The idea of talking to yourself in a mirror might seem downright silly. And chances are, if you struggle with self-confidence, you want to be spending as little time in front of the mirror as possible. But if you can get past the initial awkwardness, you can benefit from the fastest results from spending time with yourself and actively engaging in conversation.
The wrong way of building self-confidence
When a person is under-confident, it generally means that they crave validation, appreciation, or some kind of proof that they’re worthy of love and recognition. We can all think of at least one person in our life who can be called ‘attention-seeking.’ But in reality, a vast majority of people are underconfident, even if it isn’t blatantly visible.
Trying to seek approval from other people can manifest in indirect forms. You might find yourself working extra hours to get approval from your boss or going out of your way to do favors for people who wouldn’t do the same for you! We can really make ourselves suffer all for the quest of a few words of praise.
This behavior often stems from misunderstanding the alpha male meaning, where true confidence and self-assuredness come from within rather than seeking external validation. Shifting the focus towards self-approval and setting personal standards for success can free individuals from the exhausting cycle of seeking validation from others. It allows them to build a genuine sense of confidence that is not dependent on external praise and aligns more closely with the principles of an alpha male.
The sad part is — the praise never really feels that great! Like an ice cream that got over way too quickly, praise and approval taste sweet for a few moments; before we fall right back into feeling lousy about ourselves.
There has to be something that makes us feel better, for longer.
Why we listen to ourselves the most
Most of the time, the main reason why people are underconfident in the first place is that they have spent years thinking about self-derogatory and unkind thoughts about themselves.
When you think that you’re not good enough for so many years, the conscious brain forms a habit out of these thoughts and keeps re-visiting them with every new situation. That’s why it’s so tricky to build self-confidence. There are numerous incidents of overweight people who had low self-esteem but found that losing weight didn’t improve their mental health. They still had low self-esteem, probably even more than they did earlier.
The only way to get out of the rut of negative self-thoughts is to change your neural pathways. The only way you forget a previous habit is by forming a new one.
Continually talking to yourself in the mirror and saying good, positive things about yourself really works. And you might find it easier to say “I love you” in the mirror than saying “I love myself,” and that’s because we have a habit of being nicer to other people, not ourselves. Try to talk in the first person. “I am so smart.” “I am worthy of all the good things in life.”
“Every thought is either an investment or a cost.” T. Harv Eker
It will seem silly for the first few days. You will forget to do it sometimes, or even when you remember, you might get irritated with the entire process. It’s very hard to stay motivated. But try to stick with it! Give it 21 days of talking to yourself in the mirror every morning before you brush your teeth.
(I found it easier to do it when I brush my teeth in the morning and night because that’s something I never forget to do.)
Focus on starting with complimenting yourself, listing out the things you admire in yourself.
“I like that I have a good work ethic.” or “I’m a good person, and I always value the truth”. After that, you can spend a few moments chatting with yourself. Talk about how much you like the weather today or anything else positive that you can think of.
The key is to look right into your own eyes in the mirror. Try not to get distracted by that pimple that’s popped up on your chin or being critical of something else. You wouldn’t stare at your best friend’s pimple while they’re talking to you, would you? Treat your reflection with respect and talk to it directly without being mean.
After some time, you will notice results. They will be almost imperceptible initially, but you’ll end up looking forward to the time you spend looking into your own eyes.
It takes a bit of time to rework the way your brain thinks, but this is the only direct way to get your mind to start giving you the approval you need.
Once you spend time with yourself in the mirror, it creates distance. You’ll be less mean to yourself because you don’t want to hurt the person in the mirror. You’ll have started a long journey of self-love, one we must all undertake.
There is so much more to human potential than we give ourselves credit for. The mind is powerful, and if you’re planning to do something for self-improvement — you’re already on the right path.
Remember to stick with the process, and don’t expect instant results. In a month, your self-confidence will have improved because you’re finally getting the approval you always wanted: approval from yourself!
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