You can’t have love without fear. You can have love to overcome fear
You can’t have truth without doubt. You can have truth to clarify doubt.
You can’t have connection without change. You can have connection to embrace change.
You can’t have growth without ambition. You can have growth to fuel ambition.
You can’t have passion without reflection. You can have passion that’s rooted in reflection.
You can’t have it all without sacrifice. You can have it all with meaningful sacrifice.
You can’t have me without giving a bit of yourself. You can have me to give all to yourself.
Whether you sometimes think you can’t, you really can.
How to Become More Confident: 7 Ways to Help You — by Katrina Van
Many people say ‘confidence is sexy’. Whenever you type in “How to become more ” in a Google search bar, the second item that comes up is ‘confident’ (the first being ‘social’). We all struggle with confidence and self-esteem. There is so much pressure to become confident while we’re at college/university or learning to live on our own because we were taught to believe that all adults are confident. The truth is something else:
They struggle with it too. Everyone doubts themselves now and again.
In today’s society, confidence plays an important role in many aspects of our lives. We look for it in our partners as an indicator of healthy self-esteem and we’re judged on it in interviews as a sign of capability. We see it in our parents which reinforces trust and knowledge that they know what to do. We see it in our friends and peers as being social and having their life together. We see it on TV as sexy and powerful (think Suits). The media, the Internet, the people in our life are all screaming “BE MORE CONFIDENT!”, but they don’t tell you exactly how. Well I’m here to tell you how, not as some confidence expert or psychologist, but as a regular person struggling with it every single day.
1. Accept praise
One of the reasons people lack confidence is because they have low self-esteem. By learning to accept praise and answering “Oh so you think you’re pretty?” with “Damn right I am” in your head, you will begin to feel better about yourself (Comment below if you caught that Mean Girls reference). And if they’re complimenting you for a shady reason, who cares! They noticed something nice about you so instead of arguing with them or feeling shy about it, just say “Thank you” and smile. Notice any recurring aspects that you’re being complimented on, is it your fashion sense, assertiveness, wisdom, sense of humor, hair, kindness, passion, entrepreneurial spirit? Recognize that the most common compliment you receive is a strength, and it’s probably one of the first thing people notice when they meet you. Accentuating that part of you will help you feel better about yourself and what kind of image you’re projecting to the world.
2. Be your own role model
Having role models is great, don’t get me wrong, but we end up idealizing them and creating God-like images of them. We forget that celebrities and CEOs and family members are all regular people that make mistakes just like we do. By creating a better version of you in your head and becoming your own role model, you will have a realistic image to strive for. Comparing your current, accomplished self to your past, younger self, may increase your self-worth and help you reflect on your past.
3. Treat ‘yo self!
It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. You are worthy of everything that comes your way. Prioritize and make time for things you actually want to do. Want to go horseback riding, learn a new language, or take baking classes? WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? Weigh how much you want it with how much you’re willing to sacrifice and create an actionable plan with a timeline. I know we’re all busy with school, work and life but there’s breaks in between and, for many students, four whole months of summer! Stop making excuses and put yourself first for once. Doing what you really want will result in you learning more about yourself and becoming more self-assured. Even treating yourself materialistically, like buying a nice watch, pair of shoes, or a leather jacket and pampering yourself can make you feel like a million bucks.
4. Celebrate your successes
Write it down, say it in your head, tell your mom, tell your friends, tell yourself in the mirror, shout it out, SCREAM IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS: “I WROTE A TO-DO LIST TODAAYYY!!!!” A year ago, I gave my friends jars for Christmas to fill up with memories of good things that happened in 2013. At the end of the year, you read all the good memories and things that you have accomplished. It’s a great way to reminisce and keep track of all the little happy moments in your life. Your successes, big or small, deserve to be celebrated. Whether you passed a tough course, exercised for a whole month, got a new job, or didn’t fight with your partner, it’s a reason to celebrate and pat yourself on the back.
5. Take MORE selfies
That’s right, I said it. By taking more: silly, duck, tongue-out, innocent, creative, smiley, kissy face pictures of yourself, you will begin to notice your own beauty/handsomeness and appreciate others’ as well. An important step to becoming more confident is to learn to love yourself: personality, accomplishments, values, and looks.
6. Stop worrying about what others think of you
This is the toughest one. I hear it all the time, and it’s one of those things that is so easy to say yet so hard to do. I constantly battle with myself because I do care about what others think of me. It’s hard not to when there’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram showing you what everyone else is up to, how much fun they’re having while you’re home in your pajamas eating ice cream and watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The truth is that everyone puts their best face on social media, and if everyone recorded their boring days, we would be seeing a lot of vegetating, grocery shopping, doing homework, and refreshing Facebook. Instead of envying what others are doing, be grateful that you have time to laze around on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone is so busy worrying about themselves, they don’t care enough to spend their time judging you. And if they do waste their mental activity to think negatively about you, then they’re not worth being worried about.
