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How to Be a Real Superhero Every Day

Are you a superhero?

If you answered yes, then congrats. I’ll try not to take up too much of your time, so you can get back to doing whatever it is that you do. If you answered that you’re not a superhero, then here’s a follow-up question: are you ready to become one?

This is not a trick question. You can become a superhero if you want. If it seems like you can’t maybe that’s because, in the age of Marvel, we’ve been conditioned to have a narrow understanding of what a superhero actually is. So, let’s make a distinction between real superheroes and fictional superheroes. To be a real superhero, you don’t have to be extremely wealthy like Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne. Or have been born into it in a faraway land like Black Panther or Wonder Woman. Or gain your powers through a freak accident like Spiderman or The Hulk. You don’t have to fight crime or an arch-nemesis. All you have to do is believe in yourself, and have the courage to do some good.

Over the past month, in anticipation of National Superhero Day on April 28th, we’ve been asking you to tell us what kind of superheroes you are, or you aspire to be. We’re impressed.

Here’s one from our Instagram friend, @active_aimee: “I am that person that will stop a complete stranger on the street to compliment them. I love seeing how this immediately changes how they carry themselves. I see them smile, stand taller, and have a bounce in their step.”

That’s awesome! Going out of your way to make someone’s day better are absolutely the actions of a superhero.

Another real-life superhero is @__tiffit__, who says her self-confidence “gives her the mental and physical strength to balance life as a medical student and amateur powerlifter and bodybuilder.”

Superhuman strength and energy is required to do just one of these things, let alone both. So, yeah, she definitely qualifies as a real-life superhero. And years from now when she’s a working doctor AND a power lifter? That’s a superhero alter-ego you don’t want to mess with.

Another no-doubt superhero is @jaimeannez, who told us: “As I am just getting home from an event I volunteered at for a nonprofit near and dear to my heart… I volunteer for Suck It Suicide. We are all about suicide prevention, education, and awareness. As a 4 time attempt survivor, helping those struggling or even who have suffered a loss helps keep me above ground. If I can help people stay above ground with then I’m fulfilling my purpose. Maybe I can help them realize they have purpose too.”

Wow. We are DEFINITELY looking at a real-life superhero here, folks. The fact that she’s willing to share that she’s a four-time suicide survivor takes heroic bravery. Not only that: her origin story. Her experience as a four-time suicide survivor gives her unparalleled insight into the mindset of the people she’s helping.

You are amazing for the difficult work you do, and unquestionably a superhero walking amongst us.

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes and do good in a variety of different ways. We easily found three examples of everyday, non-fiction superheroes who blend into the daily fabric of our lives. You sent us so many more great examples and we could go on and on. That’s the point. Everyone, whether they realize it or not, has a superhero inside them.

A costume? Not necessary. A sidekick? No. A secret lair? Wherever you spend most of your time will do just fine. An origin story? Your own origin story is already absolutely perfect. The only thing you need is the confidence to see yourself as a superhero, and the drive to get out there and start doing some good.

Sock It to Me at the 2019 Golden Globes!

We meant to bring this up earlier, but it’s pretty cool, so we’re going to mention it now even though it’s very late.

If you’re a fan of the Golden Globe Awards, you may or may not be aware that every year all of the nominees and all of the presenters are given a fancy gift bag to take home. The typical contents of the gift bag are incredibly swanky–expensive watches and jewelry, obscure skincare products, even luxury cars and exotic vacations.

This year, nestled amongst the expensive creams and miscellaneous goodies, were a pair of socks from Sock It to Me. True to the theme, the pair we included was called “Movie Night.”

If you’re wondering how you can get a pair of Movie Night of your own, the best way would be to build a time machine and go back in time to get them. Unfortunately, we stopped selling them last year. If you do succeed at time travel, maybe make a movie about it, and then next year you can be nominated for a Golden Globe of your own.

