Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stand up for yourselfThis doesn't mean being aggressive, stroppy or rude, it's just expressing feelings, needs and wants simply, clearly and confidently. Why do most of us find it so hard to say what we think or want? 'It's because we think it's selfish, or we're afraid to say no,' says consultant psychologist Trevor Powell. One way of being assertive is to use 'I' statements to express yourself such as 'I feel really angry when you...', and then to say clearly what you'd like the other person to do or change.

Take small risksMost of us feel safe when we're on familiar ground, with friends we know and things we've done before. Psychologists call this our comfort zone'. We don't usually like stepping outside it because we feel we wouldn't be able to cope with the anxiety But taking a small 'risk' every day, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, is one of the best ways to boost confidence. Learn to cope with more. not less.

Be selfish'The word selfish has negative associations for most people,' says Trevor Powell. 'Many of us feel caring for ourselves is somehow self indulgent or wrong.' Not true. Making time for yourself, giving yourself time to relax, allowing yourself treats and rewards without feeling guilty about it, will all make you feel good about yourself - after all you're worth it.

Act as if...
Confidence is partly a question of practice. You may feel like jelly inside, but if you act as if you are confident - speak as a confident person would, adopt the body language, think the thoughts, carry out the actions and look the part then your real inner confidence will grow as a result.

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