Advertising
Advertising

Personal Development Lessons from Branding?

Personal Development Lessons from Branding?

Personal Development Lessons from Branding?

    The Story of the $800 Jeans

    Jeans Isolated With clipping path

      I recently watched a presentation given by a journalist (Benjamin Wallace) who had taken an extensive look at the way people shop; what they buy, why they buy, how much they spend and why some people are prepared to part with obscene amounts of money for the supposed ‘top shelf’ versions of every day items (jeans, wine, olive oil, beds, coffee).

      His talk was essentially an exploration into the psychology of shopping. I laughed as he (the journalist) expressed his disappointment at test-driving a pair of $800 jeans which looked, felt and ‘performed’ the same as his $50 jeans. Not only was there no discernible difference (to him), but over an entire week of wearing his new expensive duds, not one person complimented him on how amazing he (or they) looked. “Then, what’s the point?”, he asked.

      I know the Feeling

      I identified with this story because I was given an expensive pair of jeans for a birthday a few years back. While I appreciated the gift and wore them gratefully, I had no idea that they were expensive until someone (some months later) saw the label and complimented me on owning a pair of that particular brand of jeans. I nearly fell over. Of all the things to be complimented on, the brand of my jeans wasn’t high on my list. I was amazed that they could be impressive to someone. To me, they were simply one of the five (or so) pairs that I owned. No better or worse than any of my other ($50) jeans.

      Advertising

      What Logic?

      I was extremely interested in Wallace’s study and subsequent report as I have a fascination in this area; the value we place on labels. Having worked with a broad socio-economic cross-section of people over the last two and a half decades has given me a great opportunity to observe ‘shopping behaviour’ and the rationale behind those purchases first hand.

      Like my client who would never buy a pair of shoes unless they cost at least a thousand dollars because “they couldn’t be any good otherwise”. Or the forty-something guy who bought himself a high-powered Ducati motorbike even though he was a complete novice with no riding experience or skills. When I (an experienced motorcyclist) advised him to buy a different (cheaper, safer, slower, more appropriate, learner-friendly) bike, he didn’t want to hear about it. He was only interested in the look and the label of the bike; he wanted to be a Ducati owner no matter what.

      300 Kilometres Later…

      When he got the bike it absolutely scared the crap out of him (because he couldn’t ride it); as I knew it would. I had to ride it home from the dealership for him. He rode it three times (in a year), put 300 kilometres (180 miles) on the clock and then sold it for $9,000 less than the purchase price. He was in love with the ‘theory’ of a Ducati but not the practical reality. He had bought an image, an idea, a brand. A delusion. And as so many of us do from time to time, he let his ego run the show, dictate his behaviours and waste his money. He wanted to be a Ducati owner and rider so much that his emotion (need to be cool, popular, desirable, respected, tough, macho) temporarily over-shadowed his intelligence, common sense, fear and his obvious lack of riding ability.

      Label Lunacy

      People who shop for particular labels and brands rather than individual products which will suit a purpose or meet a need, have always intrigued me. It’s no revelation to hear that some people are devoted to, if not completed addicted to, owning certain brands and labels – and not because of the actual product but because of the perceived prestige (acceptance, approval, recognition, popularity) that comes from owning, wearing, drinking, driving that particular label or brand. Don’t believe me? Hang out with some teenagers for a while and see what it means to own the right shoes, jeans, jacket, MP3 player, phone, etc.

      Advertising

      A Hypothetical:

      Red Sports Car

        Imagine if you and I took the latest, never-seen-before, $100,000 BMW coupe and we re-branded it as a Hyundai for its launch into the market place. Not only do we re-brand it as a Hyundai but we also reduce the price by forty percent, so now we have a $100,000 BMW selling for $60,000 in Hyundai clothing – so to speak. So the exact same car (motor, technology, interior, exterior, performance, quality) which would have sold strongly as an expensive BMW is now being offered to the same potential buyers at just over half the price – as a less prestigious and less desirable brand. Of course we can’t say for sure what would happen, but I’ll take an educated guess and let me know if you concur…

        1. Most ‘BMW shoppers’ won’t even consider the new ‘Hyundai’ product – even if it comes highly recommended. They will let their feelings get in the way of the facts; the fact that it’s actually a BMW in every way except for the badge on the front. Their bias against ‘less prestigious’ brands won’t allow them to even walk into a Hyundai showroom and their ego won’t allow them to save $40,000. They would rather pay $100,000 for the SAME product, so long as they can be seen driving a Beemer. The ego is a very powerful thing and haven’t the marketing folk made that fact work for them over the years?

        2. Most general new-car shoppers won’t consider the new $60,000 two-door Hyundai because they perceive it to be too expensive for that brand. No matter how good the actual product (car) is. As a result, the re-badged BMW doesn’t sell strongly and dies a sad and lonely death within two years of its launch. Never to be seen again. Consequently, a generation of car drivers will miss out on the automotive luxury bargain of the decade because of brand bias, stupidity and ego.

        Emotional Shoppers

        Of course, it’s no revelation for me to tell you that when it comes to how and where we spend our money, we are often emotional and irrational beings. And yes, the marketing and branding gurus have been benefiting from, and maximising this knowledge for years. It’s their goal to evoke an emotional response (feeling, reaction, decision) from you and I so that we will buy, no matter how much we don’t need, or can’t really afford, whatever it is they’re selling. To them, common sense is the enemy; that’s why they always tell us that we ‘deserve’ their product. Of course we don’t actually need a four hundred inch flat screen television, but as they quite rightly point out, you and I have worked incredibly hard lately and why shouldn’t we reward ourselves with a ridiculously large TV? Imagine how much better our lives will be when we get that bad boy up on the wall. Just look at the couple in the advertisement… they seem very happy.

