3 ways to be confident
How many times have you told yourself that if you had more confidence, you’d be more successful? Pretty often, right? Here’s something to think about: Confidence is not something you have, it’s something you create. Being confident is nothing more than a sense of power in yourself. It’s the feeling of certainty that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Confidence comes from within, and you can find ways of being more confident at any time.
That’s not to say learning how to be confident will solve all your problems. Everyone has bad days or moments that upset them. Being confident also doesn’t mean you’re completely sure of yourself at all times. Creating confidence is not about knowing it all; it’s about trusting that no matter what happens in a particular situation, you’ll be able to handle it and learn from the outcome.
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When confidence matters most
Confidence is important in every part of your life, but there are some instances where it’s crucial. If you are a leader and in a position that requires being convincing and trustworthy, being confident is non-negotiable. No one will follow a leader who appears unsure of themselves. Lack of confidence can seriously impact your ability to put together a winning team and guide them to achieving your company goals. Even if you’re not in a leadership role, confidence is vital to being a team player in many situations, whether you’re in a sales position or need to present a confident face during frequent interactions with clients. Being confident helps you make instant connections and build relationships that will help you and your company succeed.
Confidence is important beyond the workplace, too. Learning how to be more confident can help you attract a partner you can build a healthy relationship with. It can also help you effectively handle conflict and seek out new opportunities that will foster your personal growth.
How lack of confidence can hurt you
While being confident can help you succeed and deepen your personal relationships, a lack of confidence can impede your goals and lead to a deficit of good habits necessary to lead a happy and healthy life. Many people develop a lack of confidence early in life and unconsciously adopt limiting beliefs about what they are capable of. This leads to self-sabotage and reinforcement of the belief that they don’t have what it takes to succeed.
If you want to learn how to be more confident, you must be willing to change your state. Your state is essentially your mood at any given time of day. Your mood is influenced by how you feel about yourself at that point in time. If you are constantly doubting your ability to do something, then you won’t believe you can do it. Confidence draws from a powerful sense of self-belief. If you’ve been focused on negative thoughts for much of your life, confidence is not going to come easily.
The good news is you can change your state at any time – no matter what’s going on around you – as long as you know how to do it. Here are some confidence tips that will enable you to change your state and believe in yourself.
Physiology: The power of body language
Think about someone you know whom you consider extremely confident. When you first met them, did you know they were confident before they even started speaking? You probably did. You knew they were self-assured because of the way they carried themselves and moved. They made eye contact, shook your hand firmly and stood up straight. Physiology is key when learning how to be confident and mastering the body language of confidence can put you on the path to success.
Do a quick inventory of your body when you’re attempting to gain confidence. What’s your posture like? How are you breathing? We all get in negative states which can lead to slouching, shallow breathing or hanging your head. You have the power to change how you’re feeling by controlling the way your body moves and the way you present yourself. The fastest way to being more confident is to radically change your physiology.
Increase confidence by deliberately moving your body with intensity and power; the way you move your body immediately affects how you feel and think. Stand up straight. Square your shoulders and open up your chest. Breathe deeply. Maintain brisk, purposeful strides when you walk to cover more ground. Maintaining a posture like this makes you feel stronger and where your body goes, your mind follows.
Once you learn how to be confident through body language, you can also observe others’ physiology to learn more about them and gain an edge in negotiations. Certain signs, such as body angle and amount of physical space they take up via their posture, can clue you in on how a person perceives a situation and how you can use your own confidence to persuade them to your side.
Focus on the best outcome for any situation
Body language is one part of the larger picture when learning how to be more confident. Another major factor when it comes to making or breaking your confidence level are expectations. Say you’re learning how to be confident because you’re being asked to give a presentation to a large crowd. You’re already nervous about going onstage and you’re sure that this will affect your performance. This expectation is damaging your state and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you keep dwelling on how nervous you are and how you are afraid you’re going to flub your lines or stumble, you’re going to set yourself up for failure.
One of the ways to develop more confidence is to change what you think about when you imagine yourself onstage. Instead of getting hung up on all the ways it could go wrong, focus on all the ways it could go right. Think about how you’re going to nail your presentation and how pleased your coworkers will be to hear it.
What you focus on becomes your reality and where focus goes, energy flows. If you’re stuck on thinking you’ll stutter through your performance and you’ll end up looking like a fool, you probably will. Focus instead on the raving fans you’ll have after you ace the presentation. By changing your focus, you’re effectively changing your state. This allows you to build the confidence you need to be more successful in your delivery.
Positive visualization is a powerful tool to wield on the road to understanding how to be more confident. Think of yourself succeeding and do your best to minimize any thoughts of failure. Remember that you get what you focus on and visualizing your goal will lead to an immediate spike in confidence.
Change your core beliefs about confidence
What do you think being confident entails? You may have some idea that confidence only stems from prior success – that you can only know how to be confident in yourself after you’ve become wildly successful. This sort of core belief severely limits you. Instead of assuming that confidence is for others, think about what confidence means to you.
Being more confident doesn’t mean you never fail. In fact, there are plenty of ways to be confident even in the process of failing. Being confident means that if you do fail, you can pick yourself back up and try again instead of throwing in the towel. True confidence embodies a willingness to go on even when faced with adversity and always focusing on what you’re grateful for. Whatever happens, you can face it and come out on top. When you have this mindset, each setback leads to growth and that helps you continually increase your confidence.
If you believe that you know how to be more confident and accomplish your goals, you’ll drastically change your state. How do you create that level of belief? By accepting that your potential is unlimited. Are your actions reflecting your unlimited potential right now? Probably not, and that’s all right. You know exactly where you need to begin. Once you start taking actionable steps toward your goal of being confident, your beliefs will gradually start to solidify.
Additional confidence tips
The above shifts in your mindset and body will undoubtedly help you learn how to become more confident. As you master these concepts, you can also use the following confidence tips when you need a quick boost of self-esteem.
Think of something that excites you
If you’re nervous or feeling unsure about an upcoming situation, try picturing a recent accomplishment or an outcome of the situation that excites you. Those who want to learn how to be more confident often forget they’ve had plenty of times where they’ve exuded confidence in the past, and reliving these moments can give them the boost they need.
Make eye contact
Connecting with people and showing confidence through eye contact doesn’t just strengthen relationships – it’s one of the quickest ways to exude confidence when you meet new people. Use the 80/20 rule of meeting someone’s eyes 80% of the time and focusing on something else the other 20% so you don’t appear too intense or make the other person uncomfortable.
Adopt a power pose
One of the deepest ways to increase confidence is to connect to your inner power. All of us have strength within us, but when we’re feeling low it can be difficult to remember it’s there. Consider developing your own personal power pose and breathing deeply to reconnect to your strong core. Your pose can be a yoga pose – warrior is an especially empowering one – standing with your hands on your hips and your feet shoulder width apart or simply standing with your head held high and your back straight. The important thing is that your pose achieves the goals of awakening your inner strength and carrying that strength and confidence into every interaction.
Rid yourself of self doubt and achieve your goals faster
Discovering how to be confident in yourself isn’t an overnight process – it takes time. By shifting how you present yourself physically and what you focus on mentally, you can create confidence that will help propel you toward your goals.