“Be confident” is easier said than done, right? It’s easy to tell the girl who always dates bad boys that she deserves better. It’s also easy to tell the nice guy to be bolder. But someone telling you to be confident doesn’t tell you how to be confident.
Confidence is everything when it comes to dating. It’s that thing gives you the courage to break up with the person who you know isn’t quite right for you, even though you know if you do, you’ll be alone. Confidence is that thing that makes you walk away when the person you’re dating doesn’t do the things he or she says she will. Confidence gives you the power to set your dating standards and never accept less.
Confidence is also that inner spirit that tells people that you’re happy to be yourself. It’s that courage to engage with strangers and the curiosity that drives you to connect with people. Confidence shows in the way you walk, the way you talk and the way you make eye contact with people. Confidence is sexy.
The good news is, if you aren’t feeling confident, you can grow to be confident. But confidence doesn’t come from just telling yourself you’ll be different. It comes from doing things differently. If historically, you’ve always dated the same type of person, even though that type of person isn’t good for you, you can build confidence by choosing to date other types of people.
You build confidence by doing. So, if your intuition is telling you that your life could be better, it’s probably right. Here’s how to build confidence.
If flirting makes you so nervous that you go mute when you encounter someone you’re attracted to, don’t create a gigantic goal like “I’m going to have a boyfriend by the end of the week.” You’ll set yourself up to fail. Instead, start small. Create an attainable goal.
If you have a crush on the barista where you get your morning coffee and you’ve never said any words other than “Latte please” and “thank you” to that person, make a point of smiling and saying, “Good morning.” Chances are, your barista crush will smile and wish you a good morning too.
When you make eye contact with someone and smile and they smile back, give yourself a pat on the back. Not only did you have the guts to dare to do something that scares you, you got a positive result. That’s a win. Celebrate it!
As you smash all your little goals, you’ll start feeling more confident. With every little win, you’ll get a little high. Push yourself by stretching your comfort zone and setting bigger goals. Maybe you’ll set a goal to introduce yourself to three people per week. Maybe you’ll dare to ask for someone’s phone number. Maybe you’ll call someone you’re attracted to. Whatever the next step is, take it.
As you set new goals and reach them, your brain will start to change. Instead of following the lifelong patterns your nervous system is used to following, your brain will learn that it’s safe to take new routes. After all, if you smile and say, “Good morning,” to your barista crush and that person doesn’t respond positively, you can still celebrate the fact that you dared to do it. With practice, instead of experiencing panic, you will experience pleasure when extending yourself.
The bottom line is dating takes practice. So does building confidence. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel. And you’ll find that the confidence you gain doesn’t only apply to dating. Your new found confidence will affect the way you handle yourself at work. It will affect the way you deal with that one toxic family member. Confidence will positively affect all of your relationships.