Buck Up, Sister!
It's easy to feel down on yourself, sadly. With all of the mishaps that can happen day to day, it can weigh on your overall persona. Luckily, you can fix those feelings. 'According to research in cognitive behavioral psychology, we know that when a person feels a certain way, it is linked not only to the chemical processes in their head, but also to what they are thinking and what they are doing,' explains licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Simon Rego. 'Therefore, when one wants to feel more confident, one can work on improving their thoughts. You can challenge any negative beliefs and replace them with more balanced thoughts.' Read on for more easy ways to gain more confidence...
Sit with Your Thoughts
Andrew Appel, creative director for Beyond Success Consulting, says it's easy to gain confidence. Sometimes it's as simple as daily silence and meditation. "Find a technique that works for you," he
says. "Take some time each day to quiet your mind and senses so that you can develop more control over your thoughts and interactions." Sitting with your thoughts will help you gain clarity -- that
way, you won't be so stir-crazed and your self-esteem will rise.
Knowing who you are and what you stand for can also help give you more confidence. "Identify your unique creative expression," Appel suggests. "Ask yourself, are you working in a job that truly
represents what you feel you are here to do in this world?" If not, perhaps it's time to start thinking about how you could move towards your true passions in life, Appel points out.
Don't Compare Yourself to Others
As you focus on the passion in your life -- the things that inspire you and give you happiness -- it's also important to stay focused on you, says Lloyd Princeton, a motivational speaker, business
coach and author of Marketing Interior Design. "Do not compare yourself to other people," he adds. "Set the bar for yourself based on your abilities and desires and constantly strive to
improve based on that bar."
"One can also literally work on non-verbal behaviors, such as body posturing, facial expression and eye contact in order to improve the feeling of confidence," Rego says. He often instructs his
patients to take a confident walk around town, using the non-verbal behaviors mentioned, and see how they feel and how people respond to them, compared to how they normally would walk around. "I
also have them imagine someone they already see as confident, and act like that person for an hour or so, and then see the results." It's like practice!
"Stand straight. Shoulders back. Head up," instructs Pamela Gilchrist, author, speaker and president of Gilchrist Group, an international award-winning business and communications firm. "This
immediately increases your presence in any setting." Gilchrist also reminds people not to shuffle or slouch. "Walk and sit with authority. If others think you have it, you do."
Never Look Down on Yourself
"Eliminate negative self-talk," Gilchrist stresses. "Replace with themes such as, 'I am good enough, I am successful, I am loved.' Gilchrist recommends reading Melody Beattie's book, The
Language of Letting Go. If you believe in yourself, others will, too.
UCLA psychiatrist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff stresses you should calm down your stress hormones in order to stay confident. "Eliminate or avoid people and
situations that induce the stress response in your body, which speeds up your pulse and mimics the feeling of fear, lowering your confidence," she suggests. "These include caffeine, sugar and other
stimulants, as well as emotional vampires or people who drain your energy and make you tense to be around, traffic jams and arguments." Keep the negativity out of the way and your positive energy
OK, that sounds a little strange, but Michael Ellner, a certified medical hypnotherapist, believes it will work. "Self-hypnosis is easily learned, rapidly effective, and, once learned, is always
available for use," Ellner says. "Imagine a slice of lemon; see it, smell it and imagine picking it up and hearing yourself tasting it -- I bet your imaginings produced a sour taste and digestive
juices. In the same way you can easily learn how to use your memories of soothing sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches to signal your mind and brain to produce a sense of ease and
confidence." All you have to do is imagine and/or remember the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches that are associated with a past experience in which you were feeling at ease and very
self-assured. "Apply those feelings of ease and confidence to new social situations by simply thinking, 'This is going to be fun,'" Ellner instructs.
"After all this is said and done, let go and trust life's process," Appel advises. "Life is what is happening while you are making other plans. Things will never unfold exactly as you intend, so be
willing to be flexible and adapt to changes and circumstances as they come about." Your ability to go with the flow and be comfortable with changes will give you more confidence, too.
It's as easy as that. Gilchrist urges, confidence comes from within -- loving yourself will give your personality the wow factor. Okay, so don't be overly confident and love yourself so much that you become a narcissist. Keep it to a healthy minimum. "Know that you are worthy, special and one of a kind," she concludes.
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