Becoming more confident is probably the number one focus for my clients.
How do you get there? First off, it is important to acknowledge that confidence is a skill, a learned behaviour. It is likely that a child who is brought up in a household where confidence is the norm will display signs of confidence at an early age but it is what they have been exposed to in those all important early days.
Regardless of whether you have been exposed to confidence at a young age or not, you can still develop confidence. It takes practice and belief; belief that ‘you can’ change your behaviour and thinking to become more confident and utilising opportunities to apply the skill.
Here are a few steps to bring about positive changes:
1. Putting You First
It’s lovely to be able to do things for others and I would encourage that – giving is a gift. However, you also need to give to you, be it some daily time or a day off. This is so important if you want to know yourself and appreciate your life. Too often it is an ongoing battle of endless tasks to satisfy the demands of others. Slow down, take five, you count.
2. Stop Underselling Yourself!
You have personal qualities and developed skills that can add value to your workplace, home life and community. All that you contribute is worthy of your acknowledgement. Stop playing down your abilities by believing someone else can do what you can do better… so what? You can still do ‘it’. Building your self-esteem will help to eliminate the negative messages you apply to your abilities. It is time to value you and what you do.
3. Express Gratitude
Every day there is something to give thanks for; it might be the fact you got through it or a new job offer or a chance meeting with an old friend. Create a journal and note what you can be grateful for each day. Think about the most basic of needs that are often taken for granted; the air you breathe, the transport that gets you from A to B, the phone that allows you to contact people at any given moment in time, the switch that flicks on the electricity. When you do this regularly it creates a positive shift in your thinking and you’ll find more things to be thankful for.
4. Treat Yourself
There is something quite lovely about being pampered, whether it is out at a salon or at home with your friends. It’s amazing to see how a new hairstyle or new makeup look can brighten your outlook. And if that is not your thing make a list of treats that appeal to you and once per week or once per month go for it! This does not have to be an expensive exercise either, create a list of treats and use the great money-saving sites like Groupon and KBG to get great deals.
5. Act Like You’re There!
We learn to act from childhood by copying others behaviour and word patterns and a great confidence builder is to act like you’re there already. You need to have an interpretation of what confidence looks like to you (who do you watch and think ‘wow, I’d like to be that confident) and start mirroring things like gestures, facial expressions, posture, wording, etc. As nutty as it may sound it works! It’s not so much about faking it as practising and forming new habits.
Bearing in mind that two-thirds of your behaviour come from what you have learnt (as oppose to any genetic persuasion) watching someone you admire and raising your awareness of what it is about their behaviour that makes them appear confident and then forming your own way, is a positive action to bring about change.
Start creating the confidence you desire… today! Becoming more confident is up to you.