1. Know what you look like
Find out how people perceive you … if you look as though you lack confidence, then people will treat you as though you do. In other words, you’re already on the back foot and it’ll be a lot harder to get people to listen to you.
2. Sort out your body language
Like it or not, people suss you out quickly, mostly by taking in your body language and sound. So get yourself in front of a mirror and be honest with yourself. Do you look confident? If not, why not? Then practise looking confident. Look at your posture, your facial expression, your clothing … Sounds mad but it works.
3. Don’t say sorry
Are you a serial sorry sayer? A lot of people who lack confidence are. They apologise for everything. Well don’t. Only apologise if your actions warrant an apology. Some people prefix everything they say with a ‘sorry’. This is completely unnecessary and suggests you doubt yourself. You might as well hang a sign around your neck saying ‘I lack confidence’.
4. Remember you’re not unusual
Realise that you’re not unusual. Even truly confident people have their ups and downs. They accept this as part of life. An embarrassing situation is an embarrassing situation .. so what? It happened, there’s nothing you can change about it. So learn from it and move on.
5. Be realistic
Accept that you’re not unlucky. No one was born confident. Confidence is a skill you can actually learn. Accept this and start to learn. Just like any other skill, it requires practice and self-discipline to get good at it. We can all do it as long as we accept the challenge.
6. Think positively
Understand your mindset. Be honest with yourself … are you a positive or negative thinker? Are you a pessimist or an optimist? This is important. It’s impossible to feel and look confident if you approach life negatively. A problem is a challenge, a mistake is a lesson to be learnt, a failure is a fact of life.
7. Know where you’re going
You’ll achieve little, if nothing if you don’t have a focus. So work out what you want to achieve, both at home and at work and write down a plan. Think strategically (say over 2 years) and more tactically (say 6 months). One leads on from the other – think strategically first and then decide what you need to do tactically to achieve this.
8. Be happy
Think carefully about what makes you happy and get some of it. Confident people tend to be happy people – just watch them and you’ll see. That’s because they’ve found a balance between the things they have to do and the things like doing. They’re also realists. They accept that life is life and there are some things that just have to be done but they don’t let these bog them down.
9. Smile more
Sounds mad but it’s true. Smiling really does help you to feel and look more confident. Someone who walks into a room smiling looks confident. It’s a fact. It’s also true that smiling actually makes you feel happier. It releases endorphins into your system. This even happens when you make yourself smile … So it’s worth the effort.
10. Control your emotions
Control your emotions but don’t stifle them. Think about how you let them out. Don’t make a fool of yourself. Take a deep breath, maybe a few minutes too and then explain your feelings in a controlled way. Confident people have the self-control to do this.