“Never dull your shine for somebody else.”
– Tyra Banks
For years, Martin was happy being in a relatively cushy job at a tech company. He was in his mid-forties, single, and never thought of changing anything about his life.
As long as he got to put in his ‘9-5’, go home, relax, and do the things he enjoyed, then he was OK.
However, some part of him felt more and more dissatisfied as time went on.
The company began to pile on more and more work on the whole department, and his co-workers talked behind his back about him leaving work on time every day (among other things).
Before he knew it, Martin was overworked and burned out from his job. And it crept into his personal life as well.
He withdrew from his social circles, abandoned his hobbies, and ate a lot of junk food to cope with the stress.
“I ended up having to see a therapist to deal with what was happening to me,” Martin shared.
One of the things he realized during this time was that he was too meek – and suffered from a lack of confidence.
He didn’t have the confidence to stand up for himself at his old job…
…nor was he confident enough to find another job with a better work-life balance.
And Martin’s lack of belief in himself kept him in his “comfort zone,” which was eating away at his self-worth and happiness.
But after some spending some time on self-reflection and working on himself…
…he finally worked up the courage to give his boss and co-workers an honest piece of his mind, leave his toxic job, and find greener pastures.
After that, Martin moved to Finland, found another job with better hours and better work culture – and he couldn’t be happier.
Plus, he’s been dating Cara, an expat from Ireland whom he met during his first week.
“We were seated next to each other on a cramped tour bus. Maybe the close proximity helped, but I’d like to think my newfound confidence helped me win her over,” Martin says with a laugh.
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‘It’s like unlocking a hidden superpower that I had all along’: Why confidence matters
Indeed, Martin felt like some part of him had been sleeping for the longest time…
…and it took a few twists and turns in his life before he could finally awaken it.
After that, it changed his life for the better.
So without further ado, here’s how self-confidence can help you live a happier and more successful life:
Benefit #1: You’re not rattled by people’s opinions
According to a study from the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, believing in yourself allows you to develop a natural buffer against other people’s perception of you.
Like many people, Martin used to attach his self-worth to what people thought of him. However, developing his confidence freed him from this mindset, and he was all the happier because of it.
Remember, it’s important to take constructive criticism on board, but we also need to filter out opinions that are deliberately hurtful or downright toxic.
Benefit #2: Confidence makes you aim for the stars
A study on competitiveness (from the Journal of Marketing) shows a strong connection between a person’s confidence and their ability to set better goals for him or herself.
This means that self-confidence is a great performance booster because this trait naturally drives people to aim higher and achieve more in life.
Benefit #3: It Makes You Mentally Tough
In 2007, The Journal of Applied Sport Psychology published a study that looked at mental toughness in elite English cricketers.
They found that players who were more confident also had more determination and grit compared to other players.
This means they could push through setbacks better and recovered from them much faster.
Benefit #4: Higher Confidence Means Better Stress Management
According to the book “The Ecology of Stress,” being more confident makes it easier for someone to deal with the daily stress of life.
A person who has a healthy sense of self-belief has a more optimistic perspective on stressful situations.
More importantly, they have the emotional resources to deal with whatever comes their way without blowing things out of proportion.
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How To Be More Confident
So what does this mean for you?
Well, the important takeaway here is you can cultivate these traits and be a more confident, assertive version of yourself.
Think of it as flexing a set of muscles you haven’t used before. And the more you exercise them, the stronger they get.
Here are some things you can do to get started today:
Take action in the face of the unknown:
Martin used to be petrified by fear. He was too worried about the ‘what if’s, and he let it fuel his self-doubt.
However, the key to building confidence is walking the path – even if you don’t see all of it. Being worried about taking that first step is a GOOD sign that you should take it.
You don’t have to know all the variables and factors involved before taking action. If you mess things up, it gives you a better idea of who you are, and what you’re truly capable of.
That opens the door to growth and better mental resilience; these are exactly what you need to move forward in life.
Psyche yourself up:
Being confident also has a lot to do with your ability to visualize a successful outcome.
The world’s most successful people have the habit of mentally rehearsing before taking on a formidable challenge, like getting on stage to sing or give a speech, playing a crucial sports game, or having a difficult conversation.
This helps them ‘go through the motions’ and get a feel of what they need to do.
But more importantly, this also allows them to use their mind’s eye to envision their desired outcome AS IF it’s already happening.
However, the tricky thing is dealing with the inner voice of self-doubt, which is something we all struggle with at some point. This voice doesn’t just get in the way of visualizing success, but it’s also a nasty confidence-wrecker.
And that brings us to the next confidence-building tip…
Stay on top of your self-talk:
Scientific studies show that the internal dialogue we have about ourselves is a huge self-esteem booster (which, of course, leads to higher self-confidence).
Research from the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that people enjoy a significant surge of confidence when they talk to themselves by using affirming statements that started with “you.”
In other words, hearing encouragement, praise, and advice is empowering, whether it comes from others OR yourself. As far as the mind is concerned, all of it is VALID and REAL.
The Power Of Unstoppable Self-Belief
So, that brings us to the most important point: confidence is mostly based on how you perceive yourself – and NOT how others see you.
Whether you think that you’re not good enough…
…or you’re an amazing person who deserves success and happiness…
…it will have a profound impact on your daily actions and decisions in life.
“Believe in yourself” isn’t just some fluffy platitude – research proves that people who see themselves in a positive light have different brains from others.
Brain scans show that those who engage in positive self-talk have WAY more activity in areas of the brain.
This includes different parts of the prefrontal cortex, which are responsible for processing information and decision-making – all these are crucial to having higher levels of self-confidence.
Fortunately, people who are struggling with low confidence can now reprogram their negative self-talk.
For instance, self-hypnosis is a quick and powerful way to remove unhealthy, self-sabotaging thought patterns.
Using powerful affirmations that are directly absorbed by the subconscious mind…
…you can cultivate empowering habits, beliefs, and mindsets…
…and have a confident person’s brain.