Read about Sock It to Me at the Golden Globes:

The Apparel Industry Is Getting Better at Inclusivity, but There’s Still Work to Do

STRETCH-IT stretches to an industry-best 21″

When Sock It to Me first started, our goal was to make confidence-inspiring socks to sell to as many people as possible. As more and more people started noticing our socks, we realized there was a problem. Not everyone who wanted our socks could wear them because they didn’t fit. Since then, we’ve taken steps to address the problem. Five years ago, for example, we started offering STRETCH-IT socks–the best socks in the industry for wide calves. This year, we started offering Women’s Hipster underwear in sizes to 3X–and more sizes for men and women are coming early next year. We’re proud of these steps toward making our products more inclusive, and aware there are more steps to take still.

Inclusivity is a huge word, packed with meaning and implication. It’s a realization that certain parts of the world are inherently biased against certain groups, coupled with a conscious movement to correct those biases.

When we talk about inclusivity in the apparel industry, we often talk about initiatives like offering additional size ranges. And it’s so great that more companies are realizing the importance of this kind of inclusivity. But it’s only the most visible example of where we need to do better. Inclusivity also means serving groups–like people with a rare or unique disability–who are less visible.

The good news is that people are starting to recognize this is a problem. Last October, PBS Newshour ran a segment about designing accessible fashion for people with disabilities. It’s a really inspiring story that’s well worth ten minutes of your time, and we strongly encourage you to watch the whole thing.

In it, we meet a woman named Christina Mallon, a self-described “fashionista,” who for eight years has dealt with a degenerative motor-neuron disease that’s caused her to become paralyzed in her arms and shoulders. “Fashion is a way to express your soul, and your personality. So, and me being a fashionista since I was a child, it was very difficult that I couldn’t wear my remaining clothing because I felt like a part of my identity was dying.”

It’s not just that clothes no longer fit. For Christina and people like her, inclusivity is also about things like buttons and zippers.

Cut buttons out of inclusive fashion. For many people, they’re difficult to use.

For many people, a button or zipper on a garment means dressing yourself in the morning is almost impossible.

Christina looked at options for accessible clothing, but didn’t like what she found. “It was these really bold colors that I would never wear. A lot of fleeces, nothing fitted, a lot of Velcro. And that just wasn’t me.”

Christina believed she was out of luck, doomed by circumstance from ever being able to find fashionable clothes to wear, but then she met somebody who could help. Grace Jun leads a non-profit called the Open Style Lab with a summer program that trains students to make fashion more accessible and inclusive. They made an entire personalized collection for Christina, including a stylish fitted coat, a shirt with  a silky inside that slips easily over the head, and a dress with a strap on the bottom so she can use her foot to pull down the hem.

Mallon says, “Being able to put a coat on by myself was the difference between me having enough confidence to go to work and things like that have such a big impact that people don’t understand.”

For apparel to be inclusive, it needs to be inclusive for all people.

It’s awesome that this made such a significant impact on her confidence, and we totally understand why. Looking how you want, expressing yourself authentically, wearing clothes you want to wear, are things that most of us take for granted. But they form a basic foundation toward feeling confident. We understand this is just one solution for one person, yet it’s an encouraging start.

The apparel industry has made decent progress being more inclusive to certain groups, but there are many more groups that require more work. To the individuals doing this amazing work, we salute you, and say thank you.

Today’s the day! National Self-Confidence Day is here!

How are you today? Are you feeling confident? Don’t worry: there’s no rule that says you have to be confident on National Self-Confidence Day.

If you are confident, great! If you’re not confident, that’s OK! For lots of us, it’s not easy. It takes time. The opinions we hold about ourselves are so deeply ingrained that they’re difficult to change. But you should know that the point of today is not to pretend to be confident. The point of today is to plant the seeds of real confidence.

Let’s begin by making a personal inventory of all the reasons you should be confident. Maybe you just aced an exam. Maybe you just started working out at the gym. Maybe you’re a world champion boomerang thrower. Maybe you have a close-knit group of friends. Maybe you’re a world champion knitter. Maybe you know how to make a sandwich nobody else knows how to make. Or maybe you’re nice to people. All of these things are worth celebrating–if they’re you.

