Confidence is a strange beast. How do you know when you’re confident? How can you measure confidence? What does confidence really mean? What does confidence really look like? How can you boost your confidence? The questions are endless.
By definition, confidence is ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’. Another definition, the one more aligned to this blog is; ‘a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
What I want to bring out in you, is the capability you have to increase your ‘self-assurance’ in your own abilities and qualities.
Confidence doesn’t come over night or even from reading a blog. If it did, I’d be a millionaire. Like anything, you have to work on your weaknesses to turn them into strengths. Similar to what my other blogs identify, practice makes perfect and this blog will identify some great methods that will in turn, change the way you lead your life. Learn to lead it with confidence.
Act confident even when don’t feel confident
It may seem like a contradiction but this is my favourite technique by far. By pretending or acting as if you are confident in some of your most distressing of situations, you will gradually change the way you approach these situations. This technique is called learning by association. Your confident approach to these situations will become second nature after continuous practice. This is a great place to start to build upon your lack of confidence.
I’m a big believer of introducing yourself to new situations and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. By virtue, if you want to succeed and be the person you strive to be in life, self-development plays a crucial role in maximising your potential. No one is pushing yourself to do anything you don’t want to do. Progression is in your own hands just like your development in how you become confident.
Change the way you act to improve your lack of confidence by:
- Changing the way you think of a situation you wouldn’t normally be confident in
- Think of the situation as an opportunity
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone by facing your confidence issues. Act as if you were confident in these situations to gradually change your perception of these situations
- Speak confidently, clearly, positively and make yourself heard. Even if you’re not sure in a situation, speaking in a confident manner will do miles for your confidence
- Speak confidently every day and it will become second nature
Deliver confidence by speaking up
The best way to show you are confident when with a group or in a meeting, is to speak up and let people know that you have an opinion. If you speak up and voice your opinion you will appear more confident that not saying anything at all. Don’t be afraid that people will judge you. People are not as bad as you think and do not judge anywhere near as much as you think.
With practice, speaking up will become more natural. The more you put yourself outside of your comfort zone, the more used to the situation you will become. Here are some great ways to improve your confidence in meetings:
- Preparation is key. The more you are prepared in meetings, the more confident you will become with what you say
- Speak loudly and clearly. This gives people less chance to ask you to repeat what you are saying
- Speaking up lets people know you are confident in what you are saying
Be adventurous with your life and take risks to achieve your goals in life. You get the best out of life by going out and getting exactly what you want. Your curiosity in life could open a lot of doors if you take the risk and explore the opportunities.
Risks can be opportunities if you change your perception of risks. Risks come in many forms, from exploring other job opportunities to sparking up a conversation with someone you have never met before. Risks are present in everyday life and by taking a leap of faith to realise the pay offs from risks, your confidence will reap the benefits.
Taking risks is all about putting yourself out of your comfort zone and going into unknown territory. You will learn that sometimes the risks pay off and sometimes they don’t but have no regrets from taking the chance.
Improve your confidence by taking risks in:
- New situations. If you are unfamiliar with a particular situation, whether it’s a job interview or asking some you like out for dinner, the more you practice the better you will become. With practice the confidence will come
- Get involved with new crowds, make new friends and socialise. You can learn a lot from other people. Some of my most recent friends ooze confidence and this really does have a knock on effect
- Don’t be afraid. You only have one life, so live it
Dress your best and your confidence will do the rest
Remember when you went shopping and brought that really expensive suit/dress? Turning up to your event feeling like a million dollars. You probably felt more confident wearing this than your casual clothes. Why not dress to your advantage more often. Looking your best will draw some great attention your way and will most certainly boost your self-esteem.
Still have an embarrassing pair of shoes or a faded top that has you wondering why you wear it ever time? It may put a dent in your pay check but spending that little extra on clothes will most certainly have you feeling more confident.
