

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                It seems so harmless at first. The hostess is speaking or saying grace at a large dinner and you think no one will notice that nibble of bread you’ve slipped into your mouth. People notice and make an internal judgment that you’re ill-mannered. You are welcome to sip your beverage but DO NOT start scarfing your meal if you should be listening to a speaker. Only when the speaker urges you to continue eating are you allowed to CONTINUE EATING!! Put your fork down but not on your plate (the wait staff sees that as a signal you’re done) and listen. Besides, your chewing is never louder than when you are the only one doing it at the table.

                Click out the hilarious video below by GloZell to assault your senses if you think you can get away with beingaFood Sneak

                8. Time to Make a Pass
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                  It’s going so well and then you’re challenged to make a pass. Salt and pepper move as a set regardless of what is asked for…don’t separate these savory lovers when responding to a request. Also, it is acceptable to ask someone else to pass them if it’s still too far for you to reach. NEVER reach across a table!

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                  Some will argue that it is rude to enhance the cook’s meal with salt and pepper. The cook/chef/host doesnotput condiments on the table unless they think you may want to add them to your food. It is very rare to find a home cook or restaurant chef’s table without condiments which means it’s completely appropriate. Asking for something unexpected to flavor your food though is a no-no and may get you a frosty glare if mentioned.

                  Eating family style? Passing of the bowls is entirely appropriate side to side. Do not extend bowls across the table. Also, the serving spoon/fork is an indication of portion size. Dole out ONE portion for yourself; if there is extra food after everyone has been served, it will be appropriate to ask for seconds.

                  9. Run for it

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                    Your mother always said you couldn’t finish a meal without needing a bathroom break. If that’s still true OR you need to step away from the table for other reasons, do so without bringing much attention to yourself. The entire table does not need to know your business. Instead, excuse yourself quietly to those sitting nearest you, place your napkin ONyour chair and quietly exit. Expect to be missed if you are absent for more than a few minutes and if so, expect to be quizzed by your table mates upon your return.

                    10. Conversation Etiquette

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                      You converse everyday and it should be so simple but dinner conversation can be tricky if you’re with a business group, contentious friends, or dramatic family members. Alcohol, comfort level (because you feel so good about your etiquette) or being unfamiliar with your table mates can turn you into that personwho causes cringes and rolled eyes. According to the Etiquette Scholar, it is key toStop, Look, Listen, and Watchas you embark upon engaging your fellow diners. Stoptalking if it isn’t well thought out,lookat your listener’s expressions,listenas much as you talk, andwatch whomever you are speaking with.

                      11. Hand Jive

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                        Everything is going so well. You’re talking, eating, and drinking without fear of embarrassment until you notice someone watching your hands. Are you using the Caveman grip? There are two basic styles, Continental and American which are both acceptable. View Here Don’t make excuses for yourself if you’re not utilizing these. Regardless of your intellect and conversation skills, if you eat like the Flintstones, you’ll be treated like them.

                        12. Space…it’s personal

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                          Personal space can be challenging at a crowded table which makes it even more important to follow acceptable boundaries. Keep your elbows tucked in when leveraging your utensils while cutting food and definitely DO NOT place them on the table until it has been cleared completely. Hands can be placed upon the lap when not eating or rested at the wrist on the edge of the table. Moving your chair too close to another can cause angst when either of you have to leave the table. Diners with mobility equipment should always be given preference to an end seat or the placement of their choosing for easy table access.

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                          14. Don’t step in the etiquette landmine

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                            How can we even be discussing this? Because it has happened too often! Dinner guests with all the right moves above the table gettripped upbeing too comfortable underneath the table. No matter how uncomfortable those new shoes are, DO NOT remove them under the table. Can there be anything more embarrassing then having to explain why you’re in bare feet when you rise to leave the table?

                            15. Polite Decline

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                              With today’s myriad of food allergies, diet requirement, etc., it’s logical to communicate with your host pre-dinner concerning your needs. Most are happy to accommodate but mistakes can occur. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to respond amiably if your choices can’t be met. Restaurants can typically provide vegetarian fare but if you’re at someone’s home, show your class by letting the hostess know you’ll be doubling up on side items and bread. Making a scene about your inconvenience will get you on the “Do Not Invite” list for many.