Look for simple confidence-boosting tips and tricks you can do. These will help nurture the seed. We wrote down some ideas in our recent blog, Five Easy Tips for Self-Confidence, but the important part is figuring out which strategies work for YOU.

And for everyone who woke up feeling confident today, that’s awesome! It’s a great feeling, no? Don’t you want to help others experience it? It can be as simple as passing along a confidence-inspiring message to a friend or loved one. Let them know you believe in them. A simple comment takes barely any effort, and it can have a huge impact on them.

You may also consider taking it a step further and talking about confidence with someone on a deeper level. If you know someone who struggles with confidence, one comment probably won’t be enough to change their perspective, but you can make a difference by sitting down and having a conversation. Letting them know what a big difference confidence can make in their life, and how it’s possible to make the change, could be their impetus to start seeking confidence-inspiring strategies of their own.

The most important thing to remember about National Self-Confidence Day is that the point is not to feel confident today and forget all about it tomorrow. The point is to inspire long-term, lasting change for as many people as possible. And we want you to know that you’re awesome, and we appreciate your help.

Five Easy Tips for Improving Self-Confidence

“Be confident.” On one hand, this is good advice for any situation. But also, if you could be confident on command you would be all the time, right? People don’t lack confidence because they don’t want to be confident. For the most part, they lack confidence because they don’t know how to be. The good news, according to many leading psychologists and confidence experts, is that confidence is a skill. If you practice the right strategies, you can get better at it.

With National Self-Confidence Day coming up on March 26th, it’s a good time to talk about some of these strategies.

How about some mood music?

Confidence is a skill, but it’s also a feeling. And few things have the power to change how you’re feeling as quickly and effectively as music. Use that to your advantage. Think about different songs that affect you in different ways–songs that pump you up and songs that make you feel creative, songs that make you feel social and songs that make you feel focused–and how they could give you with the right kind of confidence for a certain situation. The next time you need some confidence to-go, you’ll have the perfect song at your fingertips.

You feel great when you’re wearing your favorite clothes

It’s an unfortunate reality that people we meet will judge us by our appearance, but we’re guilty of doing it to ourselves, too. If you’ve ever noticed that you’re nicer to yourself when you like how you look, that’s called the enclothed cognition effect. When you wear clothes that fit well, you feel comfortable, and that changes how you carry yourself. When your clothes reflect your personality, it contributes to feelings of acceptance, which makes a big difference in how you interact with people.

Practice positive self-awareness

The more you understand about yourself at your deepest core level, the easier it is to summon self-confidence. Think about what you believe in, and live your life based on those guidelines. Take pride in the things you’re good at and the friendships you’ve built—you’ve earned them, and nobody can take them away. Be honest with yourself—but not in a negative way. If you can master the fine balance between being realistic but not overly critical, you will have a strong foundation upon which self-confidence can be built.

Start small and work your way up

If you search “confidence boosters,” you’ll find hundreds of lists offering dozens of tips like “Smile” and “Get plenty of sleep” and “Drink lots of water,” which, sure, probably can’t hurt. What we mean here, however, is to set your sights on a large goal. Then, before you set out to slay the dragon, think about similar but smaller and easier tasks you can complete. Knocking out these tasks will give you practice and experience. The feeling of accomplishment in achieving the smaller goal will make you feel like the larger goal is also attainable.

Stop listening to the negative lies your brain is telling you

Negativity can be tempting. When you think something good might happen, it’s a huge letdown when it doesn’t. Whereas if you trick yourself into believing you absolutely cannot accomplish your goal, you have an easy excuse not to even try. When you think of it in these terms, it becomes painfully clear that negativity is nothing more than a defense mechanism. And this particular defense mechanism exists to protect you from disappointment, not to tell you the truth. When you’re being pessimistic, it’s easy to believe that you’re actually being realistic. It’s weird to think about: sometimes your brain doesn’t want what’s best for you. But it’s true.

We hope some of these ideas will help light a flame of confidence that will one day grow into an inferno. If not, remember that self-confidence comes from many different places and different strategies will work better for different people. If these ideas aren’t your kindling, keep looking! We promise it will be worth it.