Last week, I gave you six tips to instantly boost your confidence. This week, I give you three exercises to kick your confidence into overdrive.
Many people (myself included) have a hard time talking to random people, so here are three different exercises (starting from easiest and going to hardest) that you will do to boost confidence.
Exercise 1: The Quick Compliment
This one is quick (hence the title) and relatively easy. When you walk by someone, give them a brief compliment. Say something nice to someone, as many as possible. Some ideas include:
The benefits of this exercise? You develop confidence in talking to people, you help the other person feel better about themselves, and it’s pretty low risk (no one is going to hate a compliment unless you are being extremely creepy).
Exercise 2: Add a question
This exercise is essentially the same as before, except now you are adding a question to the end. This invites follow up dialogue and leads to a conversation. For example:
Cool shoes. Where’d you get them?
Great hat! Is it new?
Gorgeous dog. What’s it’s name?
Beautiful laugh. Are you having a good day?
Similar to exercise one, your confidence will increase even more, you now move into the realm of conversation (which is awesome), and it’s still low risk.
Exercise 3: Get phone numbers (from The 4 Hour Work Week)
“Being sure to maintain eye contact, ask for the phone numbers of at least two (the more you attempt, the less stressful it will be) attractive members of the opposite sex on each day. Girls, this means you’re in the game as well, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 50+. Remember that the real goal is not to get numbers, but to get over the fear of asking, so the outcome is unimportant. If you’re in a relationship, pretend to gather information for Greenpeace. Just toss the numbers if you get them.”
“Go to a mall if you want to get some rapid-fire practice—my preference for getting over the discomfort quickly—and aim to ask three people in a row within 5 minutes. Feel free to use some variation of the following script.”
“Excuse me. I know this is going to sound strange, but if I don’t ask you now, I’ll be kicking myself for the rest of the day. I’m running to meet a friend [i.e., I have friends and am not a stalker], but I think you’re really [extremely, drop-dead] cute [gorgeous, hot]. Could I have your phone number?”
This one isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. Go up and talk to a random, attractive girl (or guy) and ask for a phone number? For most people, this sounds traumatizing. But think about it: worst case, she says no, and you’re exactly back where you started. You haven’t lost anything by trying. Plus, when you do get a number, you are going to feel on top of the world.
Need some more examples of confident guys? Well here are 4 of the most confident males characters in movies:
James Bond – If you have ever seen a Bond movie, you know exactly what I mean. Bond exudes confidence. He moves from place to place, always sure of himself, not backing down. He is calm and collected, even in the face of grave danger.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man) – Audiences have fallen in love with Tony Stark because of his witty humor, his willingness to confront others, and above all else, his absolute belief in himself
Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith in Hitch) – Hitch is a professional date doctor who helps men woo women. He is willing to go up and talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere. He holds eye contact and listens well
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson in Taken) – Early into the movie, we see an example of absolute poise: when his daughter is taken hostage and Mills is on the phone with the kidnappers, he calmly tells them, “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” Boom
Confidence is tough. The media so often tells us that we aren’t good enough, that we should be taller, faster, richer, thinner, or better. If we get caught up in this endless cycle, we will never be good enough, which makes us feel inferior, and then our confidence falters. As I have shown, it is definitely possible to increase your confidence. For way too long, I was an awkward, scared teenager who lived life on the outside looking in. A combination of growing up, going to college, and being sick of the status quo/taking action has made my life so much better. I haven’t looked back.
If you are struggling with confidence, it doesn’t have to be this way. However, you have to take action. There is no magic fairy that is going to come along and sprinkle you with confidence dust. There is no magic genie that will grant you a wish of instant confidence. It’s going to take effort and a bit of risk on your part. I believe in you. You’re more beautiful and more capable than you think. But it doesn’t matter if I think the world of you. It’s up to you.
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