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3 things you can do in your spare time to boost your confidence.

TED-Ed brings us 3 science-backed tips to become a more confident person.

3 things you can do in your spare time to boost your confidence.

"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it," wrote J.M Barrie.

That line — appearing in the 1902 "Peter Pan" precursor "The Little White Bird" — is a perfect look at the power of confidence. "The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings," Barrie continued.

And while the latter part of his quote isn't exactly scientifically sound, it's not without merit.


For more than a century, we've remained fascinated with the story of Pan — the boy who never grew up, who lived without doubt. His is a story of pure, unfettered confidence. In a way, we all aspire to live a life so sure of ourselves.

A program from the first production of Barrie's "Peter Pan," staged February 1905 at the Duke of York's Theatre in London. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

There are some major benefits to having confidence, and there are proven methods to boost it.

There's a saying that "confidence breeds success." But does it?

Science actually backs this up to a reasonable extent. Confidence can play a big role in how much success you experience in the workplace, in relationships, and even in your health. So let's take a look at how to get there.

If we can learn to fail, we can learn to succeed.

And no, I'm not about to push some "power of positive thinking" type tips nor am I going to tell you to run out and pick up a copy of "The Secret." Instead, let's take a look at some science-backed suggestions to becoming a more confident version of yourself, based off of a video from the people over at TED-Ed.

GIF via TED-Ed.

1. Give yourself a quick confidence boost by striking a "power pose."

Did you know you that something as simple as striking a powerful, confident pose can trick your brain into actually feeling more confident? Well, it can. Really.

Try this: Next time you're feeling nervous about something — like a job interview, for example — try taking a couple minutes right before and adopting this pose: Stand straight up, push your shoulders back and chest out, and place your hands on your hips.

Now THAT'S a power pose. Photo by iStock.

Studies have shown that this pose can lead to a short-term increase in confidence and reduction in stress. How does this work?

“Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds," said Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy in a 2012 TEDGlobal talk.

2. Convince yourself you have the ability to improve.

Now, this sounds like one of those "easier said than done" type suggestions, but it's actually not. Think about the things in your life you can't change and those you can. You can't change your eye color or your height, for example, but you can change your physical strength through training.

Photo by iStock.

Ask yourself if your goal is something you have the power to improve upon (even if improving might be really difficult). Is your goal to become a better public speaker? That's something you can improve upon. A better interviewer? That's a skill that can be honed. Have more upper body strength? With training, that's possible, too.

What you'll find is that there are very few things in life truly set in stone. We all have our own limitations, but as long as we can remind ourselves that we're not stuck, we have incentive to stay motivated.

3. Fail. Get up. Try again. Repeat.

You're going to fail, and that's a given. What matters much more than whether or not you fail is how you react to that setback. Do you get up? Do you regroup, come up with a new strategy, and try again? Or do you just throw in the towel?

Take a look at Michael Jordan, for example. He's a six-time NBA Finals champion, five-time Most Valuable Player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and 2009 inductee into the basketball hall of fame. To many, he's considered the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball.

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player of all time but also a huge failure. Photo by Tim DeFrisco/Allsport/Getty Images.

But he's also someone who's experienced a lot of failure. Check out this voiceover from a 1997 Nike ad.

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." — Michael Jordan

By the time Jordan's career finally came to an end in 2003, his missed shots totaled more than 12,000. Few of us will ever be as good at anything as Michael Jordan was at basketball. We will all fail. But do we get up? Do we try again? That's up to us.

If we can learn to fail, we can learn to succeed.

TED-Ed put together a great video with variations on these three tips you can check out below.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."