When it comes to dating, confidence is the sexiest quality a person can possess. A confident attitude makes a person drop their guard, commands attention, and creates the “you're lucky to have me in your presence energy.” That seductive attitude may have “you giving up the panties, Amex, relationship title, or keys to the crib sooner than you should because you're afraid to miss out”. If we know confidence is a powerful drug, why is it hard to get and even harder to keep? Because confidence is a personae we carry, the mental and physical state we embody may be compromised based on continuous crappy experiences. After so many times of being overlooked, heartbroken, or ghosted, our confidence tank starts to run empty. We look around and see our peers in relationships that appear to have just fallen in their laps and we wonder what the hell is wrong with us. It’s not long before we internalize our losses and accept dating defeat. Sure, you could give up on the potential for love, or you could recharge your resilience, improve your self-worth, and conquer some misguided fears.
Before you accept being alone for the rest of your lives or settling for anyone with a pulse that appears to like you, here are 5 S.P.I.C.Y. Exercises to reignite your dating confidence.
Spicy Tip #1 Remind yourself who the hell you are!
In our careers, we are told that “success happens when preparation and opportunity meet” (Bobby Unser). This quote rings true for dating as well. Have you properly prepared yourself with the clarity of knowing who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer? Don’t be fooled into thinking that your profession requires a thirty-second elevator pitch but in your personal life you can just wing it. Confidence stems from having an appreciation for the abilities and qualities that you possess. Write out your 30 second elevator pitch and memorize it so that you feel empowered with the clarity of your self-worth. A self possessed person knows that their value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see their worth.
Spicy Tip #2 Don’t Read Affirmations, Create Them
You are your best cheerleader. Positive affirmations are the happy, optimistic, and kind quotes we tell ourselves to override our negative thoughts. Take it a step further and record yourself saying your thirty-second elevator pitch or the amazing qualities that you possess. Tell yourself what you love about yourself and then watch the footage. Ask yourself if you believe the footage you're watching and if you don’t, rerecord it until you say it proudly and confidently. If you don’t believe your confidence others won’t either. Play it for yourself before you leave the house every morning when you are feeling low, and especially before you go out on your date.
Spicy Tip #3 Do A SWOT Analysis On Yourself
In business, a SWOT is an environmental analysis of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. To better assess your areas of improvement for self-growth take a personal inventory on all four categories of yourself. Are you capable of working on your weaknesses? Are you willing to take advantage of the opportunities? To provide additional insight into what your weaknesses are, be vulnerable with your date. Tell them, “ I absolutely love myself but I’m collecting research on why someone else may not. Do you mind being honest with me and telling me some of my blind spots? What were my physical or mental turn offs for you? Most people will not attempt this challenge out of fear of what their date might say or the discomfort of appearing insecure.
Spicy Tip #4 Play Rebound Roulette
Rejection is a part of the dating game but it is not the final score. You may have been the rejector or the rejected but either way, it is an inevitable experience that alerts a person that they are going to have to play another round before the big win. In the process of discovering your likes and dislikes, you also learn a valuable lesson about your recovery time. How do you emotionally and physically respond to not getting what you want? How long do you allow yourself to reflect on what would have, should have, and could have happened? The fear of experiencing disappointment again is more than likely looming over your head but the only way to regain possession of a ball after a missed shot is to go after the ball. For 30 days, ask out one person a day (your cashier, coworker, a stranger or friend). Yes, this exercise applies to both men and women. You will most certainly be told no multiple times but similar to rejection therapy, the goal is to desensitize yourself from the fear of rejection. Remember: confidence is a muscle that you have to strengthen. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become. The shorter your recovery time, the quicker you can get your head back in the game. “I'm on to the next one, on to the next one” ~Jay Z
Spicy Tip #5 Discover Dating Disasters
Social comparison tends to skew our perspective on where we should be at in our personal and professional lives. We see our family, friends, or social media influencers thriving and criticize ourselves for not having what they have accomplished. If you want to truly compare your love life to theirs, do your proper research. Do an inventory list of how many times your peers experienced headaches and heartbreaks before they landed in the happy relationship they are in now. Studies show that the average person will experience 2 - 5 heartbreaks before they are married. If you are going to keep score of everyone’s wins, do yourself a favor and track their losses as well. You will discover that you’re just as worthy of love as they are but rejection is a relationship right of passage.
Confidence is not a trait that you are born with. The only way to truly master confidence in dating is to practice. In a perfect world acceptance, love, and appreciation would be at the core of every social encounter, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. By avoiding experiences that expose you to rejection you limit your opportunity to grow into the most self-aware version of yourself. Like anything worth having, love doesn’t come without work. But if you’re willing to do the preparation, the opportunities are endless.
Spicy Mari, M.A. is a relationship expert, coach, matchmaker and founder of The Spicy Life Relationship Consulting Firm. She teaches women and men who are feeling dissatisfied with their love lives, strategic skills to improve their confidence and dating success. Get started on your transformation today by scheduling a free 30-minute consultation at thespicylife.com or attending one of her workshops.