Time to boost that confidence. Whether you’re starting something new or have to do something you feel you’re just not good at.
Here are 10 practical tips to help you build your confidence. It’s really all about realizing EVERYONE was a beginner at something, sometime. So it’s not fair to expect yourself to be an expert right away. Sure, some people have certain talents, that have served as a stepping stone. But without hard work, dedication and practice, they wouldn’t have become the expert they are today. That means you can also become an expert at anything. If you just put your mind to it. Focus. Practice. And don’t give up. 🙂 Yes, you can.
I’ve gathered some tips that can help you get that confident mindset fast:
1: Everyone is insecure sometimes
Everyone feels self-conscious in one department or another. Remember that. No one is confident all the time. Let that thought help you be mild to yourself.
2: Practice confidence
Confidence takes practice. So, go practice. Pick the area you want to be confident in. If it’s on a certain subject: read about it, study it. When you want to feel confident in your body, learn to love it, work out, eat healthy. If you want to be a confident public speaker: practice speaking in public, gather tips and read books on speaking in public. Make a choice to become the expert by reading about it, and putting it into practice. As much as you can. Do it. Show up, commit and practice.
3: Dare to fail
Practicing brings me to the next point: don’t be afraid to fail! This is a very important one. One I myself forget at times…failure is part of the deal. In life we fail. We learn from failing. We need to fail sometimes, because it helps us move forward. When you fail, it means you are taking action. That is a good thing. Taking action is the best thing to do. Sitting still won’t get you anywhere. Besides, failing can give you the best stories for later. And who doesn’t like a good laugh?
Right, laughter. How incredibly important is laughter? Please don’t forget to have fun and laugh. Please. When you laugh your state of mind is good. A good state of mind helps you build confidence and feel confident. Laughing rules. 🙂
5: Music is in the air
And while you’re at it, listen to music. Music is a very powerful tool to create emotion. Which means you can use it to set a powerful&positive emotion. Music can help you feel strong. And when you hold on to that feeling, you’ll realize you’re actually halfway into feeling more confident.
6: Make use of body language
Let your body tell your brain you’re feeling confident NOW. How? By striking a ‘high power pose’. There is an inspiring TED talk by Amy Cuddy on the subject of body language and how powerful it is. A so called high power pose is a pose in which your body takes in a lot of space. For example: stand up, shoulders back, arms open wide, legs far apart. Feel the space you’re taking in. Hold that pose for 120 seconds. That is the time your brain needs to signal that you are confident, powerful. You can claim that pose right before going into a situation in which you lack confidence, in a bathroom stall for example. Or anywhere you want. Let your pose do the work for you. Watch the TED talk here. (Note: there has been some discussion going on about the reproducibility of the high power poses, but I for one say: it doesn’t hurt to try. 🙂
7: Breathe in confidence
When you are anxious and not feeling very confident, chances are you’re also breathing from your chest. It’s time to lower your breathing. Here’s a qucik test: put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Now relax your torso and breathe normally. Don’t force it. Let your breathing just come and go.
Notice which hand moves first. Is it your chest-hand? Or is it your belly-hand?
If it’s your chest hand, you’re taking short breaths, high in your chest, that won’t give you enough oxygen. This will result in shortness of breath. That is not helpful for feeling confident.
Whenever you start feeling anxious or nervous because you lack confidence, pay attention to your breath. Put your hand on your belly, below your navel and breathe towards your hand. Feel your hand move with each breath you take. Automatically your breaths will be longer and deeper, giving you more oxygen and calming you down. Give yourself time to feel more relaxed. You can do this.
8: Fear setting
When you feel so overwhelmed and lacking confidence that all you can do is let the fear rule, maybe you could try “fear setting”. This is fully described in the book “The 4hour work week” by Timothy Ferris.
The process is this: look your fears in the eye. Define VERY SPECIFICALLY what you are afraid of. Write down all the details. When you shine a light on your fears, you take away their power. Once you have defined the fear in great detail, think of ways to be able to prevent the thing you’re afraid of from happening. Make a plan, take control. Next, think of a scenario in which your fears come true. How could you repair the situation, should your fears become reality? Again, make a plan. Now, you’ve armed yourself against your fears and no longer need to let them control you. You control you. Don’t let fear rule. You are in control. Know you can do this. You’ve got this. Yes, you can.
9: Scare yourself a little
Now, let’s give you a little more control. Try to do something that scares you on a regular basis. Practice doing the things that scare you. Prove yourself wrong about the scary part. Show yourself there’s no need to be scared. Get into action! 🙂 One scary thing a week sounds do-able, doesn’t it? 😉
Fake it ’till you make it
Confidence is a way of presenting yourself, confidence is an appearance. People around you don’t know how you feel inside. Make use of that. Fake it, until you make it. If you do it right, people will believe it. Take in space with your body: stand upright, stand tall. Speak slower and in a slightly lower tone of voice. Breathe from your abdominal area. Put your hand on your belly to become aware of it, and adjust if necessary. Relax. You are confident. Already, you’re practicing being confident. You can do this. 🙂 And I’m here to help, if you find you could do with a bit of extra support. Send me a message, I’d love to hear from you!