                              If you have no reasonable requests but simplydislikethe fare offered, put on your adult demeanor and make the effort to try a bit of everything. Taking obligatory bites and then slyly moving your food around your plate without eating it will go far in maintaining the respect of your host.

                              16. Utensil Morse Code

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                                The restaurant servers or home hostess keep an eye on your utensil placement near the end of a course or your meal. They want the flow for everyone to be consistent so that conversation stays uninterrupted by a wholesale moving of dirty dishes. The simplest code is using your plate as a clock. Place your utensils parallel across your plate with the handles resting near four o’clock. A tip to remember: Your workday typically ends near four or five just as your meal is ending.

                                There are more specific details for formal dining. See the Etiquette Scholarsfor more information concerning these as well as International rules.

                                17. Let’s Share

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                                  Coffee and dessert? Maybe you’re feeling that you deserve a final treat after minding your manners. Private dinner parties will typically bring out the sweets now but at a restaurant, follow your host’s lead. If the hour is late, they may wave aside dessert but if everyone is ordering so can you.

                                  Sharing desserts can be a pitfall for etiquette mistakes. At business gatherings, it is not even recommended. For hygiene purposes, once you and others have decided which dessert(s) to share, also request extra serving plates and utensils. You can then divide and conquer the sugary delight with everyone getting a bite and not sharing germs. But remember, you’ve asked the server to go above and beyond as you should for their tip when the bill comes.

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                                  18. Food isn’t free

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                                    The meal is coming to an end and if the bill is divided among the diners, there are a few points to remember:

                                    1. Splitting a bill evenly should have been decided before the meal and the waiter informed.
                                    2. Don’t penalize the non-drinkers; ask that beverages be charged separately.
                                    3. For separate bills, remember that the wait staff has extra steps to keep it clear and should be rewarded with an extra tip.

                                    Read more here about the touchy subject of Dividing the Bill

                                    19. Giving thanks for no mistakes

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                                      A meal in which you have stretched your new found etiquette wings deserves a proper thank you. Although a text or email might be convenient, it’s the handwritten note that will get you noticed and invited to more wonderful gatherings. Networking isn’t just in the cyber world; it continues to be a personal experience. But, if your host has a strong online presence, be kind and thoughtful if you blog, FB, or tweet about your evening.

                                      All of your well earned manners credit will be lost if you DO NOT send some form of thanks. Don’t delay or forget…that is the ultimate embarrassment.

                                      20. Pay it forward and avoid embarrassment

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                                        Those beautiful flowers or nice wine that you brought to the dinner party…enjoy the feeling of getting your own. It’s one thing to be a polite and respectful guest who livens up the group and is often invited out, but how embarrassing for you if there is no reciprocation. If your living situation is not conducive to dinner parties, restaurants abound as well as other venues where you can host your own gathering. Museums, ballparks, theaters, can help you host your own dinner party. Be creative and adventurous and remember, there’s a whole new set of etiquette rules to conquer when you play host. Hostess with the Mostest

                                        Featured photo credit: x_alimaryanne_x via morguefile.com

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                                        Last Updated on October 14, 2020

                                        How to Be Confident: 51 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                                        How to Be Confident: 51 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

                                        When you learn how to be confident, you can use it in your everyday life to tackle all of your goals and challenges. However, not many people realize that learning how to gain self-confidence is like building a muscle—it grows in response to the level of performance required of it.

                                        Here I will give you 51 proven ways to overcome a lack of self-confidence and achieve more.

                                        1. Learn Something New

                                        Sign up for that evening class and enjoy it. Alternatively, read a book (or take an online course) on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about.

                                        Learning new things stretches your abilities, keeps your mind active, and most definitely improves your confidence in your ability to do new things.

                                        2. Ask Your Partner or a Friend What You Can Do For Them

                                        This can be something as easy as helping them with a chore they don’t like or have little time for. Through helping them, you’ll find that you feel better about yourself.

                                        3. Hit the Gym

                                        The physiological effects of going to the gym will leave you feeling great.

                                        Countless studies have shown that regular workouts at the gym can boost not only your sense of well-being, but can increase your self-esteem, too[1].