7. Change your strut
Keep your chin up, back straight, walk with a purpose, and look straight ahead. Don’t hide behind your hair or another person, walk as if you know exactly where you need to be even if you really don’t. By walking sure-footedly, like you own the place, you will feel more powerful and independent. It’s simple and it works. Just like smiling in the mirror will brighten your mood, walking with confidence will give you the courage to be more assertive. Maybe even throw in a fun power song to get your mood up as you walk.
At the end of the day, confidence builds slowly and comes from, often quietly and consistently, getting shit done. Getting things done shows that you are a capable adult and you understand that, for example: the bills have to get paid, the work has to be completed, and that dentist appointment you’ve been dreading has to be scheduled. By doing the things you need to do, you will feel more self-assured doing them again and again, which will in turn, empower you to do more things. And doing things is how you will become more confident.
If you look at the leaders in this world you will see that although there are exceptional geniuses that are gifted like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, most CEOs and other higher-ups got to where they are by getting things done, day in and day out. With these tips, you can become more self-reliant and bold, ready to conquer everything tomorrow has to offer. Thank you for reading this article and remember that if you ever need help with confidence, public-speaking or leadership, ask us. We’re here to help.
Whether it’s an existential realization, a quarter-life depression, mid-life crisis, being stuck in a rut, or just not knowing what to do, we all feel lost sometimes. For some, it’s a few days of aimlessly walking about their day, unable to choose between job offers. Others are lost for months, struggling with their identity or path. Some of us live with it for years, like danisnotonfire from Youtube. We usually are able to function but once in a while, we’re struck with a horrible kind of uncertainty about the future and our purpose in life.
Being lost is okay. Not doing anything about it is not.
Doubting yourself and worrying about the future is a natural reaction to the ever changing world, but don’t let being lost define you and become part of your comfort zone. The first step to “finding” yourself is recognizing something huge.
There will never be a final version of you.
You’re a constant work in progress: the sum of your ongoing actions and experiences. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you gain more understanding of what you value, like, and don’t like as well as meet new people and encounter new opportunities. To help you get started, here are some tips on how to get out of your comfort zone:
1. Say “Yes!” (not just the dress)
Sure, I’d love to go out for coffee. I can edit your paper, no problem. Hot yoga? I’ll be there. Saying yes to new experiences will create new opportunities and connections with other people. Trying new things and talking to new friends will help you identify what you do and don’t like, as well as what kinds of people you like to surround yourself with.
2. Travel. Anywhere. Just get Away.
A different country, city, town, or park with new people, places, cultures, and things is a bottomless well of creativity. Whether it’s an overnight business trip, a week long get-away, visiting family, or moving completely, changing scenery will alter your perspective. Sometimes getting lost intentionally will help you get unlost.
3. Try Giving up Dislikes from your Past.
That interesting-looking delicacy you threw up when you were 8 might taste differently now. Your sworn aversion to anything green might have been a one second decision that made you lose out on clothes you would’ve bought if they were white. Just because you hated Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows, doesn`t mean you shouldn`t watch Pirates of the Caribbean or Sweeney Todd. But it`s not about the tastes, colours, and movie stars, it`s about realizing that you will change over time along with your thoughts and opinions. And that`s okay.
4. “Only After” vs. “Only Before”—Shock your Routine.
Try brushing your teeth only after you`ve had breakfast. Call your friend before they call you. Open your laptop after you`ve talked to each of your family members. Pour your milk only before your cereal. These little changes can significantly impact your daily routine and provide new ways of thinking outside the box, especially if you’re stuck in a rut.
5. Trust your Blink.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink, he writes: “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis”. Sometimes we get stuck thinking about all the possibilities and outcomes that will come out of making a decision like which jobs to apply for or what to major in. Go make a quick decision without thinking too much about it and see where it takes you. You may surprise yourself. Sometimes, your gut instinct is right.
Everyone tries new things at their own pace, so take your time exploring life outside your comfort zone. This will help you understand where you are in life right now and straighten out your priorities. Not knowing how your life will pan out is not a gaping hole of oblivion, rather it should be like Barney Stinson (from How I Met Your Mother) says,
It’s okay to be lost, every leader has been there, and the best leaders know when to ask for help. Just make sure your actions don’t constantly re-enforce your uncertainty. Remember that everything eventually passes, including the struggle you’re going through right now. If you need help, just ask us.