Taking Action and Taking Risks That Lead To Social Success

I frequently say that social success builds up on a foundation of social confidence and good social skills.

Most people who lack the social life they want are in this position because they are lacking in these two departments. Social situations commonly make them feel nervous, and they are somewhat socially clumsy.

Fortunately, there are steps they can take in order to utterly change this. Social confidence and skills can be learned. It’s mostly a matter of training one’s mind to think in a new way, and building positive social habits. I describe this process in more detail in this special presentation.

This process does take some work though, as learning anything meaningful does. For shy and socially anxious people, this is where a lot of procrastination often comes in.

Although they feel lonely, although they crave a better social life, it’s common for them to postpone working on their social confidence and skills over and over again, and just try to distract themselves from their problems with TV, computer games, food, alcohol or daydreaming.

I understand this phenomenon. Years ago, when I realized I was socially insecure, I didn’t immediately start looking for a solution. At first I just waited, hoping this problem will go away on its own. It didn’t. Then when I eventually picked up a book on overcoming shyness, it took me months before I seriously started practicing what I had read in it.

I procrastinated a lot. But eventually I took the necessary steps to find a reliable solution for my social insecurities and I applied it consistently until I became the socially confident and capable person I wanted to be.

When I look at the shy and socially anxious people I talk to today as a social confidence coach, I see a similar issue of procrastinating and not taking action. Only sometimes it’s so acute it’s shocking even to me.

smile Taking Action and Taking Risks That Lead To Social SuccessSometimes I’ll have an email exchange with someone who’s been socially anxious for over a decade, and although they’ve read a bunch of advice over the years about overcoming this, they’ve yet to take even the first practical step for improving their confidence.

Considering how precious and short our time on this planet is, wasting so much of it is mind-boggling to me. Nevertheless, many people procrastinate for years before truly doing something to improve their social confidence. So I’m writing to hopefully help change that.

There are a few major reasons why we procrastinate in overcoming our social insecurities, which I’m gonna address one by one, and I’m gonna show you how to deal with them:

1. Delusional Hope

This is when a person thinks their shyness or social anxiety will just go away on its own, if they just wait. Kind of like a bruise on your arm that heals itself. Unfortunately, that rarely happens.

You see, the mind doesn’t work the same way the body works. Your body repairs itself. Your mind on the other hand reinforces the thinking, feeling and behavioral patterns you already have. So if your thinking is negative, you feel nervous in social settings, and you avoid social interaction, as time goes by this will only stay the same.

In order to change, you need to take conscious action and effectively re-condition yourself to think, behave and react emotionally in a different way. Here is my blueprint for doing this.

2. Lack of Hope

There are also many individuals who lack hope in the exact area where it’s important for them to have hope. I’m talking about the people who simply don’t believe they can overcome their social insecurities, so they choose to do nothing.

When a person tells me “I just don’t think I can overcome my shyness”, I will typically ask them “What makes you think that? Have you tried it multiple times and failed? Have you seen lots of people around you trying it and fail?” They’ll usually reply: “No, it’s just something that I think”.

That’s the kind of thinking that’s not rooted in concrete experience and has little to do with reality. The person thinks they can’t overcome their shyness just because their thinking is generally pessimistic, without solid proof to support it.

And this is the type of thinking that’s most toxic. It’s the kind of thinking that keeps folks stuck in jobs they hate, in mediocre relationships, in circumstances way below their potential, all while reality permits so many things to be achieved. It’s the kind of thinking not to be trusted.

I’m not saying that you should believe with certainty that you can overcome your social insecurities without proof (I believe it, but I have lots of proof). I’m just saying to have some hope that this is something that may possibly be done. And that possibility is what makes it worth trying. If other people have succeeded, why can’t you?

This leads me to my next point.

3. Not Wanting To Take Risks

For some, even when they think it might be possible for them to gain social confidence, it’s not enough to take action. Because the possibility of failure is also there, and they don’t wanna assume that risk. They aren’t willing to try something until they’re sure it’s gonna work. They want guarantees of success.

Interestingly enough, this is the precise kind of mindset that’s at the root of shyness and social anxiety.

You could say that shy and socially anxious people feel nervous in social situations and they don’t talk much because they’re afraid they’ll say something stupid or weird or boring, and they’re not willing to take that risk. So they end up watching from the sidelines as others talk, bond and have fun.

The fact of the matter is that in life, there are no guarantees. If you wanna achieve anything, you gotta be willing to take some risks.

You take risks by opening up and participating in social situations, and the reward is that you get to have a fun social life. You take risks by trying a solution for your insecurities that seems good after an external evaluation, and the reward is that you get to overcome your social insecurities. Even if that solution may not be ideal for you, because eventually you’ll get to the right one.

Somehow, this discussion all goes back to time. Time is the only finite resource you have. You don’t want to waste away years and years of it by waiting and delaying and avoiding risk, instead of working on overcoming your social insecurities and trying the solutions that exist. 

Trust me: years from now, when you’ll be looking back at your life, the biggest regret you’ll have is having procrastinated, not having taken more action and not having taken more risks. And the biggest satisfaction you’ll have is that of having put everything into it and tried all that you could to be the best person possible, and have the best life possible.

If you’re ready to take action for ending your shyness or social anxiety, get onboard my free social confidence newsletter, where I’ll share with you my top social advice, based on my experience as a former shy guy and my 6+ years as a social confidence coach. Click here to join it today.

And above all, end the procrastinating! Take action! The time is now. 

How to Stop Being Envious

Envy can be a real pain in the ass.

I’ve heard some people say that envy is good, because it gets you motivated to do great things in life, in order to be better than others. But I don’t really know about that. I find that envy does much more harm than good, and overall it’s something to overcome.

