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5 Essential Elements of Natural Self-Confidence

5 Essential Elements of Natural Self-Confidence

Do you find yourself wishing you had more self-confidence?

I know what it is like to look around and see people who appear to have all the self-confidence in the world, while you are silently suffering with self-doubt.

Of course, those very people you envy probably look at you in a similar way — hiding their own doubts and wishing they had it all together.

Silently suffering in self-doubt often inspires goals to be more confident. Interestingly, self-confidence is not an achievement. It is the a natural outcome under certain conditions.

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The following five elements of self-confidence address those conditions. When you are in line with these principles, you cannot help but be more confident!

Here are the 5 essential elements of natural self-confidence:

1. Know your limits.

Interestingly, knowing what you can’t do is an important element in knowing what you can do with confidence. I remember as a young and nervous counselor that much of my hesitation came from thinking I needed to be able to work with and cure anyone of their psychological problems.

Over time, of course, I learned which people I work best with and which people I need to refer away. What a relief! Admitting to myself that I cannot work with just anyone was a huge confidence booster. I was no longer afraid to pass on a case, and I approached the people I could work with knowing I was well-equipped for the job.

Are you lacking confidence because you are biting off more than you can chew, or pretending you know something you don’t?

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2. Know your values.

Values are indicators of what is important to you. When you know your priorities, you can focus on them and pass on everything else.

When you are not clear on what is important in your life, something happens that undermines your confidence — you typically turn to others to determine the agenda. This naturally puts you in a one-down position.

3. Get skills.

Confidence is often tied to competence, as it should be. I want the pilot of the plane I am riding in to be confident. I want his confidence to be based squarely on his level of skill. If he doesn’t have the skill to fly, he should lack confidence.

And the same goes for me in my life. When and where I don’t the have skill, I am okay lacking confidence. It is possible to lack confidence in spite of having an appropriate level of skill, but competence is always a factor.

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4. See others as people.

Often we feel inadequate because we see others as ‘more than’ and ourselves as ‘less than’ by comparison. We see others as having it all together and not suffering the way we are. This is rarely true.

As soon as you get to know someone beyond the public persona, you soon discover a plethora of struggles that are the hallmark of the human condition. Everyone has their cross to bear. When you tune into this fact, you will get better at seeing people as people — we are all in this together! Understanding this comes as a relief and happens to build social confidence.

5. Act!

When all is said and done, you need to just go for it! Confidence builds as you take positive action and begin to see positive results.

Take these elements of natural self-confidence and meditate on the ones that you resonate with. Take your understanding of them to a deeper level and watch your confidence grow.

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Align yourself with the above and feel your self-confidence slide into place!

If you find yourself resisting the process of gaining greater self-confidence even though you know what it takes, then you may very well be prone to self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage is an entirely different issue that you should learn about, as it could be the only thing in your way!

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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