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7 Ways To Reduce Anxiety And Boost Confidence

How can you reduce anxiety and boost confidence when life constantly throws challenges in your way?

Well, here are all your answers - check out the below 7 solutions!

1. Countdown Method

Have you ever noticed that in order to push someone to take a risky action, they usually do a count down before taking the action?


There is a scientific reason for this. Research has shown that it takes 3 – 6 seconds for one to rationalize the situation. The countdown technique prevents the person from making up rational excuses for not doing the particular action.

Not only is the time frame of 5 seconds too short for any sort of rationalization, but the process of counting occupies your mind, thereby leaving no room for your brain to come up with excuses.

You can use this amazing technique for daily situations as well!

For example, when you want to approach a guy or girl that you like or even when you are conversing with an intimidating boss.

Whenever you are faced with situations that make you feel uncomfortable, you can use the countdown technique - “5-4-3-2-1-Go!” At the moment you say "go" - actually do the action!

2. Find Your “Why”

Let me ask you a question – what is your take on physical exercise?

There are usually two common takes on this:

  1. Find it useful but hard to do – they need to force themselves to do it.
  2. It makes you beautiful, healthy and energetic.

It is not surprising that people who find that physical exercise is something that they need to force themselves to do, usually find it hard to consistently work out.

Whereas, those who think of physical exercise as a means to feel beautiful, healthy and attractive, rarely miss a workout.

This just shows that the importance of using the ‘Pain--Pleasure’ ratio to your advantage. The limbic system of our brain is responsible for the same. It compares the pain and pleasure ratio, and in turn, tries to push you towards achieving pleasure deterring from pain.

This is exactly why we often find it hard to do the things that we know should be doing. Usually, the actions that are required to achieve greater success are “painful” and uncomfortable. That is why we are often reluctant to take these actions (even though you know you should be) as they require the extra effort to bear through the pain.

Knowing this, you can change your behavior.

Associate the desired outcome with some pleasure that you seek. This will motivate you to push yourself to take the required action. Similarly, associate ‘sitting idle’ and ‘not doing anything’ with a pain.

Have you seen the movie - Fight Club?

There was a scene where the actor, Brad Pitt, urges a character to follow his dreams by putting a gun to his head and saying: "If you're not on your way to become a veterinarian {achieve your goal} in 6 weeks, you'll be dead".

Brad Pitt

If everyone had such a 'life coach', everyone would have achieved their goals! :-)

The moral is simple. You need to figure out your “why?” Then you will be able to control how your brain perceives the pleasure versus pain outcome of achieving the same. That is, you will be able to convince yourself that the pleasure of achieving your goal is bigger than the pain that your fear could potentially bring to you.

So what is your “why”?

Perhaps, you want to do something for your family or for the community or maybe even for the greater good of humanity. Often times, we do more for those who we care for than what we do for ourselves.

Another way to 'find your way' is to be inspired by your goal. Your goal is a distant idealistic vision that you desire for yourself. This vision is so desirable that you can’t wait to take the necessary step to get there.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” 

- Muhammad Ali (arguably the greatest boxer of all times).

3. Be Inspired By Your Heroes

We just learned how Muhammad Ali enthused himself to achieve his dreams. But that is not the end of the story.

The story of Muhammad Ali inspired Sylvester Stallone to write a script of 'Rocky' movie. This movie made Sylvester rich and famous.

Later on, David Goggins watched the movie. At the time, Goggins was poor, overweight and shy.

David Goggins | Key to Victory

David Goggins. Source

He was the only black guy in class and was bullied for years. He grew up with constant anxiety and insecurity.

After watching the Rocky movie, he was so inspired that he watched it over and over again. Ultimately, he was motivated to start training. Today, he is considered to be “the toughest man alive.” He is an ultramarathon runner, and former world record holder for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours. He is a retired United States Navy SEAL. And the list goes on...

ways to reduce anxiety and boost confidence

This just goes to show how inspirational your heroes can be. It is human nature to be inspired by others and learn from examples.

You too can do this. Figure out who your role model is. Use them as inspiration to push yourself to achieve your dreams.

