April 01, 2014

Style 101: Confidence is Key

My approach to self-confidence is informed by acting classes and the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and neuroscience. Like just about every.single.person, I often struggle with feelings of insecurity or negative thoughts, but work though it with the tips below.
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*Pay attention to your physicality.
We often think of confidence as an emotion residing in our heads. But the truth is, 1. body language is at least half of all communication and 2. There is a mind-body connection. You can manipulate both what you are projecting and feeling by focusing on how you use your body.

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*Build confidence in your body through exercise.
When you feel strong, you act strong. Exercise also releases happy chemicals into your system. I have found yoga especially helpful in fostering a mind-body connection, but even a quick walk can boost happy chemicals.

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*Fake it til you make it. 
You can make your body posture and facial expressions force you to feel a certain way. In acting, I learned a technique I use whenever I speak publicly (frequently, btw). When you are nervous, your stomach feels inflated, right? But when you feel confident, your chest feels inflated. I don’t run from nervous feelings; instead, I take that physical sensation of inflation and imagine moving it up into my chest. After holding my body like a silver-back gorilla about to take his mate, I have the confidence and vibrancy of, well,  a silver-back gorilla about to take his mate.



*Talk to yourself positively all the time. 
It’s sssssoooo easy to become negative. The beauty industry thrives on and perpetuates our insecurities. Our highly competitive society makes us compare ourselves to others. Stop the madness by psyching yourself up. On your way to work, tell yourself how well you’re going to do. Focus on your strengths. Be optimistic.


via lilbub.com
*Practice positive mental imaging
Take a couple 3-5 minute breaks a day to look at beautiful, cute and/or soothing images with positive assocations. I like Lil Bub and photos of Yosemite. These images will help you feel generally positive so you can bring that energy to the rest of your life. If you think and feel positively, you will feel more confident and less anxious in general.

*Be well: take care of yourself.
If you have issues, go to therapy. Not to preach, but moderate your intake of alcohol and other unhealthy substances as these do affect your state of mind.

*Cultivate yourself. The key to sophistication is culture--read up, see art, learn something new and develop interests and passions.

How do you develop self-confidence and maintain a positive energy?
--m

2 comments:

  1. This page made me feel better instantly. I like the idea of taking 3-5 minutes a couple of times a day to focus on positive images. Obviously, I also love the Jack self psych up messages.. he just makes it all look so right. Taking the time to dress nicely helps me feel more perky. Another one of the biggest things that helps me is to get enough sleep. Winding down really early and having my last thoughts be about travel in Africa or moles and water rats in the Wind in the Willows, puts me into a peaceful place. When my subconscious is relaxed, it carries into my day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. good point, can't believe I failed to mention how important sleep is to wellbeing!

    ReplyDelete

looking forward to hearing from you!

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