Everyone has issues with their confidence. For some people, going to a party is stressful as they dread the idea of interacting with strangers, afraid that they would not know what to say. Others might constantly reject opportunities to speak before an audience because they are shaken by the possibility of forgetting their speech. Or, in some cases, people are unfailingly indecisive because they are not optimistic about the outcome of their choices.
Notice a common thread among the three? Apart from the lack of confidence, a similar pattern weaving them together is the theme of reluctance in taking chances. A Spongebob Squarepants episode illustrates almost precisely what not taking chances looks like: holing up in your home and trying to compensate for the lack of human—animal, in this case—interaction by making inanimate objects your friends. Of course, this could also be a symptom of a serious mental health issue, but taken metaphorically, the situation Spongebob was in is very close to what taking the safe road to a paralyzing degree feels like. Some people might find it comforting, but humans are generally built for social interaction and connection. And in order to truly connect with other people, you have to exercise your innate capacity to be confident.
With confidence, you develop a stronger sense of self, you get to feel more motivated, you love and cherish yourself better, you make friends easily, and you experience life in a fulfilling and hopeful way.
So let’s get to the main question: How do you build your confidence? Here are some quick things you can do.
List down all your interests and their corresponding hobbies.
Your interests and hobbies will serve as a source of optimism and an avenue where you can let your abilities shine. For the sake of this blog post, we will consider interest as the proper source of a hobby.
Ex., You’re interested in fiction or poetry, and the hobby you can develop from that is writing or reading.
When you dive deep into the world of your hobbies that stem from your interests, your time and mental space get occupied by new learnings, as opposed to negative self-talk and memories that make you feel like you failed at doing something in the past. This is because if you pursue something that you genuinely enjoy and are genuinely curious about, you will have a natural knack for it. That, or your attempts at getting better at the activity will be seen as points for improvement instead of outright failure. With the right kind of interest-based hobby, your mindset orients itself to progress, not results. Improvement can only follow.
Tip: Create a mind map that links your interests to a number of hobbies you can derive from it. This will only take a few minutes of your time.
This might sound strange, but taking a shower can boost your readiness for the day. It can make you feel less self-conscious about your hygiene and overall, it gives you a fresh start, regardless of the time of day.
It might also help to imagine yourself washing away all your worries and self-doubt as you’re taking a shower. Visualization is a powerful meditation technique that you can incorporate in the mundane, such as taking a shower.
Watch your body language.
Chest out, chin up. In her Ted Talk, American psychologist Amy Cuddy discussed how our body language affects not only the person we’re interacting with but also ourselves.
When female and male subjects were brought into the lab, Cuddy tested how their hormones changed with their body language. She found that, after two minutes of power-posing, subjects had higher levels of testosterone, which is the hormone related to dominance, and lower levels of cortisol, which is the hormone related to stress.
“Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes,” she said, prompting the audience to practice acting confident (e.g., through power-posing) until they genuinely feel confident.
Additionally, good posture can ease your anxiety. A study conducted by researchers at San Francisco State University found that posture can affect a person’s test-taking abilities.
“The slumped-over position shuts them down and their brains do not work as well,” said Professor of Health Education Erik Peper, who is also one of the researchers.
Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey, also a researcher of the study, echoed this finding, saying that the hunched-over posture is a “defensive” one, which “can trigger old negative memories in the body and brain.”
Given all this, you see how practicing small acts of confidence can help boost a sense of faith in yourself. If you feel you’re lacking in confidence, try changing your body language and keep telling yourself that you know you can do anything, because the truth is you can.
Think of at least 3 things you like about yourself whenever you compare yourself to other people.
If you’re fixated on other people’s success, you open yourself up to the vicious, unrelenting monster called envy, which inevitably brings your self-esteem and self-confidence down. We all know comparing ourselves to others is harmful, unproductive, and a complete waste of time. So instead of fixating on others’ qualities, use your energy to focus on yourself and your own betterment.
Make it a habit to catch yourself whenever you start to feel competitive and self-hating. List down three (3) things you like about yourself immediately, and soon enough, you will find yourself feeling grateful for being you.
Start feeling confident today by doing one of the tips listed on this post! How do you plan on starting your journey toward self-confidence? We want to know: Message us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/HyeLoves or share your experience with your fellow beauty enthusiasts at LIVE & GLOW.