Doubt can be a powerful feeling – but not as powerful as feeling a true sense of confidence. Confidence is an attractive quality, and lays the foundation for achieving your goals. Only when you believe in yourself will you be able to perform at your best. We have cultivated some of the top tips we could find as a guide to boost your confidence – now!
Confident people expect to win. They may not end up on top, but they don’t expect to be on the bottom either. So the first step in feeling more confident is believing that you’re capable. It can be frightening to think of yourself as a success – picturing yourself getting the job, winning the contract or getting the promotion – because the sting of disappointment is much greater when you can taste success. But that’s the risk you have to take if you want to tap into your confident side. If you don’t believe that you can do whatever it is you’re trying to do, and don’t expect that you’re going to succeed, your shot of getting there just diminished. You might not get what you were after but believing it’s possible is a much better option than giving up before you start.
Once you can get more comfortable expecting success, the next step is to learn to go with the flow when things don’t go your way. Confident people are ready for anything and don’t get flustered by much. When they expect to succeed – and then don’t, or they get a result they didn’t anticipate, they don’t retreat in embarrassment, they just keep moving forward. The more you face the unexpected head-on, the easier it will get to go through life feeling like you can handle anything that comes your way – the true mark of a confident person.
When people talk about work, school, life, and other people they are usually talking about what’s wrong. When someone has a strange look on his face what do people usually ask? What’s wrong? And when something important is about to happen what do people think about? Everything that could go wrong.
It takes more than just positive thinking to build self-confidence. It takes effective thinking.It’s good to know your shortcomings and weaknesses, but it’s ineffective to constantly focus on them. That type of thinking can nullify your strengths and kill your self-confidence.
Once you know what your weaknesses are, and what problems could arise, it’s time to decide how you are going to keep your weaknesses from coming into play and what to do about the potential problems. Once you know, put all of that to the side and with laser-like-focus home in on what’s right – your strengths and what can go well.
4. Trust your gut
This is a tough one, because if you’re lacking confidence you’re likely not used to going with your gut. In fact, you might be ignoring all sorts of signals you’re getting for fear of making the wrong decision. But in order to be confident you need to trust your instincts – they’re usually right. Confident people are good at making decisions because they don’t second-guess how they feel. They look inward for insight into which way to go, choose a direction and start moving. There may be bumps in the road and setbacks to deal with but rarely will they stand at the fork in the road and wait for an answer to fall out of the sky. And because answers rarely fall from the sky, we suggest making better use of your gut to make clear decisions that you can feel good about.
5. Take risks
Like embracing the unexpected, taking risks will help give you a new perspective on how much you’re capable of. If you don’t push yourself or do things that scare you, you’ll never know how much you can handle. Don’t worry, you don’t have to jump out of any airplanes or swim with the sharks (unless you want to), but doing something every day that puts you slightly outside your comfort zone will help you feel more capable, confident and ready to take charge more often.
- Make small talk at work with someone you don’t know very well.
- Speak up in a meeting.
- Take a class to learn something new.
- Go somewhere solo – to dinner, a movie or a concert.
- Pitch a new idea to your boss
6. Fake it until you make it
If all else fails, the old adage of faking it until you make it still holds true. Even if you don’t feel confident, you can still act confident, and often the former will follow the latter. People respond well to confidence, so the more you can act the part – smile, make eye contact, speak clearly, ask for what you want, be direct – the better you’ll fare, everywhere from work meetings to cocktail parties.
7. Set bite-size goals and celebrate success
When a task, goal, or obstacle appears to be insurmountable your self-confidence can begin to wane. The good news, however, is that small, successful experiences can produce more confidence.
For instance, if you have difficulty meeting people at networking events follow the other four steps in this article and set a small, attainable goal of meeting just one new person. Accomplish this and at the next event you’ll feel more confident as you remember successfully meeting one person previously.
As your confidence grows, celebrate by giving yourself a treat or doing something you enjoy. Then set another small goal of meeting two new people next time and celebrate again. This technique works for anything and is a tremendous confidence booster.
8. Note when your confidence is high, and when it needs a lift.
What’s the situation? Who are you with? Do you feel that your self confidence makes a situation harder than necessary? Do you refuse challenges because of your self-talk? Do you find yourself standing in the background? Simply becoming aware of your patterns will make it easier to shift them.
9. Make eye contact
Make and maintain eye contact throughout conversation, both when you are talking as well as listening. Too often, at least one side of the discussion appears distracted, which is frustrating for the other person. Eye contact says you are listening, you are engaged, and the other person is important and worth your time. Even if you are not feeling that in the moment, you will convey respect and you both will feel good about your interaction. This will create a confidence boost in you every time you communicate in person.
Does this one sound easy? It really is! Smiling triggers an automatic response in our brains to get happier. Don’t wait for a smile to happen by itself. Our days are hectic and busy. Sometimes we get overwhelmed, frustrated, or feel underappreciated by family and co-workers. A smile does not always spread across our lips naturally for hours at a time, which perpetuates our negative emotions. Allow yourself to smile widely and often throughout the day, even if you don’t feel like it. Try this: the next time you are alone and not feeling your most fantastic, make yourself smile, not just with your lips but all the way up to your eyes, as if you were looking at an adorable baby. Hold it for 5 seconds and feel what it does to you. Both your happiness and confidence levels will be immediately improved.