The Perils of Being Envious

First of all, I find this assumption that envy creates motivation to enhance your life to be severely flawed. In my coaching I often interact with people who are very envious, or people who themselves deal with other people who are very envious.

And more often than not, what envy actually creates is a strong tendency to backstab others, try and sabotage them, spread rumors about them or be passive-aggressive towards them. I guess it’s more convenient to try to pull somebody down than to lift yourself above them.

Second of all, even if envy motivates you to achieve something in life, it might be something you don’t really want. You just go for it because others have it. But it doesn’t make you intrinsically happier.

Think of all the people who work 80 hours a week, in a crappy job, so they can make more money than other people around them. And they eventually end up making more money, but then they find out that, besides the fleeting pride, more money doesn’t make them that much happier, and having more time for themselves would have been a much better path. It’s a very common situation.

envy How to Stop Being Envious

Plus, even if you surpass a person in one aspect of life, soon enough you’ll find another aspect where they’ve surpassed you. You’re making more money than they are, but they have a happier marriage than you. Bummer! Later you’ll find individuals who are making more money than you, so more envy gets triggered.

Because you’ll always find people who are better off than you in at least one area, you’ll always feel envious. You’ll be spending lots of time feeling angry and bitter towards others because they have something you don’t. Not a good way to live your life.

4 Ways to Get Over Your Envy

This being said, let’s look at how to stop being envious. Envy can be a deeply ingrained emotion, and overcoming it does require some smart strategies. You may wanna stop being envious just like that, but it’s not that simple.

In time, I’ve discovered that 4 strategies in particular work very well in overcoming envy. Here they are, one by one:

1. Stay Less Informed About Others

In today’s world we are encouraged to constantly keep in touch with every person we’ve ever met and know every detail of their life. We connect with others on Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets, and we find out what they’re wearing, what they’re eating, what parties they’re going to every day.

However, when we learn something about another person, it’s common to automatically compare ourselves to them. It’s pretty much human nature. And when we do, we are likely to find reasons to feel envious. So having too much info about other people’s lives stimulates envy.

There are actually studies that show, for instance, that spending a lot of time on Facebook leads to a decrease in overall life satisfaction, because of this very dynamic.

This is why it’s a good idea to avoid being too connected to the lives of a large number of people. Of course, keep in touch with friends and people you care about, learn about their lives, but don’t stay too informed about too many people. It’s bad for you.

2. Embrace Abundance

One reason why some of us feel envy very easily is because we are in a mindset of insufficiency. Consciously or not, we deem that there are very few resources in this world, and if others get a lot of them, there won’t be enough left for us.

If others make a lot of money, there won’t be enough left for us. If others date attractive women/men, we won’t have anyone attractive to date. Or so the logic goes.

But it’s a flawed logic. The truth is that while many resources are limited, the limits are placed somewhere very high. We do live in a world of abundance and frequently there is plenty to go around.

It’s an excellent idea to practice this way of thinking. Embrace the idea of abundance and don’t let your mind trick you into seeing false shortages. It will make you much more relaxed.

3. Learn to Like Yourself

Another typical reason why we are envious of others is because we don’t have a good opinion of ourselves. So when we find out something positive about another person, it acts as a reminder of our own shortcomings. And when you have a poor self-image, any such reminder hurts like hell.

Considering this, a big part of learning how to stop being envious is to improve your self-image and learn to like yourself. Not only that it will make you less envious, but it will transform your whole life for the better.

Improving your self-image is an entire psychological process, which entails dealing with several limiting belies. I don’t plan to discuss this process in detail here, but if you wanna learn more about how it works, I suggest you watch this instructional presentation, where I share my formula for improving your self-image and social confidence.

4. Build Stronger Relationships

You may have noticed that we don’t feel that envious when a close friend or a dear relative achieves something awesome. That’s because we are strongly emotionally connected to them and their success sort of feels like our success. So we are happy for them rather than envious o them.

This is why a great but often overlooked way to overcome envy is to build better, deeper relationships with people. Having lots of acquaintances and no real friends doesn’t make a fulfilling social life, and it predisposes you to feeling a lot of envy. Having good friends and acquaintances is the way to go.

Deepening your relationships with others does depend on having good social skills and a dose of social confidence. And lacking them is what prevents many folks from developing fulfilling relationships.

So if you wanna improve your social skills and confidence, I recommend that you join my free social confidence newsletter, where I share most of my advice on these key topics. I’m sure you’ll find the content you’ll be receiving from me very relevant for you.

Feeling envious rarely leads to good outcomes. If you often feel envious of others, my advice is to make overcoming this issue a priority. And if you know other people who easily get envious, try to help them work on overcoming this as well.

The resources to work effectively on overcoming envy do exist. I trust this article is one such resource. Start putting the ideas laid here into practice, and I’m certain you’ll like the results you’ll see.

Image courtesy of Romancement

Fear of People and How to Overcome It

Fear of people is more than an emotion. It’s actually a psychological condition, also known as anthropophobia, similar to shyness and social phobia. A person with this condition is afraid both of interacting with and being around other people.

The fear of people is more intense than shyness. The person with anthropophobia doesn’t just feel a bit of nervousness what chatting with someone. They are considerably afraid, and this intensity of emotions makes their condition more similar to social phobia.

But it is also different from social phobia in the sense that while someone with social phobia feels anxiety in social types of situations (for example, when being in a group, or talking to unfamiliar people, or speaking on stage), someone with anthropophobia feels anxiety when dealing with people in general, including people they’ve know for a long time, individually. So the range of the emotion is broader.

