The Science Behind Confidence

When people hear the word "confidence", most conjure up the idea of a feeling that a lucky few are born with, and that the unlucky have to simply live without.  The reality is that confidence isn't a fixed asset; it comes and goes depending on on the experiences a person is going through in their life.  Experiences such as the beginning of a new romantic relationship or a recent promotion usually come with a surplus of confidence, while on the other hand, hardships and difficulties can leave one feeling hopeless; an unfortunate truth since that's typically when we can use a confidence boost the most.

Luckily, modern science shows that not only is confidence a dynamic feeling, but that people are much more in control of it than they may think.  Recent discoveries in the neural plasticity of the brain show that new skills such as learning a new language or becoming more self-confident (confidence is a form of expression after all, isn't it?) can be acquired by persistent effort and determination, and that this ability is retained with age.  It is the re-wiring or re-shaping of the brain and is sometimes referred to as the "growth mindset".

How does this translate into ones body image or confidence in one's physical appearance?  It turns out that mirrors don't hold an absolute truth, the image we see is very much influenced by one's state of mind.  As a matter of fact, body dysmorphia, while typically thought of perceiving oneself as being worse off, can also manifest itself in the other direction - people perceiving themselves as being more attractive.  We should all strive to be on that end of the spectrum!  We all deserve body positivity.

What about the people that argue that the #bodypositive movement is only adding to the obesity pandemic in the US?  Well, while it is true that on average we are overweight as a nation, it is important to understand that losing weight should be founded in one's health, not ones image.  In other words, if a person wants to lose weight, it should be for a more healthy and fruitful future, not to look a certain way.  A person is equally beautiful and worthy at all stages of their journey, from day 1 to the day they reach their goal. 

Confidence looks amazing on you and you deserve to feel confident.  Remember, you alone hold the key to a more confident tomorrow.

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