The Most Important Thing Someone Wears Is Their Confidence Self-confidence can do a lot more than you may realize. Do you wish that you could strike up a conversation with your staff, attract better opportunities or laugh at yourself despite your mistakes and imperfections? Whatever the case may be, building self-confidence is necessary to achieve your goals, but sometimes everyday struggles can get in the way. It’s time to stop them, now.
1. Unhealthy relationships Outside of work, a major purpose of nonexistent or low self-confidence is staying in an unhealthy relationship. For example, do you and your partner have problems with jealousy or insecurity? Does your partner criticize your every move or control who you see, or vice versa? These are true signs that your relationship is heading toward Troubleville. Jealousy, insecurity, and criticism can chip away at your self-confidence and worth, influencing you to change who you are to make your partner happy.
What you can do: If you desire a lasting and healthy relationship, it’s important to make sure appropriate space is available for both parties, as it allows for growth, development and the ability to pursue opportunities without being watched or judged. It’s also normal to have negative thoughts due to former relationships that didn’t last, so talk to your current partner about them. Don’t hide it or keep it in. Confronting your feelings will make it easier to be more comfortable and at ease in your relationship. However, if your partner continues to disregard your feelings, I believe it’s time to stand up for yourself, move on and find happiness.
2. Employment or lack thereof Are you being undermined or lacking a challenge at your workplace? Did you recently lose your job? If so, your self-confidence has possibly turned from sky-high to rock-bottom, as you feel a loss of daily routine, professional identity and sense of security. Despite your reasonable stress and doubts, there are several positive actions you can take to achieve your goals.
What you can do: Accept the situation to see the big picture and perhaps realize that it could ultimately be a good move for you and your career. The first step to landing an interview is giving your resume a facelift by jotting down your improved skills and new accomplishments. Second, set aside a certain amount of time to job hunt and browse openings on LinkedIn so you can spend the rest of your day focusing on being fit, energetic and positive in attitude. After all, you will need self-confidence as you go on interviews.
3. Visual appearance Whether you believe so or not, your visual appearance strongly affects your self-confidence. The way you look every day, including the clothes you wear, how your hair looks and the way you sit in your chair, will make a difference in how you feel. While good posture gives the appearance of confidence, so will dressing in a way that truly reflects who you are. Do you really enjoy wearing the wrong shoes or too-tight jeans to fit in with a certain crowd? If not, it’s time to change (no pun intended).
What you can do: Since your visual appearance is a reflection of how you treat yourself, it’s OK to spend some extra cash on clothes or a new haircut. When you rock the latest hairstyle, a pair of best-fitting jeans or a new exercise outfit that best reflects you, there is no doubt that you will feel more confident about yourself. You will also carry yourself differently and interact with more people. Give it a try!
4. Poor diet A poor diet affects self-confidence, and it is, in fact, true when they say “you are what you eat.” For instance, during my college career, it wasn’t easy to maintain a healthy diet and workout regularly, at least for me. My late-night classes led to late-night study sessions, which only left options for microwavable meals and snacks from a vending machine. Having had experienced low energy from my diet, I knew I had to do something about it. Today, I focus on eating healthy and exercising as much as I can, whether running around the block or practicing Pilates in my living room.
What you can do: If you want to change your eating and exercise habits to feel more energetic and confident, my suggestion is to first take baby steps. Rid your kitchen of high-calorie and high-sodium food, including potato chips, soda, and sweets. Next, create a workout plan, even if it’s as little as taking the stairs over the elevator or walking during your lunch break. Once you become more motivated in your routine, it’s time to bring it up a notch, either by utilizing a treadmill, taking a yoga class, lifting weights, whatever you decide. Yes, I’m about to quote Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” The more you exercise, the more your happiness and self-confidence will grow.
5. Other people’s opinions So what if you’re not where you imagined you would be five years ago? So what if you had one bad day at work and now there’s a negative comment from an unhappy customer on your website’s review page? The “so what’s” can go on and on, but as Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” He’s totally right. The point is, we all have imperfections and we all make mistakes. It’s part of the human experience.
What you can do: Today’s social media-crazed world is a place where people write and post pictures of just about anything, where negative comments and rude opinions flow. If you take it to heart, you will make decisions according to people’s expectations while ignoring your wishes and feelings. My advice on opinions: If you don’t accept them, they will not affect you. If you don’t respond to them, they will not multiply. If you let them go, you will remain confident and happy.
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.