How To Gain A Dose of Self-Confidence
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According to, Heart of Leadership (2015), approximately 7 out of 10 girls believe that they are not good enough, or do not measure up in some way, such as: physical appearance, academic performance and/or relationships.
How self-confident are you? That is a question that is often asked. Most people feel that they have a decent amount of self-confidence – not too high and not too low, however, some have an over-inflated self-confidence, and others have a low level of self-confidence. What exactly is self-confidence? Well, it is your perception of yourself (i.e. your abilities, skills, talents, worth, and value). In other words, it is the way you feel about yourself and your life. It usually coincides with your self-esteem. How? Well, if you have a low self-confidence, you most likely have a low self-esteem, and if you have a healthy or high self-confidence, you most likely have a healthy or high self-esteem.
Truth-be-told, your self-confidence affects every part of your life, from your self-esteem and relationships to your mental and physical health and job performance (i.e. productivity). Do you feel that you have a low self-confidence? If so, you are in luck. You can boost your self-confidence simply by making some easy lifestyle changes. The key is to alter the way you think about yourself. Once you have accomplished this goal, your life will drastically improve and you will be happier than you have ever been. Are you wondering how you can gain a healthy dose of self-confidence? If so, you have come to the right place. This article will provide you with some excellent suggestions on how to go after what you want and fulfill your dreams!
1. Identify the Source of Your Low Self-Confidence
If you want to increase your self-confidence, you will first need to identify the source of your low self-confidence. In other words, what is causing you to have a low self-confidence? Are you afraid of speaking in front of people (i.e. groups, work meetings, etc.)? Or, are you deathly afraid of showing your plus-size body (i.e. bathing suits, shorts and/or miniskirts) because you think other people will judge, criticize, and/or make fun of you? If the thought of one or more of these situations causes your skin to crawl, you may be suffering from a low self-confidence.
People with low self-confidence tend to become anxious, angry, sad, and/or embarrassed when confronted with situations or people who they feel are somehow “better” than themselves. These individuals react to these situations by fretting over them, losing sleep, over-eating or under-eating, or ruminating about their imperfections and/or mistakes for hours at a time. Improve your self-confidence by taking baby steps. In other words, start small, such as: speaking in small groups of 4 to 6 people, taking a public speaking course at your local college, asserting yourself more during work meetings, changing the way you eat – adopting a healthier lifestyle, and exercising more regularly.
2. Banish Negativity from Your Life
One of the best things you can do to lift your self-confidence is banish negativity from your life. It is important to note that your thoughts, perceptions and judgments can affect your self-confidence. Moreover, other people’s negative thoughts can cause your own self-confidence to plummet. How? Well, if you constantly tell yourself that you are “fat” and/or “unattractive,” you will begin to act as if you really are those things, and as a result, you may isolate yourself at home, or avoid certain outfits and/or events for fear that others will see and comment on your “fatness” and/or “ugliness.” And, if you surround yourself with negative people, who constantly criticize your appearance or abilities, you will eventually begin to believe their assessments of you, even if they are unfair and untrue.
Both scenarios will cause your self-confidence to decline in a hurry. When you feel your self-confidence slipping, counter your negative thoughts and feelings with more positive ones. For example, tell yourself, “I am smart, I know a lot about….” Or, “I may not be super thin, but I love the curve of my body.” Turn what you perceive to be flaws, mistakes, and imperfections into assets that should be appreciated. Focus on your accomplishments and success, not your mistakes and failures. And lastly look at unpleasant, challenging or difficult events as “teachable moments.” What could you have done differently? How would you change or improve your response to a negative situation or event? How could you appear more confident in every situation?
3. Improve Your Appearance
So, you want to gain a healthy dose of self-confidence…what do you do? Well, you improve your appearance. You may say, “But, I was taught not to place too much emphasis on my appearance, was that wrong? Well, the answer is “yes” and “no.” It is true that you should not become too overly concerned with your appearance or you will come across as shallow and self-centered, however, your appearance is important. Why? Well, because it affects how you feel about yourself, and how you present to others. It is important to always look your best – even when you feel insecure or ill.
Wear clothes that flatter your body shape. The key is to choose clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Pay attention to your hygiene and grooming (i.e. cleanliness, hair, clothes, makeup, skin, teeth, and nails). And, if possible, exercise on a regular basis. Why? Well, because exercising releases “feel good” chemicals, also known as endorphins, which can increase your energy level, strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, and boost your confidence level. So, increase your self-confidence by improving your appearance. It will help you project confidence, instead of worry and anxiety about how you look.
4. Stand Up Straight
Lastly, this may sound “old fashioned” but a good way to gain a healthy dose of self-confidence is to stand up straight. Yes, stand up straight. It is important to demonstrate good posture at all times. What is good posture? Well, it involves standing up with your back straight, and your chin and shoulders in an upturned position. When you slouch, others view you as lazy or disinterested. On the other hand, standing up straight makes you appear determined, outgoing, assertive, bold, secure, and self-confident.
- Dr. R. Y. Langham
Heart of Leadership. (2015). Statistics on body image, self-esteem & parental influence. Retrieved from http://www.heartofleadership.org/statistics-on-body-image-self-esteem-parental-influence/
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Self-esteem: Boost your self-image with these 5 steps. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_8034034_tips-improve-self-confidence.html
Mind Tools. (2015). Building self-confidence. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/selfconf.html