Why Self-Confidence is a Good Investment
A few years ago, it started happening. Patients started coming to me to have cosmetic procedures “for work,” even though their jobs had no specific aesthetic requirements. This included women and men who held desk jobs, sales jobs, and consulting jobs. It was independent of personal goals or other relationships, and has only become more common since then. “I can't meet with clients with these bags under my eyes,” one patient complained. “I look exhausted. How will they take me seriously?”
There has been wide research performed on the subject of physical attractiveness and personal success. People who are good looking tend to get more dates, not surprisingly; but they also get better jobs, get better prices on cars, and generally have an easier time of things. They are perceived as more intelligent, but also as kinder, more insightful, and more likely to be a good person. This ‘halo’ effect touches many aspects of our daily lives, and influences us in more ways than we consciously imagine. But what is truly remarkable is that even people who are not, by most standards, objectively beautiful, may benefit just as much from this phenomenon simply by believing that they are.
When asked what attracts us most to a potential dating partner, confidence always ranks high on the list. This same self-confidence translates professionally into “She seems to know what she's doing," and “He really knows what he's talking about.“ The way we see ourselves affects how others see us, and subsequently how they treat us. The end result is a positive feedback loop that breeds benefit all around. And the best part is that all you have to do is believe it yourself to make it true in your environment.
But one more, perhaps less intuitive albeit just as real, effect of self-confidence is increased productivity. Self-confidence allows you to believe that you can achieve great things, and this helps you do just that. This is all part of the “superman” phenomenon, whereby deciding you can do something increases your chances of succeeding at it by many fold. Just standing up straight and saying out loud that you can climb that mountain sets you up for potential success; and general self-confidence does this for you every single day. This is a powerful technique often used by industry leaders and professional athletes, and it has a measurably beneficial effect on performance.
Self-confidence also has a powerful positive effect on our health. People who feel good about themselves tend to have less stress, are more social, and engage in more positive behaviors. We are more likely to take good care of ourselves when we feel we have something to lose than when we think things are bad to begin with. “What's the use working out?” becomes “I love my abs. I want to keep them that way.” Add to that the positive influence of those around us responding to our energy and paying us compliments, and the entire tone of things becomes beneficial.
The final, and often overlooked, aspect of self-realization is the restoration of identity. Many people seek out cosmetic surgery to look better, but an equally large sample seeks it out just to return to themselves. Beautiful women who were always in shape may feel permanently disheveled after three children and forty pounds gained and lost. Athletic men who always identified as such can't recognize themselves with their father’s belly and their grandfather's hairline. The fact is that we are less likely to achieve and be happy if we don't feel like ourselves, or feel like a lesser version of what could be or what once was. Restoring our bodies helps us reclaim our selves in meaningful ways, just like picking up that old guitar reminds us that we are totally young and cool on the inside.
Self-realization is a process that takes many forms. Finding a career that is more of a calling can keep you motivated and inspired. Surrounding yourself with the right company limits external toxicity. But feeling comfortable, or better yet confident, in your own skin is an often underestimated requirement for general contentment. Losing yourself physically can mimic true mourning, much as recapturing one’s identity represents a heartfelt reunion. The beauty of it all is that, whether or physical or mental, there are many options for restoring or improving oneself; and the end result is a high yield investment that translates effortlessly from work to play.
Dr. Sophie Bartsich is a Board Certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic surgery of the breast and body, as well as professional rejuvenation for men and women. As an Ellevate member, she strives to help other women reclaim their confidence through physical and mental self-improvement. See more at www.doctorsophie.com
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After completing my undergraduate education is psychology, I pursued a graduate degree in design marketing at Parsons School of Design. I had a brief career in the art and fashion industries, but eventually found my way back to my true calling: medicine. I quickly discovered the best profession for me, a mix of science, surgery, and art: Plastic Surgery. A former student at the Lycee Francais, I spent my formative years in a European educational... Continue Reading
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