SMILING WITH SELF-CONFIDENCE

How do we develop self-confidence? The two key starting points are eye contact and a smile. Confidence grows with every positive interaction we have. So look up and smile! #lifeinspiration

WHAT DOES SELF-CONFIDENCE LOOK LIKE?

It's "S" for Smiling and Self-confidence today on the List of More, and something I ask myself a lot is how do some people look so confident, and others look like they wish they could fade away into the wallpaper? Is self-confidence an innate character trait or do we develop it over time? What is it that makes us appear confident (even if we don't necessarily feel it?) I think two of the key components are eye contact and a genuine smile. In fact, I think a smile is the Midlifer's secret weapon!

Naturally confident people are engaging and connected into the world around them, they want to interact and they just give off that positive vibe of being satisfied with themselves and their life. They look people in the eye, they reach out and show interest and they always have a smile for the people they come into contact with. Who wouldn't want to be that person?

SMILE - IT'S FREE!

I've been thinking about smiling lately and how it costs so little to smile at someone. We spend a lot of moments in unconscious social interactions and there are multitudes of opportunities to share a little sunshine and light with other people. Really looking at someone and seeing them and acknowledging that connection with a smile is the first step in confidently approaching others.

A smile is powerful - it says I'm happy and I'm confident. It draws people to you. Deborah King #lifequotes

I look around me at people who are head down, tail up and bustling through life. Even those out taking a walk are often focused on their pace or on the music plugged into their ears. I see young mums walking their children with no interaction at all - no talking, no eye contact, nothing at all. They seem more intent on getting in shape and listening to what's on their phone than they do with talking to their baby or toddler. It seems fewer and fewer people are taking in the world around them and making the effort to step out of their heads and into connection with others. It costs nothing to look someone in the eye and smile or say hello and it brightens up your day when you get a smile and greeting in return.

BE THE LIGHT

Confidence is like sunlight - it's warm and it shines out and draws people to it. Smiling is non-verbal but carries with it a wealth of camaraderie and it can initiate conversations with others that wouldn't otherwise have happened. Our world is becoming so insular and we're losing a lot of those non-verbal cues and people sometimes look right through us and our smile. Despite that, I've come to the point where I'd rather risk being the person doing the smiling and interacting rather than becoming the person who hasn't got the desire to crack a smile in return.

I think confident people bring the light with them, what a wonderful trait to have! The really good thing with self-confidence is that you can "fake it til you make it" to some degree, you can hold your head up and smile at others, you can count your blessings and express gratitude, you can share positivity and joy - and before you know it, that confidence has become real and it gets easier and easier over time.

SOMETIMES LIFE IS TOUGH

Life deals us all different hands and I know that not everyone's life is beer and skittles, but that doesn't mean we have to give in and give up. Life in a first world country is pretty darn fabulous compared to what a lot of our brothers and sisters are going through elsewhere and our petty day to day problems pale in comparison to theirs. Trying to keep a positive outlook and being grateful for the blessings that come our way gives the day a boost and helps put a smile on our face. 

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful in its own way. There's no guarantees that it will all be plain sailing, but for every bump in the road, there are smooth downhill runs to offset it. Sometimes you take a hit that can knock the confidence right out of you, but as that classic Chumbawamba song goes - "I get knocked down, but I get up again" and each time we get back up, we rise stronger and more convinced of our ability to take the knocks in our stride. (And here's the music clip if you want to step back in time!)




SMILING KEEPS YOU YOUNG

The added bonus of being self-confident and having a ready smile is that it keeps us young. We place a lot of emphasis on our appearance, but people often remember us much more for our attitude than our looks. I really don't want to be remembered as the grumpy old sarcastic woman who has a sour, pinched expression and looks like she's just waiting to die and be put out of her misery. Who wants to be the grandmother that no-one wants to visit, or the mean old lady that no-one wants to serve at the grocery store check out?

Smile every chance you get. Not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy. #inspiration

I want to be the annoyingly cheerful woman who you know is going to offer you a smile and a "Hi" as you walk past me. I'm going to do my best to be sunshine and light whenever I have the chance, and I'm not going to worry about whether you smile back or not. Self-confidence means we're not dependent on the responses of others, we have the courage to keep putting ourselves out there regardless of whether we get back as much as we give out.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you a smiler? Do you feel confident and full of sunlight, or are you feeling more like you're pushing life uphill at the moment? I hope you find lots of reasons to smile, and in doing so that your confidence grows with every one of them.

