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5 Killer Habits to Boost Your Confidence

5 Killer Habits to Boost Your Confidence

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.

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Below are five key habits that have proven confidence-building capabilities.

1. Meditation

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.

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2. Reading

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.

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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