Confidence is an incredibly important asset and is responsible for how we perform in relationships, in our careers and much more. Many people say for example that when trying to attract members of the opposite sex, it is more important that you be confidence than that you be good looking or have any particular personality characteristics. This is the case as it allows you not only to approach the people you are interested in, and to show them your personality, rather than keeping yourself hidden away and thereby not demonstrating any of your attractive qualities.
More powerfully though, by being confident you suggest to the potential partner that you believe in yourself and your own abilities, and that then in turn gives them more reason to believe in you too. If you seem not to think you are worthy of their time – then they will probably get the same impression. The same goes for you career, if you act more confident then you will speak up more and you will stand out in the crowd. At the same time though by being confident you will give your employers more faith in you and your ability to make valuable contributions to their business. Further, being confident will change the way you act and this will be visible to other people – you will stand up straighter, you will laugh and smile more, and you will put yourself forwards more often. This way you will find that people start to make more positive notice of you, and this will further increase your confidence.
Of course the positive aspects of confidence are very much documented, and most of us are quite familiar with them. The difficulty then is actually in becoming more confident, and if it were that simple we all would already be supremely confident. Confidence is a highly valuable asset, and with it we can really achieve anything – unfortunately like all valuable properties it is very hard to obtain. Fortunately there are some things you can do to increase your confidence and start getting more success in every area of life. Here we will look at what those are:
Judge yourself on your own terms: When you feel unconfident or insecure, often it is because you feel as though other people are judging you. Perhaps they think you aren’t cool, or they think you look silly. At the end of the day though, they are entitled to their opinion and it is up to you what you prioritise. Maybe they think you’re out of shape, but is that something that you actually care about all that much? If you value your intelligence above your other traits, or your kindness, then it hardly matters what they think of your stomach. Live your life how you want it, and don’t worry what other people think – that’s their prerogative.
Recognise other peoples’ insecurities: At the same time, judging is a two way thing. If they seem to be judging you harshly then ask yourself what puts them in such a position to do so. In fact you’re likely to find that the reason they judge other people is probably just because they’re insecure about some aspect of themselves. Look for other people’s insecurities and realise that everyone is really in the same boat, and suddenly your own lack of confidence might not seem so bad. Just be sure not to take advantage of other people’s insecurities, or you will damage their confidence which is unnecessary and unkind.
Imagine other people naked: Imaging other people naked is a technique that many people use when giving speeches or otherwise having to perform in front of a large group. This works in the same way as the above suggestion and by putting other people on a slightly lower footing you feel more confident yourself – because you’re at an advantage. Of course these people aren’t really naked, but if you can convince yourself that they are, then it won’t make any difference.
Surround yourself with the right people: If you have lots of close friends then they will make it their business to support you in what you do and to generally improve your confidence and self esteem. However some people will not have this effect, and if they are insecure themselves, or spiteful, then some ‘so called’ friends will make it their business to batter you down. Over time this can have a drastic effect on your confidence so make sure that you only surround yourself with those people in order to ensure you have only positive influences increasing your confidence instead of the opposite.
Set yourself achievable goals: Nothing makes you feel more confident than a long list of past successes, so make sure to set yourself a host of small and achievable targets and to make it your business to try and achieve these on a regular basis. This will then give you the confidence to set out to achieve the harder ones, as well as gradually taking you closer to them.
Walk tall: Walking tall and being confident are synonymous with each other, and it’s a two way relationship. Those who feel confident tend to talk taller than those who are not, and likewise those who feel less confident will tend to hunch. The minute you straighten up then you will feel more confident and you will project more of a confident aura so that you also seem more confident. At the same time if you can physically make yourself taller then this too will increase your confidence as you will be looking down on the people around you. In order to achieve this, all you need to do is to buy yourself some high heels if you’re a woman, or some shoes with a thick sole if you’re a man. It’s also possible to get insoles to insert into shoes that raise your heals and make you walk taller.
Improve yourself: If there’s something that you’re not happy with about yourself that’s making you feel less confident then there’s one very simple solution – fix that thing. Simply identify your weaknesses and improve on them, rather than wallowing in self pity. Over weight? Get to the gym. Feel less intelligent than your peers? Engage in some heavy reading and brain training exercises. Then when you come back with the skills you will feel more confident. It’s your choice.
Dress well: Dressing well makes you look more successful but it also makes you feel better about yourself. If you look good then you can hold your head high, and at the same time others will start to treat you differently. Even if you’re not going anywhere then – make an effort to look your best.
Think about your previous successes and positive aspects: Just listing everything you’ve done right can help you to put a positive spin on yourself image. Think about all the positive things you’ve done throughout the day then, the week, the year or your life. Write them down if it helps, and pretty soon you should start to find you feel pretty good about yourself.
Use positive affirmations: Positive affirmations are a skill taught by cognitive behavioural psychologists which involve repeating positive mantras to yourself in order to overcome and override the negative thoughts you may be having. This might then mean repeating the phrase ‘I am a strong, intelligent person’, or ‘it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, I am my own person’. While you might not think this could have much effect, it sets up positive patterns for your brain which your mind will start to follow so that your natural thoughts also have this kind of content. At the same time if you repeat anything often enough, eventually you will start to believe it.
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