5 Tips to Increase Your Confidence

confidentbizman--resizedConfidence and happiness go together, and yet circumstances and events around us threaten to strain that connection.
Even the most confident of us can have moments of doubt or incidents that dampen and diminish our usual upbeat certainty.

Confidence is the belief that you have the ability and skills to succeed at whatever you tackle. When you are confident, your inner voice says “Yes, I can.”

Happiness is a state of well-being, where you are pleased with your life and look forward to each day.

Confidence is learned. It is based on successfully completing activities and reaching goals. The more you are successful at what you tackle, the stronger your confidence that you’ll be able to succeed at future endeavors.

Here are 5 tips to gain and maintain your confidence which will give you deep satisfaction in your day-to-day life.

1. Recognize that you are not alone.

People who are successful have moments of doubt and a slip in confidence occasionally. They also have failures and make mistakes, but they realize that this is part of growth. Instead of being undone by these bumps in the road, they find ways to restore their feelings of self-worth and self-assurance. You can do this as well.

2. Surround yourself with confident people and situations.

We are all influenced by our surroundings. That’s why it’s important to stay in the company of inspiring people who encourage you and cheer you on. This may be in the form of motivational groups, seminars, audio recordings, clubs, books, and of course, your friends. Fill your experiences and mind with uplifting people and ideas.

3. Break big tasks into smaller ones.

It’s scary to stare at a big task as if you had to accomplish it in one swoop. Big tasks take many days, weeks and sometimes years. So, chop the big task into small parts and complete one small task at a time.

Completing a college degree, for example, will require you to complete many units of study, often taking many years. But since you can only take one course or set of courses at a time, focus on what you can handle in small chunks. Complete them successfully knowing that they are moving you closer to your goal.

4. Acknowledge your successes, even small ones.

You may be like many of us, and discount your achievements, or put yourself down for not having done more. This is a big confidence-killer.

When you complete a step toward your goal, congratulate yourself, celebrate and reassure yourself that you will succeed at the next step as well.

5. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations.

Scientists say that we think thousands of thoughts each day. Since we tend to move toward the direction of the thoughts it’s essential that we think positive ones.

Think about what you want to bring about. Even before it comes into being it’s essential to speak about the good you want. Some achieve this with the help of guided meditation, prayer, and spiritual rituals. Find what works for you and make it a part of your life.

Can Faking it Bring You Happiness?

maskWe’ve been told that we can make ourselves happy and joyful by “faking” it until it becomes real.

A recent study published in Psychological Science found just the opposite to be true, at least when it comes to wearing fake designer sunglasses.

People wear fake designer items to build their self-esteem and appear affluent. This study showed that people wearing fake designer sunglasses not only feel less authentic but also influenced their judgment of other people’s unethical behavior.

The researchers, Gino, Norton, and Ariely, conducted four experiments in which participants wore purportedly fake or authentically branded sunglasses. The subjects who were wearing fake sunglasses cheated more across multiple tasks than those wearing authentic sunglasses, leading to the conclusion that the costs of counterfeits was deception.

Of course taking steps to make yourself feel happier is not quite the same as wearing fake sunglasses to give yourself status.

Those who support positive thinking believe that you can increase your happiness by repeating positive affirmations with conviction until you convince your own subconscious.

Positive psychology studies have found that there are many things we can do to increase our own happiness. Some of these are expressing gratitude, focusing on what is going on now rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, and staying connected with supportive family and friends.

Then there are those in the mental health field who believe that repeating positive affirmations or focusing on the good in our lives, only delays us from confronting the imbalances that are causing us to be unhappy or depressed. They believe that our time would be better spent in receiving therapy or taking medication to correct the chemical imbalances.

Spiritual healers believe that our outer experience is determined by our inner beliefs, thoughts and vibrations. No matter what we do on the outside, we can’t fool our insides. They believe that everything is energy. Whatever we send out into the world in the form of energy is what we attract back to us. So, if we want to improve the outcomes in our lives we have to increase the energy vibrations we are sending out.

Throughout history we’ve been told we can alter our mood by putting on a happy face, singing in the rain and whistling in the dark.

Are we faking it when we are being proactive in creating and maintaining happiness?

What is your take on this?