The 10 Gifts of Confidence: Give Yourself the Gift of a Brand New You

By: Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS

My work as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon puts me in touch with hundreds of people every week who all have one thing in common: they all want more confidence.
Whether they’re simply looking to recapture the confidence they had in youth by taking advantage of one of my many anti-aging remedies or wanting to feel more confident in public or, especially in Hollywood, have more confidence in their entertainment careers, my clients often desire increased self-confidence.

It’s an issue not enough doctors focus on as a “perk” of these procedures and, frankly, an issue too few patients recognize as the real value of undergoing aesthetic procedures. How we look definitely affects how we feel; I see this theory come to life every day.

No matter how minor or major the product or procedure they opt for, I am in a unique position to witness the powerful transformation from insecure to confident in my patients on a daily basis. In fact, I watch people get reborn nearly every day. There is no substitute for the gift of confidence; confidence can mean the difference between success and failure, happiness and sadness, hope and desperation.

Over the next few weeks I want to share with you the 10 Gifts of Confidence I’ve identified through my years as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. First up, let’s check in with our very first gift:

The First Gift of Confidence: More energy

Have you ever noticed that when you’re lacking confidence, you’re also lacking one very vital ingredient to success: energy! Feeling insecure or doubtful about our appearance can leave us feeling lethargic and depressed. I see many patients on a first or second consultation who simply seem flat-lined; concerned about their appearance and energetic enough to make their appointment, but uncertain or unsure of themselves and lacking the get up and go of more confident people.

Then, after their procedure, I witness resurgence in energy. It’s like they just got plugged in and turned on again! Anyone who has ever woken up from a great night’s sleep or just gotten back into town from a relaxing vacation can tell you different life looks when you feel more energetic and hopeful about life in general.

Whether patients get Beverly Hills rhinoplasty (a nose job) to accentuate their face or a skin peel to look years younger, I always notice the extra spring in their step once their recovery is over and, incidentally, for weeks and months to come. There is no energy-booster like confidence, and no confidence-booster like feeling happy and hopeful about your newfound appearance.

As you can see, confidence seeps into every area of your life. Tune in next week when I’ll bring you three more gifts that confidence can bring…

The Second, Third and Fourth Gifts of Confidence

What would your life be like if you could feel less insecure?

What would you do, where would you go, who would you walk up to and greet if you could simply be more outgoing?

How would your life change if your relationships with your friends and family were closer?

Continuing in our series on plastic surgery and confidence, this week I’m going to share with you the second, third and fourth gifts of confidence, which will have you feeling less insecure, more outgoing and enjoying closer relationships with your friends and family:

The Second Gift of Confidence: Less insecurity

Insecurity is, quite literally, the state of feeling less secure.

I often treat patients who come in feeling very, very insecure about their appearance. Whether they feel bad about the signs of aging they are experiencing, or a facial feature like their nose, chin, brows or jowls that has been making them feel less secure, many patients are anything but confident during our initial consultation.

Insecurity robs you of more than just your feeling of security; when you’re insecure, you can be less than who you were meant to be.

Think of how good it feels to be secure, to be confident, to be hopeful and happy about how you look. You walk taller, stand straighter, move faster, speak more freely and smile more often. When that confidence and security is taken from you because of your concerns over your appearance, all that energy and enthusiasm slowly drain out of you, leaving you less than you once were.

Some of us suffer from insecurity for years because of our appearance. Every time someone comments about our nose, our ears, our chin, our jowels, our wrinkles or our brows we lose a little of that security, a little of that hope, happiness and enthusiasm for life.

When we take steps to rectify what has made us feel insecure over the years, we take the first cautious step back toward security and begin the long road back to our self-confidence.

Now, I’m not saying that plastic surgery is the ONLY way to get more confidence; I’m merely saying that, in my office, the results of plastic surgery quite often lead to more confidence and that the effects of more confidence are unmistakable in my satisfied clients!

