10 Quick Tips for a Confidence Boost?

As I have flagged up before, lists are popular.  And lists of ways  to boost self confidence or self esteem are quite frequent, often rehashing the same ideas.  I happened, via twitter, on one today – 10 Quick Confidence Boosters – in WomansDay.com.self confidence posture

The list is quite interesting:-

1. Straighten up.

2. Note the positives.

3. Break a sweat (or not).

4. Get a haircut.

5. Schedule a girls’ night.

6. Lend a hand.

7. Look on the bright side.

8. Make a list.

9. Set a (small) goal.

10. Try something new.

For one thing each suggestion is backed up by some research or "expert" advice. The other is how gender specific some of the advice is. OK, schedule a "boys" night out is the same thing. But the difference is that women can gain emotional support from a network of friends that men are unable to. Men don't connect in the same way as women – we just don't share personnel information.

The other suggestion that hit me is "Get a haircut".  Ever since childhood having a haircut is an ordeal.  Then it could lead to ridicule, now its just a tiresome chore. I don't know any men who actually look forward to having a haircut, or would see it as a confidence booster!

Its interesting that the "note the positives" suggestion involves looking at your body in a mirror.  Personally I do a "positive" stock take each day. But this involves reflecting on what is good about my life, what I'm pleased about from the day before. I look in the mirror to shave and brush my hair – that's quite enough for me!

Unfortunately this point does highlight how much women's self esteem can be based upon their appearance. I cannot help thinking that most people, following the advice to look in a full length mirror and pick out "5 things that you feel good about", will more likely just focus on what they don't like about their body.

Adjust your Posture

My main advice, is that most confidence boosters are not quick fixes. Most of the suggestions given can back fire and leave you feeling worse. Most self help involves identifying a problem, then making gradual changers to correct it.

slouch self confidenceAs it happens, the best piece of advice is number 1 "straighten up" – although the title is misleading. When told to "straighten up", most of us pull our shoulders back, make our spine rigid and stick our stomachs out – none of which is sustainable nor helpful.

Good posture come down to good habits. Quite a few years ago I had lessons from an Alexander Technique teacher.  Much of our deportment comes from the messages we give to our body, being aware of how we "use" our muscles and the bones they are attached to.

It sounds daft, but I often conjure up the image of a thin thread pulling upwards from the top of my head. How to look confident is my most read post. This goes into more depth about how to adjust the body into a relaxed posture.

"Your quickest route to begin radiating confidence is to sort out your posture."

This statement comes from someone else who suggests the "piece of string from the top of the head" idea, although he doesn't mention the Alexander Technique. Robert Yeung adds the suggestion of imagining a puppeteer pulling you upwards. He also congers up the thought of your back muscles elongating, in fact all the body muscles lengthening.

Working on our posture can radically change our appearance. Our bodies are born beautiful, but the ravages of the way we use them messes up our posture.  There are three ways I suggest to improve your posture:-

1) Become aware – catch yourself. At any moment think how you are carrying your body. What would any observer conclude from catching site of you.

2) Deal with your baggage. Don't carry around all your everyday stresses and strains. Learn to relax and breath properly.

3) Make a conscious effort to improve your posture. Stop looking at the ground!  Read the advice in how to look confident on adjusting the pelvic and shoulder girdles. Get that imaginary cord attached to your head! Be conscious about looking confident.

Photos Ben Yapp and bigaila on Flickr

Todd Steel January 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm

It's funny. Posture should not have anything to do with confidence. Yet we perceive someone t lack confidence if we lack posture, and just for that perception, we can increase our own confidence by improving posture. Go figure.

kate1irwin1 January 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I think that is so true about posture, both for how you feel and how others percieve you. Having poor posture also has an impact on our health. I haven't tried Alexander technique (although believe it is fantastic)!, but have a Chiropractor who works on my posture and I see a huge difference.
I also agree about womens confidence being based around appearance much more than mens. There is a huge rant here about the media, pressure women are under etc but suffice to say, our appearance does have a big impact on how we feel. And yes it may be a short term solution but having a new hairdo can make us feel 10 times better and this will give us the impetus we need to make long term changes.

Susan - womens self esteem April 7, 2010 at 11:02 am

It is funny that how we hold ourselves (posture) actually changes our mindset as well, giving us an increase in confidence. Simple and effective.
.-= Susan – womens self esteem´s last blog .. =-.

padmaja.k December 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

what you said is true about haircut and looking at the mirror. I had the same response when i said to a colleges tudent,”look at your mirror and say positive things about your self” the response was that he does n’t want to look at his image. it makes him feel more frustated. it is true. mechanical advice do not help.

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