Confidence: Increase Yours in 8 Simple Steps
Have you ever felt less than confident? Confidence can be an issue for most people at different times in life, especially during the social events and financial obligations of the holiday season. Some of us love this time of year, while others are holdinig their silent nights until January 2. Whether you are not a social butterfly or you are dealing with personal issues, confidence can be a challenge. So, let me ask, Do you feel confident? Do you know how to be confident in social, professional, and romantic situations?
There is a BIG MYTH regarding confidence: people say, “Either you have confidence or you don’t.” This is simply NOT TRUE! Confidence is a skill that can be learned, but it does take intentional and purposeful practice.
I have personally struggled a lot with confidence since my high school days. I can always see other people’s special qualities, but I have a hard time seeing special qualities in myself. A mentor of mine taught me that we all have gifts (or talents), we just don’t get ALL the gifts. I have worked hard to appreciate that I can enjoy other people’s gifts that I do not possess, and vice versa. This is why I hire someone to do my taxes, because I am awful with numbers!
So let’s start the journey to feeling stronger, more positive, and more confident. We tend to size people up when we meet them as a winner or a loser. So what goes into forming this opinion? Let’s work from the outside to the inside.
How to Look Confident
Of course, how you dress and physically look is important, but here I want to address your body language. Expand your presence, hold your head high, stand tall with your posture, claim your territory, loosen your arms, and lift up your chest. According to the University of British Columbia, when people feel less than or defeated, they get small. Don’t fall prey to crossed arms, slouching, or hunched shoulders. Claim your territory—you will look like a winner!
How to Speak Confidently
Do you sound confident over the phone? It can all come down to your “Hello?” tone and projection. Also remember that your mood impacts your tone. A recent study tested the approval rating of participants who sounded sad, happy, angry, normal, and power posing. Unsurprisingly, “happy” participants received the highest approval ratings, while angry participants received the lowest. This tells us to never answer the phone in a bad mood!
How to Make Happiness Equal Confidence
They go hand in hand! Feeling like you have meaning in your life and work makes you feel confident, feeling like you matter. Try developing a mission statement for yourself. If you work for a company, also be aware of their mission statement. A great tip is to keep a Success Folder on your computer and read a few items when you are having a bad day.
How to Walk Confidently
We can decode information as people walk. How? Emotions and intentions can change your walk. Try filming yourself walking. Ensure you appear happy and relaxed and purposeful, with your head up and with a good gait. You will feel and appear more confident.
How to Learn From a Confident Role Model
Confidence is easier to develop when we can watch and learn from someone in action. Identify a confident person whom you would like to emulate. This person may be a secret (one you observe and take notes about how they interact) or may be a mentor who is willing to work with you and provide inside tips. This person should be someone who shows confidence in their leadership, interacts well with all different kinds of people, has humility, is empthetic, shows respect, does good things outside the job, is knowledgeable, and someone who isn’t afraid to be unique. Confidence is not about being the most extroverted in a room.
How to Pump Up Your Confidence
Are you in a funk, burned out, or exhausted? When you feel like this, it can negatively impact your confidence. Ramp up your confidence by creating a fun music or video playlist that makes you feel good, happy, or inspired. You can listen while driving or simply brushing your teeth. This also works great before dates and interviews!
How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome happens when we feel unworthy of our success. It is a psychological phenomenon that causes smart, talented people to feel like frauds, undeserving of their accomplishments. Studies show that 70 percent of all people feel this way at different points in their lives. It is not a defect; it is actually a reaction to an event. It is temporary and overcomeable. The solution is practicing motivating positive self-talk.
How to Increase Confidence by Limiting Social Media
Social media is most likely hurting your self-confidence. Studies show that up to 60 percent of people say that their social media exposure impacts their self-confidence. In another study of subjects ages 28 to 73, half of participants say social media affects their self-esteem, and half say it impacts their relationships. It’s harmful when we compare ourselves to others—especially idealized personas on social media—and when we rely on others to determine our value with views and likes. Reality and fantasy quickly get blurry. Experts suggest that every hour of exposure to social media be balanced with one hour spent with friends and family.
Confidence is in your hands. These eight steps can help you feel and project a more confident image that can invite greater success. Just remember that every intentional step or practice you make, big or small, will make a positive difference!