RELATED POSTS


How do we develop self-confidence? The two key starting points are eye contact and a smile. Confidence grows with every positive interaction we have. So look up and smile! #lifeinspiration
How do we develop self-confidence? The two key starting points are eye contact and a smile. Confidence grows with every positive interaction we have. So look up and smile! #lifeinspiration

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19 comments

  1. Leanne, I love everything about this post. I so agree that smiling is one of the easiest things to do and it really is contagious so the smiles will keep going around if you start one. It is my motto and my mission in life to make the world a better place one smile at a time! When I am walking the dog I only have one headphone in so I can be attentive to the other things going on around me. Keep up the good work!

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Hi Janet - I love your motto - and yes, every smile we give out costs us nothing and brings with it so many opportunities to connect. Nothing beats a smile and a "Hi!" when you're out walking.

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  2. Hi Leanne, you are right.
    Self-confidence is something we should strive to find in ourselves, like happiness. No one gives us such things, when we all have them within us.
    I am not always confident. But I try my best to be confident.
    Yes, I am one of those who make an attempt to smile. It's the easiest thing we can do, is it not? It actually gives me confidence when I am looking for it.
    Even when things aren't going my way, I consciously make effort to smile and be happy. It makes a world of difference.

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    1. I'm the same Pradeep - not as confident as I'd like to be, but willing to grow and improve and connect with others - that's how it grows and how we shine isn't it?

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  3. I think I am a smiler until I accidentally have my phone camera set to 'selfie' and catch a look at my scowl. Partially in reaction to seeing myself when I am trying to snap a quick pic of something else!! But I am squinting a lot these days. And that doesn't look terribly confident or welcoming. Going to try to do better. I small a lot at children. Can I get a few points for that?

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    1. Any smile (at children, strangers, family or friends) counts as far as I'm concerned Leslie - it's the attitude of the heart isn't it? As for selfies - I'm not sure what happens when I try to take one, but needless to say - they never work out and get deleted very quickly!

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  4. I would like to think I am always happy and smiley but in reality, most of the time I have Resting Bitch Face! I love that quote at the end, I am grateful that I have so many reasons to smile.

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    1. I probably have the same thing going Sam - I try to remember to smile (just so people don't think I'm judging them or frowning at them!) I'd hate to think I was scaring small children when I have my serious face on!

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  5. Yes to all of this. I LOVE this post. Have a fabulous week.

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    1. Thanks Jo - it takes such a small amount of effort to look someone in the eye and give them a smile, but it seems to be a dying art these days. I guess our generation just needs to keep flying the flag for engagement and connection and hope the others catch on before it's too late.

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  6. Hi, Leanne - I agree with everything that you have said about smiling. Still, there are so many people that refuse to return a smile. I can never figure this out!

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    1. I can't understand it either Donna - the lack of engagement saddens me a little. I despair for the generations to come when they are so socially isolated.

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  7. Am I a smiler? Mmm let me think for 0 seconds. Of course I am!! I also had no idea how much I would miss smiling my full smile once I had my mouth reconstructed. But I did, with my eyes as best I could. Now, 12 months of having my smile back I use it as much as I can. Each day, wherever I am, I engage someone I do not know just with a good morning, or 'I love the colour you are wearing'. Life is too short not to connect.
    Great post.
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week, 30/9/19 the optional prompt is Spring Stories. Hope you can join in too. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - we certainly don't appreciate what we have until we lose it. I'm so glad you got your smile back and that you're so happy to share it with others. It certainly makes the world a better place if it's filled with smiling people :)

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  8. As you know I am a smiler from way back and will quite happily smile along with you anytime Leanne! Despite what's going on in my world I can still smile at others and in doing so I feel lighter and happier too. I love this so much xx

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    1. Hi Deb - yes the "Debbie smile" still managed to surface during all your family upheavals (and ALL that travel!) I think we'd be doing a lot of smiling over our cuppas if we ever get to do that IRL catch up!

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    2. Yes I can just imagine our smile-fest when we meet up! I had a comment the other day that I am the Grinning Globetrotting Granny :) I must say I thought it was very fitting :)

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  9. Hi Leanne :)
    I think that the fact that we live in countries which are "first world" comparing to others, not so fortunate, doesn't mean much when it comes to communication and smile.
    I live in Norway, another great country for living and prospering but earphones, no communication and loneliness are so common that it started to be almost "normal" not to smile or to try to reach out for others.
    Marinela
    p.s. like your blog :)

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    1. Hi Marinela (what a pretty name!) it's interesting that it's the same the world over (especially in our First World). It's such a shame that we're losing the ability to connect and that smiling is becoming a dying art. I wonder what it will take to turn things around again (maybe the internet will have to crash!) And I'm so glad you found me - hope to see you back again soon x

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