Predictably, the fear of people is a highly debilitating condition. A person who fears others in general finds it hard to interact with anyone and is unable to develop meaningful interpersonal relationships. And considering the crucial role positive social interactions and relationships play in our life, it’s unavoidable that this person frequently feels lonely, depressed and unfulfilled as a result of lacking these elements in their own life.

Symptoms and Causes

If you believe you or someone you know may suffer from anthropophobia but you’re not sure, a better understanding of this condition’s symptoms will probably clarify this for you.

Besides the obvious state of anxiety when dealing with others, there are several common symptoms of suffering from the fear of people. Individuals with this condition:

  • Feel strong anxiety in anticipation of a social interaction or event, often days in advance;
  • They typically have trouble holding eye contact with others, even with familiar people;
  • They often feel nausea or sickness when interacting with others or being around others;
  • Intense sweating, skin pallor or blushing are also common when dealing with other people;
  • They have constant thoughts of self-doubt and self-criticism when in social settings;
  • They avoid social events and interpersonal interactions, and often they even just avoid leaving the house;
  • They find the mere presence of other people highly energy draining, and talking with people even more so.
  • They seriously struggle with making conversation and being friendly with others.

What causes anthropophobia? It is believed that genetic predispositions do play a role, but it is not the dominant one. Early traumatic events from childhood regarding relating to people are often at the root of anthropophobia, but not always.

alone 300x300 Fear of People and How to Overcome ItPersonally, having coached multiple individuals with anthropophobia and studied a lot of the psychological research on this subject, I consider that multiple causes comes into play, but the most important one concerns negative experiences relating to others.

Sometimes these could be a few traumatic experiences dealing with others, other times they could be a lot more non-traumatic but still unpleasant experiences, other times it’s a combination of the two.

In any case, these negative social experiences, perhaps on a background of above average emotional sensitivity, make the person develop a very negative perception of people and interpersonal situations.

At a conscious or subconscious level, they have come to believe that other people are a threat to them, that they will judge them and hurt them. They have come to see themselves as unlikeable and inclined to attract the antagonism of others, and social settings as dangerous for them.

Thus, they fear people and they try to avoid them as much as they can. This is the only way they can feel safe. But sadly, this also makes them completely isolated socially and ultimately very unhappy with their lives.

How to Overcome the Fear of People

The good news is that the fear of people can be overcome. The fact this fear can be so intense and all-encompassing is not in any way an indicator that’s its permanent. With proper guidance and with some consistent work, you can stop fearing people and learn to enjoy social interactions.

In order to achieve this, what you need is to develop new, more constructive thinking habits regarding people and your relation to them. As these new ways of thinking skink in, your fear of people will dissipate.

In my experience as a confidence coach, there are two types of interventions that work in learning this new type of thinking habits.

1) Progressive Exposure. When you fear people, you are inclined to avoid them. Unfortunately, this only keeps the fear alive. In order to overcome it, it’s crucial to do the very opposite and expose yourself to social settings and interpersonal interactions more.

This process needs to be progressive in order to work well. You start small, with exposure to social situations that generate a relatively small amount of anxiety, and you advance steadily. Progressive exposure essentially acclimatizes you with dealing with people and thus it becomes comfortable.

2) Correcting Your Thoughts. In addition to progressive exposure, it’s also important to directly address those negative thoughts that make you fear people. This implies noticing them when they appear, recognizing what’s faulty about them and replacing them with more rational thoughts.

Essentially, you need to consciously practice thinking in a more constructive way. And with practice, this news way of thinking overpowers the old one and becomes second nature. And so the fear dissipates.

If you wanna learn more about this proven process for overcoming the fear of people and how to use it, I suggest you watch this instructional video where I go into more detail. The information I share in it is gonna be very valuable to you so make sure you watch it.

Qualified assistance in overcoming anthropophobia constantly proves very helpful. If you can work with a competent psychologist or psychotherapist or coach, you’ll make much faster progress and the whole process will be much easier.

At least, I recommend you join my free social confidence newsletter, where I will share with you more practical advice for triumphing over anthropophobia and act as your online guide in this process.

In closing, I encourage you to bear in mind that the fear of people is something you’ve learned. And anything that you can learn, you can unlearn. It’s easier said than done, but with effective action and perseverance, it can be done.

And it’s more than worth it. When you stop fearing people, you are able to get out of the house more, meet people, talk to them, make friends, build fulfilling relationships and have a great time with others. Your life will never be the same.

Image courtesy of David Ingram

How to Stop Being Needy

Do you often sabotage yourself by being needy? Whether this happens in job-related situations, around other people in general or around members of the opposite sex that you fancy, I want to let you know that you can learn how to stop being needy and solve this issue. Permanently.

Over the last several years, I’ve coached dozen of individuals who were needy and I helped them gain the self-confidence they desired. The fact of the matter is that being needy is a process, created in your mind by the way you think about yourself and others.

And you can reverse this process through proven psychological techniques, thus replacing neediness with sell-confidence. Here’s the gist of this procedure.

1. Build Trust in Your Strengths

First and foremost, you have to get in touch with you own strengths. Do some self-exploration and get to know your own strengths. Acknowledge them to yourself and become aware of their value in this world, for you or for others around you.

If you’re often needy, it’s almost certain that you don’t have a very good opinion of yourself, and that has a lot to do with seeing your flaws but not seeing your strengths. A big part of learning how to stop being needy is correcting this state.

The goal is for you to know our strengths better and trust them. Thus you’ll see yourself in a better light, which will make more things seem possible for you, which will automatically make you less desperate. There is a lot of power in seeing yourself in an overall positive way.