                                        4. Go to a Networking Event

                                        Rather than being nervous about your own stuff, focus on how to help others. Instead of going along with the aim of trying to sell yourself to others, why not change your approach and simply go along to see how you can help the people you meet?

                                        By doing this, you’ll come across as calm, confident, and someone that people will want to turn to again and again.

                                        5. Get Clear on the Things That Matter to You

                                        If these things are not in your life, you’ll need to bring them in.

                                        For example, if your daily work routine is currently as dull as dishwater—but you’d like it to be fun—then do something about it. Turn data entry into personal speed contests, paper filing into “screen-free” time, and interactions with your colleagues into enjoyable conversations.

                                        6. Remove Negativity From Your Life

                                        Write a list of the things you’re tolerating and putting up with in your life, then write down how you can remove, minimize, or diminish each one.

                                        I personally like to do this with pen and paper as it feels just a little more real and definite than on screen. It’s also a good idea to put the priority items at the top of your list, so you can begin resolving these first.

                                        7. Celebrate Your Big and Small Wins

                                        Look at the big or small goals you’ve completed, and give yourself credit for your part in it.

                                        Recognizing your achievements is not egotistical, it’s healthy.

                                        8. Converse With New People

                                        Go and have a conversation with someone you don’t know. By doing this, you may be pleasantly surprised by what—or who—you’ll discover.

                                        You can also extend this trait by breaking outside of your normal social situations at your workplace. This will do wonders when learning how to be confident.

                                        9. Do Something You Would Normally Say No to

                                        Next time you talk yourself out of doing something (a party invite, a challenging project, etc.), go and do it anyway. This is a great way to boost personal development.

                                        10. Do One Thing Each Day That Makes You Smile

                                        This could be something as simple as sending a thank you email to a colleague that has been helpful to you, or leaving a surprise present for your partner that they’ll discover when they wake up.

                                        Life shouldn’t be drudgery, and we all need to make the effort to keep it light, loving, and fun.

                                        11. Give Yourself Good Advice

                                        Look for the patterns of thought that take you to a place where you start second-guessing or overthinking.

                                        Now imagine that your best friend went through exactly the same thought process and ended up holding themselves back—what would you want to say to them?

                                        This is known as Soloman’s Paradox—we’re often quite good at solving others’ problems but not our own. Challenge this and take your own good advice next time[2].

                                        12. Ask Someone on a Date

                                        If you’re single and have met someone that you’re definitely attracted to—go ahead and ask them out.

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                                        Even if they turn you down, it will help you learn how to be confident through the fact that you were decisive and made an effort. What’s the best thing that could happen? They might just say yes!

                                        13. Write Down 20 Things That Make You Feel Good

                                        Think of this as a gratitude list. Typical things you might include are: your partner, your kids, your parents, your pets, etc.

                                        I recommend writing this list at least once a month. And most importantly—make sure you’re giving the 20 things plenty of room in your life.

                                        14. Stop Playing Different Roles

                                        Stop playing different roles and squeezing yourself into boxes based on what you think people expect of you.

                                        Be your authentic self, the one who knows what to do and loves what they do. It’s easy to find this part of yourself as it’s inherent in your hobbies and your close friendships.

                                        If you can bring this authenticity into your work life, you’ll be surprised at how positively others will react to you.

                                        15. Cultivate a Positive Mindset

                                        Learn to catch yourself every time you tell yourself that you can’t have, won’t get, or aren’t good enough to get what you want[3].

                                        Talk yourself up when learning how to be confident.

                                          Instead, tell yourself that you can have, will get, and are good enough to get what you want. Mindset is everything. Make sure yours is positive and dynamic.

                                          16. Take Yourself off Auto-Pilot

                                          Make deliberate decisions on what really matters to you.

                                          For instance, if you normally work 9 to 5 but find yourself spending hours getting to and from work, why not negotiate with your boss to mix your hours up a bit?

                                          You might also suggest a day or two working from home. Sell this to your boss by reminding them that the time and stress lost to commuting can be neatly transferred to productive work hours.

                                          17. Listen Carefully to What You Tell Yourself

                                          Next time you come up against a risk or a challenge, listen to what you tell yourself, and look for a way to improve your inner dialogue.

                                          If you normally find that your inner dialogue is negative, then break out of this by asking yourself questions such as:

                                          • What would make this easier?
                                          • Is there a different way of doing this?
                                          • Could research help?

