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Published on February 4th, 2012 | by Yellow Magpie

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Self Confidence The Advantages And How To Get It

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Having confidence is essential to all aspects of life, it colours how we approach everything and helps us to give of our best. It endows us with a ‘go-for-it‘ attitude.

On the other hand, lack of confidence prevents us from trying new things and keeps us locked within ourselves.  We fear we won’t be able achieve what we want in life.

We over-analyse everything and come up with the worst possible scenario – seeing ourselves failing miserably, ending up being laughed at or feeling embarrassed and ashamed.

The sad part is that often these thoughts can  become self-fulfilling prophesies. For example, when we start a new job we spend our time beating ourselves up.

Instead of concentrating on what we have to do to get the job done we tell ourselves we are stupid. Everyone else is smarter, more popular and definitely better looking.

We sweat and stew and generally make ourselves miserable. Meanwhile our wonderful true self is being covered up by layers of inferiority, fretting and feeling completely overwhelmed.

We are afraid of asking questions because we don’t want to appear dumb so we sit and agonise over a problem telling ourselves we should be able to do it and never ask for help.

Stressed Woman Photo By Becky Wetherington

Feeling Confident

The confident person will also be nervous starting a new job but the difference in their attitude is the key. They will not be afraid to ask questions or speak up for themselves.

They too will make mistakes and feel embarrassed but they will move on and let it go, they won’t torment over it for the rest of the day or in some cases weeks. They will give themselves a break.

They don’t quit easily, they will stick with it and learn until one day they are competent and comfortable with the job.

If you lack confidence how can you get it and where does it come from? There is no doubt how we are reared has a massive impact on the confidence we have in ourselves at this very moment.

However, this is not about looking back and blaming our parents or teachers or whoever we feel is responsible. It is about what we can do for ourselves today to give us that pep in our step or as the French say that  joi de vivre.

Gaining Confidence

Where do we start? Confidence is an inner belief in ourselves. It is about feeling good about who we are and what we can do. It is also about our unique talents and abilities, finding them, nurturing them and allowing others to benefit from them.

When we have no belief in ourselves it casts a shadow over our personalities, and we become like tightly lidded perfume bottles who never allow others to appreciate our wonderful scent.

Healthy Appearances

First comes good grooming. We should always try to look our very best, showering daily, putting on clean clothes, combing our hair and shining our shoes.

If you are a woman you should learn the art of subtle make-up. If you are a man get a good hair-cut, shave or keep  your beard tidy.

Some form of exercise is also vital for giving us a lift and keeping our spirits up. There is so much written about watching our weight and staying active that it hardly needs repeating. But being overweight does take its toll on confidence.

Try to exercise every day, it will pay off. Also watch what you eat. Indulging in chocolate bars  sweets and fast food is detrimental not only to our health but our mental state. Too much sugar makes us tired and piles on more weight it also makes the skin look dull and unhealthy. Not great if you want to feel confident.

In addition  look after your teeth, make sure they are clean and white, confident people smile a lot.

Well Groomed Man Photo by Ildar Sagdejev

The Art Of Good Conversation

Next learn how to be charming, this involves smiling and saying hello to others if they don’t answer never mind don’t be put off just move on to the next person and say hello to them too. Say it in a confident and assured way as half-hearted hello’s get a half-hearted response. Remember you get what you give.

Next learn the art of small-talk. What is small-talk? Small-talk is usually about something that both people can join in on. It can be about the weather, something on the news, that morning  sports or indeed anything to get the conversation rolling.

Begin by saying something to the check-out attendant in the supermarket for example ‘It looks like you’re  busy today’, or ‘do people every stop shopping?’ It can be as simple as that, the aim is to appear friendly and to acknowledge the person who is checking you out. It also gives you some practice.

You can make small talk at the bus stop, a waiting room (though be careful not to talk too much to people who may be ill in a doctor’s waiting room just be sensitive to how others look, they may want to be left alone). Practice small-talking at home and have a few lines ready to get things started and then DO IT.

The Storyteller

Part of growing in confidence is making yourself do things that you don’t want to do. People who lack confidence shy away from going to parties or other events that may require them to talk to new people.

They panic about what they will say to people but don’t forget you only need to talk to one person at a time, you will not be expected to work the whole room or stand up to give a speech. Again start with some small-talk to break the ice, then have a few stories practised and ready.

Be pro-active and have something prepared. Have you ever watched celebrities being interviewed? They always have stories ready, if you happen to see them being interviewed on another programme you will hear them repeat the same story.

You too can have your stories ready, practised and polished. Stories can be about something funny that happened in work, a holiday you went on recently or a film currently showing that you went to. The choice is yours.

Also draw other people out ask them questions about themselves, their work, their hobbies and instead of thinking of yourself try to make them feel good about themselves.

It is said about the writer Oscar Wilde that he had the ability to make others feel they were the most facinating person in the room. Could you do that for someone? It could be fun to try.

People Having Fun

 

Think Of Others

Finally, remember most people are shy and may well be feeling just as nervous, lonely and unsure of themselves as you are. Do not assume that just because they look as if they have it all together that they have.

Now is the time to get out there and ‘Seize the Day.’  This is not a dress rehearsal stop putting off your life and begin living it. A wonderful quote from Melodie Beattie goes; ‘Quit hanging onto the handrails… Let Go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it everyday.’

Have a look at actor George Clooney who is noted for his charm, look at his body language and his good humour.

Never try to copy others but learn how they communicate with others and try to do the same. You may not be a movie star but you have a lot to give to others who can benefit from being with you. Have Fun!


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