Simple, Yet Effective Ways To Grow Your Confidence

How confident are you in your abilities to do any given thing? If you’re like most people, then complete confidence in your abilities is something you struggle with on a fairly regular basis. The good news is, you don’t have to! There are several simple things you can do to bolster your confidence.

The first thing to understand is that there’s a difference between confidence and self-esteem. The two are related, but distinct. Confidence relates to your ability to do a given thing, while self-esteem relates to how you feel about yourself.

Obviously, if you have low self-esteem, then confidence in your abilities is going to suffer, so the first “trick” to bolstering your confidence is to work on you. Do things that make you feel good about yourself, and your confidence in other areas of your life is bound to increase.

Second, never stop learning and studying. Then, as a follow-up, put the things you’re learning into practice via practical application as appropriate. Not only does the act of learning and knowing things bolster your confidence, but as you put your knowledge into practice and see the tangible results that stem from all that learning, your confidence will soar!

Finally, a third handy trick is to “push your envelope.” If you have a fear of heights, plan to visit a suspension bridge with a mind to walk across it as a means of conquering that fear. If you’re afraid of the dark, start spending more time in the dark until that fear begins to subside.

By doing things like this, you’ll not only begin doing away with the (largely) irrational fears that have been holding you back, but as you conquer them, you’ll find that your confidence improves in every area of your life.

The bottom line is that if you suffer from low self-esteem and confidence, your opportunities are going to be limited. Those opportunities will still present themselves, but you’ll simply lack the confidence to go after them. Don’t be that person; you’ve got this!

Show Gratitude For A Happier Life

No matter how many problems you have in your life, if you stop to think about it, you’ll quickly realize that you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

One of the most intriguing differences between life in the United States and life in many other parts of the world is the fact that when one thing goes wrong in the life of someone here, it can ruin that person’s whole day. Contrast that with the fact that when one thing goes right or comes easy in other parts of the world, it can totally make that person’s day.

Think about that difference in mindset for just a moment. Here, it’s so easy to have a fundamentally negative outlook on things. After all, if the day doesn’t go perfectly and exactly as you planned it, it’s likely to sour your outlook.

Don’t let it!

That’s easier said than done, of course, but with practice, you can change your thinking, and the simple act of showing gratitude for the good things in your life will have a profound impact on your frame of mind.

Start by looking at your circle of friends. There are undoubtedly many of them who really go out of their way to do things for you, but when’s the last time you walked up to them and said a heartfelt thank you?

If you’re like most people, then it’s probably been far longer than you’re comfortable admitting. That’s okay, because it’s never too late! Go visit your friends who have gone out of their way for you and tell them how much you appreciate them and how grateful you are that they’re in your life.

Do that, and you’ll be amazed at how happy it makes both you and them!
Then, take it a step further. Start keeping a journal of all the good things in your life…all the things you have to be thankful for. Again, if you’re like most people, the length of your list will likely surprise you.

Finally, take the time to give back. Nothing shows your gratitude to the world like giving something back, so consider volunteering at least some of your free time. You’ll be helping a worthy cause and making others feel great, and in doing so, making yourself happy too.

Science has shown that people who show gratitude tend to be happier than those who don’t, and who wants to go through life unhappily? Thankfully, this is something that’s really easy to change. Start today!

Words Have Power – Use Them Wisely

The pen really is mightier than the sword. Words have awesome power. They can be used to cut and wound, or to build. The trouble is that all too often, people speak without thinking, and in doing so, their words can have far-reaching consequences that can cause rifts and create all manner of trouble. Hurt feelings are just the beginning.

What this comes down to is the notion of mindfulness. Knowing the power of words, the best thing you can do is pause and consider your words before you speak them. Think not only about what you want to say, but the potential impacts on those you’ll be speaking to.

It doesn’t have to be a long pause, but especially in cases where emotions are running high, it pays to consider your words carefully. If you don’t, you could wind up saying something in anger or haste that will come back to bite you later on.

In addition to mindfulness, there’s another important thing to consider: choice.

You can choose to say the things that will build up and fortify those around you, or you can choose to tear them down and burn bridges. Sadly, some people choose exactly that course of action. It’s possible that you work with someone like that, and if so, you know how damaging it can be.
That’s the kind of thing that can turn a healthy, productive work environment into a highly toxic one, and that isn’t good for anyone.

At the end of the day, then, it comes down to what sort of person you want to be, and what kind of environment you want to create.
You can, simply by the power of your words, choose to create, or help build a highly supportive, productive environment for those around you. Or, you can use words to instill fear and anger and sow the seeds of doubt. All of this is dependent, in large part, on how you choose to speak.

The Rewards Of Giving

Ahh, giving. It’s not just for the holidays!

Of course, the holidays are the first thing people think of when it comes to giving. However, there’s a lot of science to suggest that it’s a good thing to do all year ’round. Here are some of the surprising benefits of being charitable and giving:

1) It fosters cooperation and encourages others to give! – One of the best ways to turn a random collection of people into a cohesive team is to be giving. Freely share information across traditional boundaries. Bring donuts in the morning. Give small gifts and tokens of appreciation. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but the simple act of doing it will encourage others to do the same, and promote a happier, healthier environment.

2) It increases your own happiness – This is according to a 2008 study conducted by the Harvard School of Business. The researchers discovered that giving money or some other small gift increased the happiness of the participants more than simply spending the money on themselves did. That’s because giving releases a hormone called oxytocin in the brain, the very same hormone that gets released during sex!

3) It improves your physical health, too! – Yep, you read that correctly. The simple act of giving makes you healthier. There have been a variety of studies to support this, including one conducted by the University of California, which found that elderly people who did volunteer work were significantly less likely to die over an extended (five-year) period than those who did not.

If that’s not enough, another study conducted in 2006 by Johns Hopkins University found that people who provided gifts and support to one another had notably lower blood pressure than those who did not.

The bottom line is that generosity really is the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s something you can start doing today!

Are You In A Job Or A Career?

What do you do for money? Are you punching a clock for someone else in a dead-end job, or are you doing something you truly love? Put another way, are you working a job, or pursuing a career? It’s an important question, and it really matters in terms of your happiness and well-being, because people who are pursuing a career they love are happier across the board than those who just have a job that keeps the lights on.

The problem, of course, is the fact that advice on the career front is somewhat sketchy, and filled with “squishy,” feel-good terms that are hard to turn into well-defined action. Here’s a great example that you’ve probably heard before: “Follow your dreams! Do what you love!”

There are a number of problems with that advice. While it’s true that it touches on an important point, following your dreams and doing what you love can’t be the only consideration. If your dream doesn’t make enough money to keep a roof over your head, then no matter how happy it might make you, it’s just not a great plan.

For some people, doing what they truly love is worth a cut in pay, and if that describes you, great. This makes it easier to balance the two sides of that equation, but the bottom line is simply that you can’t ignore the practical side, no matter how much you’d like to.

The first step, then, is to identify exactly what it is you want to do when you grow up (so to speak). Then, figure out if there’s a viable way to get paid enough to make it possible for you to live your dream while still being able to enjoy the minimum lifestyle you find acceptable (or better, of course)!

Once you do that, you’re well on your way. Bear in mind that following your dreams isn’t for the faint of heart, and there will almost certainly be a transition period where you’re building your dream career and punching a clock for someone else, but if you’re willing to put the time in, that won’t last long.

So, where are you now? Job or career?