Confidence. We all need more of it. But becoming more confident isn’t a trick—you can learn this important skill. We spoke with Stacie Bloom who debunks the myth that our brains have set, unchangeable pathways, and assures us that it’s never too late to become more confident.
Here are some of Stacie’s tips to help you train your brain to embrace real confidence.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself successful in whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if it’s running a marathon or finishing a research paper. Meditate and really envision doing it. This helps engage the pathways in your brain that involve motivation and pleasure. It’s your internal reward system. There’s a reason why coaches give their teams a pep talk before a game—it’s to boost their confidence and improve their performance. Be your own coach and give yourself a pep talk.
Exercise Your Brain
For a long time scientists believed that the brain was inflexible—that once we lost our neurons, we couldn’t get them back. More recently we’ve found out that’s not true. Everything we learn and memorize changes our brain. There are synaptic connections that are altered at the cellular level when we take in something new or create new habits. Take advantage of this, practice self-affirming behaviors.
Seeing images of real women and women in high positions of power in the media helps break down previously held beliefs and biases. You can’t make personal adjustments unless you realize that you’re short-changing yourself—know your worth.
Let Confidence Go Viral
It’s easy to put ourselves down, but confidence is contagious. I’m more likely to step up and say, “I feel really great about myself,” or, “I feel beautiful” if I see other women around me doing the same. Make a decision to be confident as a woman and let it have a domino effect on others.
You Are Limitless
If someone said, “Well I’m 50 years old and I never really exercised. Should I start going to the gym now?” Unanimously, everyone would say yes! The same goes for confidence—there’s no deadline. Start practicing now and build yourself up for the rest of your life. From 26 letters in the English alphabet, we can communicate an unlimited amount of information. The brain has a finite number of elements but we can achieve limitless possibilities.
I have seven-year-old twins and a five year old, all girls. I’m upfront with my boss about what I need. I work very hard, but if my kids have an art show, a concert, or a parent-teacher conference, then I don’t miss them. Likewise, if I have an important deadline at work or a project to do, I don’t miss those either. I am not a person who lets things fall through the cracks and I appreciate working for someone who values my overall contribution to the job, not just the number of hours I sit at my desk.