Do you feel like you could use a boost in the confidence department? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people look for help on how to be confident.
If you’re shy or feel that your shortcomings (real or imagined) are visible to everyone or you feel that you are lacking in social graces, confidence can be a real problem. Many people even think that it’s something inborn, like a talent.
The truth, however, is that you can train yourself to become more confident and take control over your life and any given situation. Here are some useful tips.
Fake It Until You Make It
If you lack self-confidence, there’s a good chance that your body language reveals this fact. Other people can tell if you don’t believe in yourself and they react accordingly. You probably pick up on their lack of trust in your abilities, too.
That makes the situation even worse.
What you may not know, however, is that by faking the body language of a confident person, you can actually boost your own belief in yourself. It may feel wrong or awkward to start with, but it’ll soon become natural.
Take a look at the following behaviors:
- Problem – If you don’t feel confident about yourself, there’s a good chance that you’ll carry yourself poorly. Many people with low self confidence bow their heads, round their shoulders, and slouch through life.
- Solution – If you stand up straight, throw your shoulders back and make eye contact, you’re sending yourself and others signals that you are confident.
- Problem – If you feel face sliding into a frown, it might be time to change things a little. A sullen or anxious expression communicates discomfort to other people. It also intensifies your own discomfort.
- Solution – Force your expression into something more pleasant and you could feel a little better, even if nothing really changes. Try smiling even if you don’t feel the emotion to back it up. Believe it or not, just the process of forming a smile on your face can psychologically make you feel better.
- Problem – Do you find yourself muttering, speaking very quietly, apologizing automatically or putting yourself down? A lot of people with poor self confidence do these things to try and draw attention away from themselves.
- Solution – Unfortunately, all these behaviors make a person seem timid, uncertain and even incapable. It may be difficult to make yourself speak up and accept a compliment, but if you put forth the effort, it will pay off in the long run. Try giving somebody else a compliment or a empathetic nod. Also, take notice and copy the body language of the other person. This will create a positive bonding effect.
- Problem – If being around other people or in a public setting makes you nervous, there’s a good chance you have a few fidgety habits. Whether you fiddle with your clothes, bite your lip, tap your foot, or clear your throat, you’re sending clear signs about your confidence. Even a tendency to use the same words over and over could be a verbal fidget.
- Solution – Suppressing these urges may be tough to accomplish, but many people find themselves feeling calmer once they get rid of their habit(s).
Attend to your Physical Appearance
Some individuals feel they don’t measure up to others when it comes to how people dress.
Your clothes don’t have to be expensive or the latest trendy brands. As long as they are clean and in good shape (no holes, stains, unwrinkled) you will project an attractive appearance. Make sure you are clean and well groomed as well.
While imitating the behavior of a more confident person can give you a boost, it usually isn’t enough to conquer a serious problem. It’s also important not to get caught up in unlikely possibilities.
Many people find themselves imagining the worst case scenario when they don’t feel confident. The result is an increase in worry and nervousness.
If you find yourself doing this, it’s time to stop and reorient yourself. Look at the facts and think about what’s actually likely to occur. More often than not, the potential outcome is not as scary as you first thought.
Come up with a few solid plans to help you deal with the most likely outcomes and stick with them.
If you have a strategy, the chances of feeling more equipped to handle the situation are much better.
A lot of people who lack self confidence have trouble following through on any one thing. The result is a series of abandoned goals and projects with no actual accomplishment.
If you tend to quit something before finishing because you’re afraid of failure, you end up cutting away at your confidence even more.
It can be challenging, but simply making it all the way through to completion can give you something to feel good about. Remind yourself of your success whenever you feel as though your confidence is waning.
Successful people know that failure or rejection is just a temporary setback and even can be an educational experience. Sure, they initially feel disappointment, but they learn from the situation and apply their new knowledge to the next time out.
They know success in any endeavor is a percentage game. You may have to fail five, ten or even twenty times before you succeed. It’s just a fact of life.
By looking at failure with this new perspective, you can improve your skills, strategies and techniques and in the process gain a new level of confidence.
Focus on the Positive
Bad things can and do happen, but they probably don’t occur as often as you fear they will. By spending all your time focusing on the problems that might occur, you end up sabotaging your own self-confidence.
Try to focus on the positive aspects of any situation, even if you don’t really believe in them. Simply thinking positively can produce surprising results.
Be selective of incoming news and information regarding the world and your life. Make a choice as to what is helpful and beneficial to you and don’t obsess about the rest.
Hanging out with a positive crowd is a also a good choice, since people with negative attitudes can drag you down.
Practice makes Perfect
Just like learning an instrument or perhaps a new language, by putting in the effort to practice these techniques, you’ll eventually see positive results. If you’ve been wondering how to be confident, start small; you may be surprised by how quickly your faith in yourself grows.