2. Think in Terms of Abundance

free How to Stop Being NeedyAlso common for people who are needy is a perception of shortage. “If I don’t get this job I will never find another one like it.” “If I don’t get this person to be with me, I will never find anyone like them.” This is how their routine thinking goes.

But this is never true. In reality, no matter how special an opportunity is, there are many other opportunities similar to it. That are many great jobs and great women/men out there, and this is something that you need to realize and internalize.

Put another way, in order to stop being needy and desperate, it’s essential for you to think in terms of abundance. To see this world as a world full of opportunities, in which when one door closes, another one opens. It is very much true. And this is a way of thinking that you can develop with practice.

But, this is not as straightforward a process as it may seem. There is an entire art and science to changing the way you think. To learn more about it, I recommend you watch this practical presentation right now, where I discuss it in more detail. It’s loaded with relevant confidence building advice for you.

3. Challenge Yourself

One of the amazing things about challenging yourself is that besides helping you be more confident, it also helps you stop being needy.

This makes a lot of sense. When you challenge yourself and you surpass these challenges (which one way or another you almost always do), you prove to yourself that you’re capable and you can rely on your won person.

This in turn builds the perception that you have many options in life, in dating, in your career, and so on. And that’s how to stop being needy in any of these areas.

Our regular tendency is to avoid challenge. Because challenges create struggle and sometimes generates anxiety. This tendency is especially true for people who are needy. So it’s crucial for you to correct this tendency and begin doing the very opposite.

Consistently challenge yourself. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, try new things, and take calculated risks. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve and how your image of yourself and of the world can change.

For more advice on how to stop being needy don’t forget to watch this video, and put into practice the ideas you’ve learned so far.

The truth is that you don’t have to be needy. It’s not a fixed personality trait. It’s a mere habit you’ve picked up over the years through some bad social conditioning. You can completely remove this conditioning and be the confident person you want to be. Many before you have managed to do so.

Image courtesy of blinkingidiot

Does Social Confidence Improve By Itself Over Time?

Our typical emotional reactions to certain types of situations often change over time, without us deliberately trying to change them. This applies for social confidence as well, which is a motive that gets many people who are shy or socially anxious asking themselves: will my social confidence improve over time, if I just wait?

Of course, it’s comforting to think that it does. All you have to do is wait, do nothing, and eventually you’ll stop being shy and be more confident. But could this be true? Here is my answer, based on my 5+ years of experience as a confidence coach.

First of all, in my experience, there is no universal rule. When people who lack social confidence do not attempt to change this, there are several directions their social confidence can take on its own: sometimes it does indeed improve on its own, other times it gets worse, and other times it stays about the same.

The General Rule

Nevertheless, there is a general rule. There is a trend that you’ll see happening in about 80% or more of the cases. And this trend is that, unfortunately, unless you do something to improve your social confidence, it will gradually get worse over time, not better.

It’s not only my experience. Other coaches or psychologists who work with people with shyness or social anxiety have noticed this phenomenon; and various longitudinal studies of people with shyness or social anxiety point to the same conclusion.

up down 300x300 Does Social Confidence Improve By Itself Over Time?Why is this? Here’s the explanation.

Over time, individuals who are at least moderately socially confident go out, meet people, have social interactions, and maintain an active social life.

Slowly but slowly, these experiences build their social skills and social intelligence. They get even better at understanding other people and relating to them, as well as understanding social dynamics and navigating them. This in time makes them even more confident.

Meanwhile, individuals who perceptibly lack social confidence avoid social events and they stay at home to play computer games or surf the net instead. Thus they get little social experience, so their social skills and social intelligence barely improve.

This widens the gap between their social competence and that of others around them. While others become more smooth and charismatic socially, learn how to be witty and read subtle social cues, they still don’t even know how to talk to people and hold a normal conversation.

And being aware of this widening gap, they feel even more nervous in social situations. The more they are left behind socially, the less socially confident they are. And that’s the sad truth.

The Biggest Exception

Out of all the exceptions, there is one big one though, which I would like to point out.

As I said, for some people, their social confidence does improve by itself over time. Most often, this is because they achieve success in some other area of their life and this improves their self-image.

For instance, maybe they achieve success in their professional life by constantly honing their job-related skills. They climb the career ladder, they get professional recognition or they make a lot of money.

This makes them feel better about themselves, and see themselves as more entitled to be liked by others. So they go into social settings with a newly discovered confidence, which makes it easier for them to have social interactions, which gets them more social experience, which gets them more social skills, which makes them even more confident, and a positive cycle ensues.

However, even this exception has its own big exception. Many times, even if a person does achieve great success in some other area of their life, it will not make them more socially confident at all.

Because as you already know if you’ve watched this instructional video I created, the correlation between your achievements in life and your social confidence is frequently very small. You can be the smartest, wealthiest and most capable person in the room, but your mind can still mess with you and make you feel like a loser.

This, along with the fact that the general rule is for social confidence to decrease over time if it’s already not very good, means that there is only one sensible thing to do if you lack social confidence: seek to do something about it.

The Really Good News

The best news is that you can take charge. Your confidence will likely go down over time if you do nothing. Maybe you’ve already experienced this. However, fortunately, you can do something to make your confidence go up like a rocket instead.

First of all, you can take action instead of waiting and just reading stuff. You need to start working deliberately at changing the way you see yourself, others and social situations, as well as the way you relate to others in social situations, in order to build your confidence.

Secondly, the technology you apply for building social confidence has to be effective. There is a lot of generic, repetitive and simplistic advice out there for overcoming social insecurities, and it just doesn’t work.

This is why I encourage you to get yourself a copy of my Conversation Confidence guide.

