Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ways To Build Confidence

Believe Me, You Are Beautiful
By Kelly Douglas

You’re looking in the mirror, fighting against your thoughts, wishing you could profess self-love, but failing to see any glimmer of your own beauty. You believe that beauty is for the other girls, from glamorous Instagram stars to the girl down the street. But, believe me, you are beautiful.

Your eyes reflect your unwavering vivacity. They sparkle when you smile and dance when you laugh. Your eyes are trustworthy; searching deep within others’ souls as their secrets slip from their lips. They connect you to everyone you meet, forging magnetic, unspoken bonds of empathy, trust, and kindness. These eyes have seen the unspeakable, have been cloaked in thick veils of tears, but they capture the undeniable beauty of this life and reflect your own.

Believe me, they are beautiful.

Your smile radiates warmth and light. It lures people into you, inviting them to know you, to love you. Your smile is magnetic in its casual charm, effortlessly friendly towards all it touches. It reflects your passion, your hopes, and your dreams as it rapidly morphs into a litany of spoken words. It has concealed your sorrow behind irreverent effervescence, but above all else, it shines more brightly than the stars; conveying your joy; extrapolating upon your burning lust for life.

Believe me, it is beautiful.

Your hair is soft, silken, irresistibly touchable. It highlights your bold lips and perfectly flushed complexion, transforming your face into an impeccably pristine portrait. Your hair freely cascades down your shoulders and rolls down your back, spiraling into a stunningly gorgeous mess, playfully teasing you to fly away in the gentle breeze. It reminds you that you are only tethered to this earth by a thread, that you have the liberty to live wildly, to explore, to dream, to embrace life’s chaos, to love your chaos.

Believe me, it is beautiful.

Your legs are like the open road; stretching on for miles with no end in sight, inviting admirers to walk with you on your journey. Beneath their spindly fragility is undeniable strength. Your legs carry you through this world with delicate grace. They are shapely, they are poised, they are elegant. Your legs have helped you run far away from your burdens, have spun and twirled in the moonlight, have leaped and danced out of the pure joy of living. They are your miracle; your hope that you can carry yourself through the most challenging times if you persist with all your heart.

Believe me, they are beautiful.

I hope you discover that you are made of the magic in the stars; a perfectly imperfect constellation of beauty. Your beauty radiates from your soul and envelops every inch of your body, consuming you with its warm glow. You shine with your kind eyes and soft hair. You stun with your bright smile and gentle legs. I hope you stand in front of the mirror, allowing your beauty to mesmerize you as you smile and laugh without a care, to allure you as you dance with carefree inhibition, to encapsulate you as you gleefully toss your hair over your shoulders. I hope you learn that the beauty you seek will forever reside within you because believe me, you are beautiful.

Mental Hacks to Be More Confident in Yourself
LaRae Quy

Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you? Here are seven ways FBI agents learn to boost their confidence—mental hacks you can use to be more confident in yourself, too:

1. Push through self-limiting beliefs.
As children we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclinations to dream big are squashed. Parents and teachers start imposing their own beliefs—about what we can and can’t do in life—upon us.

If the instructors at the FBI Academy were not pushing us past our self-limiting beliefs, they weren’t doing their job.

How to make it work for you:
Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.

2. Never confuse memory with facts.
Our memory does not store information exactly as it’s presented to us. Instead we extract the gist of the experience and store it in ways that makes the most sense to us. That’s why different people witnessing the same event often have different versions.

Your brain has a built-in confirmation bias. That means it stores information that is consistent with your own beliefs, values and self-image. This selective memory system helps keep the brain from getting overloaded with too much information.

So recognize that your memory does not always provide you with accurate information. For example if you have low self-esteem, your brain tends to store information that confirms your lack of confidence. That will be all you remember about a specific event.

How to make it work for you:
Revisit the facts of a memory loaded with self-limiting beliefs and try to gain a more accurate perspective on the event. Talk with others that might have a different perspective.

3. Talk to yourself.
This might seem crazy, but it works. Talking to yourself can make you smarter, improve your memory, help you focus and even increase athletic performance. The documentary The Human Brain claims we say between 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves per minute. The Navy SEALS and Special Forces use the power of positive self-talk as a way of getting through tough times.

For example by instructing recruits to be mentally tough and speak positively to themselves, they can learn how to override fears resulting from the limbic brain system, a primal part of the brain that helps us deal with anxiety.

How to make it work for you:
Be positive, because the way you talk to yourself influences your neurobiological response to it. When you say, I know what to do here or see things as a challenge rather than a problem, you’ve turned your response into a positive one.

4. Think positive to overcome your negativity bias.
Since the early days, humans learned to get lunch or be lunch. Our natural negativity bias has kept us safe from danger for thousands of years. But not every new or different thing is a threat to our survival. This negativity bias can chisel away at our confidence because we’re hardwired to pay attention to all that we’ve done wrong.

FBI agents are taught to hunt the good stuff. It can be hard at times because positive information is like Teflon and easily falls away. But negative information, like Velcro, sticks.

How to make it work for you:
Come up with five positive thoughts to counter every one negative thought.
Let every positive thought sit for 20 seconds before moving to the next positive thought.
Acknowledge both good and bad emotions.
Do not try to suppress negative ones.
Label the emotions for what they truly are and move on. Do not enter into inner dialogue about the negative emotion because then it becomes more powerful.
5. Raise your curiosity levels.
Curiosity is an important trait for FBI agents working investigations and anyone who wants to be confident and successful.

Curiosity is the foundation of life-long growth. If we remain curious, we remain teachable and our minds and hearts grow larger every day. We can retain our beginner’s mind by always looking forward and discovering new experiences and uncovering new information.

How to make it work for you:
Ask questions and be curious because:

It makes your mind active instead of passive.
It encourages you to be more observant of new ideas.
It opens up new worlds and possibilities.
It creates an adventurous response that leads you in a new direction.
6. Overcome self-doubt.
If you lack self-confidence, you will always feel like you’re at the mercy of other people. When you assume a victim mentality, you are no longer resilient to life’s inevitable obstacles and roadblocks.

FBI agents go where they are needed, not to where they feel most comfortable. I was assigned investigations I had no idea how to solve. But my thinking was this: Drop me into the middle of any squad or any situation, anywhere, anytime. I will not be scared because I am confident I will succeed wherever I am.

How to make it work for you:
No one but you is stopping you from achieving what you want to accomplish. It’s time to identify the areas in which you doubt yourself and remove those barriers.

7. Face your fears.
When we feel in control, we’re not afraid. When we have a level of comfort with something, it’s not scary. When we don’t feel in control, we don’t think clearly because our emotional brain is in the driver’s seat and takes over. This is why fear often seems random and irrational—our emotions are in control.

To increase safety, FBI agents are taught to move closer to the threat. It does no good to avoid, deny or ignore the fear.

How to make it work for you:
Harvard Medical School professor Ronald Siegel recommends this in his book, The Mindfulness Solution:

Think about your worst fear. Spend time with it. Now make your fear worse by getting closer to it. Imagine the worst that could happen. Now focus on your breathing. Feel your body relax. See, you didn’t die, did you? You’re on your way to conquering your fear.

If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anybody else to? Start today.


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