Do you lack confidence sometimes? If so, you’re definitely not alone. While there are some people who seem naturally confident, most of us are not. According to research published by the American Psychological Association, self-esteem levels are especially low when we are young adults. Such a lack of self-esteem does not only influence our behavior significantly, but it has also a negative effect on our emotional and mental well-being. This in turn influences our confidence of being able to succeed at what we are doing. Let’s have a look at some effective brain hacks you can utilize to supercharge your confidence.
Everyone who’s ever been held back by a lack of confidence will agree that a healthy dose of self-confidence could make life a lot easier.
Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.
T. Harv Eker
As a self-confident person, you feel comfortable with who you are and what you’re doing. You feel optimistic about your future and relate well with others. You’re also able to enhance your sense of accomplishment and personal well-being.
In fact, your level of confidence determines to a great degree how you think, feel and behave. According to Albert Bandura, psychologist at Stanford University and leading researcher in the field of self-confidence, people who are confident consider difficulties as challenges to be mastered. This allows them to keep a strong commitment to a task, which increases their level of accomplishment. Confidence also helps us to recover more easily after failures have pushed us severely to the ground.
But how do we go about making this beneficial change?
One potential way to boost confidence is by applying a set of powerful brain hacks specifically designed to help you increase self-confidence.
7 Powerful Mind Hacks to Increase Confidence
1. Change your perception of failure
Out of all the brain hacks available, this one is really important when it comes to boosting confidence: We consider failure as something that should be avoided at any cost. It causes us trouble and makes us feel bad. As a result of this, we become paralyzed by the fear of a threatening failure. This fear, however, diminishes our self-confidence which in turn increases our risk of failing.
Even though failing can be tough, there’s something much worse: Not having tried. Instead of considering failure as the worst possible outcome, we can view it as proof that we had the courage to try. Failure is an essential part of being successful in life. In fact, the only way to avoid failure would be by not trying at all. Instead of blaming yourself for failing, realize that making the best out of it is the only rational thing you can do about it.
Change your perception about failure. Realize how every failure has made you a little stronger and wiser. Question the false belief systems you have built around the concept of failing. Welcome each failure as an experience that provides you opportunities for growth and learning.
2. Smile your way to confidence
Smiling stimulates the brain’s reward mechanisms—stronger than previously thought. According to neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, who analyzed clinical tests on the emotions triggered by smiling, one smile can stimulate the brain as intensively as 2000 chocolate bars. The British researcher also found that smiling provides similarly intensive brain stimulation as receiving £16,000 (approx. $25,000) in cash.
The documented therapeutic effects of smiling range from reduced stress levels, lowered blood pressure to an increased overall health, according to Millicent Abel and Rebecca Hester, authors of An Empirical Reflection on the Smile.
The simple act of smiling makes your brain release endorphins that make you feel better about yourself within seconds. This effect becomes even more effective when you smile while looking at yourself in the mirror. You might have to fake the smile in the beginning, but eventually the impact of seeing yourself confidently smiling back from the mirror will increase confidence.
3. Erase negative thoughts
Negative thoughts contribute heavily to a lack of self-confidence. In fact, negative thinking compromises our confidence. Even more so, a low self-confidence is the direct result of the disruptive habit of negative self-talk. It is the negative voice from within that convinces us that we are not capable of attaining success at what we do. As a consequence, we are more likely to give up than to continue fighting against the struggle.
Make it a conscious effort to become aware of your negative thoughts and self-talk. Realize how you think about yourself and that which you are doing. Once you are able to quickly spot any kind of negative thought processes, you can easily turn them into the opposite, or something more positive. Challenge your negative self-talk and thoughts by stating just the opposite, whenever a negative idea comes to your mind. Whenever that voice in your mind tells you, “I can’t do this, this is too difficult,” turn it into: “Come on, you can make it! Now more than ever.”
Give your best to avoid the dreaded downward spiral of thinking negatively. Even though our present thought processes are the result of years of unique experiences, positive change can be affected with discipline and effort. Let’s continue with our list of confidence boosting brain hacks.
4. Learn to become comfortable with fear
Sometimes it seems as if self-confident people do not experience fear. While this is certainly not true, there is a tiny detail that makes all the difference: Confident individuals have learned to deal with their fears. They experience the same fears and doubts just as anyone else. However, they do not allow these emotions from stopping them. Self-confident people have learned to be comfortable with situations that involve uncertainties.
Start facing your fears. Do not allow your fears to limit you. Instead, invite fear and uncertainty into your life. When you feel fear about something, confront yourself with it. Do what frightens you. Experience your fear and persevere until you have mastered it. Seeing through your fears helps you to build courage and confidence. In fact, overcoming one’s greatest fears is an incredibly huge confidence booster.
5. Change your posture
Your body language has a great impact on your confidence. It does not only indicate others how confident you are, but it also influences how you perceive your own confidence. Paying close attention to your body language can even help you to feel more confident. In fact, scientists of the Ohio State University found that body posture has an impact upon the confidence with which we hold our thoughts.
Whenever you’re not feeling confident, make it a habit of observing your body language. If you find yourself in a slouched position, try to find a more confident posture, for instance by erecting your back and pushing your chest out. Adapting your body language helps you to trick your brain into feeling more confident. This in turn will change the way others perceive you. Interestingly enough, changing your posture is one of those hacks that will allow you to quickly boost confidence.
6. Practice gratitude
The feeling of not having enough is closely linked to the emergence of insecurities and low self-confidence. The frustration over not getting what we desire leads to discontent about the possessions we already own. Continuously pondering over that which one does not have leaves one to feel dissatisfied and frustrated. True and honest gratitude can help you to avoid feelings of discontent and dissatisfaction, which in turn will greatly benefit your confidence. Interestingly enough, the Journal Of Applied Sport Psychology published a study, which found that being grateful can increase your self-esteem over time.
Gratitude helps us to understand the true beauty of our lives. It makes us appreciate the little things in life. If we are truly grateful for what we own, we are more likely to spend less energy in the constant pursuit of more. Being grateful allows us to experience true fulfillment by realizing the worth of the gifts we were given. So count your blessings. Take a quiet moment each day and appreciate what you were given. Redirect your focus from the things you don’t have to the little wonders that make your life worth living. Let’s move on to the last and final piece on our list of brain hacks designed to increase confidence.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s a human tendency to continuously compare ourselves to others. Comparisons, however, can prove to be a dangerous habit that weakens our confidence. The reason for this is simple. Instead of objectively comparing ourselves to others, we tend to use superficial methods and criteria to measure ourselves compared to others. Typically, we compare our weakest areas with the best metrics we presume to know about others. Even though we unconsciously do it all the time, it’s a rather harmful thing to do.
None of these comparisons stand the test of life. We are far too complex and individual beings to compare. We all stem from different backgrounds, lived through unique experiences and are equipped with distinct gifts that it is impossible to compare.
Measure your worth based upon your own successes. Discover the greatest treasures in your life and realize that most of these are incomparable and hidden from plain sight. There is no measurement for the really important aspects and areas of life. Give your very best to find your own definition of success, instead of adopting society’s definition of it. Once you let go of comparisons you will open yourself to the confidence strengthening opportunity of drawing inspiration from other people’s lives.
I hope you enjoyed this list of confidence boosting brain hacks. Feel free to share your tricks in the comment section below!