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5
Ways to Build Self-confidence

She looks ready for anything!

Goodshoot/Thinkstock

When it comes to building self-confidence, perception is everything. The way you view yourself has a huge impact on how others will ultimately perceive you. There may be some factors beyond your control when it comes to the confidence game, but you're in the driver's seat, holding the keys to your public persona.

You've probably seen the dynamic executive who manages to be commanding even though he has a slight lisp or a bald spot the size of Miami, or the woman who isn't all that attractive but still manages to exude a kind of self-assurance that makes her seem much more alluring than she actually is. These are both examples of mind over matter, where individuals have managed to turn their nervous energy and drive into a personal magnetism that influences others. It may not be as powerful as charisma, but self-confidence helps build a bridge between you and those around you.

Self-confidence is a powerful characteristic to cultivate, but when your hands sweat every time you have to speak up during the Monday morning meeting or walk into a crowded room, it can be difficult to control your racing thoughts, much less your breathing or your two left feet. On the next pages, we'll take a look at five ways you can bulk up your mental muscles to meet the challenges inherent in many common social interactions. If the idea that almost everyone gets nervous in some social setting isn't much of a comfort, these tips are for you.

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