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The Role Giving Plays in Building Confidence

Your emotions are directly related to chemical processes that automatically occur in your body. When you feel happy, healthy and content, the hormones and chemicals which promote stress automatically begin to dissipate. Endorphins and other chemicals which promote a healthy body and happy outlook, and actually boost your immune system, are released. This is the automatic, unconscious way that your mind promotes you to take care of yourself.

The opposite can also occur.

Cortisol is nicknamed the “stress hormone” for a very good reason. It triggers inflammation throughout your body, which can lead to physical as well as emotional problems. Cortisol levels spike when emotions like fear, anxiety and uncertainty are experienced. Your body’s negative response to poor emotional states is the brain’s way of telling you to adopt positive emotions instead.

This relates to how giving and charity can be used to boost your confidence.

When you are upbeat, happy, healthy and feel good about life, it is easy to be confident. You are living proof that the actions you are taking and the things you are doing are impacting you in a positive manner. This means you are confident in your ability to create a positive living environment, and achieve results which are desirable to you.

If you lack confidence, try donating your time, possessions or money to a worthy individual or a needy cause. Studies show that the chemical rewards of giving promote positive feelings of self-worth. Giving of your time or some other resource to someone who is not as fortunate as you make you feel good about yourself.

Consciously and subconsciously you recognize this charitable behavior as producing positive emotions and results. Just as it does when it senses happiness and peacefulness, your brain rewards your positive behavior with a rush of pleasurable chemicals throughout your body.

Give to Others to Get Confidence and Self-Esteem

This provides a very easy way you can boost your confidence and adopt a strong, healthy belief in yourself. The dopamine, endorphins and other chemicals which promote happiness and self-assuredness are present even in the smallest acts of giving or charity. This means that simply holding a door for someone can trigger a small boost of confidence in yourself.

Incredibly, research shows that the improvements in self-esteem, self-worth and confidence are not related solely to
the giver.

The person on the receiving end of an unexpected good deed often times feels better about themselves as well. Subconsciously they deem themselves worthy of receiving an act of generosity, which boosts their self-image.


James Fowler is a Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science at the University of California in San Diego. His research shows that one person doing a good deed, giving of their time, money or some other resource, often starts a positive and amazing trend. That small act is returned by the recipient of the good deed. They reach out to someone else, often several people, with an act of generosity as well.

Everyone begins to feel good about who they are, their confidence and self-esteem is boosted, which makes them more likely to help someone else in the future. The scientific term for this altruistic marvel is “upstream reciprocity”.

In layman’s terms, the recipient of a good deed, or of a caring, giving action, adopts a “pay it forward” attitude. They may not be in a position to pay back the person that positively impacted their life. So instead, their newly stoked self-esteem and confidence leads them to search out others less fortunate than themselves. The chain of giving continues, and professor Fowler has noted that in many situations, this happy domino effect can spark significant and positive change for many.

Giving is selfless. But it can also provide a selfish boost of confidence that leads to a more positive self-image, and triggers a chain event of positivity.

Self-Esteem vs Confidence – Is There a Difference?

Whatever you feel, whatever emotion you are processing at any given moment, your mental state triggers hormonal and chemical releases. When you enjoy high levels of confidence and self-esteem, you naturally boost your resistance to disease and infection. The chemical processes attached to being self-assured and thinking highly of yourself are related to corresponding high levels of mental and physical health and well-being.

These are automatic processes.

Your mind is very selfish. It wants you to feel good. So when you do feel good about yourself, and confident in your actions, your brain rewards those feelings by making your body and your mind happy and healthy. Alternately, when you doubt yourself and lack confidence, even in small, simple endeavors, negative hormones and chemicals are your unfortunate reward.

This negative response leads to high levels of stress and inflammation, which in turn can become the jumping off point for a long list of mental and physical health problems.

While confidence and self-esteem both impact your overall health and well-being in a positive way, they are not the same. They are definitely related in some ways, and entirely different in others. Let’s take a look at each of these positive self-beliefs individually, for a deeper understanding of how they are alike and different.

Confidence

The way you feel about your abilities in particular situations dictates your level of self-confidence. This can vary from time to time, depending on the situation or set of circumstances you find yourself in.