It’s a practical, proven transformational program, and it will teach you a highly effective, step-by-step formula for turning shyness and social anxiety into social confidence. Check it out here, and have a look at the testimonials here.

As you gain some social confidence and your social life begins to improve, it’s even easier to get additional social confidence and enhance your social life even more. Conversely, the more you wait and do nothing, the worse your social confidence gets and the harder it is to pull yourself out of the whole you’re in.

So, no matter how low your confidence level is right now, know you can completely upgrade it, and wait no more. It’s time to take action!

Image courtesy of jenny downing

“Why Do People Ignore Me?” The 4 Potential Explanations

As a social confidence coach, I work very often with men and women who feel as if they are invisible to others around them, and they ask themselves: Why do people ignore me?

Maybe in conversations others seem to pay no attention to them, maybe nobody talks to them at a social event but they seem to talk to almost everyone else, or maybe when people they know go out they never invite them.

If you’re in such a situation and you’re asking yourself “why do people ignore me?” I’d like to answer this question for you from my perspective. In my experience, there are 4 probable explanations. In some cases only one of them will be valid; in other cases a few or even all of them will be valid.

1. Your Presence Doesn’t Grab or Hold People’s Attention

The truth is that most folks don’t put a lot of deliberate effort in trying to pay attention to someone or something. They simply pay attention to whomever or whatever naturally grabs their focus.

The people who grab their focus are the ones who stand out and project themselves with confidence. These are the ones who speak in a firm, easy to hear voice in conversation, hold good eye contact, use clear, convinced gestures, and move with poise through a social setting. This makes them hard to ignore.

Conversely, people who get ignored most of the time have feeble body language, speak seldom and in a very soft voice, and they pretty much blend into the scenery. This is what makes them nearly invisible.

2. You Are a Stranger to Others

Here’s a scene you can witness often at a party: a guy walks up to a group of 3 other guys and shakes hands with all of them, but when he speaks, he seems to only look at two of them, while mostly ignoring the third.

At times, when he walks up to the group he will only shake hands with the first two guys and skips the third one entirely.

Why is he doing this? Because the third guy is a stranger to him. He knows the first two guys well, he spoke with them before, but he never talked with the third one, even though he may have seen him before.

And when we deal with strangers, we are often inclined to ignore them. It’s not polite, it’s not very social, but most of us only do what feels comfortable to us, which is why we ignore people we don’t know very well. And unless the other person makes an effort to be social with us, we never get to know them, which creates a self-sustaining cycle.

It is possible that in your social environment, you are a stranger to lots of people. And since they don’t know you and they barely know anything about you, their natural inclination will often be to ignore you. It’s your job to break this cycle.

3. You Seem Unfriendly

Lonely 300x225 “Why Do People Ignore Me?” The 4 Potential ExplanationsAnother likely explanation is that some of the people around you have tried to be social with you in the past, but your response was less than welcoming. Maybe you didn’t say much, you answered their questions mostly with two-word statements, and you didn’t appear to enjoy talking to them.

I know that this may have been because you were feeling nervous and didn’t know what to talk about, and you really wanted to be more outgoing, but the fact is you weren’t. And others falsely assumed it’s because you don’t like them. So, after a short while they stopped trying to be friendly with you and they started ignoring you.

Another reason why if you often feel nervous around new people, it’s crucial to get this issue handled. And you can do so, because anxiety and shyness can be eradicated by making some tweaks to the way your mind works.

Check out this presentation I created to learn how to do this. In it describe the tried and tested formula for gaining social confidence, so I’m sure you’ll find it very useful.

4. You Haven’t Found the Right People

Maybe some people have interacted with you in the past, you were talkative, they got to know you, and yet they still ignore you. What gives?

The last plausible explanation and answer to “Why do people ignore me?” is that many of the individuals you’ve met simply don’t match well with you in terms of values and interests. You’re not the kind of person they wanna be best friends with.

Don’t get me wrong: this doesn’t mean you’re not likeable, it just means you’re not their type. Which means they’re not really your type either. Maybe you’re the kind who wants to talk about career and world events, while all they care about is fast cars and what’s on TV. We have a clear mismatch.

What this means is simply that you haven’t found the right people for you. You need to meet new people, perhaps in other kinds of environments, get to know them and allow them to know you. In time, this process will bring in your life people you match well with and who simply won’t resist from talking to you and paying attention to you.

Now you know why people ignore you. It’s one or more of these 4 explanations above.

The best news is that all of these are issues you can fix or circumvent. You don’t have to be lonely and have no friends. You don’t have to be ignored by others. You can change all of this.

If you haven’t already, I invite you to join my free social confidence newsletter, where I share weekly advice and techniques to help you achieve this. It’s the top resource you can find for enhancing your social confidence, skills and life.

Good luck and I hope to see you in the newsletter as well!

Image courtesy of Saint Huck

4 Reasons Why Your Confidence Isn’t Improving

I’ve been working full time as a confidence coach for several years now. I’ve seen many people make incredible progress regarding their confidence (typically my clients), but I’ve also seen many people make small progress or no progress at all.

Truth be told, the rule when it comes to boosting your confidence is either to succeed marginally and in a very long stretch or time, or to fail.

Nevertheless, the people who see amazing improvements in their confidence, and overall they are quite numerous even though they are the exception, represent living proof of the level of confidence anybody can potentially achieve.

Just have a look at my testimonials page, with snippets of real feedback emails I received over time from people who applied my Conversation Confidence guide, and you’ll see that utterly transforming your level of confidence is indeed possible.

And even though it’s not gonna happen overnight, you can experience amazing changes in just a couple of months, sometimes even less.

