Our mind is a very powerful and complex place. Not only does our mind make us unique and special through our “way of thinking” and behaving, but it also shapes how we see ourselves. How we see ourselves, ultimately affects how other people view us as well.
Most confident and outgoing people have a strong sense of self — they outwardly act confident because they feel secure in who they are. Because their positive inner-self image manifests itself in how they speak and act, people tend to be drawn towards them and they form relationships with greater ease.
Of course, this is not to say they don’t have moments of self-doubt, because confident people are like everyone else and they have their awkward moments too — however, they bounce back quicker because they believe in themselves and have a positive self-image.
Is the key to being confident and outgoing that one should behave the way one wishes to feel inside? If we wish to feel positive, happy and successful in our minds, do we need to first act that way on the outside until we feel it in our minds too? Here are some tips on how to boost self-confidence that can help in social situations — they’re simple in nature, but that’s because those are often the best steps to take on our journey to a positive self-image:
1. Behave the Way You Want to Feel
How we view ourselves (self-image), directly affects the way we act. We may not even be aware of it, but the way we feel manifests itself in our actions — our tone of voice, our facial expressions, our body language. If we feel insecure, we’ll act insecure and people may pick up on this and be hesitant to get close to us. But, if we behave the way we want to feel, we build up our self-confidence through practice. If we want to feel happy, outgoing and interesting, then we need to act that way — its not easy at first, but eventually, it has a positive impact on our self-esteem and our mind catches up with how we’re acting. Give it a try by using your smile — smile more and act happy and you’ll start to feel happier on the inside.
2. Be Confident in Yourself
Even when we feel a bit vulnerable and doubt ourselves, we have to make the effort to appear as confident (not arrogant, but confident). When we appear confident, people tend to respect us more and that observable respect translates into stronger potential for a meaningful interaction. Be confident outwardly by accepting the fact that you matter and that what you think and say is just as valuable as the next person’s views.
3. Avoid Overly Passive Language
It’s a natural thing for people to say “well I believe” or “I think…” and that’s fine, but they’re a bit flimsy and when expressing our views, we should try to avoid too many passive words — they’re our viewpoints after all, so it’s a given that we “think” or “believe,” so there’s no need to say that.
You could try: “Like you, I care about this topic and in my opinion (or “my view is….”). It’s never good to be arrogant or over-bearing, so just make sure to be more confident in how you present your viewpoints. After a while, you’ll see that people respond well to you and that will also boost your inner self-confidence.
4. Make Eye Contact
If you want someone to like you or get closer to you, try making eye contact and avoid looking away too often (people who lack self-confidence often look at the floor or fidget). Making the appropriate eye contact with people is a powerful way to draw people closer to you — of course, staring at them without ever looking away or blinking can be a big turn-off, so be conscious of how you make eye contact until its more natural and comfortable to you.
5. Use the Power of Silence
Sometimes we over-compensate for nervousness or insecurity by talking too much and this can alienate people. Listening is key, and that means letting people finish what they’re saying or, not responding at all. If someone makes a point, but it’s not particularly significant, it’s okay to acknowledge by simply nodding our heads. Silence can also be powerful if someone says something that offends you (a slight offense) — rather than lashing out, silence can often be the best way to convey your displeasure.
“Don’t let others box you into their idea of what they think you should be. A confined identity is a miserable way to exist. Be you and live free. Trust that in living true to yourself, you will attract people that support and love you, just as you are.”
There are a lot more tips on how to feel more confident and positive by behaving that way, so make sure to use the ones that feel right for you. And as always, the guidance of a qualified professional may be the best route to take if the problem is severe.
Acting how we want to feel is really an exercise in self-conditioning — if we want to be happy, then we need to act and feel happy. Practice makes perfect and if we desire something strongly enough, we can indeed make it happen.
To boost my self-confidence, I regularly remind myself that no one is better than me, or, less than me — that perhaps is the best thing to remember when it comes to feeling and acting confidently. Be yourself and never feel pressured to change just to please others.
“I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.” – Steve Maraboli