5 Killer Strategies to Boost Self-confidence
Low self-confidence have caused more failures than all the crack joints, heroin and cocaine of the world combined. That’s because it destroys so many people silently without them even realising it.
Living with low self-confidence is like carrying a dripping baggage of shit all the time. It smells, it’s unpleasant, it makes you miserable, it prevents you from doing the things you need to do, from going to places you need to go and from saying the things you need to say.
Low self-confidence and self-esteem are the chief causes of missed opportunities. You can be faced with a truly life changing situation that needs to be grabbed or embraced, but then you hesitate and you go on to tell yourself ‘I don’t have what it takes’ or ‘I’m not carved out for this’ or any of those lame excuses that we tend to believe.
I know I’ve talked about success a lot on this blog, and I’ve come to realise that, if there is one thing that prevents us from taking the plunge, then it is low self-confidence. It is a silent killer, deadlier than any charm your village people might be brewing.
The truth is none of us was born with low self-confidence, it is not genetic. In fact, if you can remember what you were like as a kid, I’m pretty sure you didn’t have a care in the world. The problem occurs during that stage of self realisation; when you start to compare yourself to others, when you begin to doubt yourself.
Just as you weren’t born with it, you’re not doomed to live with it for ever.
Imagine being able to thread upon the earth totally at peace with your lot in the world; to be able to talk to whoever, when ever and wherever; to be incapable of being intimidated; to be totally unabashed, to be all of who you are without fear or disconcertment.
We all want to be like that, and we can. But only if we realise that…
The beginning of self-confidence is self acceptance
You keep telling yourself I’m not beautiful enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not outspoken enough, my abilities are not good enough… and so on and so on. But if I should ask you what is good enough, you have no idea.
Whose ideals are you pursuing? Who set the standards?
The thing is, you never get to see how good you’re if you’re always plagued with low self confidence…no matter how good you’re.
Self-confidence begins when you realise that it is perfectly alright not to have all of these things enough, that imperfection is human, that nobody has all of it enough.
It begins when you accept that it is alright to have weaknesses; when you realise that having them doesn’t take your strengths away.
Image credit: Jonathan Lidbeck
Without your weaknesses, you wouldn’t be uniquely you. You weren’t born to be like anyone else then why should you be?
When you really come to think of it, you’ll realise that everyone has fears, weaknesses and bad sides. Everyone has aspects they’re not good at. For you to be confident, you have to accept that this is alright. This is human. This is how it was meant to be.
Without further ado, here are 5 practical strategies you can use to boost your self-confidence starting from now:
Edit your self-image
Picture editing tools are the bomb right now, ha! makes me suspicious of every spotless face I see.
What we do to pictures in a picture editing tool is what you want to do your self-image. Polish it. Garnish it. Remove the imperfections. Smooth the creases. Turn it into something you’ll be happy with.
Now your self-image is nothing but that; a self-image. It might be very far from the truth. It might be different from how others perceive you. But it has a lot of impact on the way you behave and carry yourself. It is what you function by, so make it good.
When you imagine who you are, who do you see in your mind’s eye? Look into the mirror, who do you see? The answer you give yourself will show your level of self-confidence.
When you describe yourself using your weaknesses or what you perceive as your low point, that’s the danger sign: ‘An underweight, confused, good for nothing dimwit with bags under the eye and pimples on the face’ will do crazy bad things to anyone’s self-confidence, even if it’s not true.
The key to change is to edit this self description and replace your weaknesses with your strengths. This doesn’t mean you’ll be unaware of them, no you just wouldn’t focus on them and thus you won’t allow them to define you.
2. Be kind to others
I’ve written before how being kind to others does more good to us than to the receiving party in terms of boosting happiness levels. What I failed to mention is that kindness does magical things to our self-confidence too.
Being generous with yourself and your time makes you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel that you’re a good person, and this feeling does great things to your self-confidence.
3. Employ the use of your physiology
Now it’s no news that we look the way we feel, right? The other way also works perfectly; we feel the way we look.
If you want to always be in a state of confidence, you have to first act the part. Sit up or stand up straight, keep your head high, never stoop, always carry a smile, make eye contact with people, etc.
All this physiological cues communicates to your brain that you’re confident and in control and you start to feel like that instantly. You can try it right now. Strike a power pose, and take a deep breath. Now tell me how you feel.
Moreover, it’s not just about how you feel, it’s also about how you’re perceived. When you seem confident, people see you as confident and relate with you as such, even if you’re having a hard time believing it.
4. Dress the part
Feeling confident will be a tad bit more difficult if you’re always dressed like a retard.
Dressing smart and grooming yourself does instant wonders to how you feel about yourself, this is immediately obvious.
Your clothes do not have to be expensive, but they can be sparkly clean and pressed.
Dressing nicely means different things to different people, so don’t try to copy the latest fashion except if you’re sure it does it for you.
You should feel comfortable in your clothes, you should feel ready to take on the world.
5. Compliment yourself often and accept it when it comes from others
We’re experts at chastising ourselves but we hardly give ourselves genuine compliment.
And when it comes from others, we make an attempt to dismiss it; oh it’s nothing, oh I didn’t do anything really, oh (insert you favourite compliment dismissing statement here)
Don’t oh anything. Just accept it, internalize it, feel good and say thanks. There’s really nothing wrong with that. I know it looks like we’re being modest, but in truth we’re doing ourselves harm.
What’s more? You don’t have to wait for others to compliment you. When you do something great, give yourself a pat on the chest and say well-done. Do it often. By that acknowledgement alone, you’re doing yourself image a lot of good.
Your self-confidence is in your control
If you’re not happy with it, if it’s holding you back, do something about it.
It isn’t a life sentence that anybody should have to put up with. Self-confidence is a skill that can be learnt and practiced.
And owing to the consequences of not having enough of it, you really have no choice than to learn it if you ever want to get ahead in life.
So pick any of these strategies, and start working on it. It’s not magic, while some of them gives you an instant boost of confidence, overcoming low self-confidence on the whole is a gradual thing; it takes time and conscious effort.
The more you practice, the more it sticks.
Until one day, when something really embarrassing happens to you, like slipping and falling in an auditorium filled to the brim with people, you’ll simple rise up, dust your pants, give the crowd a big smile and walk briskly away without a care in the world. Because in your mind, you know it’s totally fine, it happens to the best of us.
In your mind you know it’s only human to slip and fall.
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