The Third Gift of Confidence: More outgoing

When you feel confident about your appearance and yourself, you will find yourself more open to new things, new people, new places and new experiences. Patients often update me about their “new” lives after plastic surgery or one of my non-surgical procedures and, more often than not, these updates include all the new places they’ve gone, the jobs they’ve applied for, the friends they’ve met, sometimes even the love interests they’ve begun because they now feel so much more confident and, in a word, outgoing.

It’s only natural to lose interest in new adventures when we lack self-confidence in our appearance. Some of my patients are so self-critical that going to something as simple as a lunch with friends or meeting the family for a holiday meal becomes a daylong exercise in trying to stay upbeat and positive and take the emphasis off their appearance.

Unfortunately, the unkind or thoughtless comments of others – as simple as they may be – can make such efforts for naught as patients crumple right back into that old insecurity and doubt when a family member or friend remarks about their appearance.

The more we hear these remarks, or even just imagine them, the less likely we are to go beyond our increasingly shrinking worlds. Teenagers who are insecure about their appearance are less likely to make new friends in school. Adults are less likely to apply for new jobs or seek promotions when they feel insecure about how they look.

Boomers and seniors can feel cut off from society if they feel they look “too old” to fit in. With confidence about your appearance, you can not only look years younger but feel years younger as well.

Being outgoing is not just a luxury in this day and age, but a necessity. Most of us have to go out in the world to work and meet new people and interact with coworkers, employees, bosses and customers. Even if we work from home, life is full of face-to-face interaction with neighbors, friends, family, retail clerks and cashiers, waiters and waitresses, etc. It can be amazing the amount of new people you meet in a week, or familiar people you interact with on a daily basis.

What’s the first thing people notice about you? Your face; so if you don’t feel comfortable, confident or even compatible with how your face looks, it’s only natural you would “shrink” back from the world and become less outgoing as a result.

Confidence gives you the freedom to go out in the world again, to meet new people with a smile, to stop worrying about what others will say and concentrate on the joy of human relationships again.

The Fourth Gift of Confidence: Closer relationship with friends and family

Notice how these 10 gifts of confidence all build on each other. Our first gift, feeling more energy (see last week’s blog) helped us feel more secure about ourselves and our appearance. Feeling less insecure, our second gift, makes you more outgoing, which is ofcourse our third gift. Now we come to our fourth gift of confidence, which is having closer relationships with your friends and family.

Can you see how being more outgoing – in addition to feeling less insecure and having more energy – could strengthen your relationship with close friends and family? After all, being with people takes energy; you want to give as good as you get, and you simply can’t do that when you’re feeling insecure or lacking confidence.

When you’re no longer worrying about your appearance before a lunch with your mother or a holiday meal, you are freed up to actually enjoy the family gathering! Patients often tell me how much more enjoyable these family gatherings are now that they’re no longer worried about their appearance and can actually be present in the moment, listening to what the other person is actually saying rather than hearing their negative self-talk get in the way!

Anyone who has ever felt distant from his or her family for whatever reason, but particularly because of shyness, insecurity or lack of confidence over their appearance, can tell you what a joy it is to reconnect with family members and friends once again. Renewed confidence can mean renewed connections.

I hope by now you can see how these first few gifts can make you feel and look better while increasing your confidence daily. In the coming weeks we will explore the rest of the 10 gifts of confidence….

About the Author: Dr. Babak Azizzadeh is the founder and Director of The Center for Facial & Nasal Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Azizzadeh is one of the leading facial plastic surgeons in the country with an expertise in rhinoplasty, facial rejuvenation and restoration, and blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery Beverly Hills.

Dr. Azizzadeh is the author of top-selling plastic surgery textbook, Master Techniques in Facial Rejuvenation and the upcoming textbook Master Techniques in Rhinoplasty & Nasal Reconstruction and Beverly Hills Beauty Secrets. He has been featured in the Oprah Winfrey Show, People Magazine, NY Times, LA Times, Elle and numerous other media outlets.