                                          18. Laugh at Yourself

                                          Scared of looking silly? It’s no biggie, so don’t let it stop you.

                                          Whenever we try something new, there’s a fair chance that we’ll make fools of ourselves. But you’d be a bigger fool to let that stop you. Instead, laugh at your baby steps and watch your confidence soar as you begin to master your chosen activity.

                                          19. Listen to Your Doubts

                                          Sometimes your doubts are there to let you know what you need to prepare for, so you can use them to your benefit as you move forwards. Other times, they are just doubts.

                                          The trick is to quickly determine if your doubts have validity. If they do, use them to shape your decisions.

                                          To illustrate this, imagine that you’ve had an enticing job offer, but you doubt whether you’re capable of doing the job. Spend a little time analyzing your doubts to see whether they reflect reality, or whether they are just negative thoughts that are trying to hold you back.

                                          20. Recall a Time When You Did a Great Job

                                          Think of a time when it felt like a whole bank of switches in your head flicked to the on position, and you were firing on all cylinders. What were you doing, and what’s the reason it felt so great? Can you emulate that passion and drive that you had?

                                          21. Tear up Your Rule Book

                                          You may not know it, but you’ve almost certainly got a whole bunch of outdated rules that determine what you do and don’t do. These rules limit your thinking and your behavior.

                                          It’s time to change them. Tear up this subconscious rule book and toss it in the fire. Once you’ve done this, you’ll immediately notice how free you feel to make challenging and exciting decisions.

                                          22. Ask Yourself What You Have Gained When You Lose

                                          Do you get annoyed with yourself because you didn’t make the most of something or stepped back from an opportunity?

                                          Firstly, don’t beat yourself up because that’s just going to make you feel worse. Instead, be brutally honest and ask yourself what you gained from the situation and what you lost out on.

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                                          Based on this win/lose balance, what’s a different choice you can make next time?

                                          23. Don’t Let People Put You Down

                                          If there’s someone in your life who puts you down or makes you feel small, you owe it to yourself to let them know that you expect something different from now on. 

                                          Trust me, once you’ve told them, they’ll change, and you will, too. Inevitably, you’ll boost both your confidence and happiness by taking control of your life in this way.

                                          Learn how to get out of toxic relationships in this article.

                                          24. Reveal a Little Bit of the Real You

                                          Relationships can be difficult. They can also lose their zest and become stale. If this happens in your relationship, then it’s time to add some magic to the mix.

                                          Try revealing something interesting about yourself or your past that your partner doesn’t currently know when learning how to be confident. Perhaps you never mentioned to them that you used to play in a rock band—and you still have the recordings to prove it!

                                          By adding new things to your relationship, you’ll deepen the bond and keep the spark alive.

                                          25. Be Your Own Hero

                                          Recognize that you’re more than a match for any situation you might find yourself in—no matter how tough the going gets.

                                          We all love movies like Die Hard where ordinary people are driven to super-ordinary feats. But here’s the rub: you can be your own action hero.

                                          Whatever the situation, meet it head on and overcome it. Keep in mind the classic phrase: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

                                          26. Don’t Give in to the Instant Pay-off

                                          If I was to offer you $100 now for a day’s work tomorrow or $110 for the same work, but I won’t pay you for a week, which would you choose? Well, I can’t read your mind, but I do know that studies using a similar question to this have found that most people choose the instant, smaller payment over the latter, bigger payment. It seems that we’re hardwired for instant gratification.

                                          However, if you want to be a success in life, always look at the bigger picture. In the example above, if you could have only waited seven more days, you would have been $10 richer!

                                          27. Instead of Yelling “I Deserve Better,” Say “I Can Be Better”

                                          Too often I hear people complaining about their personal circumstances but refusing to do anything about it. Don’t be like them.

                                          If things aren’t going your way, find solutions and implement them. Your boldness and decisiveness will boost your confidence and help you rapidly climb the ladder of success.

                                          28. Admit You’re Wrong

                                          It may not be easy, but you should always be prepared to hold your hands up and change your mind if things are going south. Not every idea you have will be a winning one. The trick is to know when things are clearly not working out.

                                          You can either attempt to get them back on track or kill them off completely (sometimes that’s the best way).

