Firstly, what is confidence? Everyone’s definition is different. For some confidence is about standing on a stage in front of hundreds of co-workers delivering the quarterly sales figures, for others confidence is the ability to talk to strangers, travel alone, ask a girl (or boy) out or walking into a room by themselves. Confidence has a different definition for everyone.
I work with a lot of people who feel they lack confidence and more often than not, this lack of confidence prevents them for living their lives fully and meeting their objectives.
Perhaps more confidence would allow you to:
- Apply for that promotion or new job vacancy
- Give you more control with family matters or parenting
- Deliver a presentation
- Make new friends
- Travel independently
- Take up a new hobby or join a new group
- Start dating and meeting new people
- Eliminate negative self-talk
- Be more assertive at work or in a relationship
- Remove self-doubt
- Start believing in yourself
For some confidence comes naturally, but for most people, confidence takes a bit of practice. The goal is to appear confident, even if you don’t really feel it on the inside; there are a few tricks you can use to make yourself appear more confident than you really are.
People who struggle with confidence tend to make themselves smaller, so when you need a confidence boost, put your shoulders back and stand tall. There’s a whole heap of health benefits associated with standing tall (and you look slimmer, so double bonus.)
Before entering a room stretch your arms out as far above your head as possible and make a V shape, stretching out your hands or try putting your hands on your hips with your elbows wide apart. At first you might feel a little silly, but try it, it works!
Make eye contact
Eye contact is critical if you are looking to appear confident. People who don’t make any eye contact can appear uninterested. Make eye contact with more than one person if you are in a group situation and maintain when someone is speaking, repeatedly breaking eye contact will make you appear shy (or just really bored with what you are hearing) Every now and then glance away for a second, you don’t want to make the person you are speaking with feel uncomfortable.
Stop with the fidgeting
People who are nervous or lack confidence tend to fidget, often without even realising. Some people tap their feet or jangle their leg; others might adjust their standing position or nod a lot. Try and stand still and focus on what the person is saying. This can be tough and takes a bit of practice. Ask someone you know well to identify any quirks that they notice about you.
Don’t be afraid of silences
Awkward silences are often associated with a bad conversation, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of silence. Silence often provides reflective space or allows time for something to sink in. Silences are powerful and can often reflect your confidence, so don’t be afraid to use them.
The brilliant thing about confidence is that you can fake it until you make it. Confidence takes a bit of practice, but eventually you will find you don’t even think about it; walking into a room full of strangers or delivering a presentation will feel natural. You more you practice, the more natural it will become.
Don’t let a lack of confidence get in your way
Just think what you could do, if only you had the confidence. Don’t let a lack of confidence hold you back from living life to the full. Coaching is a great way to really understanding what is causing you to feel unconfident, get in touch at email@example.com to book your coaching session.