If your confidence is not improving at this point, or not very fast, I’d like to show you why, so you can make the right course corrections. There are 4 major reasons why your confidence may not be improving.

1. You’re Not Really Serious about Gaining Confidence

The first reason may be that you want to gain confidence, but you’re not really committed to the process. You may read some occasional advice on boosting your confidence, but you rarely apply it, and even when you apply it you do it for a couple of days and then you give up.

Confidence 300x199 4 Reasons Why Your Confidence Isn’t ImprovingNot being serious about gaining confidence isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Maybe your level of confidence is actually pretty good, and there are just some specific areas where your confidence is a bit lacking. And this lack of confidence isn’t really affecting your life that much, so it’s hard to gather the motivation to do the work required to gain more confidence.

If your life is great and more confidence with only bring marginal improvements, maybe it’s a good idea to simply admit to yourself that the return on investment is not big enough and that’s why you’re not really committed to improving your confidence. And that’s that.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. In general, people who seek advice for gaining confidence are seriously affected by their lack of confidence. Maybe they have no friends and no social life because they are shy, or they have toxic relationships, or they’re stuck in a crappy job, and their life isn’t anywhere near the way they want it to be.

If this is your case, there is no sensible reason for you to not be serious about improving your confidence. In fact, improving your confidence might just be the most important thing you’ll ever do in your life.

So it’s time to quit fooling around, fully acknowledge that you need this, and make a firm decision to get this area of your life handled, no matter what it takes. Your confidence isn’t gonna go up by itself. You need to make working on it a priority for yourself.

2. You Don’t Truly Believe You Can Gain Confidence

Many folks think that confidence is either something you have or you don’t. So it’s hard for them to believe they can improve their confidence.

Right off the bat, I’d like to assure you that this is not true. The fact of the matter is that, although your genetic predispositions do play a role in your level of self-assurance, for the most part your confidence is the direct result of your beliefs and your automatic thinking patterns.

And using the right tools, you can change these. If you would see the amazing transformations some people achieved that I’ve seen over the years, you wouldn’t have a doubt that this is possible. And there is no motive why you can’t achieve the very same results. Your brain functions the same way their does.

Sure, most people don’t achieve big improvements in their confidence, but it’s because they follow a flawed process, not because it isn’t possible. And then they falsely assume that it just can’t be done, or at least not by them.

Nevertheless, the fact you haven’t managed thus far to achieve your desired level of confidence, if anything, is an indicator that you’re following the wrong path, not that a good path isn’t there. And that’s actually my next point.

3. You’re following The Wrong Advice

There are tens of thousands of articles online on how to be more confident, be more outgoing, love yourself and so on. And there are hundreds of books on these topics. I’ve read and applied a ton of them as I worked on my own confidence.

The conclusion? More than 95% of the advice on boosting confidence you’ll find out there is bogus. It’s simplistic, repetitive, impractical, naive or just plain wrong.

Confidence is one of those topics everyone seems to think they understand, but few people do. There is some real, multifaceted psychology behind the process of gaining confidence, and few individuals actually have a good grasp on it.

This is why it’s important to not buy into every confidence boosting method out there, especially if it promises immediate, complete and effortless changes. Let me be as clear as possible: if somebody is promising you some trick to become confident overnight, they’re just trying to swindle you out of your money.

There is no such thing. Building confidence is a process. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to take years, but it doesn’t happen overnight either.

Use your critical thinking and do your research when you learn about a method for developing confidence. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

4. You’re Looking For Advice When You Should Be Looking for a Formula

Imagine that you wanna learn how to bake a cake. What you need is a complete recipe, which shows you the entire process from start to finish, gives you all the steps in the right order, and explains precisely what to do in each step.

Isolated advice such as “you have to add lots of sugar to make it sweet” or “add fruits on top after you heat it” is useful but it’s not the complete recipe. It’s some adjacent advice. And unless you also have a good understanding of the recipe, you won’t be able to bake the cake.

It’s the same with gaining confidence. Advice is useful. The right advice is very useful. But it’s still just isolated pieces of advice. What you require is a step by step formula, which takes you through the entire cognitive and behavioral process of confidence enhancement.

I know that it may seem like a couple of tips are all you need and you can handle this, but unfortunately this is rarely true. Gaining confidence is a bit more complicated than you might think. Some psychologists and researchers dedicate their entire life to studying it.

Personally I offer a free social confidence newsletter, where I seek to provide the best possible advice for gaining confidence, but at the same time, I know that for most people, getting some good advice will help them make visible progress, but in itself is insufficient.

Because good advice is not a complete formula. And complete formulas are typically what you find in books and courses. That is why I have a Conversation Confidence guide, which offers a precise, actionable formula for gaining (you’re got it) conversation confidence. I encourage you to check it out.

I believe in formulas, I believe in committing yourself to the process, and I believe in applying tried and tested methods, not methods that sound good or promise miracles. These are my tenets for building confidence, and these are the tenets I encourage you to follow as well. You will go far.

Image courtesy of SweetOnVeg

How to Stop Being Self-Conscious

Are you frequently self-conscious when around other people? Does your attention automatically go to your body, clothes, behavior or overall person, and you feel somewhat awkward or insecure? Well, you can learn how to stop being self-conscious and put an end to all of this.

As a social confidence coach, I work with people who are self-conscious on a regular basis. Individuals who are shy, or socially anxious, or they don’t think too highly of themselves are typically also very self-conscious in social settings. And I help them overcome this.

I’d like to show you how they manage to overcome being self-conscious. By applying the ideas that I’m about to share with you, you will be able to attain the same results as them.

