Genuine self-confidence. It’s the thing we’d all love to have, and love to pretend that we do. When it’s there, it makes daily life that much brighter, and when it’s not, even the smallest of setbacks can send us into a tailspin of negativity and depression.
To me, self-confidence is defined as an acceptance and love for your true self, and ultimately the ability to always be you in both private and public settings.
Given how awesomely unique we all are, you’d think that being ourselves would be seen as a privilege, but instead we live in a world where individuality is largely regarded as a curse. Rather than accentuating and celebrating our differences, we actively look to mask them as whatever is either currently trending or will help us fly under the radar of notice.
In this world, self-consciousness rather than self-confidence seems to be the norm, and I can’t help but think that the increasing number of cases of anxiety and depression are a byproduct of this.
So how can we tip the scales in favor of the more desirable state of being? Having read dozens of self-help and personal development books, all loaded with ways to help you fall in love with yourself, the best tried and tested technique I’ve come across is to make a point of regularly boosting the self-confidence of others.
Yes, I am suggesting that you not only take notice of the things that you admire and appreciate in others, but that you also outwardly acknowledge them.
Having been doing this for quite some time, I am consistently amazed not only by how much it can brighten another’s day, but also how it ripples into my view of myself. Through noticing, acknowledging, and choosing to appreciate even the smallest thing within someone else, you shift your mind out of negativity.
Rather than being threatened by and comparing yourself to the perceived “awesomeness” of another, you instead admire and are positively uplifted by it.
I’ve done things as simple as acknowledging a cashier’s patience in dealing with an upset customer, and as random as complimenting a stranger on how well put together his outfit was. Both of these gestures not only put an unexpected smile on the face of each of the recipients, but also inspired me to be more patient and to put a bit more time into my clothing decisions after seeing just how much of an impact it can make.
We all regularly notice things that we admire within others, and it is always our choice as to whether we let them inspire us or further damage our self-confidence by perceiving it as a seeming lack.
But before you start throwing compliments left and right, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that the self-confidence boosts that you dish out must be genuine! To give out an unfelt compliment for the sake of simply benefiting yourself will appeal to nothing but your forever hungry ego, which just so happens to be main culprit in your lack of self-confidence in the first place.
Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com