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Whether you are new on the job, feeling pressure to perform, finding yourself messing up more than usual, or you're just not on your "A" game, confidence can take a nose dive. Your boss may be questioning your abilities, co-workers seem to be thriving while you're floundering, and you just can't get it together. It's no wonder your faith in yourself isn't as stellar as it ought to be.

But you can't wait for others to build you up, nor will there be some magical moment when suddenly your ego explodes. You need to boost your own confidence, get back your "mojo" (or get your first taste of some), and show yourself and those you work with that you've got what it takes to succeed.


Put Forth Your Best Self

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Your inner strength is what will push you through hard times and hurdles, but if you look good, you'll feel good. And that will give you the courage and sureness to shine. This isn't about beauty or showing off; it's an outward reflection of what type of person you are, what you seek to achieve, and how you choose to present yourself.

As per The Muse, "Dressing well, having good posture, being friendly, and making eye contact with people will all give the impression that you're confident and in control. And when the rest of the world thinks you're self-assured, you'll start believing it, too."

Inc. adds, "How you move around in the office can determine your mood. Add a little zing and energy, and you can gain more confidence when people notice you have the pep. Confidence is reflected."

Put your best foot forward and "best" is the direction you'll go!

Change Your Mindset

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Negative self-talk and debilitating doubt will stall you on your journey towards reaching the top. Confidence starts from within, so berating yourself will only keep you down. Remind yourself daily that you are a hard worker, a smart person, and someone who has it inside themselves to reach any goal set forth.

Huffington Post suggests investing in your mind. "Focus on speaking positive affirmations to yourself daily, meditate on the right things, keep upgrading your inspiration and motivational content and ensure that your mind is consistently fixed on the right things."

As Entrepreneur puts it, "Fake it 'till you make it. You are more competent than you know. So, act like you know it all!"

One way to do this is to "trumpet your own success," as per Inc. For instance, "You can build your own confidence by pointing out, in a matter-of-fact way, that you were the one who accomplished something for the company. It makes you more confident because you get into the habit of self-rewards and self-acknowledgement."

It's not gloating when it's genuine.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

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Ask and you shall receive… and eventually, you shall achieve! If you don't quite grasp a concept brought up in a meeting or need clarification on an email or presentation, ask! Staying silent and in a state of confusion will only dampen your confidence. When you are in-the-know and well-educated, you will perform at your best.

As The Muse notes, "Remember that (no matter what stage you're at in your career) you're never going to have all the answers. So, don't be shy about asking questions, especially when you're feeling uncertain or insecure. Instead, arm yourself with the information you need to do your job well by asking for it."

Asking questions will not only help you grow, but will show that you are invested in the company and care about making a difference. Hooking up with a mentor is another smart strategy to get ahead and help you feel more confident in your abilities. And when you get to a point of achievement, pay it forward.

Confidence starts now! Boost your way to a breakthrough!

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

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If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

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5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.