When I was young, I was a very happy kid, I played around with the other children, had many friends, and while I was slightly shy, I still had no problem talking to people. As I grew up, I learned that being chubby and smart makes people not like you for your looks and envy you for your brain. I became quite lonely and withdrew from the pain to my room and my computer.
I still had a few friends, and they made life a little brighter, but I was still unhappy and felt so bad about my appearance, and dumbed myself down so people would like me. By the time I was 18, nature helped me out and I grew into my body, and suddenly I wasn’t fat anymore, but that chubby little kid was still there, in the back of my mind.
That little hurt child kept me insecure about my looks, as well as forced me to play dumb, with the fear that I’ll lose friends and be lonely again if I’m too smart again. I was failing school because I didn’t want to seem smart; I was failing at my love life because I had no self-confidence, and I started to think my future is nothing but bleak.
Lucky for me, I managed to pull myself out of the mire and learned a few ways to boost my self-confidence. I’m now happy, married and loving my career, with many friends who love me for who I am. It’s my turn to help those who might still be having problems with their own self-confidence by showing you a few methods that will boost it.
First, you should identify what you’re good at: We are all good at one thing, at least, so find what you can do well. You might not be the best in that field, but as long as you do it well – you can improve and take pride in your expertise.
Try expressing yourself through a form of art you like – this is a real confidence booster and a great way to meet likeminded people. Friends who share in your interests can make you feel more accomplished and push you onward.
If you can’t think of anything you’re good at, think of something you’d like to do – then go and do it! It doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail, trying is the most important step!
Once you’ve taken that first step, you’ll be amazed how much better you feel, and your confidence will start climbing.
Second, you must take pride in your good qualities: Yes, being humble is important, but if you’re good at something – don’t be embarrassed about it. Celebrate it and be happy that you possess such qualities – they make you a better person. Remember – you can have pride in your accomplishments and behavior, but still be humble about it.
If you start doubting yourself because of one weakness or another, remember that you have good qualities and strengths, and that’s what defines you, rather than your weakness.
Third, identify your insecurities: What do you think is holding you back? Is it that little voice in the back of your head? The way you look? Something you’re ashamed of? Find whatever it is that’s dragging you down and write it on a piece of paper. By giving it a name and writing it down on a piece of paper, you make it a tangible object. Now – TEAR THE PAPER UP! This is a psychological trick that makes your brain think that you’re ripping the actual weakness.
Next, talk about it: Find a loved one or a friend that you trust and bare your soul. Sharing lightens the burden, and another person can offer perspective, pointing out things you might have missed. This is what friends and family are for! Even if that person can’t help you solve the problem, just talking about it can help.
Don’t let past mistakes bring you down: We all make mistakes, all the time. But wallowing in them only serves to make you feel bad about yourself. It’s a crippling behavior that ruins self-confidence and prevents you from actually learning from the mistake (believe me, I’ve been there too many times!)
Remember, most Billionaires had several failed business and moments where they thought their business was going to fail, but they never let it stop them.
Turn negative into positive: The song goes “When you’re smiling – the whole world smiles with you”, and it can’t be more accurate. Avoid the Debbie-Downers and Negative-Nancys. When you surround yourself in negative thoughts and people, you dictate the conversation of your life. If you keep telling yourself ‘no’ – you’ll never hear a ‘yes.' Look for the silver lining in every situation, find a positive spin in a negative situation – it will help you push through hard times and identify opportunities in bad situations.
Avoid comparisons: Yes, there’s always someone better – they can be richer, prettier, in better shape, etc. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to improve – instead of looking at people you think are “better” than you, look at how you can improve. You might not be as fit as that person in the gym, but if you keep exercising – you’ll lose weight, look better and feel better. Don’t be jealous of that person at work who seems smarter than you – find what you might be doing that needs improvement and work on that. Strive for improvement, not perfection.
Be grateful: When someone compliments you, take the compliment and thank the person. There’s nothing wrong with it and it doesn’t make you seem boastful. Usually, when someone compliments you, they’re showing appreciation of you. When you refuse to accept the compliment, you’re rejecting someone’s honest appreciation.
Help others: Many studies have shown that when we help others – it releases dopamine in our brain, making us happier. When you help other people – it gives you a sense of control, purpose and benevolence, all three are amazing confidence boosters.
Make eye contact: When you’re talking to another person, avoid looking at the ground or away, its sends a message that your confidence is low or that you don’t want to talk to the other person. Instead, make eye contact – this broadcasts to them that you value them and makes them respond in kind, creating a positive cycle that builds confidence.
Take care of yourself: Personal grooming is a huge factor in confidence building. When you groom yourself and dress well, people say you “look like a million bucks” – whether we admit it or not, our self-worth is influenced by our looks, so looking better makes us feel better!
Spend time with loved ones: Avoid people who make you feel negatively and spend more time with those who encourage, support and push you. These people build you up, push you on and help you grow your confidence in yourself and your actions.
Don’t fear the unknown: Sticking to what you know will make your world a small and grey place. Instead – try new challenges, meet new people and try new food. It might not all workout, but you’ll gain experience, knowledge and maybe pick up a few more friends along the way.
|I hope these tips will help you as much as they did me. If you have more ideas or ways to boost your confidence, let me know in the comment section below.|
By: Jonathan P.