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Top Tips to Boost Men's Self Confidence

Boosting Your Self Confidence

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Updated September 01, 2006

Self confidence requires a positive self-image. Self-image is a kind of mental picture we all have about ourselves. One way to think about self-image is in terms of what is 'real' and what is 'ideal'. Many people have goals to move their 'real' self as close to their 'ideal' self as they can. For example, the 'real' you stumbles over your words when you meet the boss, whereas the 'ideal' you is cool, confident and articulate.

Problems can occur when people strive too hard to fit with their ideal view of self-image and this can mean they underplay their actual characteristics. The nice guy then finds it hard to reprimand people when they under-perform and the strict guy maybe fails to listen to others and reward opinions different to their own. It can also lead to stress as the person is consciously and with some effort playing out a role.

A person's self-image may be far from accurate. For example, your father may have set very high standards for you to become a professional sportsman. For whatever reason you didn't achieve the standard and this leads you to believe you are bad at sports, despite the fact you are actually pretty good. One poor experience can even spread to other areas of your life so you start to believe you are poor at most things.

Ways to Boost Self-Confidence

  • Self-image is the mental picture you have of yourself. It is not fixed, it is not objective, it can be changed and you can change it.
  • Positive thinking is important but the way you behave is important too. Your self-image will feed off the way you behave and will affect others too. Actors know that if they have to play a sad role they quickly start to feel sad themselves. Similarly, if you speak in a measured slow tone your authority increases to those around you and you actually start to feel it in yourself.

  • Changing behavior is often easier than changing thinking. The brain does not deal well in turning around negative thinking. For example, the moment you think, 'I must not be nervous' is the moment you will actually start feeling more nervous. Focusing on behavior when you are nervous, such as breathing deeply and slowly and relaxing neck and shoulder muscles, will do a great deal more than ruminating on your anxiety.

  • Breaking up big goals or tasks into smaller and more manageable chunks can help. If you have been set a task that seems impossible, take it apart and even drill it down to hourly steps. As you achieve each step your confidence will grow and you will also achieve a sense of mastery over the issue.

  • For some people lack of confidence arises through having too little to do. Boredom and lack of confidence are associated. In such cases it is important to boost energy levels by setting some goals for yourself but allowing them to be flexible enough to react to circumstances. If goals are too rigid the first set-back will knock you off track, so build this into your planning.
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