You are amazing, unique, and awesome. This statement is a fact that you may not always be able to believe or feel, but that doesn't make it any less true. The world runs on confidence. From getting through every day life situations, to those big important moments, being self-assured is a much needed skill to learn. That's right, it's a skill that can be learned, practiced and perfected. And it really doesn't take much time. Here are 10 simple steps you can take right now to begin building that confidence.
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"Smile!" Yes, this can be seen as patronizing request depending on how it's asked, but the truth is, there's scientific evidence to back up smiling. When you smile, even a fake one, your body releases neuropeptides which fight off stress in your body as well as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, all known to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. There was even a study done showing that when you smile, others treat you better because they see you as more reliable, relaxed, and sincere.
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This one is huge! Whether it's a full on meditating, yoga, a deep breathing session, just taking a few moments to breathe in your nose and out your mouth it can make all the difference in the confidence you feel and exude. There are even certain yoga breathing techniques, like "Kapalabhati" that works to detox you and instantly boost your confidence.
Be Kind and Generous
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Besides the obvious benefit of feeling good about yourself when you're good to people, a recent study shows that the body's nervous system actually benefits from kind thought and positive social contact. Meaning, these good feeling emotions actually make you healthier physically, and besides creating better connections socially, they point you in a upward positive direction when it comes to your confidence.
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Body language is a huge communicator in confidence. When you fidget, you look nervous and worried, which portrays someone who isn't self-assured. Even if you are nervous, take stock what your body is doing. Are your hands wringing, do you keep crossing and uncrossing your legs, or tap your foot constantly? Notice what you're doing and tell your body to be still. Practice sitting still with confidence or ask a friend to nudge you and remind you if you start the fidgeting. By the time that important meeting comes up, you'll have broken that bad habit or will at least be aware to stay clear of it.
Be an Optimist
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Having a hard time stay positive? Try a gratitude jar. Write something good that you're grateful for everyday and what may start as a tough challenge will soon become an easy habit. You'll become a more pleasant and positive person and it'll greatly affect your confidence. "Optimism is faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence. ... No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to unchartered land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirt." - Helen Keller.
Stop Apologizing and Say Thank You
Women are especially be bad at this. When someone gives you a compliment, don't tear yourself down by responding with qualifiers and apologies. Hold your head up high and say, "Thank you." You deserve it and you've earned it.
Dress with Confidence
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When we dress nice it makes a huge difference in how we feel and the way we project ourselves to the world. This doesn't mean you have to dress fancy or in expensive clothes. When you need extra confidence, pick the outfit that makes you feel great. Whatever the reason, choose to dress in a way that makes you smile when you pass the mirror. It'll add a little strut to your walk and convey that you are awesome. Not sure what outfit to pick? Think, "Does it spark joy?" when going through your closet. Donate or give away anything that doesn't. This way no matter what you pull out of the closet, you'll know it makes you feel like your best you.
Tell Yourself That You're Confident
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The most powerful thing you can do is believe in yourself, and the power of words and positive affirmations really do make a difference. Sure, deep down you may not believe yourself yet, but remind yourself that you are confident, strong, and fully capable. The next thing you know, those reinforcements will become truth.
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People with confidence walk with energy and purpose, while people with low self esteem keep their head down, often staring at the ground. By walking faster you'll portray more importance, it tells others you're important, and the natural endorphins from getting your heart rate up will even trick your into feeling more important. It's an overall self-confidence boost that you'll benefit from mentally and physically! (Improve Self Confidence)
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Often our lack of confidence comes from comparing ourselves to others. Remember, while what you have to offer may be different then theirs, it is just as important and worthy as others. If you can't seem to stop comparing yourself to others try writing down your accomplishments every week and posting them on your fridge or mirror. Big or small, it'll remind you that you have a lot going for you.
2 Minute Power Poses
Researchers at Harvard University who study body language and the impact it has on your hormones have found that different body position give you either "high power"or "low power." Their study show that you can create your "high power" and effect your testosterone and cortisone levels, thereby effecting your stress levels, by literally taking 2 minutes of your time and striking a pose. This small step before going into a big meeting or important event, will literally make you look (and feel) more confident. (James Clear)
What do you do to boost your confidence?