How to increase self confidence?
It’s a million dollar question that’s been answered by many. One of the major sticking points that guys experience is social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a fear of being negatively evaluated by others. It often occurs when you step out of your comfort zone. For some guys, that means intense worry about rejection when starting conversations with women.
For others, even asking directions can trigger nervous shaking and stuttering.
I’ve coached many guys who needed help improving self confidence. The following 10 Tips have proven the most successful in helping any man overcome social anxiety and build confidence.
Before we delve into it have a look at that video
How To Increase Self Confidence 101
10. Practice Confident Body Language
Body language signals to people around you how you are actually feeling. Research shows that confident body language actually influences your physiology, making testosterone and serotonin increase and cortisol, the stress hormone, decrease.
Examples of confident body language include:
- slowing down your movements and speech
- taking up more space
- keeping your head still and eyes focused instead of constantly looking around for threats
This is only a first step because you could theoretically fix all your poor body language but still feel immense anxiety on the inside. Paying attention to your body language helps you address symptoms of your social fears.
Learn more about body language from the video below
9. Record Yourself
Do you want to know how to increase self confidence? Record yourself!
If you’ve never video recorded yourself it can be uncomfortable at first to see and hear yourself. You may realize you have some bad habits you weren’t aware of. If you can, record yourself talking with another person.
When you watch it pay attention to the volume and tone of your voice, eye contact, posture. Listen for any odd verbal ticks or indications of nervousness. Ask yourself why you felt that way in that moment. This exercise forces you to confront nervous body language and bad habits that usually can be corrected with practice.
Record yourself in this manner several times over a few months and you will likely see a difference in your ability to express yourself more confidently.
8. Immerse Yourself in Social Interactions
This one is pretty basic advice on how to increase self confidence but can’t be ommited.
Once you are more aware of your body language habits, you can practice improving them in social situations. Social confidence must come from social experience. Sites such as Meetup.com list many activities all over the world for all kinds of interests. It’s a stress-free method of beginning your journey to social confidence.
When you are with a friend it’s easy to focus on talking with each other instead of conversing with new people. It’s a convenient excuse for avoiding the discomfort of new experiences. Force yourself to engage the social environment without needing a friend by your side. Eventually, you will feel comfortable attending an event by yourself.
MORE: Self-Esteem – 4 Insights That Will Boost Your Confidence
7. Write Down Your Interactions
Writing down your thoughts about social interaction helps you reflect on what you’ve learned and what you should do differently in the future. You don’t need to write down every detail of every interaction. You only need to spend about 10 minutes a day taking some notes on 1 or 2 interactions you had during the day.
It may sound simple but this exercise is crucial to developing social awareness. By writing about your awkward, embarrassing, emotionally painful experiences you can be honest with yourself about their impact and it helps you grow.
6. Intentionally Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
In most social situations fear is not proportionate to actual danger. If you see a cute stranger, feel the urge to say “hi,” but the only reason you don’t do it is that uncomfortable feeling in your gut scaring you out of it, then it is, even more of a reason to prove to yourself it is completely safe.
The worst that could happen is they aren’t in a social mood and walk away. Even if you get a rude reply, it doesn’t take anything away from who you are. Talk to a few more people and you’ll eventually find someone much friendlier to chat with.
If you are already comfortable talking to new people, the pay attention to the type of people that intimidate you and stifle your confidence. Make an effort to intentionally talk with them more.
Force yourself to make the best decisions for your growth especially when it’s uncomfortable. When you allow yourself to chicken out of an opportunity to grow up you are only being irresponsible with your own life and happiness.
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Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, mistakes are inevitable. There will be times you don’t know what to say. You might embarrass yourself many times before even mastering how to introduce yourself.
We learn from experience and mistakes. No matter how awkward or embarrassing, these experiences are valuable lessons in self-improvement instead of sources of shame.
People are terrified of experiences they don’t need to be afraid of. A shy guy is scared to talk to new people. When he starts a conversation he might make awkward statements. He might display weak body language or stutter and avoid eye contact.
