No-one in this world is born 100% confident. We are all human and we all experience times of uncertainty, self-doubt, and let’s face it, fear. Feeling uncomfortable in social situations is extremely common and can range from a slight sense of awkwardness to anxiety to outright panic. If you feel that you lack confidence – to any degree - just knowing that you are not alone can be a huge first step toward resolving your confidence issues. While it is relatively easy to hide one’s inner turmoil, many people suffer from outward physical signs of nervousness – blushing, sweating, stammering, or breathlessness. The fact that these symptoms are clearly visible to others only worsens the confidence problem – now we also have the dread of when those physical symptoms might next appear. We can feel helpless and out of control, as though our bodies are betraying us. This further lowers our confidence in ourselves. It’s important to remember that these physical manifestations are intrinsically bound with our psychological confidence issues. Patiently addressing your mental state will naturally eliminate the physical symptoms. There are many tactics you can use to boost your self-confidence. However, these are not quick fixes or magic bullets. You have to work at becoming more confident, but the rewards are boundless. These are ways in which we can train our minds to behave in a more confident fashion. This sounds contrived, but in time the training becomes reality, and you will emerge a more confident, happy person. Make a list of all the qualities you wish to have. For example: to be relaxed, a good conversationalist, more open, more friendly, to feel easy and comfortable with individuals or within a group, to enjoy parties, work events and dates. Consider someone you admire, someone you believe has many of these characteristics. Now think about yourself with that same quality of admiration and respect. Consider your best traits. Consider ways in which, already, you ARE good company, a good friend, a loving person. Whenever you have a negative thought about your own confidence, actively replace it with a positive one, such as ‘I like meeting people.’ ‘I enjoy being with friends.’ ‘Work events are a good opportunity to relax and get to know my work-mates.’ Even if you have doubts, keep supplying your mind with these positive, rather than negative, messages. When it comes to dates and other social encounters, keep the following points in mind: Before the event: Don’t assume the evening is going to be a disaster. Tell yourself it will be fun. Envision yourself having a great time and getting on really well with your date. Before you go out, dress and groom yourself well so that you can feel confident about your appearance. Think positively about yourself and your date. Your date is not the enemy! He or she is might well be nervous too. On the date: Stand or sit up straight, make relaxed eye contact, and smile in a friendly way. Be yourself – trying to be someone else will come across as insincere. Listen to your date instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next. If there’s a pause, ask a question. If you need to, make a list of questions beforehand. If you accidentally say something awkward, don’t beat yourself up. Roll with it! Be open about how you feel and be able to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember: you are a unique and wonderful person. There’s nobody like you, anywhere! Anyone would be lucky to share your special qualities.