Self-confidence, often referred to as self-esteem is the term used to describe one’s sense of self-worth. Although the loudest people are often seen as the most confident, appearing cocky and boisterous is a common sign of low self-esteem. Though this may be true, being surrounded by people who seem to be incredibly self-assured, even if they are just good at hiding their insecurities, can leave you with the belief that you’re the only one feeling unconfident. Rest assured, you are not; with a whopping 85% of the population suffering from low self-esteem, you are most certainly not alone.
In this article, we will explore whether self-confidence can be trained, discussing an array of techniques ranging from completely free, for those on a budget, to a little pricier for those willing to splash out.
A healthy diet, good exercise routine and being socially active are just a few of the factors that can help to increase self-esteem. For some people, though, the journey to confidence may be a little more challenging, resulting in them seeking help on how to improve their personal image of themselves. Today, researchers have found that it may be possible to train the brain to increase confidence.
Studies suggest that by manipulating brain activity, it may be possible to raise one’s self-confidence. A recent study has shown that activity patterns in the brain can predict a person’s confidence, leading them to later discover that by manipulating this activity, self-confidence can be increased. The new study was carried out by Dr. Aurelio Cortese, of the Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) Institute International in Kyoto, Japan, and the findings were later published in the journal Nature Communications. A novel imaging technique known as “decoded neurofeedback” was used in the study, which uses brain scans to monitor the activity patterns going on within the brain. The trial was conducted on 17 participants, involving the use of a perceptual exercise. From this, the researchers could link specific brain activity, shown in the results, with different levels of confidence.
After realising that it was possible to document different activity patterns in the brain, linking to levels of confidence, the researchers began considering whether it was possible to use this information to generate high-confidence states; to which they found, is was.
Although we now know that it is possible for scientific researchers to manipulate brain activity to train self-confidence, is it really feasible that the average person has the ability to do the same? Below, we will explore some of the ways available today, that believe to make this possible.
Often, low self-confidence can lead on to communication problems, shyness, and even social anxiety, making it essential to nip it in the bud before these issues occur, if possible. When self-esteem is below the average level, it leaves us feeling vulnerable, and we are increasingly affected by the people and situations around us.=
In day-to-day life, we form a habit of noticing the strengths of others, coming to the conclusion each time that we don’t match up. For instance, thinking “so-and-so is much chattier than me” or “that person is much more likeable”. No matter who we are around, this negative process leaves us with the impression that everybody else is better than ourselves in some way, focussing our mind on the qualities we feel we are lacking. When doing so, it doesn’t take long for the mind to start completely overlooking our strengths, fixating purely on the aspects of our personality that we consider to be bad. If you’re thinking ‘this is great information, but how do I change this?’ then you’re in the right place. To get out of this unfavourable habit, it is essential to begin to appreciate other’s strengths, as opposed to viewing them as competition; acknowledge the fact that everyone holds different talents, and recognise each of them as a moment to learn something new.
Although they are far from enjoyable, take the opportunity to use your insecurities to your advantage. Instead of dwelling on things you aren’t quite as good at, take the time to analyse the situation, in attempt to establish the root of the problem. Once you have identified the cause, it will be easier to put steps in place to ensure the issue begin to deplete. For instance, if you are normally a fairly confident person in the workplace, but are suddenly left feeling a little overwhelmed, consider any recent changes that have occurred: have you gained a new co-worker? Is everything alright at home? Establishing the key factor to your insecurities will put you in a positive place, allowing you to make any necessary changes.
Often, a qualified life coach can work wonders on people’s insecurities. Instead of teaching you how to live, as many people wrongly assume, an experienced life coach will often teach you a specific skill about how to handle certain situations. Typically teaching you about their own experiences, and giving you an insight into their personal way of doing things, a life coach will give you specific advice on handling different scenarios. In doing so, they hold the ability to make you feel far less alone, and in the long-term, determine tough situations much easier to deal with. Although costly, visiting a renowned lifestyle coach such as Tony Robbins can work wonders to your self-esteem, providing you with business and leadership coaching from one of the industry’s best. If you have a slightly smaller budget, then reading an acclaimed book by a published life coach, such as ‘The Power to Influence’ by Tony Robbins himself, can work just as well.
Whether you are looking to get a few advisories on improved self-esteem, or you’re interested in doing the whole she-bang and visiting a highly sought-after life coach such as Tony Robbins, we hope that our hints and tips will leave you oozing with the confidence that you deserve. Participating in regular yoga sessions along-side these techniques can be a great way to boost self-confidence, with the support of a team of people all working towards the same goal. Always remember to practice yoga on a good quality yoga mat, to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles.