Before you read further, let me clarify one thing. Have you read articles claiming ‘instantly’, ‘Quickly’ boosting the self confidence? If yes, then we need to straighten the expectations here. Confidence building is a process and not a short time event. It will not happen overnight, and for most it does not happen in weeks. It takes month, even years. The key is not to give up; remember hard work and determination should be your mantra.
Now if you are up to the challenge and determined not to give up, then use following proven techniques to boost your confidence.
1. Fight your Fears
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”- E. Roosevelt
Let me try to explain the above quote. Its core message is – You cannot fight your fears by reading self-help articles. You have to come out in open and do things that you are afraid of. Do you have to win every battle against your fears? Not really! The heading says ‘Fight your Fears’ not ‘win your fears’. Just the feeling of trying your best against a dreaded subject is good enough to boost your confidence, irrespective of the results.
It is very important to identify, acknowledge and then manage your fears. Acknowledgement is a very important step; don’t be in denial, but accept your fears. It takes plenty of willpower to acknowledge and accept our fears.
Fear of Failure – We all want to be successful in our lives and the society has conditioned our attitude to think in terms of success and failure only. In demand of success from ourselves on every attempt, we stat to fear the failure. Fear of failure becomes a road block from attempting anything new; it makes us perform far below our capabilities and hinders the path of greater good. Solution is – do not hesitate from attempting something new. Always remember – You are not the first person who have failed and will certainly not be the last one. Failures are our companions on the path of the greater success; every failure teaches us a valuable lesson.
Fear of Social Awkwardness – You may also call it social anxiety, which is the fear of socialization and public interaction. You need to stop feeling asif you are being scrutinized for your actions. People, at least who matters, have other important things than taking a note of your every actions. Make a list of your social fears and confront them. If you sit in back rows in public gatherings then make sure you sit in the front row.
2. Look and Feel Confident
Feeling and ‘give a feel’ of confidence is an important lesson. You can look confident by –
- Dressing Sharp
- Keeping your posture straight
- Walking with Authority
Dress Sharp – Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. – Mark Twain
Dressing sharp does not mean wearing new fashion trend. But wear anything which makes you feel comfortable and self-assured. Always know the occasion before you choose your dress – you do not want to wear jeans and t-shirts in a traditional business meeting. Similarly, choose your dress carefully if you are going for shopping, meeting with friends or to the beach. Your dressing should suit the occasion. Your clothes should deliver the message – I am a confident person.
Keep your posture upright – Sitting up straight on a chair is not only good for your back; it also gives you more confidence in your thoughts. A new research has found that people who are asked to sit straight and write a thought are more likely to believe what they have written. People sitting in slouch posture are more likely to NOT believe in their own capabilities. Richard Petty, professor of psychology at Ohio State University has said ‘Our body posture can affect not only how others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves’
Walk with Authority– Have you noticed when you are happy then how you tend to walk faster? You are returning back from the office and you have VERY good news to share with your family; how do you think you are going to walk? I would say you will walk at least 25% faster than normal. On the contrary, if you have a bad news to share then how would you walk then? Not very fast I guess. The way you walk demonstrates your attitude.
3. Put Your Smile on Display
Could there be anything simpler? I am telling you just to smile to build self-confidence. Could this really work? Well, why don’t you give a try!! A 1989 study by psychologist Robert Zajonc shows that people who frequently smile feel happier and better about themselves than people who don’t. Smiling not only boost the confidence and helps with the self esteem, but also improves your personality. More and more people like to know and interact with smiling personalities. You do not have to smile all the time but at the occasions or when greeting others. Never replace your lovely smile with laud laughter. You may appear to others as brash and arrogant, not confident.
4. Make True Friends
Let us take two cases. In first case, a man is facing crisis in his life. However, he has a loving wife at home who will always stand by him no matter what. He also has very supporting parents ready to help him anytime. On top of this, he also has a circle of true friends for guidance and advise.
In second case, another man is facing a crisis of his own. However, he does not have a happy married life and his parents have disowned him a long time back. He has made friends who are only good for sharing a beer but nothing else.
Out of these two cases, who do you think will feel more confident facing the crisis? If you are answer is case one, then you and I are on the same boat. Keeping a circle of true friends gives us a boost in our confidence. We are ready to face any circumstance knowing there are people to fall back on.
5. Exercise Regularly; Join a Gym or Yoga Class
Your physical appearance plays a big role on how you think for yourself. So if you are out of shape, join a gym and start taking mini steps towards better health. Joining a gym may not be necessary but a walk around the park and light stretching may also be okay. However, joining a class (gym or yoga) is a better way of getting the consistency and thus gives better results.
On a final note, things like “Dress Sharp” and “Improve physical Appearance” may sound superficial. The short answer to this cynicism could be – Yes, we are indeed living in a superficial world. However, on a serious note, these things are not superficial as long as the intent is not to impress others but rather to improve our own self confidence.
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