Alcohol Isn’t the Way

I was recently chatting with a friend and the topic of how to stop being self-conscious came up. He half jokingly commented: “Oh, it’s easy to stop feeling self-conscious! Just have a couple of drinks. It works for me!”

The truth is that many people do relax and become more comfortable in social settings by drinking just a bit. I’ve certainly experienced this myself. A beer or a couple of shots can reduce the overanalyzing that’s going on in your head and gets you feelings self-conscious, thus making you feel more confident.

However, this is not by far the best solution, and I don’t ever recommend it. It makes you dependent on drinking in social settings in order to feel comfortable; it doesn’t address the roots of the problem, it makes it even harder to feel comfortable without drinking, it damages your health in the long-run, and it creates all sorts of other tangential problems.

So, drinking is out. It’s time to consider better alternatives regarding how to stop being self-conscious.

Practice Shifting Your Attention on Others

Self conscious 300x300 How to Stop Being Self ConsciousA big component of feeling self-conscious is the fact your attention is focused on you. But if you deliberately shift your attention away from you, on other people or on the environment, you’ll immediately begin to relax.

This is why shifting your attention is a great exercise to practice. Whenever you’re feeling self-conscious, try to swing your focus away from your own person.

For instance, if you’re having a conversation and the other person is talking, focus on what they’re saying. Listen attentively to them instead of contemplating the way you look or whatever.

With practice you’ll get better at shifting your focus and you’ll be able to loosen up more and more in social situations.

The “Stop” Technique

A very useful and simple technique to stop feeling self-conscious is this: notice your internal dialog for just a second or two, and then yell to yourself in your inner forum (not out loud): “STOP!!!”

You see, when around others, you’re probably questioning and criticizing yourself in your internal dialog, and this makes you feel self-conscious.

By using this technique, you’re commanding your fault-finding thinking to end and you’re interrupting it. This instantly brings a sensation of relief.

The trouble though is that usually the effect will only last a couple of minutes, and then your self-doubting will be back. This is just a temporary fix. Sooner or later, you’re gonna have to implement a permanent solution for your problem. And that solution can only be to…

Change Your Self-Image and Your Perception

Ultimately, people who are self-conscious are this way because at some level they think they’re not good enough, or that they must always get others to like them, or some other irrational stuff like that.

This is what makes them focus on themselves and become very aware of their faults in social situations. If you would truly like yourself, be okay with some people not linking you, and so on, you wouldn’t focus on you and you wouldn’t become self-conscious in the first place.

So really the definitive solution to stop being self-conscious is to work on changing your thinking and your self-image.

The good news as that beyond all the self-help junk, there are some proven psychological tools that you now have available for doing this, which work incredibly fast.

I talk about them in this special presentation, which I recommend you watch right now. It could be one of the most useful and motivating presentations you’ve watched in a long time. So make sure you check it out.

I’ve been helping people learn to look at themselves, others and the world in new, better ways for the past 5+ years. I know this is a change any person can achieve with the right tools and consistent application.

And I know that with a better self-image and gained confidence, a whole lot of things become possible. Being significantly less self-conscious is just the beginning.

Image courtesy of Anne Ruthmann

How to Be Friendly

If you study the people who bond the easiest with others and have the richest social lives, it doesn’t take long to realize that much of their social success resides in the fact they are very friendly and gregarious, with both girls and guys. Luckily, you can learn how to be friendly as well, and join their ranks.

As a communication and confidence coach, one of my core activities is teaching others how to be friendly and confident socially, and helping them create the fulfilling interpersonal relationships they yearn for.

The thing is, friendliness is just a set of behaviors and a certain frame of mind. If you understand them, you know how to be friendly. And if you employ them effectively, you become more friendly and social.

With this in mind, here are the 4 essential behavioral and mental changes to make in order to be more friendly.

1. Use Social Initiative Exercises

The biggest component of friendliness is social initiative. Having social initiative means that you proactively generate social interactions or certain phases of social interactions. You don’t wait for others to be social with you before you’re social with them.

There are very specific actions that compose social initiative. You can take these actions, one or more at a time, and practice them deliberately, sort of like exercises. I’m talking about actions like:

  • Be friendly 300x201 How to Be FriendlyAttending events that are social in nature: parties, classes, networking events, etc.
  • Walking up to new people or people you know and starting conversations.
  • Introducing yourself to people you don’t know when they join your conversation.
  • Asking the other person questions about themselves during a chat.
  • Talking about yourself and sharing your own ideas and experiences.
  • Asking another person for their contact details.
  • Calling or emailing another person and inviting them to go out with you.

And the list could go on. Pick a couple of these activities today and start doing them more. There is no point in waiting.

2. Develop a Mindset of Likability

Something I’ve noticed early on at individuals that want to learn how to be friendly because they struggle with this is that, at some level, they see themselves as unlikeable.

They don’t think they’re good enough or interesting enough for others to want to interact with them or be friends with them. Thus, they are act cold and unfriendly with others. But this is just a facade, to protect themselves from the rejection they expect to happen.

If this is true for you too (and in almost surely is), then implement the 1st change I mentioned may prove to be quite challenging. You may have trouble even asking a few questions or making a bit of small talk with others, because you keep second-guessing yourself.

This is why it’s crucial to work on your mentality as well and develop a mindset according to which you are a likeable person; you are good enough. Which, trust me, you are. You just don’t fully realize it yet.

Since this is an extensive topic, I discuss it separately in this cutting-edge presentation. Make sure to watch it and you’ll learn the exact steps you have to take to change your mindset and become at ease in social interactions.

