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Confidence is not something that all men have but something that most men strive for. Some men feel a good amount of confidence at work or with friends, but struggle to feel confident around women. For other men, it’s the opposite.

I grew up with seven sisters, five of them older than me, and there always seemed to be a houseful of pretty girls around speaking as if I were one of them. They shared freely about the things they liked and didn’t like about guys. Some of their biggest complaints included awful hygiene, such as bad breath and body odor, and terrible bathroom habits such as leaving the seat up and urinating all down the sides of the toilet. These things seemed easy to overcome.

They also liked guys that could dance, who took their time kissing, or who were smooth with removing clothes but never forced things. They oohed and aahed over the way a guy could take the lead and be in charge but do it gracefully and slowly. It seemed to be all about his confidence when he made his move. They were vicious in their criticisms of the ones who fumbled around awkwardly.

I took their words to heart and from that young age I worked hard to build up my confidence around girls. Fortunately for me there were plenty around willing to provide me with feedback, positive and negative, which I used to improve myself. But building confidence with women, as well as in other areas of life, isn’t always easy or fun.

There is absolutely no shame in struggling to foster a confident mindset within yourself, although it may seem that for some, it just comes naturally. One of the most under-estimated aspects of a man’s life that directly affects confidence is mental health. Before you can exude poise and self-reliance, you must first invest in your mental health and overall well-being in order to resolve the contradictions in your conscious and unconscious habits of thought.  

Strategies to Build Confidence and Bring Joy Into Your Life

It’s hard to disagree with the notion that happiness makes a person more attractive, but it can be difficult to bring yourself into a state of happiness everyday. However, there are small strategies you can implement that will subconsciously improve your daily mood.

Spend some time by yourself. Get to know yourself for who you really are. You can do this by going to the movies alone, going for a drive, spending time reading in a cafe, or just treating yourself with a favorite food or drink. Making time to develop a sense of happiness on while spending time your own allows you to know that no matter what is happening within the relationships you have, you are capable of enjoying your own company and feeling happy on your own.

On the other hand, spending time with friends is another great way to introduce more happiness to your life. Especially as we age, having friends who know us well and accept us as we are is critical to our overall sense of wellbeing. You can take the lead in deepening your friendships by organizing a get-together with your closest friends. These should be people you are comfortable opening up around. Take time to tell them about the good and bad things going on in your life and how you’re feeling about each one. Today’s society often causes men to feel shame when they are vulnerable or emotional. This should never be the case. Your good friends will be grateful that you have shared yourself authentically with them.

If anxiety is the source of your mental health struggles, there are many ways to deal with it, so finding a strategy the suits you personally is key. If meditation is your thing, check out my blog for information on mindfulness on spirituality. Or, if you’d rather take a more tangible approach, physical exercise can do wonders for mental health.

Another easy step to up your level of confidence and improve your mental health is to find hobbies that you enjoy and develop some sense of skill with them. When I was younger I studied martial arts and found that my confidence grew as my skills grew. And I made friends and exercised, both of which deepened my sense of well-being. Check out this blog for details (link to new martial arts blog). Maybe you want to learn to scuba dive, or play golf, or rock climb. Or perhaps you enjoy hiking or water sports. Whatever it is, there will likely be school or Meet Up group in your area that your can connect with to get started.

If you have tried implementing these strategies for several weeks or months and you are seeing little to no success, there is also no shame in talking to a professional. Therapy doesn’t have the stigma it once did, one that implied mental weakness. Mental health problems can be extremely complex and difficult to handle and are almost never your own fault.

There isn’t a single person who makes it our of childhood without some scars or wounds. And many of us are covered in them. There’s no need to wear these like a badge of honor, or a sign of our “toughness” when they can be healed and removed. Working with my clients to help them uncover and resolve outdated childhood conditioning is one of my favorite ways of supporting people in creating a fulfilling life. You can read more about how to do that on my blog: How to Undo Your Energetic Conditioning.

Having a strong control of your mental health will naturally manifest as confidence. For men wanting to improve their levels of confidence, start here and try any of the aforementioned strategies to reach that goal.

To learn more about Tj Bartel and how he helps men and couples create more harmonious, deeply intimate relationships, visit his coaching website. And check out his best selling book on Kindle: How to Be a Great Lover Overnight: 8 Steps to Sexual Awakening: A Man’s Guide to Loving a Woman. You can find Tj on Facebook and join his private group for men.