You may have a high level of confidence in the kitchen. You have been cooking, baking, broiling, boiling, sautéing and frying for years. You have yet to run across a recipe you couldn’t turn into a mouthwatering and delicious experience. Even when presented with something you have never prepared before, you have absolutely no doubt that the finished product you create will be perfect.

That same sky-high level of confidence may disappear entirely if you are asked to speak before a large group about cooking. Even though you have a wealth of information on the subject, the idea of standing in front of a large public audience absolutely leaves you shaking in your shoes. Although you are more than confident about your cooking ability, you are less than confident about your ability to speak in public.

By working at something, you can become better at it. This raises your level of confidence, which in turn boosts your belief in yourself, promoting a healthy level of self-esteem.

Self-Esteem

Think of self-esteem as self-love. You either hold yourself in high or low self-esteem. While confidence can be defined as how you feel about your abilities to accomplish certain things, self-esteem is how you feel about yourself overall. Just as confidence can build by repeating certain behaviors or tasks, a high or low level of self-esteem usually develops from multiple experiences and circumstances you have encountered in your life.

The situations you have witnessed or personally encountered that have had some type of impact you shape how you view yourself right now. Children who are told they are worthless and will never amount to anything experience low levels of self-esteem. The people they look up to, admire and respect tell them they are not worthy of love and caring, and these recurring life experiences years later create an adult that lacks self-love and self-worth.

The opposite is also true.

When you love yourself, your level of self-esteem improves dramatically. People with high levels of self-esteem are more confident. As your self-esteem grows, your confidence not only lends itself to things you are familiar with and good at accomplishing, but you are confident you can handle unfamiliar situations as well. As long as you love yourself, and own a high level of self-esteem, you are ready to tackle any task or endeavor confidently.

A Wonderful Cycle of Mental Health and Well-Being

Even if you don’t think much of yourself, you can boost your confidence through repetition of a task. You eventually become good at it, and your self-esteem skyrockets. This improved belief in self lends itself towards confidence in taking on familiar, and even unfamiliar, situations, experiences and endeavors. This creates a beautiful, self-perpetuating cycle that effortlessly promotes mental and emotional health and well-being.

How You Can Build Confidence Through Simple, Daily Routines

Are you a confident person? Do you lack confidence and belief in self? Either way, there is a simple routine you can follow to call upon confidence and high levels of self-esteem whenever you want. That routine is … building daily routines!

We are going to get scientific for just a moment.

The medial temporal lobe (MTL) in your brain reinforces familiarity and recollection. When one of your 5 senses experiences something that you have encountered before, and it made a memorable enough impression upon you, your MTL triggers your recognition memory. Even if the thing you encountered triggers a negative memory, your brain is confident in its ability to understand the experiences that surround that memory, and to respond accordingly.

Confidence arises when you understand what is about to happen, something is familiar to you, and you responded with a positive performance or reaction in the past when that same situation occurred. You have seen this series of events unfold before, you responded, and the outcome was favorable. This makes you confident when presented with the same scenario in the future.

You can use this to your advantage to build confidence.

Because of the way your MTL works, familiar memories are accompanied by lower levels of cortisol than unfamiliar experiences. Cortisol is famously nicknamed the “stress hormone”. When levels of stress and anxiety are lower, it is easier to feel confident about yourself. Serotonin and endorphins are a couple of neurotransmitters that help stabilize your mood and make you feel calm, peaceful and stress-free. They are more prevalent when you encounter something that is both positive and familiar.

Now let’s look at routines.

A routine is simply a “sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program”. Studies show that any new routine practiced daily for 3 to 10 weeks becomes a subconscious and automatic behavior, rather than an action that has to be consciously thought about. Therefore, if you want to become a more confident person, develop some simple daily routines that eventually become unconscious and automatic, and your brain will trigger the release of chemicals which lower stress and promote confidence.

What Specific Daily Routines Bolster Confidence?

The beauty of the routines/confidence relationship means that any regularly followed pattern of behavior will help you feel confident and self-assured. The magnitude or difficulty level of the daily habits you perform are not important. Because of the way your brain makes you feel when something is familiar, like a regular, daily routine, the chemical reaction which is triggered in your body promotes less stress and anxiety, and makes you feel certain and confident in your abilities, whether your routine is simple or complex.

