Confidence is everything. Our level of confidence at any given moment dictates how we feel about ourselves and how sure we are of our abilities to succeed at any given activity.
For this reason, our levels of self-confidence are quite possibly the most important thing we possess. At any given moment, our confidence is directly correlated with how happy we are, and how “good” we’re performing at whatever it is that we’re doing.
There are a lot of ways to build confidence. Quite possibly the most efficient way to do so is through expanding your comfort zone. When you push yourself to do things that scare or intimidate you, you raise this threshold, expand your comfort zone, and become more comfortable doing things that were previously right on the edge of it. So my biggest piece of advice for someone who wants to improve his or her confidence levels quickly would be to identify, and then do, things that scare you… But there are other ways to accomplish this goal as well.
One of these ways is to adopt the right set of daily habits. Our habits are things that we so often that they have the ability to change how we think about ourselves and how we perceive the world around us. And by altering these two things, our habits can effectively improve our confidence and self-esteem.
Below are five key habits that have proven confidence-building capabilities.
Meditation is amazing. But it often gets written off as being some weird, spiritual routine…
Mediation has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, through lowering blood pressure and resting heart rate, among other things. And the fact of the matter is that stress and anxiety are two of the biggest confidence-killers out there. When you’re stressed out or worrying about something, it’s extremely hard to feel comfortable. It’s hard to trust in yourself and love yourself when something is eating away at you from the inside.
Meditation is the answer for this. Meditation is like a medicine that instantly transforms your state, and brings you to a place of tranquility and focus… A confidence inspiring combination.
For me, reading is a meditation of sorts. It gets me out of my head, stops me from worrying about pointless things, and gives me invaluable inspiration at the same time.
The key ingredient here being that it gets me out of my head. We often get caught up in negative thought loops in our minds, and these can cause a lot of anxiety. Reading forces you to focus on something else, the same way meditation gets you to focus on your breath, and this is a game-changer.
I prefer reading non-fiction, self-development type books. These books are motivating on one hand, and on the other hand they cause you to draw parallels between the author’s life and your own. And these parallels often lead you to creating life-changing improvement in your own life.
3. Lifting weights
Lifting weights and getting stronger has several crucial confidence-building effects, especially for men.
First of all, when you exert yourself to the point of exhaustion, any tension or stress that you’re holding in your body tends to evaporate. On top of this, lifting weights builds muscle and physical strength. And this makes us feel stronger, both mentally and physically, which in turn causes us to feel more confident. Moreover, we look better when we have more muscle mass.
For guys, having broader shoulders and a thicker chest is a sign of health and virility. For women, having a firm butt and strong legs is a sign of femininity and attractiveness. And these things cause other people to perceive us in a more favorable light… Not to mention that we are all, at least somewhat, vain by nature… And this means we feel more confident when our bodies look better.
4. Cold showers
Cold showers have actually clinically been proven to have anti-depressive effects. By immersing ourselves in cold water, we release key hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel happier.
In addition to these hormonal changes, cold showers also cause us to breathe deeply (this is the first thing your body will do when you step in) and feel more awake and energized. This combination of feeling happier, breathing deeply, and being energized is a killer combination when it comes to assuming a confident state of mind.
After all, if you’re lethargic, sad, and tired it’s going to be very tough to feel confident and project this confidence to the world around you.
5. Accepting reality
This habit is less actionable than the previous four, but it’s equally important. Too many people get caught up wishing things were different than they are… They wish they were better at talking to girls… They wish that their boyfriend or girlfriend behaved differently in certain situations… They wish that they got the job that rejected them… They wish that they hadn’t spent all that money on that silly jacket they never wear… The list goes on.
By getting stuck wishing for things to be different than they are you are essentially rejecting reality… And this never ends well. It only leads you to further regret, anxiety, and anguish… All confidence-killing emotions.
You have to accept the reality of the situation, no matter how grim or bleak it is. Only when you accept the way things are, or how people tend to behave, can you work on taking action to effectively change them… Or just take an altogether different route.
Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com