                                          29. Trust Your Instincts

                                          We all have our gut feelings and intuitions, but many people choose to ignore them and rely only on facts, facts, and more facts! While this may work for many scenarios, there will be other times when you’ll need to rely on your instincts.

                                          30. Imagine Your Confident Future Self

                                          Imagine you’re visited by a successful, confident, attractive, and vibrant version of you from the future, a version of you who’s everything you hope to be. What do they want to tell you?

                                          They might praise your efforts, but they may also criticize your lack of planning and weak goals.

                                          Luckily, if you listen closely to what they tell you, you’ll be able to rapidly shift gears in your life and become the you of the future!

                                          31. Ask for Help

                                          This is a common issue. We take on way too many responsibilities and end up either burning ourselves out or just doing a bad job!

                                          The secret is to put the vast majority of your energy and efforts into what you do well. Give the stuff you don’t do well to others who have a gift for it. Sometimes the most confident and effective thing to do is ask for help.

                                          32. Be Around People Who Make You Feel Like You

                                          Do this by spending more time with the people who support and encourage you and less time with those who undermine you.

                                          At work, don’t be ruined by negative, petty people. Instead, make sure you surround yourself with colleagues who make you laugh and feel good about yourself.

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                                          33. Participate in the World Around You

                                          Ask yourself this question: “What can I participate in that’s important to me?”

                                          Typically, this could be your church, a sports club, or even just a weekly get together with your best friend.

                                          34. Develop Skills to Work on Things That Matter to You

                                          What can you practice that would radically improve your chances of winning?

                                          If you want to climb the corporate ladder, for example, then develop the skills needed to do this. These might include: effective project management skills, powerful presentation abilities, and superb goal setting skills.

                                          Of course, don’t forget that emulating those who have already achieved your goal is one of the quickest and most reliable ways for you to achieve your aims, too.

                                          35. Act Until You Make It

                                          The body is a mirror for the mind, so shifting your body language into a confident state can have surprising results.

                                          This is all about acting. If you want to come across as tough, act tough. If you want to come across as successful, act successful. And if you want to come across as confident, act confident.

                                          Try doing these things, and you’ll be amazed by the results.

                                          36. Push Through When You Want to Give up

                                          Don’t get disheartened or demotivated when you get to 90% with something you’re working on. Push through, and you’ll see that the last 10% is where the magic happens.

                                          37. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

                                          Keep comparing yourself to others? Stop it. If you want to learn how to be confident, don’t try to validate yourself through comparison—you’re just peachy as you are.

                                          Social media often makes this difficult. Try stepping away from your Facebook page for a few days and reconnect with the great things in your own life.

                                          You can get started with this guide.

                                          38. Speak up When You Can Make a Difference

                                          Speak up if there’s something you think could be improved or if you have an idea you think has legs.

                                          Have you noticed that quiet people at work rarely get the promotions? It’s not that they are incapable or lacking talent, but their abilities are usually overlooked as they don’t know how to engage with others or how to sell themselves.

                                          Step out of your comfort zone and be sure that you’re an active player. Speak up in meetings by suggesting ideas and offering constructive criticism.

                                          39. Stop Struggling and Start Accepting

                                          If there’s something you’ve been struggling to understand for a while, stop trying to understand it. Accept it just as it is, fully and wholly.

                                          Life offers endless mysteries. If you try to resolve them all you’ll drive yourself insane. Instead, let some mysteries remain, and keep your mind focused on your goals and dreams.

                                          40. It’s Okay to Be Shy

                                          There’s nothing wrong with being shy, and it doesn’t mean you’re not a confident person.

                                          If you suffer from shyness, you might think it’s a major weakness of yours. However, introverted people have the edge in many ways, such as: they’re first-rate listeners, they have excellent observational skills, and they’re easier to trust[4].

                                          41. Clean up Your Environment

                                          Your environment directly impacts your self-perception. So, if you’re surrounded by clutter, paperwork, and rubbish, put a morning aside to clean up your stuff and get organized.

                                          42. Write a List of Things You Would Love to Do

                                          Write yourself a list of the amazing things you’d love to do in your life, and make a start by simply looking into the first one or two things that leap out at you. This will help you get started as you learn how to be confident

                                          Even if you don’t currently have the means to live your dreams, you can, at the very least, make a start. The best way to do this is to write out the things you’d love to do. These may include cool stuff, such as travelling the world, learning a new language, or climbing a mountain.