3. Choose the Right People for You

A genuinely friendly person can make conversation with just about anybody and enjoy the experience. Nevertheless, there will always be people they find it much easier to chat with, for longer periods of time, they’ll take more pleasure in it and they’ll be much more outspoken.

These are the people they are very compatible with: the people they have a lot in common with in terms of ideas, values, lifestyle, interests and so on.

It’s much easier to be friendly if you’re interacting with a person you match well with. If you usually hang out with people who only talk about marriage, kids and TV shows while you care about personal development, entrepreneurship and travelling, there is a definite mismatch there.

Think about the kinds of people you connect with the best, and then seek the types of activities, places and events where these kinds of people spend their time. Meet the right people for you and you’ll naturally find yourself being friendlier.

4. Socialize On a Regular Basis

It’s hard to become friendly and social if you only go out once every two weeks and you spend the rest of your time at home by yourself.

In order to eventually be friendly without effort, you mind needs to become acclimatized with social interactions. It needs to recognize them as a standard component of your life, which you go through regularly. And this requires regularity in your social interactions.

So, go out more, meet new people and interact with them periodically. Make going out the rule, not the exception. This is how to be friendly on a constant basis: by acclimatization with social contact.

Again, this presentation will provide you practical advice for achieving this and making the process of becoming more friendly as smooth as possible.

Your social life is under your control. Make the right adjustments in your behavior as well as your mindset, and you’ll surprisingly find yourself opening up more with all kinds of people and having lots of fun interacting with others.

That’s when you know that your life can be all that you want it to be.

Image courtesy of NicoleAbalde

The Socially Inept: Symptoms and Solutions

Are you pondering the possibility that you’re socially inept? Many people are that way, so you’re definitely not alone. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t take consolation in this and not do anything about it.

I’ve been working as a social confidence coach since 2007. And I can assure you that, no matter who you are, you can turn yourself from socially inept to socially skilled. You have the intrinsic ability to change how you are, and the tools to do it successfully are out there.

The first important step is to gauge if you indeed are socially inept and to what degree. A good change process always starts with a good understanding of your starting point.

The 10 Sign that you’re Socially Inept

Here are the most important indicators of social ineptitude to take into consideration. Read them attentively and try to recognize how much each one of them pertains to your case.

  1. You feel nervous when you’re in a social setting or you’re making conversation with someone.
  2. You’re particularly anxious around people you just met, attractive members of the opposite sex or people you perceive as being very cool.
  3. You don’t know how to properly start a conversation with another person, so you either not do it or do it clumsily.
  4. You have problems keeping a conversation going and those awkward silences frequently creep in.
  5. You feel that you’re not good at expressing yourself and when you say something it doesn’t come out the way it was intended.
  6. You don’t go out very much, you don’t talk very much and, in group conversations, you barely talk at all.
  7. When you do talk or interact with others, you often end up saying or doing silly things and embarrassing yourself.
  8. You don’t know how to react when you do or say something inappropriate and recover from the situation.
  9. You believe others find you weird or boring and they’re generally not interested in interacting with you.
  10. You have few friends, if any, maybe you see yourself as a loner, and your dating life isn’t looking too well either.

That’s it; these are the 10 key signs.

So, what’s the conclusion? How socially inept are you?

Once you’ve done an evaluation of your social aptitude, whatever level you’re at, it’s time to start thinking about some effective ways to improve your social skills, confidence and life.

The Formula for Social Success

Here are the 4 actions I encourage you to take in order to stop being socially inept and become socially savvy. In my experience, these actions will create the best results, in the shortest amount of time.

1. Get More Social Experience

Be social 300x199 The Socially Inept: Symptoms and SolutionsI know that you may want to find a way to not be socially inept anymore and afterwards go out and socialize, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. It works the other way around.

Social skills come with social experience. As you interact with others, you try various styles of behavior and you notice how others react, this creates reference points for your brain and it improves your social prowess.

So, begin by going out more, interacting with people more and being more talkative, even if it’s challenging. It’s by challenging yourself that you make genuine progress.

2. Build Your Social Confidence

Most problems related to being socially inept will take care of themselves if you become more confident. You’ll feel more at ease in social settings, find it easier to know what to say in a discussion and be a lot smoother.

In fact, social confidence is so important that usually when I coach a person who is socially inept, we focus 80% of the time and energy on developing this trait. And without exception, with social confidence come slick social skills as well.

Building your social confidence is a process in itself, and this article is not intended to describe it thoroughly.

However, I have a special presentation for you which does just that. Go here to check it out and learn the step by step process for becoming confident socially.

3. Hang Out With Socially Savvy Individuals and Study Them

A lot of my understanding of social dynamics, I formed by interacting with people (especially guys, since I’m a guy) who were very good at social interactions. And I studied they’re mannerisms: how they start a conversation, how they keep it going, how they talk, etc.

Soon enough, I began to see patterns. Then I deliberately incorporated several of the patterns into my own behavior. Some of these new behaviors felt weird at first, but as I got used to them, they eventually felt very natural. Model individuals who are very social and you’ll see positive results in your social life.

4. Be Persistent

You won’t put an end to being socially inept overnight. Nevertheless, if you follow smart advice and you apply it consistently, you can make incredible progress fast.

In just a couple of months you will be much more relaxed, active and smooth in social settings than ever before, and you’ll enjoy yourself like crazy. The trick is to have some patience, invest in yourself and be persistent.

By the way, for more free advice from me for overcoming social ineptitude and achieving social success, I invite you to join my social confidence newsletter.  You’ll learn a lot from it.

As your social skills and confidence grow, your social life grows with it. And your fulfillment with yourself and your happiness in life reach a whole new level.

Image courtesy of ohhector