        Advertising

        Back to the Presentation…

        During his presentation, Wallace spoke of a study that was conducted at Stanford University in early 2008, where a group of subjects sampled two different wines; a cheaper wine ($20 bottle) and a more expensive wine (over $100). They then reported their feedback to the researchers. For this study the participants knew the value of each of the wines and as you might expect, the vast majority scored the expensive wine highest, in terms of taste and pleasure, and the cheap wine at the other end of the scale. In order to make the study even more scientifically valid and objective, the researchers conducted MRIs on the participants to see if their perceived enjoyment (of each wine) correlated with what was happening physiologically in their brain. And guess what? It did. The wine which they perceived to taste the best and give them the most pleasure actually created a comparable pleasure response in their brain. And of course, the cheap wine showed the opposite; a lower level pleasure response. Now, all those results are interesting but what’s totally fascinating is that the two wines (the cheap and the expensive) were actually…. the same wine! There was no cheaper or more expensive version; they were both a relatively cheap wine.

        Doh!!

        That’s right, not only do we have the capacity to create our own pleasure and pain but we also have the ability (via our thoughts, beliefs and expectations) to actually create significant bio-chemical changes in our brain. In other words, we can think ourselves to pleasure. Or misery. Literally. Our beliefs create our reality – even when it comes to the pleasure a cheap wine can give us.

        My Budget Wardrobe

        A few weeks ago I did one of my regular TV gigs for the show I work on. For the segment, I wore some jeans, a pair of boots and a new short-sleeved shirt. A friend of mine who is a self-confessed clothes snob and fashion aficionado informed me that “I looked great.” Here’s a snapshot of the conversation we had:

        Friend (F): “Hey, saw you on TV this morning, you looked great. Gorgeous shirt, that colour really suits you. Is it new?” (I was still wearing the same clothes)
        CH: “Thanks. Yep, new shirt. Bought it all by myself!”
        F: “Well done, where did you get it?” (trying to get an idea of its cost and whether or not she should like it!)
        CH: “Some shop in the city.” (I actually bought it at Target)
        F: “Was it expensive?” (knew that was coming)
        CH: “Not too bad; it was reduced from $150.00 to $90.00.” (complete lie, it cost $25.00!)
        F: (now with a look of approval on her face) “Wow, that’s cheap for a nice shirt like that. Good shopping by you. It makes such a difference when you wear quality clothes. And the jeans, they’re nice…”(searching for some more info)
        CH: “Yeah, picked them up when I was in the States earlier this year. They were on special for a hundred and forty bucks.”
        F: “Wow, that’s good value for nice jeans like those.”
        CH: “Now, do you want the bad news?”
        F: “What?”
        CH: “The shirt cost me twenty five bucks at Target.”
        F: “Did not.”
        CH: “Yep, it did and my expensive jeans actually cost me forty five bucks at the same store and my boots were a freebie from the good folk at ‘Caterpillar’; I did a gig for them recently. So my entire outfit, including socks and jocks, cost me less than eighty bucks.”
        F: (look of disbelief on face)

        Advertising

        Needless to say, the revelation of the cost and origin of my ensemble changed the dynamics and the tone of the conversation instantly. When I pointed out the obvious fact that she had been sucked into the mindset of ‘dearer always equals better’, she didn’t want to hear about it. I was informed that I “just don’t get it”. All of a sudden my “gorgeous shirt” wasn’t nearly as appealing. And of course we all know you can’t buy “gorgeous” for twenty five bucks.

        So why do (some) people do it?

        Most of us have a preference for certain labels or brands because of positive experiences we’ve had with particular products over the years – that’s understandable (intelligent even) and not what I’m talking about today. No, I’m talking about people who have an unhealthy and irrational desire to own certain labels no matter what. I’m talking about people who won’t even consider another less-expensive label – even if that label is of comparable or identical quality to the more desirable label. I’m talking about people who love to be seen drinking the expensive wine, even when it tastes like crap. And I’m talking about the person who puts him or her self under huge financial pressure to buy the car that they really can’t afford and definitely don’t need.

        On some level, Label Shoppers believe that ownership of a particular product will meet some kind of need in them. And they’re right. For a day. Because that’s about how long it will be before they will need to shop again. Amazingly, those $800 jeans won’t lead to life-long nirvana or universal approval or acceptance. Who’da thought? By the way, the need they have is emotional, not practical. Nobody needs thousand dollar (plus) shoes, but people want to be associated with certain labels because somewhere along their journey they’ve learned that ownership of said labels will equate to attention, approval and acceptance; what they’re really after.

        The Why Behind the What

        So again, it comes back to the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’. What they want is the label, but why they want it is the key to this puzzle. Consciously or not, many (many) people don’t believe that they’re good enough – that is, smart enough, pretty enough, desirable enough, lean enough or interesting enough. And as a consequence they will endeavour to make up for their perceived shortcomings with desirable accessories and assets; stuff to impress their peers. “They’ll like me more if I’m driving this car, wearing these clothes, living in that house or owning that gadget.”

        As for me, thankfully most of my friends love me unconditionally – even in my twenty five dollar Target shirt, my very cheap jeans and the boots I didn’t pay for.

        More by this author

        Craig Harper

        Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

        Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes Before Weighing Yourself? If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents! Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo Education Should be More than Academic Basics How to Stop Being an Over-Thinker

        Trending in Lifestyle

        1 10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home 2 How to Be Confident: 51 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence 3 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 4 How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips 5 How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        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.

        Advertising

        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.

          Advertising

          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.

          Advertising

          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.

          Advertising

          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

          Reference

          Read Next