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“Self-confidence” strikes different chords in different people. Depending on your personal relationship to the phrase, your mind may paint a picture of a weak, insecure person or an overbearing egomaniac.

But being self-confident is nothing more than recognizing your own unique gifts and abilities and being okay with letting them shine.

In fact, exuding gracious self-confidence may give another person the inspiration and permission to allow their best self to shine as well. And that’s what this journey is all about — creating our best self in order to uplift and inspire others to achieve greatness right along side us. It’s a win-win.

Here are 10 easy ways you can boost your confidence right now. Some are super-simple tasks and others will require a little more engagement, but all will yield immediate results:

  1. Stand taller – Check this out, when you improve your posture and stand taller you actually signal your brain to release testosterone, which is linked with confidence and power. Testosterone boosts outlook, mood, energy and confidence. Dana Carney, a social psychologist at UC Berkeley, conducted a 2010 survey that revealed that power poses demonstrating confidence (regardless of whether or not a person actually feels confident) increase levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — in the brain. Carney says the power pose sends a signal to the brain, a neural impulse that turns into an actual, physiological response of self-assurance. Pretty cool, right?
  1. Focus on the outside – Say whaaaat?! Yes. I said it. This is such a simple and tangible thing you can do daily to get an immediate confidence boost. Shower, shave, get all gussied up and put on an outfit that makes you feel brilliant. Then just let your greatness radiate!
  1. Smile – Smiles are magical (and contagious!) They offer understanding, peace, hope, happiness, camaraderie, and joy. Physiologically they are as powerful as posture – triggering the release of your feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins that reduce stress, boost mood and make you feel at ease with yourself and the world.
  1. Compliment another person – This one is so powerful that I devoted a specific article to it. Shifting the focus toward the loveliness around you rather than staying stuck in self-absorbed misery alters your internal energy and raises your external attractiveness to others — double whammy! No one has ever received a compliment and felt worse about themselves. And by boosting someone else’s confidence you reap benefits as well. Again, it is a neural signaling thing… boy, our brains are smart!
  1. Move your body – Movement in general increases blood flow, oxygenation and muscle contraction. It gives you a sense of achievement, engagement, and enhanced wellbeing. All of these feelings are a result of endorphins released by exercise and movement. They are major mood boosters and pain relievers. It’s hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re riding high on the feel-good messages of brain chemicals.
  1. Squash negative thoughts & replace them with positive ones – Once you discover what you’re truly telling yourself, it really becomes quite simple: “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” —James Allen.
  1. Behave as ifFake It ‘Til You Make It is a common saying meant to help us avoid getting caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy related to our fears and insecurities. If we are what we believe we are, then we can be what we want to be… act with confidence by standing tall, smiling, speaking clearly, meeting another person in the eye, and behaving the way you envision yourself behaving as a confident person and you will call it into being.
  1. Live by your principles – What are the principles upon which your life, your beliefs, and your behaviors are built? If you don’t know, you will feel directionless. Once you’ve identified what matters to you, begin to act on it in your daily life. When you are assured by the guidance of your convictions you will automatically exude confidence in all of your endeavors.
  1. Set a very small goal and achieve it within 4 days – There’s a cool thing that happens when you set a really easy goal and achieve it within a short span of time. You gain confidence in your ability. Feeling capable is a mental cornerstone for confidence. When you feel qualified, adept, or proficient, your confidence is seriously heightened. Tack on a series of small wins over the course of time and you can ride high on a tidal wave of living with purpose and passion.
  1. Cultivate gratitude – One of my favorite, simple things to do to shift out of a bad mood or feeling of insecurity is to get thankful. We live incredibly privileged lives and no matter what is happening, there is much to be thankful for. It’s true, “The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that is changes the world you see.” —Dr. Robert Holden
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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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