Self-confidence is a way of life for some, and a totally foreign concept for others. Taking risks, facing fears, overcoming obstacles; a little self-confidence can take you a long, long way in both your personal and professional life.
Self-confidence is about belief. Even when the chips are down, and things aren’t exactly going their way, self-confident people know that they can pull through. They see themselves in a positive light, and back themselves in times of trouble.
Low self-confidence, as Barrie Davenport put it, is not a life sentence. Confidence is a skill that can be learned and mastered. But it takes serious commitment and requires daily practice.
So what will this daily practice entail? Here are 5 simple ways to give yourself that much needed confidence boost.
1) Start With Your Image
If you look good, you feel more confident. It’s just basic human nature. So dress the part. Investing in quality clothes that fit well will give you an instant boost. Dress like the person you want to be – if that means donning a suit or little black dress at work, so be it.
Body language plays a huge part in how your self-confidence is perceived by others. Get in the habit of putting your shoulders back, keeping your head high, and maintaining eye contact. Both a smile and the classic firm handshake also give a sense of self-assuredness.
2) Sound the Part
Do you have a favourite speaker, or TEDx talk? Analyse how the speaker delivers the presentation. You’ll find that a great speaker uses a steady, rhythmic tone. They’ll put emphasis on particular words, letting them hang in the air for a moment. They’ll also leave out ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’.
Take these notes on board. Be aware, while it might seem nightmarish, the only way to get better at speaking is to practice.
3) What’s Between the Ears?
The development of self-confidence starts in that little cranium of yours. Negativity feeds low self-confidence, while positivity feeds high self-confidence. It all comes down to how you approach problems.
Your new mantra: there is a solution to everything, and you won’t stop until you’ve found it. If you start thinking you’re not ‘enough’ – good enough, strong enough, smart enough, attractive enough – it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Switch to positivity.
4) Surround Yourself with Positivity
And the positivity train isn’t limited to the thoughts bouncing around your head. As Jim Rohn said, ‘you’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with’. If the people in your inner circle are rivers of negativity, then you need to seriously think about removing yourself from their presence.
This can be a tough ask – these people may be close family members or lifelong friends. But the difference in confidence that comes from limiting your time with these personalities can be dramatic.
5) Create a Greatness List
When the chips are down, and all the smart dress, correct posture, and positive affirmations in the world couldn’t make you feel self-confident, you need a backup plan. That’s where the greatness list comes in.
Get a pen and paper. Make one list with all the things in life that you’re thankful for. Make another list of all of the accomplishments that you’re most proud of. Post these lists somewhere visible. Whenever you’re having a low moment, read about why you’re doing this, and what you’ve managed to do in the past.
Because nothing is more inspiring than yourself.