                                          Once you’ve added the items to your list, don’t stop there. Begin researching and preparing ways to turn your dreams into realities.

                                          43. Make Your Self-Worth Independent From Others’ Validation

                                          Don’t make your happiness or self-worth dependent on being in a relationship or being validated by someone else.

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                                          While it’s difficult to admit it, we often find ourselves rating our self-esteem by the value other people put on us.

                                          For instance, you may have a super-positive boss who is always encouraging and supportive. They make you feel upbeat and confident at all times.

                                          However, imagine if they left and your new boss was the complete opposite. They constantly look for faults in your work and regularly criticize you. Would you still feel confident in those circumstances?

                                          If you’ve answered no, then you need to reappraise your self-worth, as it shouldn’t be dependent on the validation of others.

                                          44. Use Your Strengths

                                          We all have our weaknesses, but they only undermine your confidence if you let them.

                                          For instance, are you aware that Virgin’s founder Richard Branson suffers from dyslexia? He never let this hold him back or destroy his confidence. Today, he is one of the world’s most successful men, with a net worth of approximately $5 billion[5].

                                          45. Complete a To-Do List

                                          The longer you leave that big thing on your to-do list, the more it’ll drain you, and the bigger it’ll seem. Get it done and free yourself up.

                                          If you have a big goal, break it down into smaller tasks. For instance, instead of trying to write a whole chapter of your book in one go, how about just writing the opening paragraph?

                                          46. Treat Your Body Well

                                          When learning how to be confident, our body image does matter, because if you have a bad relationship with your body, you won’t feel confident in yourself.

                                          What’s one of the first things most of us do when we get up in the morning? We look in the mirror. If we don’t like what we see there, then our day starts off with negative self-talk. If, on the other hand, we look in the mirror and feel proud of our appearance, then we start the day off in an upbeat, positive way.

                                          If you’re unhappy with your body and looks, do something to improve them. Exercise, diet, and styling are common ways of improving your body image—and your confidence.

                                          47. Learn to Say No

                                          Don’t say yes to taking on a task simply because you don’t want to rock the boat. You can politely decline requests you can’t meet without needing to create excuses.

                                          While saying yes to everything that comes your way might feel like you’re being helpful and in demand, in the long run, you’ll burn yourself out.

                                          48. Learn From Confident People

                                          Look at the people you respect who seem confident. Don’t copy them, but identify what it is they do differently that conveys confidence and what you can learn from it.

                                          People-watching is not only fun, but it can be informative, too. Look closely at successful people you know, or those being interviewed on TV, and over time you’ll begin to notice common traits, beliefs, and behaviors that they exhibit.

                                          49. Follow Through on Your Plans

                                          Most people find it easy to write plans. The hard part, of course, is seeing them through. To stand out from the crowd, make sure that you know exactly how to complete your plans.

                                          If you need to, write down a step-by-step guide and begin following it. Not only will this drive you towards the completion of your plans—but experiencing the progress will also give you a continuous boost to your self-esteem.

                                          50. Shift Your Focus When You Doubt Yourself

                                          When you feel yourself focusing inwards and becoming paralyzed with doubt or fear, switch to focusing outwards at what you can engage and interact with.

                                          I remember one of my writing tutors telling me that when the words stop flowing, it’s time to take a break— preferably a walk in the park. It’s sound advice as it’s very easy to get caught up with our thoughts and emotions and be unable to make progress.

                                          51. Never Beat Yourself up for Failing

                                          Life is guaranteed to not always be a barrel of laughs. Instead, it’s much more like a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs, so ride them out.

                                          The art of living is to know how to handle whatever comes you way. The best way to achieve this is by developing an iron core that is unhindered by the topsy-turvy outside world.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Here I’ve given you 51 different ways to start building self-confidence Take action on the ways that you’re drawn to.

                                          It’s not enough to read about them. For them to work, you must adopt them into your daily life. Do this, and you’ll start to feel your confidence soar.

                                          More on How to Be Confident

                                          Featured photo credit: Matheus Ferrero via unsplash.com

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