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One of the hardest things about dating is that your confidence can often take a beating if you let it. There is usually a fair amount of rejection flying around which can make you feel bad about yourself. At the same time, people with bucket-loads of confidence are often considered the most attractive and sexiest people. So with this in mind, I’m sharing my 9 steps for getting your dating confidence back.
1. Let bad experiences go
You’ve had some bad experiences in the past with online dating, right? To be honest, most people have. But it’s what you do next that counts. You can either let those bad dating experiences go on to define your dating journey or you can shrug them off, put them behind you and move on with a spring in your step and a positive attitude (read on to find out how you can do that).
2. Transform you inner critic into your inner cheerleader
As you try to shrug off your bad dating experiences, keep an ear out for your inner critic. What’s it saying to you? It might be saying things like:
Every date you’ve been on has failed. Why bother?
You’re terrible at first dates.
Why would they like you over all the other gorgeous people out there?
Argh – your inner critic, if left to its own devices, will control how you feel about yourself and will gradually wear down your confidence levels. So, you need to take charge and do it quickly. To do this, first you need to actively listen out for it and then you need to stop it in its tracks. Write down what you’re hearing – it will be a shock for you to see it written down, then find evidence that proves otherwise. Finally, replace your inner critic’s beliefs with affirmations – turn your inner critic into your very own cheerleader. For example you could replace the above inner critic’s beliefs with the following:
Every date is a new adventure and one day, you’re going to meet someone who blows you away. You only need one.
You’re a natural at first dates
Why wouldn’t they like you, you’re brilliant.
It almost doesn’t matter if you believe them or not at the beginning, the very act of saying them in your head and drowning out the inner critic will make you believe them. Initially you’ll have to make a real conscientious effort to do this, but with practice it will get easier and easier. Honestly, this really works and if you’re in any doubt, then I’d suggest you just give it a go.
READ MORE: Learn about our best dating tips for women
3. Remind yourself why you’re so brilliant
Sometimes we need to take time out of our busy lives to remind ourselves why we’re so brilliant/cool/funny/attractive etc. Spend 10 minutes writing down all the things that make you uniquely, wonderfully you. Focus on the things you’re proud of and happy with, the things that you want to celebrate about being you. Take note of any areas in your life where you’re really struggling to feel like this. If you feel over weight and out of sorts, then take the decision that you want to improve this. Don’t overthink it, just take action. Sign up for a class or gym, buy a work-out DVD, hire a personal trainer, whatever works for you, but take action right now. You want to get to a place where you feel brilliant about yourself.
4. Push yourself
The quickest road to growing in confidence is to push yourself out of that comfort zone you’re living in. Life is nice and easy when you don’t push yourself but it doesn’t give you that incredible buzz that you get when you do. That feeling is so good! Pushing out your comfort zone will probably scare the heck out of you… but then the feeling when you succeed is fantastic. It’s addictive. Try and commit to doing something once a day, week or month that pushes you and you’ll find it boosts your confidence to whole, new levels of brilliance.
READ MORE: Can dating your best friend ever work out for the best?
5. Back yourself 100%
Another quick way to build confidence is to back yourself 100%. This means every time you make a decision, you know you’re doing the right thing. Don’t look to others for validation, just know that you’ll do the right thing for you. Your confidence will soar once you know you can rely on yourself and you don’t need to worry about what others think of you. You know you’re brilliant and lovely and that’s what counts. When you next get rejected, you won’t even entertain the thought that it’s your fault – you’ll just know that you weren’t right for them but that’s OK. You’ll be right for the right one. It only takes one, after all.
6. Fake it til you make it
Any article focusing on boosting confidence, should most definitely include this little gem – fake it til you make it. You don’t need to be at the top of your game before you go on a date, you can just give the illusion that you are. It amounts to the same thing as far as your date is concerned. They will see the you that you’re projecting so you might as well make sure you’re projecting the best version of you, whether it’s real or not. The secret is, if you do it enough times, it becomes real.
7. Remember when you rocked it?
One of my favourite tricks for boosting my confidence is to recall a time when I was really rocking it. I recall exactly how I felt that, how I acted, what I did and then I hold on to those thoughts and feelings and head out to face the world with renewed sass.
READ MORE: How to break out of your comfort zone
8. What would Beyonce do?
Would Beyonce go out on a date worrying about how she might come across or worrying if it was going to go well? Heck no! The minute you feel your confidence failing, think about what Beyonce do (or someone super confident that you admire) and you’ll feel yourself rising to the occasion.
The only way to get better and more confident on dates is to just go out on dates. Keep putting yourself out there. As you go on more dates, you’ll find you start to take it in your stride, you’ll become an old-hand at it. Your confidence will start to soar.