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8 Simple and Brilliant Ways To Boost Your Confidence.

Confidence is very important…we all need it.  If you do any one of these 8 things, we are very confident your confidence will boost (see what we did there?) So, check ’em out, try ’em out, and have some fun!

1. Sit up Straight

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Image via guardian.

This is so simple, but quite powerful. Recently, I adjusted my posture as an experiment to increase my confidence. It was strange… in a good way. Whenever I sat up straight, I immediately felt more confident! I did a little digging, and found that numerous studies reveal a correlation between good posture and the ‘conjuring’ of positive thoughts and memories. Researcher Eric Peper came to this conclusion after many experiments and surveys in his San Francisco based practice. When his participants adjusted their postures, they were noticeably happier and more confident!

2. Smile more often.

Pencil-in-Mouth
Image via blogspot.

Duh, right? Well this is actually fascinating. In the 1970’s and 1980’s researchers sought to prove that smiling makes us happier and less stressed. To do this, they employed the simplest of tools: a pencil! The Pencil Experiment instructed participants to hold a pencil between their teeth so as to mimic the facial form of a smile. The result? Participants recorded significantly higher levels of happiness with the pencil in their mouth (smiling) than without. When you smile, you feel less stressed, happier, and more confident. Try the experiment yourself!

3. Compliment someone else.

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Image via wikimedia.

When you take the focus off of yourself and place it on another, then confidence issues fade away. Think about it: The opposite of confidence is self-doubt, which is basically a negative form of self-focus.  It can only occur when the focus is on oneself.  So, what is the opposite of self-focus? It is to focus on others. If you can focus on others in a positive, complimentary way, then your self-doubt fades and your confidence grows a lot! Try it, even a simple, “Great to see you!” will go a long way for both you and the person you are complimenting.

4. Exercise when you can.

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Image via wikimedia.

Most of us have heard the line: “You should work out, because…” Well, even though this phrase can have countless reasons (and probably countless iterations from parents or spouses), here are two scientific facts that bring great validity to exercise as a confidence booster:

– Endorphins. Most of us have heard of this term, but what does it mean? Endorphins are neuropeptides produced by the central nervous system. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins as a way to block the pain and stress that your body is feeling. The result is that you feel a degree of euphoria during and after exercise.

– BDNF’s. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factors. These are proteins that flood your body during exercise. When the body detects the stress of working out, BDNF’s essentially act as a protector from that stress: they have protective and reparative elements that focus on your neurons and act as a kind of “reset switch.” In other words, BDNF’s contribute to the fantastic mental clarity and sense of ease that results after exercise.

The point: exercise leads to happiness, ease, and clarity. All of these things increase our satisfaction with life and thus grow confidence.

5. Get outside in nature.

nature
Image via wikimedia.

According to a 2009 study from the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer that someone lives to nature, the healthier they will be. Confidence is not dependent on health, but it is closely associated with it. This argument is augmented by studies from the opposite end of the spectrum: people who live in urban areas are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Personally, whenever I go outside, I feel a sense of simplicity and clarification (similar to endorphins and BDNF’s) which soothes my mind and increases my confidence.

6. Try something new.

something new 2
Image via wikimedia.

Much of confidence is rooted in our perception of how capable we think we are.  Well, one of the greatest ways to grow a sense of capability is to try something new. When you try something new, you instantly LEARN. You instantly gain new knowledge, simultaneously increasing your skill set…you are instantaneously increasing your capability. So try something new—practicing a new sport, trying a new food, meeting a new friend, doing something daring, etc.—because it will grow your knowledge and thus your sense of capability.  And the more capable you know you are, the more confident you will be.

7. Don’t Hide Anything.

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This one is short. If you have something to hide, then you have something you are embarrassed or scared of. Fear and embarrassment are both cancers to confidence. Don’t hide anymore: tell someone. The way to be freed from fear and embarrassment is not to brush things further under the rug, but to expose them. Exposing hidden things may be hard in the moment, but it is always freeing in the long-term.

8. Know your life’s purpose.

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Image: Rodin’s “The Thinker” via flickr.

This one is deep, but it is easily the most powerful on the list. Confidence is defined as “the state of feeling certain about something.” If you uncertain about the purpose of your life, then how could you ever be confident about yourself? How could you know that all of your time, efforts, skills and happiness are being put towards the right use? If you don’t have direction or purpose, then you will constantly wonder and worry if you are doing the right thing with your life. That thought process is a deathly poison to true confidence.

So take some time and think about this answer. Ask trusted friends and family to help you figure it out!

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