Why Confident People Are So Sure about Their Values and Beliefs

Your values are the things you believe in. When something is important to you and you hold in high regard, or it is useful in making you healthy and happy, you place a very high value on it. Values can be different from one person to the next. Consider them your standards or principles of behavior.

Simply put, your values are your judgment of the things
that are important in your life.

When you are weak of mind and suffer from poor self-esteem, your values are not very concrete. You don’t look upon yourself as worthy of admiration or respect, from you or others. Because of this, it naturally follows that you believe your values must not be that important. Subconsciously you think, “If I am not confident in myself or my actions, it must be because my values are not worthy of defense or strong belief.”

Why Confident People Are Confident

Everyone has values. Some people take their value system with them to the grave, while others seemingly adopt a new set of “important” beliefs on a regular basis. The difference has to do with confidence. If you are absolutely certain that the things you judge as important in your life are as essential to your existence as oxygen, you will display an unwavering a confidence about the people, places and things you value dearly.

As it turns out, science has found that confidence is not a singularly located emotion. In other words, someone who is confident about their ability to perform their job can’t help but have a high level of self-assuredness in other behaviors and activities. Confidence spreads through your system in a good way.

As you develop a strong self-belief in one area of your life, you begin to develop confidence in other areas as well. The more self-esteem and self-confidence you accumulate, the more absolutely certain you become that your opinions, values and actions are infallible.

Confidence Bolsters a Strong Belief System, and Strongly Held Values Promote Confidence

In a way, confidence fosters and protects your values. However, the opposite is also true. If you have a concrete, well-defined value system, it is easy to be confident. Think about it. If you know without a shadow of a doubt which people, places and things are extremely important to you, confidence and self-esteem are natural byproducts.

Regardless of what anyone else thinks, when you are certain that your values are correct, you defend them without a second thought. This kind of unwavering belief in self is shown in people with strong value systems. It is also a characteristic of self-confidence. If your values are not clearly defined and strongly held, you will suffer from a weak character. It is very difficult to be confident in mind and action when you are uncertain about your own values, and when they are guarded only with weakness.

The Positively Viral Nature of Confidence

Did you know that you really can’t be confident in just one thing or ability? When you have a high level of belief in your ability to do a particular thing, your entire being is imbued with a belief that silently says, “If I am incredibly good at this one thing, why can’t I be good at everything?”

Confidence in any endeavor naturally and automatically creates a belief system that you can probably also do other things well. This lowers levels of stress and anxiety, in addition to removing your fear of failure. You are accordingly willing to take more risks, try new things, and learn new skill sets, which leads to higher levels of achievements in any course of action you decide to undertake.

Your Confidence Helps Others Succeed

Have you ever been around a supremely confident individual? If you spend enough time around that person, you will unconsciously develop a stronger self-image. Consciously you may have thought, “How can I also develop such a high level of belief in myself?” On the unconscious level however, your mind is already going to work lowering your risk aversion, dropping your levels of anxiety and stress, and increasing levels of hormones and other chemicals which boost confidence.

You may have heard people refer to a single athlete that makes everyone else on the team better. This is how incredibly powerful confidence is. It is viral, but in a good way, leading to higher levels of achievement and self-esteem wherever it is found.

Coupled with the fact that “actions speak louder than words”, self-confidence seen in one individual shows others what is possible. When you see someone who is comfortable with who they are, a person who is always positive, happy and smiling, who seems to never let anything ruin their mood, you can’t help but begin to feel the same way.

This natural law of confidential influence can be used to elevate performance, and accordingly the achievements, or any group of individuals. You can use it to help your children feel good about themselves, a mental state which leads to improved social interaction and better grades in school.

If you’re the head of a corporation, sales group, local charity, sports team or any other collection of human beings working towards a common goal, displaying confidence automatically raises your chances of success and achievement.

Look at people who are super-confident. How do they stand? What is their body language like? How do they talk or communicate? How do they walk? Mirror these behaviors yourself, and you will notice you automatically feel more capable and successful. Once you firmly believe you can confidently undertake any task or approach any endeavor successfully, you pass this supercharged self-belief on to others around you.

