We value it more than sex, according to one study. Another study of over 500 students, academics and workers led by Professor Cameron Anderson at the University of California and reported in The Telegraph, found that those who appeared more confident achieved a higher social status than their peers. The study suggests that the secret sauce to career success is not expertise, but confidence. A separate study, conducted by Don Moore at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as reported in the New Scientist, puts forward similar findings: confidence is preferred to expertise.
If your confidence is currently as low as a snake’s belly, how do you go about increasing this prized trait? Below are four research-backed ideas to help you gain in inner confidence.
#1 Enter Competitions
According to neuropsychologist Ian Robertson, author of The Winner Effect, tiny victories build confidence on a biological level. Each achievement sprouts androgen receptors in the brain’s reward-and-motivation areas. The more receptors you have, the more testosterone will influence you and you‘ll become bolder in subsequent situations – especially if those situations are familiar to you. Although it’s true that the brain boost was observed in mice, some evidence suggests it also applies to humans. If, however, the thought of entering public competitions fills you with horror, try a website such as Lumosity, whose brain-boosting exercises encourage you to compete against yourself.
#2 Blog Your Innermost Feelings
A study by researchers at the University of Haifa, Israel, suggests that blogging our deepest feelings is confidence building. After a couple of months, students who took part in the study and who posted intimate details about their lives online at least twice a week exhibited the greatest improvement in self-confidence when compared with the students who did nothing or who maintained just a personal diary; even more so when their (anonymous)blogs received supportive comments.
#3 Channel your Inner Poirot
Get stuck into a good mystery novel and try to find ‘whodunit’. However, make sure the case isn’t too difficult to solve. An interesting Ohio State University Study found that people whose self-confidence was low received a boost when the suspect turned out to be the person they had suspected all along. However, those whose self-confidence was already high did not experience such a boost when their ‘whodunit’ suspicions were confirmed. If you don’t know where to start, try mysteryscene mag.
#4 Push your Physical Limits
Go on. Just one more press-up… One more crunch…even if it seems too much to contemplate. To bulk up your lean self-esteem you’ll need to extend your usual exercise routine for a few more minutes than usual, according to a study by Jaclyn Maher at Penn State University, reported in Science Daily. The study suggests that if you make the extra effort when your ego is low, it will strengthen your feeling of control, which boosts self-esteem. If your exercise routine currently consists of no more than a walk to the corner shop, push yourself to go to one that’s several streets away.
So instead of going back to school or taking night classes try one of the methods mentioned above to get ahead in your career. That boost to your self-esteem to make or break your future career success.