What are three strategies to build confidence in yourself and others?

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Self-confidence is--as its name suggests--a very individual thing. What boosts my self-confidence may be entirely different from what boosts yours! That being said, there are a few different strategies I've come across that can help build confidence in oneself or in someone else. They work best when personalized and adapted...

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Self-confidence is--as its name suggests--a very individual thing. What boosts my self-confidence may be entirely different from what boosts yours! That being said, there are a few different strategies I've come across that can help build confidence in oneself or in someone else. They work best when personalized and adapted to the situation.

1. Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. Often, people will say nasty things to themselves: "you're a failure" or "you're incompetent" or "you'll never get this job." If you notice that you talk to yourself in a negative way, try to reverse the trend by imagining that you're talking to a valued friend. Try to be positive, and focus on the good aspects of a situation, and on your good qualities. Positive self-talk can go a long way! Researchers have found that if you talk to yourself in the second person ("Charlie, you've got this!") your brain responds even more positively than if you talk to yourself in the first person ("I've got this!")

2. Pay attention to the position of your body. Exercise regularly! This is a two-pronged strategy. First, there are certain positions that project confidence to an onlooker, and also signal to your body that you are powerful. Holding your shoulders back and keeping your arms at your sides when you deliver a speech, for example, can make you look and feel more stable and confident than clasping your hands in front of you and crossing your legs. The second part of being aware of your body is exercise! When you exercise you not only feel better about your body, but your body releases endorphins, or neurotransmitters that block pain signals and cause pleasure, even euphoria. Paying attention to how you use your body is key to self-confidence.

3. Write down a list of things you're good at. Everyone, no matter how bad they're feeling about themselves, has some things that they are skilled at. Maybe it's something as simple as making really delicious scrambled eggs! Maybe it's that you're always willing to lend an ear when a friend needs to talk. Far too often we overlook or downplay our strengths and focus on our weaknesses. This hurts confidence. Taking time for some positive self-reflection is a good way to counteract negativity and boost confidence.

 

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