Invest in your confidence by:
- Scrapping some of them old rags you are embarrassed to wear. I admit, I still have some clothes I slip on and it most certainly doesn’t do anything to boost my confidence
- Buy some nice smart clothes. Have a look around to see what other people are wearing and take note. If you see something you like, shop to buy something similar
- Look after your hair and skin. Paying a bit extra for a quality hair cut or some good skin cream can make all the difference. Avoid the dog clippers at all cost
Confidence stems from a healthy lifestyle
When you feel healthy, your confidence will be at its highest. To prove this point, think back to a time when you were sick with a cold or hung-over after a big night out. Most people will want to avoid social interaction where possible and hideaway. Eating healthy gives you the energy boost you need to maximize confidence. Having too many takeaways and microwaves meals will naturally make you feel grouchy. Healthy food and drink will boost your immune system, your energy level and most notably your confidence level.
Exercise regularly and maintain your fitness. Confidence is gained from looking and feeling your best. When you are out of shape and unfit, you may feel self-conscious of your image or even unattractive. It may seem tough and hard to motivate yourself to exercise regularly but the benefits will pay off in the long run.
Changes you can make to your lifestyle to improve your confidence:
- Compile a list of healthy food options and go shopping
- Try new exciting recipes that make healthy eating more exciting
- Join the gym or find a good spot to go for a regular run
- Keeping fighting on. A new healthy lifestyle will work wonders and you will have only wished you had started earlier
Praise yourself to boost your character
This may sound cringe worthy to some, but letting yourself know that you done a great job every now and then is a real confidence booster. It can be really easy to get caught up thinking of all the times you fail at something and it can be a real downward spiral if you let it get the best of you.
Practice focussing on the positives from every possible experience and pay attention to your strengths. To know that you have tried your best is a great thing! You live and learn every day and when you focus on the positives from your experience, you can use that knowledge into the next encounter.
Say for example, you deliver a presentation to a group of colleagues at work. If you perceive that the presentation didn’t go well, focus on any positive you can draw from your experience. Positives can be; getting the presentation out the way, being proud that you had the confidence to go through with the presentation and that you delivered an important message.
Use positive enforcement to build your confidence and draw on every confident aspect you delver every day. You will start to notice that you will gradually draw on more experiences of confidence every day. Practice positive enforcement in the following ways:
- Try not to focus on the negatives. Every experience in life is a learning curve
- Stay away from negative people. Friends that put you down and draw confidence from you are not friends at all
- Tell yourself that you are confident
- Compliment other people as this will create a positive atmosphere where you can really build on your own confidence
- Focus on your strengths
Think of where you want to go in life, what you need to get there and how you plan to get there. There are thousands of great motivational publications and speakers that will inspire you in improving your confidence. Motivation can be found all over the web, from books to YouTube videos. Search for the inspiration you need and google will do the rest!
Make yourself a motivational plan. From delivering professional presentations to removing your financial worries, set yourself a goal and work hard to reach it. Having motivation to reach your specific goal is a great confidence booster as it gives you a target to aspire too. When you reach different checkpoints in the journey to your goal, your confidence will gradually grow as you are making progress.
Improve your self-confidence from motivation by:
- What you have achieved already and how far you have come
- Committing yourself to success
- Having specific targets that are achievable
- Listening to experience from close friends and motivational videos and books
- Write down your strengths and weaknesses and then draft a plan on how you plan to turn your weaknesses into strengths
A happy mind is a confident mind
Confidence draws upon your emotions and when you are happy, your confidence levels will be at its greatest. Let’s say for example, you have just received a rejection letter for a recent job interview you have been on. We can safely that if you really wanted the job then you would most certainly be unhappy. Although you can’t change the outcome, you can focus on the positives from the interview and work to change your mind state. Having an enthusiastic mind set will drive your confidence by giving you the determination and motivation to succeed.
There are many individual motivators in life that will increase your happiness. Make some time for activities that you enjoy, organise your week to spend some evenings with friends and loved ones and start some new hobbies. You can learn a lot of things from your friends and you can draw a lot of confidence from them.
Drive your happiness and confidence through:
- Spending more time socialising
- Go out an experience new things
- Assure yourself more often. You are better than you think you are
- Live life to the max. You only get one chance to live it
- Look after you money. Work hard to remove any outstanding debt that lingers
Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope this inspires you to lead a confident life. If you decide to use some of these tips please comment below on how successful they were and how they have made a difference to your life. I am always open to feedback and new suggestions so please feel free to discuss.