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In this two-part post, we’ll be exploring some practical ways you can become more confident. There are many links between cosmetics and mental health; at Nature’s Greatest Secret we aim to support our community in feeling great and being happy in their skin.

Here are some of the ways science tells us can be helpful when improving confidence.

Be Kind to Yourself

There are many ways we can be kinder to ourselves, and these can have a powerful effect on our confidence. Dr Naveen Puri at Bupa has some tangible actions when it comes to being kinder to ourselves. He suggests we access and potentially change the way we ‘talk’ to ourselves. He recommends letting our inner voice be a ‘friend’ who is kind to us instead of a belittling critic. This way, when inevitable challenges arise you have a supporter and not an internal monologue that will make you feel worse.

Puri also suggests performing acts of kindness to others, practising mindfulness and spending time in nature.

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness when you make a mistake, fail, or experience a setback. It allows you to become more emotionally flexible and helps you better navigate challenging emotions, enhancing your connection to yourself and others.

A student confidence study connects self-compassion with self-confidence.  So the next time you’re in a challenging situation, recognize that being imperfect or falling short at times is a part of being human. Do your best to navigate these experiences with compassion toward yourself.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Some of the people from your year group in school are sharing their exciting role on LinkedIn which includes a six-figure salary and company rocket. You know the photos and the humble brags are carefully manufactured snippets of their lives. Still, you look anyway. Social comparison theory explains that making comparisons is natural. But it isn’t likely to help boost your self-confidence and may even have the opposite effect.

A 2020 study on social comparison on social networking sites published by the National Library of Medicine noted that individuals with greater social comparison orientation derived from low self-esteem have worse mental health. So how do you build self-confidence when you notice that you are drawing comparisons? First, remind yourself that doing so isn’t helpful. Everyone is running their own race and life isn’t a competition.

If you’re feeling envious of someone else’s life, it’s also helpful to remember your own strengths and successes. Keep a gratitude journal to better recall the areas in life where you are blessed. This can help you focus on your own life versus focusing on the lives of others.

Surround Yourself With Positive People

It can be an incredibly useful exercise to take stock of the people in your life. Your friends, your colleagues with who you spend time outside of work. Do they make you feel positive and energised? Or perhaps they do the opposite and drain you? Are they constantly judging you, or do they accept you for who you are?

Coach Troy Stoneking breaks down what we get out of consciously deciding to surround ourselves with positive people. Firstly, he notes how our attitude will change. People simply rub off on us and you’ll feel a range of positive emotions from excitement, confidence and peace. You’ll also more likely accomplish more. It’s a self fullfyling prophecy when people say we can do things; more often that not we then have a better chance of doing them.

Stoneking explains that the benefits don’t stop there, either. You’ll also have a better chance of earning more money. According to the Wall Street Journal, positive people make – on average – around 40% more money than negative people. That’s crazy! Finally, Stoneking points to longevity as another bonus of being positive. Positive people live seven or more years longer than negative people. This is due to having fewer chronic health problems and being better at fighting off diseases.

To summarise his points, Stoneking believes that being positive will make you happier, wealthier and healthier. Not a bad trio when looking to improve confidence.

Learn to be assertive

Being assertive is about respecting other people’s opinions and needs, and expecting the same from them. One trick is to look at other people who act assertively and copy what they do. It’s not about pretending you’re someone you’re not. It’s picking up hints and tips from people you admire and letting the real you come out.

The Mayo Clinic identifies several key tips when looking to become more assertive. Firstly, they advise to not steam in with emotions at all times. In order to keep calm and composed when looking to convey an opinion it’s often better to wait until you’re not bubbling away. Remember to breathe slowly and keep your voice steady and firm.

It’s also important to use the right kind of body language; communication isn’t purely verbal. Keep good posture and maintain regular eye contact. Try to avoid crossing your arms and legs where possible. Use “I” statements to ensure that you can convey your points without sounding accusatory. For example, “I disagree with you” trumps “you’re wrong”.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if being assertive is something you struggle with. Take it in small steps. If you have a partner or friend you trust to practise with then great – role-play a typical situation where you’d like to be more assertive.

Closing thoughts

It’s evident that there are plenty of accessible ways we can start to build self-confidence. Many of these don’t cost any money and don’t take a considerable time commitment, either.

We’re proud of our anti-ageing products, and many customers have praised the knock-on effect the range has had on their self-confidence.

You can view our anti-ageing range here.

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