Almost everything positive we do in life relies on us holding some baseline level of confidence. It’s important for us to move forward on our life path without having to overly fret about every step we take, or at least to feel emotionally prepared for the challenges that are to come. This is why ‘the heroes journey’, or the monomyth, is so well celebrated among all of the movie titles and literature we find the most encouraging as a society. The age-old tale of someone going out of their comfort zone with the call to action, fighting or overcoming an obstacle, and then being rewarded and growing from that experience is something that we all encounter in our daily lives.
While we may not have an overarching adventurous storyline as profound as slaying a giant beast or saving an entire country from the perils of an invader, we can surely create our own challenges and pursuits in life that grant us the same satisfaction. Furthermore, we can also find out that this nurtures our confidence, and from that viewpoint understand that confidence is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.
With that in mind, please consider the following advice:
Health & Body
It’s very easy to downplay how confident you feel as just a belief you need to curate, or an experience you need to have, but it can be so much more than that. Staying healthy in your body and continually caring for yourself is also an essential part of confidence-building, as when you feel confident in your skin, you’ll feel confident in general.
Does this mean you need to have the best waistline or be at your perfect weight in order to feel confident? Of course not. However, it can be worth making sure you care for your outward appearance, and that you groom yourself well, and that you exercise and eat healthily, and also that you get good sleep and rejuvenate appropriately that all contributes to a sense of vitality and freshness.
Should an insult at work affect you so much if you’ve already validated yourself by working hard that morning? Not likely. Having this internal sense of self-respect is intimately tied to confidence, and we can only respect ourselves if we act in that way.
Appearance & Style
You shouldn’t have to fear how you look or beat yourself up for having insecurities. Everyone has them. But celebrating your style can be a great idea, and that also helps you celebrate yourself. For instance, veneers can once again bring that natural and beautiful smile to your face after previously feeling so uncomfortable when smiling for photos. Also, if you do not feel that comfortable wearing dresses, you shouldn’t feel as if you should force yourself. Perhaps you could better express your femininity, or however, you choose to define it, through trying different designs, texture patterns, and garments that make you feel happy.
Take one of the largest fast-food review channels on YouTube, TheReportOfTheWeek. The host, John, colloquially and fondly known as ‘ReviewBrah’ is known for providing high-class reviews of fast food while wearing old fashioned suits. Interviewed for CNN Business, he was asked how he came upon his unique style. He responded simply by saying that it’s something that makes him happy, and doing so allows him to express who he is, despite the disconnect between dressing up formally for fast food consumption. As such, he has become loved on the internet for being unapologetically himself.
This example goes to show that your appearance and style should not need to conform to normal standards in order for you to feel happy in yourself. Fashion trends are always changing, and so not being afraid to think for yourself and to try items that help you feel comfortable can be a great idea.
A Craft You Care For
For many people, work and social relationships give them meaning in life. But you can also find this at any time via curating a hobby. No matter if it’s learning to play an instrument, trying to get fitter through training a particular sport, or learning how to implement a graphic design on Photoshop, learning practical skills and becoming better at a chosen art can be a tremendous use of your time.
Why is this important, especially for young people? Well, first it teaches you how to learn something purely through your own initiative. Secondly, being able to improve at something feels fantastic, as it shows you have the capacity to grow should you take it seriously. A craft such as woodworking can also grant you a range of practical and worthwhile skillsets that enable your best forward path.
You can be as self-respecting, as productive and as caring as you wish to be, but if your friend group continually tries to drag you down, or make you feel lesser, or prevent your forward progress, you’re going to doubt yourself. Of course, it’s important to make a distinction here. Being criticized by a loving friend is not the same as being ‘hated on,’ or bullied. It’s important that we recognize this. In fact, being told something against your will is often the sign of a good friend, provided it’s constructive and caring commentary you’re being given.
However, it might be that other makers allow you to identify this. For instance, let us say you’re starting a new diet or trying something new such as joining the gym. If your friends react as if doing so is one of the silliest ideas you’ve ever had, or that it’s pointless, or if they accuse you of going because you’re not happy in yourself, then odds are, with purpose or not, they’re bringing you down.
This can seem like an obvious distinction, but you’d be surprised just how many people hold friends and curate friendship groups that aren’t good for them and aren’t supportive in the least. Life is too short to be criticized all of the time. Finding people who will support you, or celebrate your weirdness, or again, are able to criticize truthfully rather than with an intent to harm can be very important. For some people, this may mean bringing the subject up with their partner and suggesting something needs to change. For others, it may simply be caring less about fitting in and instead, going their own way.
In order to preserve your own confidence and sense of self-respect, sometimes this approach needs to be followed. It may just be the most life-affirming measure you have ever taken.
Your Comfort Zone Is A Tool
We can often see our comfort zone as something to be ashamed of, as plenty of self-help literature has told us to defeat those borders, to always attack them when we identify them, and to move beyond our defenses in order to find new experiences. Movies such as The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and Yes Man reinforce this fact.
But your comfort zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can help you heal and rest after laying forth effort. It can also be used to help you pass those boundaries by first knowing where the boundaries are, training you in a way most conducive to best personal growth. The more you can establish that ideal and move forward with potential, using your comfort zone as a friend rather than an enemy, the more you’ll use it as a confidence-building tool.
With this advice, we hope you can easily kindle your best sense of confidence. You deserve it.
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