However, these are all learning opportunities. The only real mistake would be in not learning from these experiences and not making an effort to improve his social skills.
4. Surround Yourself with Confident Friends
As you open your mind to the possibility of being a more confident person, more sociable people will be willing to hang out with you. If your friends have no ambition to improve their social skills and confidence, it makes it easy for you to be lazy about this part of your life too.
The friends you spend time with have a huge impact on who you become. So be mindful of who you spend your time with. Find more people who are exactly what you want to become.
If you start spending more time with confident people, you can pick up some of their traits, and also get encouragement to develop your social confidence.
In 2010 an article in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology surveyed 39 studies of meditation based therapy on general social anxiety. In a majority of these studies most participants experienced relief from stress, anxiety, and related conditions with the help of regular meditation.
The conclusion of this article was that meditation “is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations.”
The science indicates meditation helps with anxiety, stress and social intelligence. It’s a useful method of accepting the internal struggles that lead to social anxiety and unnecessary fear.
Basic Meditation for Overcoming Anxiety:
Commit to at least 5 minutes each time. Sit down and close your eyes. Take in a few slow deep breaths as you get comfortable.
- Don’t try to control your thoughts.
2) When your mind wanders, just tell yourself it’s ok and continue meditating.
3) There is no need to resist any thought or sensation. Just let it all happen.
4) Pay attention to your breathing.
5) Breathe in, breathe out.
6) Don’t try to control it, just let it happen naturally.
Next, imagine a social situation that triggers your anxiety. How do you feel when this happens? Try to accept the thoughts and feelings that emerge in this imagined scenario. It will help you relax when this situation actually happens.
2. Be Open to Everyone
Most people you meet won’t become your friend. That doesn’t mean you need to ignore potential value they could add to your life and that you could add to theirs.
In some venues, you will notice needy individuals who are only interested in socializing with certain people. At a nightclub, you can easily notice guys who only talk to women and refuse to befriend her male friends he sees only as “obstacles.”
Instead, he could have talked to the overweight ladies, old guys, and everyone. Attractive girls might see him having fun and socializing with anyone, not just focused on extracting a target.
You don’t know what opportunities you could be missing out on if you act in such a selfish way. You may think you aren’t cool enough to talk to an interesting person you’d like to meet. But you’ll never know if they are willing to talk to you or not unless you try.
1. Make Plans & Invite People
Socially successful people don’t only sit and wait for invitations to hang out. They make plans and carve reality to their liking.
When you start organizing events people see you as a leader and want to be invited to the next fun event you organize. As long as people are having fun and enjoy your company it should be easy to gradually develop a regular group of people you can hang out with anytime.
Instead of worrying about what other people think of you, it’s more likely your new acquaintances will be anxious about impressing you. After all, they want to hang out with you and meet your other interesting friends.
- Practice Confident Body Language
2. Record Yourself
3. Immerse Yourself in Social Interactions
4. Write Down Your Interactions
5. Intentionally Get Out of your Comfort Zone Often
7. Surround Yourself with Confident Friends
9. Be Open to Everyone
10. Make plans and invite people
Start by developing awareness of your own outward symptoms of social anxiety, such as poor body language, and avoiding others. Then go socialize often, ideally by yourself. Pay attention to the critical moments where you must choose to run back to your comfort zone or face fears and grow up. Learn from your mistakes, and use meditation to help relax in situations that usually stress you out. Eventually, you will develop enough social confidence to start making plans to hang out with a new group of friends.
MORE SELF CONFIDENCE TIPS:
Be More Confident Around Girls – Build Unbreakable Confidence
Learn How To Be More Confident In Yourself – Modern Gentlemen’s Guide To Improving Confidence
Adam Rockman is a confidence coach and author of the best-selling book: Social Confidence Mastery: How to Eliminate Social Anxiety, and the Fear of Rejection His site Evolve To Win is dedicated to mind and body optimization for winning at life.