Be More Confident
Self Esteem and Confidence
Confidence is a mystical thing. Some people are born with a lot of it, others are born with very little. Confidence can be a key factor when it comes to being successful in life. It can be very important when it comes to performing well at work, making new friends and meeting a significant other.
It can be a bummer being overly shy or uncertain about yourself. It seems really easy for confident people. That can go to any party or start a new job without having to worry about interacting with other people.
However, a lot of people claim that confidence isn’t just something you either have or don’t, it’s a skill you can improve on and master. So, is there a way to be more confident?
Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
If you want to become more confident you are going to need to make some changes. Nothing ever changed by staying the same. To really build your confidence you are going to need new challenges that take you outside of your comfort zone. The more you do things that scare you, the more you will realise that you don’t need to worry about doing something new.
Start off with something really small. If you have never travelled alone before, try it. Find a nice shop you want to visit in a near by town, get on the train and go visit it.
It might seem like nothing to most people but if it is something you feel unconfident about doing, do it. Before you know it you’ll be back at home having got on a train alone, visited a neighbouring town alone and you had no trouble doing it, despite your fears.
Now, when you need to go somewhere alone for an important reason in the future, you will feel a lot more confident in doing so. You’ve been on a train alone before and you’ve visited a town alone before.
The same logic applies to social interactions. The more you talk to shop keepers, friends of friends or an attractive member of the opposite sex, the more confident you’ll feel doing it next time.
A reference experience is something you have gone through in the past, that you can reference back to that helps you in the future.
For example, a brain surgeon has a particularly long and complicated surgery early in his career. Lots of things went wrong and he had to think on his feet to correct them, ending the surgery in success. Now, the surgeon is much more confident as he knows if any complications arise during surgery he is able to deal with the situation as he has done it before.
We can take the same approach to social situations. Are you worried about meeting your bosses’ boss at work? Think back to all the times you met superiors in the work place. You may have been nervous at first but everyone likes you, believes you to be a good worker and professional in your manner. So, why are you worrying?
If you believe you are short on reference experience, there is no time like the present to start creating some. Try going to your local pub and talking to a member of the opposite sex and you’ll always have that experience to reference.
Maybe it went really well. First of all, that shows that you are able to do it. Secondly, you can look back at what made it a success. Was it what you were saying? The way you were saying it? Your body language?
Maybe it went really badly. You now have this negative experience to look back on. Did you say something wrong? Were you so nervous you were awkward? Whatever the issue was you now have the experience to look back at to learn from.
This logic applies to everything. If you plan to be a stand-up comedian and perform in front of thousands of people, you might want some reference experiences to look back on. Performing well to a small crowd might just give you enough confidence to perform to a big one.
When we are feeling confident we stand up tall with our shoulders back. It naturally occurs when we are feeling confident. The opposite is also true; when we are feeling unconfident our body language changes to a more slouched position.
We can work this backwards; by standing in a confident way we will start feeling more confident. Stand strongly with your legs in line with your shoulders, make sure your shoulders are back and your head is looking up high, not down at the floor. You can even put your hands on your hips (as pictured).
Standing in a confident way like this will trick your brain in to feeling more confident.
Learn A New Skill
Confidence comes from a place of being certain about something. If you don’t really know much and have nothing to talk about, how can you be confident?
I’m sure you would be much more confident if you were the greatest footballer of all time, could speak 5 different languages and have the body of a Greek god. No one is that perfect… However, learning some new skills (and having something you can show off and talk about) will certainly make you more confident.
An anchor is something you do (for example, clenching your fist) in a certain state of mind that brings you back to that state of mind. The action becomes associated with the state of mind.
Think of a time when you were really confident socially (or imagine one). Maybe you are at a pub and talking confidently with everyone you meet. Maybe it’s a day at the office that you were particularly charming and funny. Think about that time and imagine yourself there again. Visualise the confident you being confident and think about how it feels.
When you are in this zone of confident you, touch your index finger and thumb together. Think about this confident you, be in that moment and associate the feeling with touching your thumb and index finger together. Now, when you are in a social situation you can touch your thumb and index finger to bring back the feelings of the confident you.