Top Five Tips for Achieving a Successful Mindset

Want to start changing your life? Then you need to change yourself. You are in the position you’re in right now because you chose to be there. You might not realize that you chose it but even through your inaction, you in fact did. The job you have right now, your financial circumstances and nearly every other aspect of your life is a matter of choice – and if you wanted to, you could go out there and change everything today. You just need to take action!
But if you really want to make a change and you want to st
art by changing your mindset, how do you know where to start? What is it you need to change in order to achieve a successful mindset? Here are five top tips that will help make that transformation much easier…

Find Your Own Path
Most of us have a clear idea of what success means but this is an idea that we have inherited from our schools and our parents. This is not really our version of success and as such, it’s not going to be what we’re passionate about and it won’t give us that fire and drive to wake up early in the morning to work on our projects.
In order to be truly successful, you need to find your own path and that is going to mean forgetting what others think and finding what makes you happy.

Take Risks
Learning to take risks is a difficult step but if you’re going to achieve the things you really want in life, you need to take the leap sometimes. Learn to take measured, calculated risks.

Be Prepared to Fail
Taking risks means being prepared to fail. In this instance, you need to learn how to manage failure and take it on the chin. Pick up the pieces and go again for round two!

Find the ‘Essence’ of What Drives You
Sometimes success doesn’t come in the form we expect. Sometimes we don’t know what we need to be happy. That’s why it can be useful to break down our dreams to their essence. What is it about that idea that appeals to you and what’s the easiest way to get there?

Invest in Yourself
Knowing how important that passion is to you, you now need to invest in yourself and be willing to spend both time and money on everything from your appearance to your skill set. There is no better investment that investing in you!

Top Five Challenges of Creating a Success Mindset

‘Create a success mindset’ they say.
‘Just go after the things you want in life’ they say!
‘Take risks’ they say…

It’s a shame it’s not always that easy right? The road to a success mindset is one wrought with obstacles and many of these are things that nobody likes to talk about. It doesn’t fit the narrative. It’s time we addressed them…

Here are the top five challenges of creating a success mindset:

You Don’t Know What You Want
This is a surprisingly common issue and one that rarely gets brought up. How can you go after what makes you happy if you don’t really know what that is? How can you find a goal and stick to it when you fear commitment?

Having Weird Aims
Or what if you know what you want in life but your aims are just too weird or unattainable? What if you don’t want to start a business, travel or start a family. What if you want to be an acrobat? And you’re 60? What if everyone will laugh at you?

Being Conflicted
Or how about being torn between travelling and settling down with the person you love? What if your heart is genuinely pulling you in two different directions? What if going after your dream, means saying goodbye to people you love, or turning your back on the things that made you who you are?

Being Honest With Yourself
We are prideful creatures and our very psychology is wired in such a way as to protect our fragile egos. We don’t want to admit to our failures and we don’t want to feel like we’re going backward.
And so when we realize that we’re unhappy with what we have in life, it can be very hard for us to be honest and admit that – to ourselves or to others!

Responsibility to Others
It’s easy to say that you should take a leap and apologise later but what if people are really relying on you to be mature and stable? What if your goal is to go travelling but your wife just got pregnant?
Yes, there are ways around this too – you can explain how important this is to you and convince her to come with you. But it won’t always work. And at the end of the day, you’re always going to be giving your child a less stable home.

There are answers to all these problems of course – but just know that the path isn’t as simple as some would have you believe!

Top Five Benefits of Having a Success Mindset

Are you ready to start getting more out of your life and to start getting the results you want? For many of us, success is a very slow process and one that involves a huge amount of work and effort. For others though, it all seems to come very naturally. We all know those people, the ones who seem to have the Midas touch – who seem to strike lucky no matter what they do. What’s their secret?

There are many answers to this question but the biggest thing these people often have going for them is a ‘success mindset’. Once they change the way they think, they can change their fortunes – and the rest just falls into place.

It’s making that cognitive shift that will help you to start making the progress you want to see in your life. And here are five of the biggest ways that changing your outlook can change your fortunes…

Problems Become Challenges
A success mindset turns problems into challenges. It means that you stop seeing setbacks as the end of the world and start seeing them as new opportunities to kick ass and take names! When you take this approach, nothing can stand in your way!

And Failures Become Learning Experiences
You might have this idea in your head that highly successful people can never put a foot wrong or make a mistake. That’s far from the truth though. However, what makes failure very different for those with a success mindset is that they don’t see it as failure. They see it as a chance to try again – now with new information!

