The following is a guest contribution from Myke Macapinlac of Social Confidence Mastery. He moved from the Philippines to Canada at 17, and learned first-hand how to be confident as an immigrant.
Being an immigrant is not always easy.
Perhaps you feel less of a person because you’re not as blonde or as tall compared to other guys around you. Maybe you have a bit of an accent and tend to mispronounce certain words.
Whatever it is you’re struggling with, let me just say that I understand how you feel.
My family and I immigrated to Canada from the Philippines back in 2003. I was 17 years old.
My first few years in a new country were a tough transition for me due to a number of reasons:
– I didn’t speak English.
– I was massively overweight
– I was painfully shy.
In fact, my social anxiety was so bad back in high school that I ate my lunch in a bathroom stall just to avoid any interaction with other people.
Needless to say, I found it really difficult to make friends, let alone get dates.
My social life was pretty much non-existent. Not to mention, my dating life really sucked.
Sick and tired of staying at home, watching too much television and playing video games, I decided to do something about my situation.
As I started to look more into developing this part of my life, I realized that you can learn to be more confident – especially in a social setting.
Fast-forward today, through hard work and persistence, I eventually became more confident, charismatic and social.
Nowadays, I have an abundant dating and social life filled with like-minded women and supportive friends.
So, how do you develop confidence as an immigrant without losing your identity?
Here are my best tips to be confident as an immigrant…
1. Pick Your Role Models
One of my limiting beliefs when I was younger was white people wouldn’t want to hang out with me because I’m Asian.
I felt like I had nothing to offer and I wasn’t cool enough so I just kept to myself.
It’s easy to act like a victim and feel like you’re at a disadvantage just because you’re an immigrant. I’m warning you, don’t fall into that trap!
It wasn’t until I was able to eliminate that negative thought in my head that things changed for me.
One thing that I did that really helped me was to look for other people who had the lifestyle that I wanted.
It didn’t take me too long to find other Asian men who were not only considered cool but also popular in their social circle.
I used them as my role models and started to believe that if they can do it, I’m sure I can do it too.
What I want you to do is to pay attention to what they’re doing.
– How do they think?
– How do they dress?
– How do they behave?
Once you figure that out, you can emulate what they do and you’ll most likely get the same results.
Remember, success leaves clues and all you have to do is follow those clues!
2. Develop Your Other Qualities
What do you do if you’re not tall and considered classically good-looking?
Does that mean you’re out of luck with the ladies and can’t hang out with other cool people?
If you can relate to this, I totally get it.
Standing at only 5’5,” I used to weigh 200 pounds and had a 36 inch waist back in high school. To make matters worse, I also had really back acne.
In fact, it was so bad that my face looked like a slice of pepperoni pizza.
You can’t do much about your height, face and skin color. But you can always do something about how you present yourself.
Here are some suggestions:
– See a dermatologist if you have bad skin
– Shower daily and make sure you smell great
– Hit the weights regularly and eat healthy
– Get a cool haircut and improve your style
– Read self-development books and go to events
Find whatever it is that makes you come alive and do it. Eventually, you’ll become the most interesting person that you know.
Not everyone is born good-looking. I sure wasn’t.
But with enough effort, anyone can become attractive.
3. Spend Time With the Right People
A mistake that I see a lot of immigrants commit is hanging around too much with other immigrants.
The need to feel something familiar is definitely comforting, especially in a different country.
On the other hand, being around people who look and talk like you all the time is not going to help you fit in to your new environment.
If you want to grow socially, you have to step outside of your comfort zone.
Here are some examples:
– Get a job that will force you to talk to lots of people
– Volunteer for causes that you genuinely care about
– Join public speaking classes to help you communicate better
Put yourself in situations where you can interact with the locals and other people outside of your race.
Maintain an open mind and slowly integrate yourself to your new environment.
4. Don’t Compare Yourself
One of the quickest ways I know to feel inadequate is to compare yourself to other people.
Remember, you have something different to offer compared to other guys around you so use that to your advantage.
Embrace your nationality fully. Educate people about where you’re from. Tell them what makes your culture so special.
Stay in your lane, accept who you are, and use your unique qualities to your advantage.
5. Cut Your Losses
Let’s face it, you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea.
People have their own perception of the world and unfortunately, it’s not always positive.
To this day, I still experience a bit of prejudice from time to time. Typically, it’s from people who have never travelled.
If that ever happens to you, don’t take it personally. Instead, view it as an opportunity to be the bigger person.
There are going to be a percentage of people who will not be into you and that’s okay.
Put all your energy to those who want to be in your life.
Wrapping Up How to Be Confident as an Immigrant…
To recap, the tips to help you develop confidence as an immigrant are:
Tip #1 – Pick your role models
Tip #2 – Develop your other qualities
Tip #3 – Spend time with the right people
Tip #4 – Don’t compare yourself
Tip #5 – Cut your losses
There you have it.
Remember, these tips will only work if you actually implement them into your everyday life.
If you do the work, I promise that you’ll be able to meet and connect with whoever you want to meet without losing your sense of self.
Myke Macapinlac is the Program Director of Social Confidence Mastery. His mission is to help shy guys improve their social confidence so they can succeed in their personal, romantic and professional lives. If you want to discover proven steps to approach and talk to anybody no matter how shy you are, click here to download your cheat sheet.