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How to Gain Confidence: 5 Strategies That Actually Work

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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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3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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