You Feel Amazing
When you genuinely believe you can do anything, it doesn’t just affect the way you walk around the office and conduct yourself in business – it changes the way that you present yourself and feel about yourself. In short, you feel awesome.

You Become Instantly More Attractive
What is the secret to attractiveness in both genders? You guessed it: confidence!

You Finally Start Getting What You Want
Finally though, when you adopt a success mindset and everything that comes with that, you’ll finally start to get what you want. Better yet, it won’t seem like an impossible task anymore. Once you give off that iron self-belief, others will start to believe in you too. When you have a clear goal and mission, anything becomes possible. It’s just a matter of time.

Ten Tips to Set Your Mind for Success

Want to give your mind a kick up the backside and put it into 5th gear? These ten tips will help you shift your paradigm into a success mindset. Here goes…

1 View failure as a learning opportunity
Don’t view failure as a crushing defeat but rather as a chance to learn and to come back stronger!

2 View obstacles as challenges
Likewise, try to view problems as challenges to be overcome. This will just make your victory all the sweater.

3 Don’t choose between two things
When trying to choose between two things that you really want, the best answer is always to find a way that you can make them both happen.

4 Don’t let others define your success
Too many of us have one set view of what success looks like and we struggle to see it in any other way. Success is doing whatever it is that makes you happy. Don’t worry if that just so happens to make other people raise their eyebrows!

5 Invest in yourself
Investing in yourself is the most important way to start achieving more. This is the best way to spend money and the best way to spend time. Develop your skills, buy a suit and fix that hair!

6 Act like you’ve already won
Acting like you’ve already won is the best way to empower yourself to be stronger and more successful. When you do this, you give off an aura of success that makes others gravitate to you!

7 Know yourself
Know yourself and be honest about what you want, who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

8 Avoid toxic people
Avoid the people in your life who are constantly telling you what you can’t do, who are making you feel bad about your dreams…

9 Surround yourself with positive people
Likewise, surround yourself with positive people and surround yourself with people who share your vision and can help it grow!

10 Do what you are most passionate about
The simplest way to be successful in life, is to put more effort it. That means being willing to get up earlier, to work harder and to work smarter toward that goal.
But this shouldn’t feel like work. Why? Because it should be something that you absolutely love. Spending your life working hard on something you don’t care about is a waste and when you find your passion, you’ll find it unlocks boundless energy and enthusiasm.

3 Self Esteem Activities for Adults

Low self-esteem is an issue that almost everyone encounters at some point in their life. Unlike most real world problems, self-esteem isn’t always the easiest issue to solve, and can often be difficult to talk to others about.

There are many activities to help people overcome their self-esteem issues, and here are three easy steps to a higher self-esteem. First, you have to realize that with a low self-esteem, you are more prone to looking at all of the negatives about yourself rather than focusing on what you have going on for you.

Make a list of a couple of positive aspects in either your life, or just your day to day events that went well for you. Physically writing down these positive notes will make you focus more on the things that are going well in your life, rather than emphasizing all of the negatives.

Writing down events or traits that you like about yourself will also show you what makes you happier and when your mood is elevated, which could lead to more positive habits if you continue to chase these positive moments and traits.

Now that you have set up a base level of positive traits about yourself, begin to set short term goals that you can reach, and will benefit you as a person. These goals can be anything that you put your mind to – whether it’s walking more to get in better shape, generally eating better, learning something new at work, picking up a new hobby such as painting, or reconnecting with positive people from your past.

Not only will you feel better about reaching goals, but if the goal is set to bring about a positive outcome in you, then you will also reap self-esteem growth, too. Don’t be afraid to make the goals as small as you want.

Even cleaning the kitchen or mowing the lawn can be a win as long as you know it’s achievable and you feel good about making progress. These smaller goals will pick up the momentum to grow your self-esteem even faster.

After acknowledging your positive traits, things that are going well for you, and achieving wins for yourself, you now have the ball rolling, and it’s time to reward yourself as the third self esteem boosting activity.

Go do something that’s fun or relaxing for yourself because overcoming self-esteem isn’t an easy task and you’ve earned it. Not only do you get to treat yourself to something nice like a pedicure, ballgame, or your favorite restaurant, but you also set yourself up to be in a good mood throughout the week.

Being in a better mood will give you a higher chance of thinking positively about your life, and raise your self-esteem. Seeing things in a positive light helps you see everything with less negativity.

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