Self-confidence is a major key to success in both personal and professional relationships. It allows us to engage people while communicating openly and honestly without fear of rejection or excessive social inhibitions. Yet we all have dealt with rejections and insecurities in the past--how does one move past them and take steps to improve self-confidence? First, you must establish what you believe your insecurities to be. When it comes to social interactions, what are you afraid of? What makes you nervous or keeps you from communicating openly? Do you fear meeting new people? Are you worried that your opinion will be disregarded? Do you have body image issues? Isolate the characteristics of social interaction that most bother you, and then you have an idea of where to begin. Now you can concentrate on ways to improve self-confidence by reducing the number and severity of your insecurities.
First, remember that you aren't alone in experiencing social anxiety. All of us, no matter how well-seasoned we are at speaking or engaging with others, occasionally feel nervous in our relationships. The key is to keep this nervousness from being detrimental to our social lives. Some anxiety can actually be beneficial. If we're slightly anxious, we're more apt to choose our words carefully and pay close attention to others' body language as well as the physical signals we're projecting.
It may sound simplistic, but dressing well can improve self-confidence drastically. By paying attention to the way you look, you are communicating to the world that you've got your life together (even if sometimes it may feel like you don't!). Dressing well goes hand-in-hand with personal grooming, hygiene, and general fitness. If you are dissatisfied with your present body image, take steps to improve it by immediately changing the way you dress and groom yourself. This will help give you the self-confidence you need to make long-term healthy decisions about your general fitness. Consider implementing a training regimen to help boost cardiovascular fitness and blood circulation. Sustained cardiovascular exercise also causes the body to release several naturally mood-enhancing chemicals.
Finally, don't be afraid to talk to your loved ones. Being honest about social anxiety is extremely important, because communicating your fears openly is among the first steps in conquering them. Family, friends, and mental health professionals are all good choices here. Remember that you can improve self-confidence simply by refusing to let your anxiety and fear keep you from interacting with people in all the ways you desire.