Whether we realize it or not, our confidence levels say a lot about us and the way the world perceives us. People in all walks of life tend to be drawn towards confidence, whether in personal relationships or in professional ones. You’re more likely to be considered for a job or promotion if you easily display confidence, and finding and keeping friends is easier.
Confident people are also more likely to perceive life with greater satisfaction. They recognize their personal worth and don’t have anxiety about the way others see them. They’re more likely to live in the moment and enjoy every second.
Whether or not you were born confident, the ability to boost your confidence is not out of your reach. If you’re not confident now, there are small changes you can make every day to encourage greater self-worth that both you and those around you can visibly see.
Learn About Your DNA
Did you know that some people are genetically wired to be more confident than others? At least that’s the scientifically-backed belief of neuropsychologist Steve Suomi of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who has been studying the relationship between genes and the serotonin transporter that creates the feeling of confidence.
“A lot of personality is biologically driven,” says Dr. Jay Lombard, an associate of Dr. Suomi’s and a founder of a genetic testing company. “It is clearly both nature and nurture, and understanding what genes do to affect the biology of the brain, to create temperament, is something the NIH has now recognized as a priority.”
Since we know that there’s a genetic connection to confidence, learn all you can about it. Get a mailer kit and send out for DNA testing in upstate New York, which is home to some of the finest DNA research organizations in the nation.
When you get the results back, you’ll learn a lot about your genetics, which say a lot about you. You’ll get information about some of your strongest and weakest genetic traits, which can be exploited to boost your confidence levels.
You’ll also learn more about where you came from, identifying with your ancestors. You can find great confidence in connecting with those who held noble professions and took strides to make the world a better place.
Develop a Talent
Confidence can also be found by focusing on something you’re good at. Everyone has different talents, and when you find your calling — either professionally or personally — you’ll have a greater sense of where you fit in and can thrive.
Mike Ward of Cornerstone University talks about identifying your inherent talents in order to see your true worth.
“Those who lack self-confidence tend to focus on and obsess over their weaknesses and failings,” Ward says. “…These things don’t need to be profound. Maybe you’re good at organization or with numbers and spreadsheets. Maybe you have a big capacity to help those in need or the ability to plan effectively for the future. These are all gifts and you should spend time focusing on these rather than your weaknesses.”
If you aren’t sure what your talents are, spend some time exploring what your talents are. You might take a few dance lessons and classes to see if you have a natural ability for graceful movement. Perhaps you can take up art or try writing that book you’ve been thinking about!
In your professional life, think about what you’re best at. Offices always need greater communication, leadership, and interpersonal strengths. Clerical and organizational skills are also very handy. Hone in on your greatest talents, and develop them to recognize your inner confidence.
Work on Your Physical Appearance
It’s true that confidence is something that occurs on the inside, and what you look like on the outside shouldn’t be what you hang your confidence on. That being said, working on your physical appearance can lead to significant boosts in confidence.
A 1997 study showed a profound link between physical attractiveness and one’s self-esteem, and the findings still hold true today.
“Since a person’s physical attractiveness is known to be a major factor in his or her experiences, it is logical (as well as empirically documented) to be a substantial influence on self-esteem… Improving a physical trait improves attitude, personality, and self-esteem,” researchers wrote. “Likewise, improving physical attractiveness improves interpersonal interactions. These more positive interactions are internalized intrapersonally (within a person), with direct, corresponding impact on the person’s self-esteem.”
Genetics can play a role in your physical appearance; there’s nothing you can do about your height or the size of your hands, after all. Plastic surgery is an option if you desire, but most people find it’s unnecessary to go to such lengths to improve their physical appearance. In fact, most people see significant improvements in self-esteem simply by doing the following:
Focusing on Oral Hygiene
Did you know that one of the most impactful things people notice about you is your smile? Brushing your teeth at least twice daily and doing whitening treatments can make a lasting impact on your personal image.
If your teeth are crooked, consider orthodontia. You don’t have to get braces (which may challenge your self-image further) because there’s a new type of teeth correction tool on the market called invisalign. With the use of clear teeth molds, you can have straighter teeth without anyone knowing about your correction.
Your clothing says a lot about who you are. Outdated fashions, ill-fitting clothing, and worn articles can make you look down on and feel worse about yourself.
Save up some money and invest it into a new wardrobe. Don’t worry about adhering to all the latest trends. Simply find clothing that’s well-fitted and flattering to your figure. Add shoes and accessories to complete your ensemble. You’ll feel like a million bucks when you show up to work or a party wearing your snazzy new wardrobe.
Get Healthy and Lose Weight
While you don’t need to be model-thin, you will find supreme confidence in shedding a few pounds. Being overweight can result in a drop in energy levels and an increase in depression. Those who are overweight tend to feel more uncomfortable in social and professional situations.
The most important part of losing weight has nothing to do with the scale, however. As you focus on your health — eating well, drinking plenty of water, exercising daily, getting enough sleep, and meditating regularly — you’ll feel much better about yourself. Your mood and attitude will improve, and you’ll have a much healthier outlook on life.
As you hit the gym, don’t forget that genetics play a key role in creating effective workouts. A new study from the University of Central Lancashire in London showed a profound connection between your DNA and working out.
“I think it just gives you that kind of edge in terms of your training progressing forward,” said personal trainer David Castro-Pearson, who has been using the findings of the study to help his patrons succeed in the gym. “As we know many people hit plateaus in training so just to give you that head start, kick start I have found it worked well with my clients and they have definitely added a bit more impetus into their training.”
Our confidence level is in our hands as long as we’re willing to take the strides to improve it. As you boost your confidence and see yourself in a more positive light, others will too, and you’ll find greater success both professionally and personally.