Confidence. It’s the elusive holy grail of human socialization. Everything in life seems to bend over backwards for those who have it. The spotlight loves them. And they can charm people like talented maestros orchestrating music. But for those of us who don’t have confidence, life is… well let’s just say life is just not that great. There is really nothing we can do about it…or is there?
The biggest misconception we have about confidence is that we are born with it. But, you see, that’s just not true. While there are people genetically predisposed to be confident, those of us unlucky enough to not be born with this trait are not entirely helpless. Confidence, like any other skill, is trainable. And there are numerous simple but effective practices that can help us achieve it.
Here’s how you can mentor yourself to become the confident person you’ve always wanted to be.
1. Maintain Eye Contact using the Triangle Method
We’ve all heard of the importance of eye contact time and again. But those of us who suffer from low confidence can attest that keeping eye contact in a conversation is one of the most difficult things to do. It’s hard to know where exactly to look and how to not make it creepy.
This is where the Triangle Method comes in.
The Triangle Method is simple. The first step is to mentally draw an imaginary triangle on the face of the person you are interacting with. The base of the triangle should be somewhere between the eyes of the person and the tip of the triangle should be on their lips or right below it. Then, all you have to do is let your eyes naturally travel between these three points.
The way this works is by giving your eyes a safe zone to wander in. And, this makes you appear engaged and interested while making sure you do not appear awkward to the person you are talking to. Of course, you will need to practice this a few times at first. But once you master it, people will love how confident you appear.
2. Exercise regularly.
There are really no downsides to exercising regularly at all. Not only does it help you live a healthier life, it also empowers you by relieving your mental stress and improving your self-image. Join a gym or just set aside some time for a jog or even a long walk. Before you know it, you will begin to feel much better about yourself.
3. Improve your posture.
Research has shown that a good posture not only improves your muscles and spine but also boosts your confidence. Additionally, people who stand straight are also perceived to be more attractive and confident by others. Try your best to stand tall and keep a straight posture and avoid slouching at all costs.
4. Rock a pair of Sunglasses.
Ever wondered why most of us who have trouble socializing with people in real life but don’t have the same problem when we talk online? That’s because of the power of anonymity. It’s much easier for us to be more confident when we are anonymous. It creates a type of safety net around us and helps us feel much more comfortable just being ourselves.
And that’s where the sunglasses come in!
Studies have revealed that wearing sunglasses not only makes you feel more attractive but also boosts your sensual confidence. Psychologist and sex expert Dr. Glenn Wilson claims that wearing sunglasses give us a sense of anonymity and control over our own image. And this, in turn, makes even timid and shy people act more confidently than they normally do.
So, the next time you need that little extra boost of confidence, just pop on a pair of sunglasses. Because the only risk you take is that of looking cooler than you already are!
5. Focus on the positive.
Stop thinking about the things that might go wrong and just do it. Because often, nothing horrible will happen even if you are shut down. Focus on the positive instead of the negative. So, instead of thinking “if I do this and fail, it will be so embarrassing”, think “if I do this and succeed, it will be so awesome.”
Meditation has been proven to help with decision making, anxiety, and even physical pain. And it is not even that complicated to do. All you need to do is sit down with your eyes closed and your back straight. Then, you concentrate on the sound and feeling of you breathing in and out. That’s it. Just set aside 5 minutes every day to do this, and you will find yourself much less anxious and more confident before you know it!
7. Talk to your Mirror.
Remember that iconic scene from the movie ‘Taxi Driver’? The one where Robert DeNiro says random things to his own reflection? Turns out that it is actually a very good exercise to build self-confidence!
The truth is that our subconscious minds hold absolute power over who we are. It also cares about you and wants to protect you from harm. Unfortunately for people with low confidence, the problem is that your subconscious mind wrongly believes that being outspoken will put you in danger!
By talking in front of the mirror, you can slowly reprogram your subconscious mind. Simply stand straight in front of a mirror (preferably a full-length mirror), look into your eyes, and inspire yourself with powerful motivational quotes.
The change might not be instant. The more you practice, the more relaxed you will feel being outspoken. You will be able to see how you appear to other people when you talk to them and improve on it where you see fit. And your constant self-affirmation will gradually supercharge your subconscious mind with positive energy.
With patience and consistent practice, you will soon be able to easily express yourself in front of any number of people!
8. Remove your emotions from your actions.
Perhaps you shouldn’t be doing this all the time. But sometimes, removing what you ‘feel’ about performing a task can really help you be more confident. Don’t ‘feel’ embarrassed when you are doing something – it only slows you down. Ask yourself, “Is how I feel about this really important for me to do it?” You will realize that quite often, the answer is a big ‘NO’.
9. Be open to learning.
Knowledge is power. And there are few things as empowering as learning something new. Not only does it help you project confidence, it also helps you become worldlier while providing you with a slew of things to talk about. The Internet is a great and easily accessible tool for this. But so are books, people, and institutions all around you.
10. Unleash your inner Drama.
When we think of actors and actresses, we think of confidence. How could we not? Thespians appear to be at the very height of confidence. But is that really the case?
Of course not!
Some of the greatest actors in the world have confessed to being shy and awkward in their personal lives. Take Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp for instance, who is known for playing outlandish roles on the big screen but also suffers from social anxiety in public.
How do they do it then? They play a character!
It is much easier to be confident when you are pretending to be someone else. And you can use this fact to your advantage.
The first thing you do is identify a character that you visualize when you hear the word ‘confident’. Try to describe what you think makes this character seem that way. List them all down using simple adjectives (like brave, loud, or cheery). Once you have your list, try acting each of them out by inserting them into your own personality. Act like a braver ‘you’ or talk like a louder version of ‘you’.
As you practice, your acting will begin to feel more natural. And before you know it, you will not have to act at all!
11. Groom yourself.
When you look good, you feel good. It is as simple as that. We often underestimate just how amazing something as simple as a shower can make us feel. It is a great and effective fix to make us feel more confident when our confidence meter is low. Because, honestly, how often have you been wowed by someone with an unkempt appearance?
12. Wear your power outfit.
Have you ever noticed that wearing a certain set of clothes makes you feel more confident? Or that styling your hair in a particular style makes you feel more attractive? Turns out that it is actually linked to how our brain works!
The process is called ‘enclothed cognition’, which put simply means that our brain associates certain outfits with power and/or intelligence. And when you wear these outfits, you are very likely to take on the attributes you associate with the clothes. Business suits, for example, are often associated with authority and power. And we cannot help but feel more confident when we put one on ourselves.
So, the next time you need some extra confidence, just wear your power threads and you will march through whatever is stopping you!
13. Cut the toxicity out of your life.
Despite doing everything we can to change ourselves, sometimes it just does not work. And at times like these, we must ask ourselves whether the fault is really our own.
Being surrounded by toxic people and things are perhaps the most harmful things that can happen to your sense of self. Not only do they stop you from being more confident, they also make you feel worthless – despite all evidence to the contrary. It is why we must do all we can and take immediate action when we find ourselves in this situation.
There are usually a lot of toxic things and people that we can and should remove from our lives. The problem is that we often do not understand how to identify what they are.
There is an easy way to figure it out though. And that is to look at the people and things that revolve around your life and ask yourself, “How does this make me feel?”
Does talking to someone usually upset you? Remove them from your life! Does your room depress you? Switch things around until you find something that pleases you.
It is not an easy thing to do. Such abrupt changes are often terrifying. But after you have committed to it, you will find that you’ll much surer of yourself.
14. Realize that people don’t see you the way you think they do.
A big part of being self-confident is realizing that most people don’t care about how you act. We often freak out over the misconception that people are critically analyzing every move we make. But the truth is they aren’t.
Think about it. Do you care about what EVERY person you come across says to you? Exactly!
Once you come to terms with the fact that people do not care as much as you think they do, you will slowly learn to pay less attention to your inhibitions.
15. Everybody feels the same way you do.
‘Most people fear public speaking more than they fear death’. Almost all of us have heard a variation of this quote at some point in. Regardless of how accurate the statistics to this quote are, there is a truth in this.
The people that make you anxious about speaking out? Well, they feel the same way you do BECAUSE OF YOU! Almost every normal person has reservations about standing in the spotlight, especially in front of strangers. Quite frankly, those who do not are very likely to be psychopaths.
The next time you feel your heart pound before you take a proverbial leap, just remember that everyone watching you feels the same way. It’s just that you have the courage to go through with whatever it is you are doing despite the fear!
One can’t become confident overnight. It is a very slow process – and like everything in life you win some and you lose some.
Do not let the times you feel like you failed make you quit. The fact that you are trying is all that matters. Be patient and eventually all your efforts will bear fruit.
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