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Adults building self confidence

By Marsha Maung

If you're a parent, you would have read about 1,001 articles and about a few dozen books on how important it is for kids today have confidence. Confidence says everything. When kids have confidence, they will learn better, they dare to go for things they believe in and they dare to make mistakes and learn from them.

Regardless of how much it all sound like hogwash (I know some people from the old school of thought sure thinks that confidence is OVER-RATED), when you have confidence in something, someone"yourself, you dare to forge ahead and take roads no one have ever taken before. This is not something hard to understand so, I won't go into it yet again on how to raise kids with healthy self-confidence. I think Dr. Miriam Stoppard has done a credible job in telling you how to build confidence in kids.

Now, how about adults? If you're like me, you're raised by parents who, essentially, belong to the old school of thought. Let's just summarize what "old school of thought means. People from the old school of thought basically focus on repetition and obedience. The more you obey, the better. The less you speak up, the better person you will be. In the old school of thought, confidence ranks right below finishing off every piece of scrambled egg on your plate.

TO be fair to my parents, I didn't get my rebellious nature from nowhere. I got it, I think, from my dad. He didn't conform to the norm, neither do I. So, I am raised by 1 old school of thought and 1 rebel. The rebel of those days is today's hero. They had the confidence of telling people off whenever they were wrong, instead of keeping quiet and hoping that someone else will tell the person off. So, in actual fact, people who had confidence are rebels today! Amazing, isn't it?

If you are one of those with low self-confidence level, it"ll show in the way you speak, the way you walk and through your entire body language. It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out, Your body is controlled by your mind. And if you don't have confidence in your mind, your body behaves that way. Everyone around you will react in a certain way towards you because of the way you behave. For example, people with low self-confidence level, you will usually pull your shoulder back, you hang your shoulders, your head will droop forward and you will tend to shuffle between one foot and the other.

You no longer have the opportunities like your children have. For kids, in order to build self-confidence, you provide them with a secure, supportive and understanding environment. You praise them when praise is due and you offer constructive criticisms in order for them to improve themselves. You no longer have that because you're an adult. So, you're going to have to learn how to do this yourself.

Relax and de-stress.

People with low confidence level are often people who are stressed out. They're so harsh and strict on themselves that they tend to bring their own self-confidence down without anyone else helping them to! So, the first thing you will need to do is to relax and de-stress in the evening".after work or three times a week. Whatever works for you. Yoga is good, you can try that if you want. Self-hypnosis is fab too. But if you don't have a budget for all those fancy classes, switch on some relaxing music and just sit there, with your legs cross, concentrate of breathing. Focus on every single breath you take and feel the anger and the confusion dissipate with every single breath you exhale.

It's going to feel a little bit awkward in the beginning, but after a couple of tries, I am sure you will get this right.

Focus on the positive

Take a good look at a book entitled "A woman in your own right by Anne Dickson. The book will teach you how to acquire skills that helps you focus on the positive side of things even in the most adverse situations. The author takes you on a ride of self discovery and adventure that will help you find extremely simple and practical solution to living life with full confidence.

Let's also look at things this way, you can't lack confidence in EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of your life! If you're not confident in front of an audience, let's focus on your behind-the-scene skills. If you're not a good speaker, let's focus on your writing skills. Whatever you lack confidence in, drive your focus AWAY from the subject matter. And then refocus your attention on whatever that is that you're good at.

Mingle around

Even if you're not a social butterfly (very few of us are actually BORN social butterflies), in an effort to build your own self-confidence level, you should consider attending more parties and mingling around with the crowd. If you're successful, congratulate yourself and give yourself a presence. If your self-confidence level shows, try again at the next party. Do NOT give up until you've successfully mingles around with at least 5 strangers at one party.

Paying attention to your health and looks

I know it sounds corny. The desperate housewife seeks attention from others because she lacks self-confidence"blah blah blah. But it's not all hogwash. It's true. The more attention you pay to the way you look, the more confident you become. You don't have to be a supermodel to look good. The way you dress, coordination of outfits, hair, makeup, accessories, your body language"they say a lot about you"about your self confidence level.

Go ahead and try to be as gorgeous as you want.


They say it all the time and I am beginning to sound like a broken record. Go exercise and you'll feel a boost of energy that you won't believe you are capable of. Trust me, I am talking from experience. People tell me to go join a gym and I will feel better and I say, "Go get a life! I don't need a gym to feel alive!"

But you know what? It's true. After all of that, I have to eat my words. Joining a gym changed my life - it changed me from inside out. I feel livelier, I have energy, I walk faster, talk louder, speak with more confidence. And it all adds up, like a layered cake.


I know it sounds either impossible or not necessary"but trust me, it will do you a world of good. When you're more confident, you're capable of achieving much more than you can imagine. Why give a half-hearted effort at living? Give it your all, right?

© 2005 Marsha Maung

About The Author
Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from her home in Selangor, Malaysia. She loves nothing more than blowing bubbles in the park with her 2 kids, Joshua and Jared. She designs apparel and premium items at and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". View products at

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