Confidence: what everyone needs to succeed in both our professional and social lives and what so many of us lack. Those of us who struggle with confidence know what kind of disadvantage we're at, both in dating and in the work place. Anxiety follows us everywhere, and hinders us in everything. So how do we go about gaining self confidence when we seem so hard-wired to keep putting ourselves down, letting opportunities go, and berating ourselves for it all?
Here are a few strategies that can help you leave all that stress behind by increasing your confidence daily.
Strategy 1: The Daily Challenge
Everyday, challenge yourself to try something you are afraid to do. This may be the most important strategy of this list, because you literally get to conquer your fears. Just like a kid finally deciding to jump from the top of the jungle gym, you will gain confidence with every leap you take. It can be as simple as making small talk with your coffee shop's cashier, or as heart-dropping as sky-diving from a chartered plane. It's up to you. At some point you will realize, there's nothing stopping you from doing anything you want to do.
Strategy 2: Learn New Skills
Lack of self-confidence often stems from a feeling of uselessness. You compare yourself to others who appear to be so much better at x or y, and fall into the age-old existential question, What is my purpose? What do I have to offer other people? The solution is to work at becoming good at something yourself. The key here is investing time; the more time invested, the better you'll get. Skills like poker or dancing can give you more confidence socially, while working at job-related skills will gain you more confidence interacting with your boss and around your co-workers. As a bonus, you might get a raise.
Strategy 3: Revamp Your Look
Go through all of your clothes; donate the ones you feel bad in, keep the ones you feel good in. Replace your bad clothes with figure-flattering clothes, get a haircut. Try something different, try something bold. This process can be the jumping-off point for starting a new chapter in your life. New look, new you.
Strategy 4: Work Out
It's no secret that working out generally makes people more attractive, and that attractiveness generally leads to confidence. But, there's a second, less talked about benefit to working out: endorphin release. Working out has been proven to make people feel better, and not just while they're at the gym. Working out generates a sense of well-being that lasts throughout the day. This requires a nearly-daily commitment at the gym, however. Sporadic workouts won't work.
Strategy 5: Get Rid of Toxic People
Is there someone in your life who constantly criticizes you? Your boss, parents or significant other are the most likely suspects. Minimize your contact with them, change jobs, break up with them, do whatever you need to do. Maybe you can't change your boss or your parents, but simply identifying who is bringing you down will decrease their power to do so.
The key to using these strategies is persistence. Keep challenging and bettering yourself, and confidence will come naturally.
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