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Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Build Confidence


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Confidence. It’s something we are all striving towards throughout all stages of life. Gaining self-confidence can improve our personal and professional relationships; improve our engagement; help us excel in education and work; and most of all, impact our overall happiness.

However, 95% of children and adults experience a lack of confidence, self-belief or low self-esteem sometime in their lifetime. Fortunately, self-confidence is something you can always improve on in order to gain more peace of mind, motivation, happiness and greater success.  

Read our five tips below on how to build confidence to help in all aspects of your life.

1. Embrace Positivity

Confidence is having a positive state of mind. When you have a positive state of mind, it can lead to more positive outcomes as well as help broaden your horizons. How can you better embrace positivity? Try surrounding yourself with happy people that uplift you or schedule time throughout the week to do something you love. This can include going to see a movie, going out to dinner, hiking, etc.—whatever you enjoy doing.

Another way to increase positivity is to take the time to list your strengths as well as past achievements. Keep this list handy so you can read it often and be sure to update it every once in awhile.

2. Avoid Negativity

One of the biggest difficulties with improving self-confidence is quieting that negative voice inside your head. It’s really easy for that voice to be dominant when feeling stressed or insecure in a situation. Instead, work to see where the negativity stems from—whether you’re taking things too personally, gossiping or surrounded by negative personalities—and incorporate positive influences in your individual environments.

Furthermore, try focusing on the present and future instead of the past. Negative people tend to lament on negative circumstances and feelings they have previously felt, which deprives them of their happiness now and in the future. Be proactive in working towards solutions to cure your negativity. When you eliminate negativity, it gives you room to have more confidence and build even more.

3. Reduce Stress

Stress is a major hindrance when it comes to building confidence as well as impedes our creativity and critical thinking skills. One way to reduce stress in your life is to eat a more balanced diet. Diets that are low-fat, high-fiber and carbohydrate-rich help the brain produce more serotonin, which relaxes us. Good superfoods to include in your diet when stressed include oatmeal, blueberries, pistachios, yogurt, milk, cashews and avocados.

Exercise is also key when trying to reduce stress and anxiety. From yoga to running, bike riding or simply taking your dog on a walk—all can help get rid of stress and anxiety as well as increase your mood and energy levels.

Another way to avoid stress is to be more prepared and plan for specific outcomes. Whether you’re interviewing for a job or giving a presentation in class, you can easily eliminate stress and anxiety with the right amount of planning. Although you can’t prepare for everything that comes your way, when you take on the planning mentality, the more likely you’ll be able to think clearly which helps promote confidence.

4. Appearance

How you present yourself is a big factor when it comes to having and building confidence. This includes your personal hygiene, your clothing style and overall body language. Dress the part in order to boost your confidence. Find ways to incorporate pieces that not only help you dress the part, but integrate comfort and your own personal style.

Along those same lines, body language is key as it’s one of the first signs people pick up concerning an individual’s confidence or insecurity. Luckily, learning and portraying positive body language is something everyone can master, even if they aren’t 100% confident. Some simple ways to boost positive body language to help build self-confidence includes:

  • Making eye contact
  • Improving posture—sit up straight, hold your head up, etc.
  • Strong handshake
  • Listening
  • Smiling

Remember that as you build your confidence, don’t be afraid to take the “fake it ‘til you make it” approach in your appearance in order to continue in a path towards better self-confidence.

See also: 7 Ways to Look Confident, Especially When You Aren’t

5. Act the Part

Lastly, confident people know how to act the part, even when they don’t feel 100% confident. Debra Benton, author, speaker and global advisor to C-level executives explains, “To help with confidence development, simply try ‘acting confident’ to the outside world, practicing how it feels. The outside ‘show’ helps the inside ‘take.’ It’s okay to display confidence you don’t feel, to take a leap of faith. Pretending is not faking or hiding weaknesses. It’s playing the part you want to achieve.”

Even the slightest increase of confidence can help you succeed in everyday situations. Not sure where to start when acting the part? In addition to your appearance, think of the confident people you know and what makes them confident. Work towards mimicking that behavior.

As you can see, there’s no simple answer on how to build self-confidence.  All in all, when you work towards building your confidence, you’re also simultaneously improving your overall self-esteem. When you’re happier with yourself, the more likely you’ll be able to reach the level of success you set out to achieve.

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