There are many times in our lives when we feel a lack of confidence. They could be anything like:
- Going for a job interview
- Doing a presentation in front of an audience
- Talking to your boss / asking for a pay rise
- Socializing /networking
- Meeting new people
- Moving house / moving to a new area
- Wearing a swimsuit
- Being naked for the first time in front of a partner
- Being picked last for the baseball team (or any team sport)
It doesn’t seem to matter when, but there will be times when we lose confidence in ourselves.
There are many benefits for becoming more confident.
It becomes easier to make new friends because you are more approachable which means that people will want to get to know you and do business with you.
This has a positive flow on effect to your job or business because people will want to work with you and that means more income for you.
When you put yourself out into new situations, you actually gain more confidence the more you do that.
Think of it this way, the first time you speak in front of an audience, you will be really nervous. Granted there is almost always an element of nervousness when speaking in front of others, but when you do it more often, you become better at it.
The same happens with confidence.
For most people, confidence is something that is gained over time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
If you have been in situations in the past where others have bullied you, or said nasty things, that can leave a huge dint in your confidence. The only way to get past that is to do things gradually.
When going into situations where you feel nervous and a have a lack of confidence, try these 6 tips to help you feel at ease.
Stand straight, don’t slouch.
When we stand straight it makes such a difference to how we feel. When we are slouched over, it’s almost as if we are trying to hide. While your insides may want to hide away, this is the time to stand tall.
When you stand straight, people gain a different perception of you. You exude an air of confidence.
Remember, people make an assessment of you in the first 7 to 10 seconds. That’s not much time to make an impression. Make sure that it is a good one.
It’s difficult to be unhappy when we are smiling.
People also respond to someone better when you are smiling at them (most of the time anyway).
A smile can break down barriers, from someone who doesn’t want to know you, to someone who does. It makes you more approachable and friendly and that is a good thing.
Look people in the eye.
People want to see that you are looking at them. It makes them feel that you are connecting with them.
It also shows honesty and trustworthiness.
Have you ever noticed that when people avert their eyes, that we automatically think that they are shifty or up to no good? It’s true.
Eye contact, gives the impression of being open and credible.
Wear something that you know looks good on you and makes you feel good.
When going into a new situation, or a situation where you feel particularly nervous, wear something that gives you an inner boost of confidence. This might be your favourite dress, or tie, or an outfit in a colour that you have been complimented on many times, you know the one.
You might even take the opportunity to buy something new, knowing that it will make a great impression.
You might also choose to have on a special piece of jewellery or a picture of your family in your pocket. The great thing about this is that no one needs to know but what it does is that it gives you that confidence booster, as you know that it is there.
Prepare in advance.
For any situation, you can practice what you are going to say. And when I say practice, I mean, say it out loud.
Write it out. Do a rehearsal, including what they might respond with. Do it a few times.
Even though it might not turn out exactly as you have practiced, the sheer act of having done it already, gives you more confidence when you are in the actual situation.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
If you don’t give it a go, you will never ever know.
That’s why I say to you, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
Okay, so you don’t get the job. On the upside you have practiced in front of an interviewer and that is going to make you better at it for the next one.
You asked a girl out. She said no. That happens. The next time you ask another girl, she might say yes and you had the experience of the one before.
You’re terrified of moving to a new area. If you don’t go, you will never know the great people that you might meet, the friends you will make, the job opportunity that made you the Regional Sales Manager.
We can all stay in our safe or comfort zones because we aren’t comfortable with change or doing something different.
But what’s the fun in that?
Remember, every ‘no’ brings you one closer to a ‘yes’.
We can all give ourselves reasons why we should stay exactly where we are.
Our lack of confidence might say to us,
- “Am I good enough?”
- “Will they see my flaws?”
- “Will people listen to what I have to say?”
- “Am I too fat? Too skinny?”
But all those are just excuses. We can all make excuses all day long. But that won’t get us anywhere.
By holding ourselves back, we miss out on opportunities for greatness.
Make today the day that you are taking a step forward into a new you with confidence!