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 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.