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How to Gain Confidence: 5 Strategies That Actually Work

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how to gain confidence

I recently attended a senior executive meeting for an important budget discussion. I know, it doesn’t sound too exciting. But as I sat there with the brightest at my company, it got me thinking. How are these people different from the rest of us? That is, what’s the recipe that makes someone a CEO, while another remains a mid-level employee all their lives?

Naturally, all the people in the room were well-dressed, well-spoken, and well-educated in their respective fields. However, what truly made them stand out was their confidence. That inner feeling that they were exactly where they deserved to be in life, and that they had something of value to leave to the world.

So, what can we do to get on the other side where the grass is greener and the sun is warmer? The first thing to understand is that building confidence is a process, not a point in time. It’s an evolution. Or, even a better way to put it—it’s like going to the gym. If you want lasting results, you must sweat regularly. No one else can do the job for you.

Here are 5 confidence boosters that I’ve found to work—supported by research and tested by me in real life:

1. Mind Your Body

This one is largely intuitive. It’s hardly a great secret that “spreading large,” a firm handshake, or a stable eye contact are traits of an affirmative leader, and that sitting up straight and holding our head high can be instant confidence-boosters.

Body language matters. Psychologists place its importance between 70% and 90% of all our communication with the world. What’s more, people “thin-slice” us and can draw some pretty accurate conclusions about our personalities just by looking at us for a few seconds.

Given the lasting print of first impressions, we better make sure that we present a memorable image to the world. It’s within our power, so carry yourself with dignity. Choose every detail wisely.

“Deafness has left me acutely aware of both the duplicity that language is capable of and the many expressions the body cannot hide.” – Terry Galloway

2. The Hollywood Effect

If there is anything that Hollywood can teach us about confidence, it is  the art of “showing off.” That is, emphasize your strengths and talents whenever and wherever possible. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to have certain skills or mojos to start with, that will make you stand out in the first place. Clever branding and marketing can magnify these.

People who lack confidence usually have one thing in common — they try to avoid attracting attention to themselves. A bit of “bragging” will help position our personal brand in others’ orbits with positive and lasting effects.

Success is about two things — knowing your worth, but also helping the world discover how unique you are. No matter how many special talents we may possess, if no one knows about them, what good does it do? Mention your skills often. Be proud of them. Let them shine. However, don’t overdo it. Narcissists and extreme show-offs are not anyone’s favorite folks. So, shine bright, and let the world find you by following your light.

3. Survival of the Fittest

Darwin taught us many years ago that it’s not the strongest of the species that survive but the ones that can best adapt to their environments. It’s a desirable trait to nurture, especially in terms of self-esteem.

A large part of having healthy confidence lies in meeting our human need to belong, to connect with others, to fit in—be it in a group, on the sports team, or the work outing.

Becoming more likeable is often as simple as listening to people, taking interest in their stories and having a desire to help. And no, it’s not about acting fake. It simply means developing a better understanding of others, and trying to walk in their shoes. Small gestures result in great benefits, so learn to look at the world from different angles.

4. The Zen Factor

Meditation is quite important not only for our sanity but for our self-esteem too. Science tells us that there we receive approximately one billion stimuli in our brains every second. We filter out most but there are still around 100 sensations we keep for processing.

Naturally, with such an overflow of information, it’s no wonder we let self-doubts, indecisiveness and negative thinking sneak in. This is when we can resort to the Zen masters’ wisdom—that by learning to empty our cups of all anxiety and noise, we can see the world differently from the position of strength, heightened attentiveness, and a focus on living “in the now.”

Meditation also taps into the idea of self-reflection, of taking stock of what we did well and what we can do better next time around. 10 minutes a day is all the time we need to rewire our brain so that we can become the more positive, confident and relaxed version of ourselves. In the end, breathe in calmness, and breathe out worry.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” – Mark Black

5. Expertise and Authority

The most natural way to emit confidence is when it’s done from the position of authority or as an expert. We all tend to pay close attention to such individuals and believe pretty much everything they say because they “know their stuff.”

Building in-depth knowledge will certainly gain us lots of brownie points with others; mainly, in the form of respect and appreciation. “Knowing our stuff” will also breed confidence as it makes us better prepared to face the world, to weather adversities, and to combat self-doubt. It is up to you to find your strengths and passions in order to become the best you can at what you do.

Going back to my executive meeting. Is it possible, I asked myself, for anyone really to become the next CEO of their company, or a famous writer, or even an astronaut, if that’s what they want in life?

Absolutely. Of course, you will probably need to build the knowledge and experience first. But above all,  you need to start believing in yourself, in your stars, and in your strengths.

When you lack confidence in yourself, what do you do to boost that missing confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Evelyn Marinoff is a writer and an aspiring author. She holds a degree in Finance and Marketing,  works in client consulting, and spends her free time reading, writing and researching ideas in psychology, leadership, well-being and self-improvement. On her website evelynmarinoff.com, she writes tips and pieces on self-enhancement and confidence. You can also find her on Twitter at @Evelyn_Marinoff.

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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