How to Improve Self Confidence And Live a Better Life
None of us are born with any self image issues. From the time of creation to birth and even beyond, we are as pure and perfect as we will ever be. Our needs were few, and the world was huge and promising. The only people who surrounded us were our parents and family, who always wanted us to be happy, and met our every need, and the wants we never knew we had. But as we grew older, and our immersion into society progressed, the opinions of others began to shape how we saw ourselves. During the early years of school, the innate mean behavior all kids go through surfaced and there were bullies, as well as those who called names, or even good naturedly pushed their achievements in your face. They didn’t mean to make you feel inferior, but that’s what happened. Our young minds reach out toward that acceptance and the rebuff of criticism, as something necessary for our success as a whole, and we begin measuring ourselves against those we deem better than ourselves.
Things aren’t much better as a teenager. You may have had acne, your body may have still been gangly and not quite at your adult size, your voice may have broken while speaking, and you probably suffered from body odor. The early teenage years are not often looked back on with happiness because for many it’s anything but a happy time. Your emotions are spiked from the surges of hormones, making the world appear larger and situations feel more dire than they really are. Cliques of friends form, outcasting many a hopeful teen, and falsely including others, forming friendships that can’t last past high school because they were founded on a performance rather than anything genuine. We begin to look up to idols in media like actors, models and bands, and idealize ourselves to become more like them in both our behavior and our looks, when they have the money we never even dreamed of having that makes it possible. Any insecurity you may have had to begin with becomes magnified exponentially.
Once you’ve left home, perhaps worked your first job, some things become apparent. Those high school cliques haven’t stayed in touch, and people who you barely knew are reaching out to you. Your entire concept about high school sociology gets rocked to it’s foundation. You’re also completely on your own. Unlike growing up with your family, there’s nobody expecting you to do anything any certain way to be accepted, there’s no school dynamics based around who eats at which table. You get to define who you are, and how you feel about yourself for the first time free of any outside interference, but you have to choose to do this. Your entire life has been lived with the unconscious pressure of others weighing upon you, but your adult life belongs to you. This is where you build the self confidence that has taken a beating over all these years. It doesn’t matter what you look like, how you see yourself, how much motivation you think you have, or if you’re painfully shy. Self confidence is not the same as who you are, nor is it arrogance or conceit. Self confidence is the most powerful people magnet that exists, and is synonymous with another word. Charm.
Everyone wants to be that guy that lights up a room when he walks in, flashing a million dollar smile. He walks proudly across the room as though he owns it and is never short of a crowd following him and seeking to speak to him; the one that everyone looks forward to talking to the next time they see him. That skill is in all of us, but for most, it’s been trampled flat over many years. But there’s ways to turn that all around, to become the person others gravitate to, the one who gets the promotions, and is never short on dates. First tip? You have to believe it. You have to convince yourself every single day that your success is already a foregone conclusion. When you truly believe in yourself, others will too. Here’s another… Stop the flow of negative thoughts. Identify the things you feel are your weaknesses and challenge yourself to prove yourself wrong. Following are more tips that can help you stop living in the shadow of others, and start casting a tall one yourself.
- Even if you’re a realist, and prone to negative thinking at times, start creating positives for every negative, and believe more in the positive. It doesn’t mean you need to be unrealistic, simply more upbeat about possibility and open to it.
- Force a smile even when you don’t feel like it, it’s been proven to make you feel better, and triggers the release of endorphins in your brain.
- Posture counts. If you hold yourself high, you’ll feel as good as you look, and others will perceive this as confident body language.
- Don’t give reasons for failure. It’s your right to fail as a human being, at least you tried. If you aren’t good at something, practicing it WILL make you better at it, and thus, feel better about it.
- Care about your appearance. This doesn’t make you shallow, it shows you care about yourself, which translates to others as care in all things, and possibly that you’d be capable of caring for them. When you look your best, you’re going to feel your best.
- Random acts of kindness. You will never feel better about yourself than when you’re behaving in a selfless manner, serving others. Choose to give of your time or self, and see the difference it makes in your self image.
- Be social. Even if you’re introverted or have convinced yourself that you don’t like most people anyway, you need to at least surround yourself in places where there are many people from time to time. Humans are social creatures, and even if you never speak to any of them, you’ll feel better having gone.
- Make a list. List all the things you know about yourself to be your strong points. Be honest, nobody is going to see it but you, and during the times you’re feeling particularly low or anxious, pull out the list, and consider each point. Your confidence is not a set point in time and that way forever after, it’s moments, it’s fluid and changes with your own thoughts.
- Are you living by your own morals or standards? Do the ones you apply to the rest of the world also hold true for yourself, or are you living substandard to what you hold others to? This might be part of why you suffer from lack of confidence. See if there are ways to improve your quality of life
- Live for now. The future can be completely planned out, or not at all. Be somewhere in the middle, not worried about things past that you cannot change, or things so far in the future that could be derailed by something you don’t even know about yet. Live your moments while they count, don’t live for times that don’t exist anymore, yet, or never will.
Here’s some helpful sites that explain further about self confidence and why it’s so key to happiness.
First one is from the popular site Men’s Health
Next is one from a massively successful blog, The Art of Manliness
Last, the reasons why it’s so important in the first place. From lifehacker.com