20 ways to boost your confidence
14:47 04 October 2005
We could all do with a pick-me-up when life gets us down. Here are tips to boost your confidence at home, at work and in your love life.
- The eyes have it
Maintaining good eye contact shows you have confidence in what you're saying. Body language expert Robert Phipps suggests: "Hold eye contact around 60-70 per cent of the time. By doing this, you will make people feel comfortable and relaxed in your company."
- Get jiggy with it
Touching your partner and having sex more often releases feel-good chemicals which boost your self-esteem and sexual confidence. An expert said: "Sex is a natural mild anti-depressant."
- Speak up
Have fun with words and expand your vocabulary. Reach for that dusty old dictionary and learn a new word each week, then slip it into conversation. Add words like "love" and "enjoy" to make you sound like a person bursting enthusiasm. Project your voice - confident people demand to be heard.
- Love your body
Motivational consultant Claire Walton says: "Observe a friend or even a celebrity who has the same body shape as you but exudes confidence. Watch their body language, eye contact and communication style. Then try and mirror their techniques."
- Know your goals at work
Confidence here comes from knowing what you're good at and why. "When you appear confident about your skills, you inspire confidence and people promote you," she says. "Write a list of everything you're good at on Post-it notes and stick them to your bathroom mirror so you see it before you go to work."
- Go shopping
It isn't called retail therapy for nothing. Pop into a big store like John Lewis, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins to find out about their personal shopper services.
- Stand up straight
Your posture speaks volumes about your confidence - you never see anyone slouching on the red carpet, do you? Work on improving the abdominal and back muscles that surround the core area of the body. If necessary try yoga or pilates.
- Get your head straight
Keeping your head level when talking to someone makes you appear a confident communicator. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be authoritative, but when you want to be friendly, tilt your head just a little to one side.
- Speak your mind and open your ears Listening to what your partner has to say and getting them to listen to what you say helps build your relationship. Psychotherapist Malcolm Stern says: "Set aside a period of time where you speak without being interrupted. Once you or your partner stops talking, relate back to them what they've just said."
- Find your grand passion
Career coach Suzy Greaves explains: "You're naturally good at what you love doing. The more you excel at something, the more confident you become." Identify your passion by answering these questions
- What was your childhood dream?
- Who did you envy recently and why?
- What are you naturally good at?
- What do you really love doing?
- Be friends with everyone
Build connections with people by matching their body language. If someone has their head on one side or their legs crossed, copy them. It may seem strange but it works.
- Get complimentary
Give and receive compliments gracefully. Write down a list of nice things said to you and look at it when you're having a "bad day". And spread the joy around - if you think a positive thought about somebody, tell them.
- Take affirmative action
Buy a pack of "I Can Do It - Affirmations For Self Esteem" cards by American self-help guru Louise L. Hay (7.50). There are 60 cards aimed at helping you experience health, wealth, romance, self-esteem, job success and creativity.
- Give life your best shot
Reach for the best in yourself and in others. Life coach Lynda Field says: "When you know you have given something your best shot, then whatever happens you will feel a sense of self-respect. A life well lived is a fast track route to confidence and strong self-belief."
- Hair we go
A new hairstyle will transform you, claims celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie. "If you trust your hairdresser, simply tell them if you want to be glamorous, sexy, classic or trendy and let them do what they think is best."
- Recall great memories
Find three things that make you feel good. It could be happy memories, a piece of music, a holiday souvenir or a person's face - use photos if it helps. Practise bringing them to mind and feel good whenever you want to.
- Phone a friend
When you need a pick-me-up, call a someone who supports your choices but is willing to be honest when you make mistakes.
- Get moving
"When you exercise your body releases endorphins which lift your mood and make you feel better and more confident," says personal trainer Niki Wibrow.
Scientists have evidence to show that Buddhists are happier and calmer than other people. Tests revealled that areas of their brain associated with positive feelings are more active from meditation. So get chanting.
- Be interesting and interested
You have two ears and only one mouth, so use them in that order. "If you listen twice as much as you talk, you come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike up a balanced conversation," claims Robert Phipps.
Source: Daily Mirror