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Thursday, January 20, 2011

44 Confidence Boosters from Allure Magazine

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 As I was browsing the internet, I came across an article on Allure Magazine's website called "44 Confidence Boosters", and I decided to click through the slideshow.  I assumed it was going to be full of cliches like "set achievable goals", "compliment yourself", blah, blah, blah.  To my surprise, they actually had interesting tips!

Here are my favorites:  

Take the compliment already.
If someone praises you, smile and say thanks—don't argue or play the whole thing down. "Accepting a compliment at face value feels good," says Judith S. Beck, director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. "Don't add any qualifiers. 

Forget stereotypes.
Women tend to get worse at things when they're aware a task is "typically male." For instance, women did well on math problems in a study at Dartmouth College—until they were reminded of the belief that men are better with numbers. So forget that kind of thinking before you start a new project. (This is true!  I learned about this study in my Social Psychology class.)

Stop waffling. (I am so guilty of this!)
"When people have low self-confidence, they tend to overanalyze everything," says Marshall Goldsmith, an executive coach and author of Mojo (Hyperion). Should I do this, should I do that...it gets paralyzing. "Making a big decision will make you feel stronger and more capable," he says.

Learn something. (I'm determined to learn new recipes!)
"The better you become, the more confident you'll be in general—not just when you're doing that thing," says Etcoff.

Stop apologizing. (I think my boyfriend would agree that this is my biggest problem.)
Spend one 24-hour period without unnecessarily saying, "I'm sorry." "People often say they're sorry when they're feeling insecure," says Beck. Force yourself to quit, and you'll feel more self-assured.

Straighten up. (This is something I really need to focus on doing.)
Victoria's Secret models do it before they hit the runway in their undies, and no matter how hot their bodies, you know they need confidence there and then. "When I work with Victoria's Secret models, the first thing I tell them is to pull their navels toward their spines, roll their shoulders back, and stick their chests out," says Kacy Duke of Kacy Duke Fitness and author of The Show It Love Workout (McGraw-Hill). "It's not easy—those wings are heavy."

Dump the junk.
"Choosing foods like grilled vegetables and fish or going completely raw will make you feel great, which can lead to a better self-image," says Zoë Sakoutis, founder of Blueprint Cleanse. 

Assume people like you.
This simple thing "makes it a lot easier to walk into a room," says Beck. 

Clean out your wallet.  (You'd be surprised at what you might find in there!)
"Set a time every week to go through your wallet," says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (HarperCollins). "File receipts and business cards, and toss scraps of paper. Managing one small, critical thing will help you feel in control of your life." 

Quit feeling jealous.
Ask yourself how good you need to be, suggests Leary. "Rarely do we need to be the most attractive, the funniest, or the wealthiest." 

Make eye contact.
When you're talking to someone, look her in the eye. "It's a habit of really confident people," says Beck. "If the other person doesn't see your insecurities, you won't be as aware of them either."  

Donate clothes. (I did this last summer, and it felt great!)
This has the benefit of doing something good and clearing out clutter. 

Be grateful. (My Health Psychology professor actually wrote a book on how being grateful can lead to better happiness.)
Write a thank-you note, or call someone to say thanks for lunch the other day. "People who express gratitude are happier with themselves," says Beck.

Imagine you never existed.
Sounds morbid, yes. But if you envision how others' lives would be different if you hadn't been born, you'll quickly learn your own value, according to a study at the University of Virginia.

Head on over to Allure for the full list!

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