One common misconception people have about confidence is that it comes naturally.
Well, for a few select people, maybe. But for the majority of people who possess that air of confidence, not so much. It is something they have decided they wanted, and worked towards. So, if you’re looking to boost your self confidence, you’ve already taken the first step: You have decided that you want to. You are aware of it.
Have you ever noticed that people who are supremely confident aren’t attempting to seek your approval? They don’t call attention to themselves. Yet somehow they have your approval and your attention. May we all agree that’s extremely sexy? It seems pretty great, and everyone would love to live that way, but it’s not always so easy is it?
The French have the most fabulous expression to describe it: “je suis bien dans ma peau.”
It quite literally translates to, “I am comfortable in my own skin.” We’re not talking about being arrogant or loud. We’re talking about being self assured. Being happy with who you are. Feeling content with your life. In our case, when you spend half your life in a bikini, it’s safe to say that being confident is like flossing your teeth, you need to practice it daily. From time to time, we all need the extra reminder to practice self confidence. Here’s are ways, backed by science, that will allow you to help yourself.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE VIBES
This sounds easy. But really think about it. Do you surround yourself with people who make you feel happy and energized? If the answer is no, try to limit your time around these people. In order to thrive and be your best self you need to be around people who celebrate your wins and support your goals. (and who make you laugh!) Stay away from negativity and bring on the positivity! Did you know you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with? Make sure you choose carefully.
Celebrities like Tiger Woods, Jim Carrey and Oprah Winfrey have successfully used these techniques to become more self-assured, confident, and successful. Did you know that mental imagery and visualisation actually strengthen your neural pathways? This can also actually speed up the learning of a new skill. Sounds pretty epic right?! It’s simple and even fun. Here’s how to do it:
- Pick a very specific area in your life that you’d like to feel more confident (at your job, giving an upcoming speech)
- Sit down, close your eyes. Imagine you are doing said activity, and you are doing it perfectly. Imagine the space you are in, your clothing, your facial expressions, other people who will be there, etc. Also, recreate the feelings you imagine you will be feeling.
Visualization techniques activate your creative subconscious and through the law of attraction, can help re-program your brain, and can strengthen internal motivation. There are a ton of ways to visualize, find the one that works best for you!
MOVE YOUR BODY
This is probably the single best thing you can do for yourself, and it doesn’t cost a penny! Endorphins are released when we exercise and help us to keep anxiety at bay. Yay for that! It’s totally a thing. Ever heard of “runners high?”
When you travel a lot, exercise is the single best thing you can do for yourself to adjust to the local timezone. Sometimes the hardest part can be getting motivated and out the door, so that’s why it’s good to buddy up and get some moral support with your bestie. When you exercise your brain releases lots of lovely happy chemicals, called endorphins. Science shows that getting out and about is good for you because endorphin release makes us feel less anxious and just happier in general. [Insert Legally Blonde reference here.] If working out doesn’t appeal to you a certain day, simply taking a walk will stimulate the same response.
SILENCE YOUR INNER SELF-CRITIC
Self-criticism in small amounts can be okay at times, but if you are overly focused on your mistakes and failures, this can lead to a poor self-image and feelings of inadequacy. Try to change your inner soundtrack and speak to yourself in a kinder tone. Talk to yourself the way you would take to a friend. Replace the negative voices in your mind with positive ones. Instead of saying “I’m a failure” try to replace that thought with a positive one such as “ I am doing my best and that is good enough.” Sometimes we’re our own worst critics, but go easy on yourself. We’re only human after all!
Who inspires you and why? Is it someone who has overcome adversity against all odds? Have they pushed through their self-doubt? Is it a character in a book? Try to emulate this persons positive qualities.
Consier putting positive affirmations or quotes on the wall, as to reminds you of your goals. You could always just save your favourite inspirational quote as your laptop screensaver. Famous quotes really can become powerful affirmations just like this one;
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein
Why is it that we always seem to compare ourselves to people who appear to be more successful than we are? Comparing ourselves to celebrities for example, is just not realistic, yet we do it all the time. Think about it, the average celebrity has an army of people at their disposal whose job it is to help them to look good. Private chefs, nutritionists, stylists, personal assistants, make-up artists on speed-dial and of course the best personal trainers. All of this is the norm when you’re rich and famous!
This can be something extremely small, such as offering help to someone at work, or asking someone to lunch who might really appreciate the gesture. Kindness literally boosts serotonin in your brain, as well as eases anxiety. Most importantly, showing kindness is widely accepted as an incredible strength. If you can show that compassion and love for someone else in your day, you’ll be proving your own strength to yourself. Expect self confidence to follow!
If you can shift your focus slightly and try to focus on the positives, you might just find that you can become the absolute best version of yourself, which sounds pretty wonderful. When you practice self-acceptance and learn to love yourself, flaws and all, you’ll be doing your self-esteem a big favor.
Hopefully after reading this, you’ve gleaned some hints and tips that you can put into practice right-away to help you feel like the best version of yourself. At the end of the day, confidence is an extremely important habit to foster.