4. Stand Straight

Here is Tony Robbins – the famous motivational speaker.

ways to reduce anxiety and boost confidence

Here, he is preparing for his next speech. He is correcting his posture for the same – sit up straight and open up your shoulders and chest.

Why is he doing this?

Well. It turns out that the “right posture” can stimulate your body to produce hormones that boost your confidence.

Here is what a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University, Richard E. Petty, says about this -

“It doesn’t matter exactly how that brain area is triggered. It can be difficult to distinguish real confidence from confidence that comes from just standing up straight. These things can go both ways, just like happiness leads to smiling, but also smiling leads to happiness.” 

You may also check out my video which elaborates on the posture techniques and how NLP can enhance your confidence.

Are you ready to massively increase your confidence?
CLICK HERE to join my Mastering Self-Confidence program!

5. Deep Breathing

7 years ago, I worked with a specialist who helps people overcome insomnia and have quality sleep patterns. It turns out that it is possible to sleep two hours less, and still manage to wake up feeling more energetic in the morning that you used to feel before.

The key ingredient of this training is to make yourself feel really relaxed before you go to sleep.  If you do this, you will be able to have quality sleep that helps you re-energize for the next day.

So how do you relax before you sleep?

A simple breathing technique!

It turns out that when you breathe deeply, you are able to control your heart rate and thereby reduce it to a normal pace. This, in turn, makes you feel relaxed. This is precisely why breathing is a key component of yoga and meditation.

The technique is very simple – if you breathe deeply for a minute, you will already feel like your emotions are stabilizing and you are feeling more relaxed.

6. Baby Steps

Often times, when there is a challenge ahead of you, you feel overwhelmed. You cannot imagine how you can possibly overcome the hurdle.

In such cases, you can use the ‘baby steps’ method.

Think about babies – their development is slow. It takes 1-2 months for a baby to smile. Around a year to start taking the first steps.

Kids make slow progress. But the progress is made every day. Day after day, these littles progresses accumulate and compound, resulting in a big difference in development over a course of a year!

You can use the same approach with any challenge that you face. Start making progress little by little. Instead of aiming to hit your major goal, start by dividing the challenge into small steps and tackle them bit by bit every day.

Once again, the key thing is to do it slowly yet consistently. Over time, your efforts will compound and result in a big difference.

Check out the below video where I elaborate on how the American Olympic team uses this technique to build their confidence.

Are you ready to massively increase your confidence?
CLICK HERE to join my Mastering Self-Confidence program!

7. Focus On What Goes Right

I know a lot of people who are motivated to start their own online business. Initially, they approach this goal with a lot of energy and drive.

They take pleasure in imagining the potential financial freedom they will get from it, the ability to travel etc. All of this fuels their burst of energy driven to build their online business.

A few months down the line, they notice that the monetary rewards of their online business is very little. Looking at this, their enthusiasm takes a hit. Ultimately, they quit.

On the other hand, let me tell you a story of Joel Brown. He too went through the same path:

Excited to start the online business –> started one with a lot of enthusiasm –> after a few months into it, he realized that he only earned $5 from it.

Most people would have been dejected. On the contrary, Brown took it differently. He thought to himself, “Well, I didn't have this money earlier. Now I have $5. I can go get myself a cup of coffee!”

A month later, he earned a bit more - $50. He thought to himself, “Well, now I can pay for gasoline.” By celebrating even his smallest accomplishments along the way, he maintained his motivation and confidence to keep going.

Ultimately, he was offered to sell his website for $1 million.

How can you make sure that you honor your small accomplishments?

Here is a simple technique – maintain a success journal! Allocate a few minutes every day to note down ‘5 accomplishments’ you had during the last 24 hours.

In fact, in order to make sure that you really inculcate this practice, I urge you to do it right away!  If you're not shy to do it publicly - in the comments below, right down 5 accomplishments that you achieved in the last 24 hours.

Don't hesitate to include anything – may it be small or big! Focus on what goes right. Commend your achievements. Feel good about yourself and keep going!

Igor Smirnov

Igor Smirnov

Psychologist, blogger, chess Grandmaster, Internet entrepreneur. Follow Igor on Facebook


I’m Igor Smirnov. To YOUR success.

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