Find Your Confidence When The World's Working Against You
Published December 6, 2023
Whether you're suffering from short-term or long-term bouts of personal disbelief and ambiguity, methods to reverse any lack of confidence are vast. Consider these seven practices to reinvigorate your mind, body, and soul in personal and professional matters.
Work Your Body
Beyond the physical strengthening of your muscles, exercise plays several roles in physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness.
Physically, and certainly the most noticeable, is that your body image will improve. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, each of us should strive from 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts each week for a general sense of wellbeing. Along with positive diet changes, it's guaranteed that you will end up with a more robust, slimmer, and fitter body during this lifetime journey.
Mentally, exercise can improve brain function. Specifically, during endurance exercises, a chemical called irisin is produced. This molecule is known to activate genes that stimulate learning and memory formation.
Emotionally, exercise is a wonder drug. It further improves mood by the release of endorphins and serotonin. Training your body is shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and even symptoms like low self-esteem.
When you smile, your brain begins to produce and release chemicals known as neuropeptides. These molecules fight off stress. Other neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin - all feed good chemicals - come into play here as well.
Relationship educator and therapist Shadeen Francis states that "Smiling is a universal signal for warmth, approachability, and attractiveness."
Interestingly, even if no one is around you, you can still reap the benefits of a natural smile, Francis says. "... if you smile at yourself in the mirror, you receive very similar neural cues as you would if a familiar friend smiled at you."
Even if it's just meant for you, a simple smile activates positive emotions for your soul.
Visualize Your Success
Purposely talking to yourself has benefits many of us are unsuspecting. Pumping yourself up is a profoundly under-utilized personal trait.
Francis notes that "Attention is an exercise in intentional focus… Whatever you give attention to will expand in your field of consciousness. Taking time to actively notice positive qualities about yourself, whether external characteristics or internal skills and qualities, helps them become more salient to you. When you spend time acknowledging these traits, you can experience them more fully."
In a 2014 study from the University of Illinois, conclusions reported that when individuals were speaking with themself, they found the energy was similar to that of talking with a friend. In short, speaking to oneself "hyped" up research participants.
Laugh Until You Can No Longer
"This is so important — some people treat every aspect of their life so seriously, and this shows in their face and their personality… It is perfectly okay to be imperfect — no one has to be perfect all of the time. It is important not to let others define you and just to be you."
"Fake It Till You Make It"
Easier said than done. There's some truth to the overused saying, "Fake It Till You Make It."
Matchmaker Denis Levy reports that "The way you enter a room or share a glance are indicators of your confidence working for you or against you… It is all about your smile, body language, and even eye contact. When you feel odd or awkward, people can pick up on that uneasiness which will equate to whether or not you are perceived as attractive."
Here's one small tip going forward with your future social interactions to assist with this process. If you're having trouble acting confidently at the moment, even recalling a memory in which you were should temporarily boost your ego.
Rock The Red
The color red can be dissected in many different ways. Regarding emotions, red symbolizes action, energy, and passion. It can also be seen as aggressive or impulsive. Wearing red will help you exude confidence, excitement, and vitality.
Nevertheless, wearing red clothing has similar effects on both men and women.
Stand Up Straight
Dating back to our childhood days, mother was always right when she told us to "stand up straight!"
A study from the Association of Psychological Science confirms the benefits behind this simple act. Men and women that perform this "power pose" both were found to have elevated testosterone levels, significant decreases in cortisol (a neurotransmitter that prepares the body for a "fight or flight" response), and overall increases in confidence.