Whether you have more or less of it, we’re all aware that confidence plays a significant role in our lives. It can change the way we act at work, socially and not to mention, in our love lives, where our level of self-confidence can be the difference between attracting a partner or repelling one.
The question is, what is the ideal level of confidence? Those who've struck a healthy balance of confidence seem to have an unusual charisma -- you find yourself drawn to them, or at the very least, intrigued.
They have an uncommon level of comfort in whichever situation they find themselves in. You often feel more relaxed in their presence, which leads you to want to be around them more.
There are countless webpages dedicated to boosting confidence (yes, I realize this one can be added to the pile), hundreds, if not thousands of self-help books and so many motivational speakers out there that it’s a wonder how anyone could ever feel bad about themselves.
However, all of these self-help tools seem to have one recurring theme:
Healthy is the operative word here. There seems to be a conventionally accepted standard as to how much confidence is deemed attractive. There is such a thing as too much confidence. We’ve all met someone who comes across as over-confident.
These people can be overbearing, egoistic, self-important and generally too self-absorbed for us to want to be around them.
They often think they are more important than others around them. These people are too self-assured and the very definition of arrogance.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ve also come across the individual who seems to have a severe lack of self-esteem. This person comes across as meek, uneasy and seemingly uncomfortable in his or her own skin. When around this type of person, we may feel sympathy, indifference or just plainly forget we’ve even met.
This is in stark contrast to what you may feel when meeting someone arrogant. However, it's similar in the way that we’re not very likely to be attracted by a level of low confidence, just as we’re not very likely to be attracted by an overly high level of it. So where is the balance?
There will, of course, be a few of us who find arrogance and low levels of confidence attractive. In both cases, it seems to arouse curiosity: "There must be a reason why he’s so full of himself," or "I wonder why she’s so shy." Both stem from the need to unravel an enigma.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and between confidence and timidity. Where are these blurred lines and how do we stay within the optimal levels of confidence, where just the right amount of charisma, self-assurance and self-belief lie?
Here are a few methods to help you find those lines:
Accept Yourself For Who You Are: Perfections And Imperfections
Confidence comes from within, and self-acceptance is key. If you don’t like who you are, you’re not giving anyone else the chance to like you. We all have things we like and don’t like about ourselves, things we’re good at and things we’re not so good at.
Accept the things you like about yourself, roll with them and accentuate them. Work to improve what you don’t like about yourself, and remember that everyone has imperfections.
Have faith in your own thoughts and actions without second-guessing yourself, and without overvaluing your own worth against the worth of others. Remember, no one is perfect; if everyone were, things would be a lot more boring.
Identify Your Successes, Learn From Your Failures
Think about your past successes and how it felt when you accomplished something, or that feeling of achievement you felt when you got that grade or landed that job. Remember how you stood taller and how people seemed to gravitate toward you?
Conversely, recall a time when you didn’t quite get what you wanted. Why didn’t you get it? What could you do better next time? If you were in the same situation, would it turn out differently? Even those who seem super-confident have had their fair share of failures.
Your confidence isn’t influenced by how many times you’ve fallen; it’s influenced by how many times you got back up and kept on going.
Thankfulness And Gratitude
This goes a long way. Being grateful for what we have is often a rare tendency. When it does cross our minds, though, it has a powerful effect, bringing about a strange feeling of satisfaction. This feeling of peace and satisfaction is the first step to having self-confidence and finding peace within yourself.
As the universal language of the human race, the power of the smile is often underestimated. Smiling is linked to happiness, and happiness is linked to confidence. If you’re confident enough to smile and interact positively with everyone you meet, you must have a healthy level of confidence.
Fake It Till You Make It
If you’re finding any of the above difficult, there’s a simple alternative for you: Fake it. In today’s social media-obsessed world, the members of Gen-Y are under more pressure than ever to appear to be at our pinnacle of self-assurance at all times, which can get exhausting.
Faking confidence isn’t easy to begin with; it requires you to come out of your comfort zone. But oddly enough, after a certain amount of faking it, you actually start to develop confidence.
It’s because you’re putting yourself out there and leaving your comfort zone that you’re forced to learn, grow and build self-belief through experience.
Through faking the things mentioned above, you unknowingly start doing them, anyway.
In this way, this step is probably the most powerful of all, because that confidence will creep up on you and before you know it, you’ll genuinely be the charming, charismatic person that people are drawn to wherever you go.
Photo Courtesy: Tumblr