To admit you want more confidence…well, it takes a certain level of confidence to even get that far. So congrats. You are already moving in the right direction.
Building confidence and increasing confidence has been an ongoing journey for me. I don’t really see it as a “destination” to achieve. I don’t ever imagine saying to myself, “Oh, I got it. I am self-confident now. Whew. I can check THAT off the list.” Rather, I have found that every time I reach a new level of confidence, I see another mountain to climb in front of me. The more I get, the more I want. The more I have, the more I want to do for others. Which makes sense because confidence and natural hormones in our body called dopamine go hand-in-hand. Dopamine happens to be the chemical in your brain that waves flags, telling you “Hey, something good is about to happen. You are going to want to remember this so you can do it again!” Dopamine helps us remember what feels good so we want to do more of it, like my desire for increasing my self-confidence.
Now, lets be clear. Self-Confidence is defined as the feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgment. Its not the same as ego and its not the same as bravado, which can actually be used to mask one’s lack of self-confidence. Someone may perceive someone with ego or bravado as being self-confident, but the two are not always synonymous so we must be careful in our judgment, of others and ourselves. Additionally, self-confidence is not only for the extrovert. Introverted individuals can also feel a sense of trust in their abilities, qualities, and judgement. It is equally important that we do not mistake someone’s quiet nature for a lack of confidence.
However, someone with confidence is recognizable. They carry themselves taller, they are sure of their decisions, and they are comfortable with “who they be” in life. They often succeed more because not only is self-confidence a trait of a leader; a self-confident person is more likely to make decisions and choices to foster success.
Building Confidence: Tips and Tricks
Below are four things I do that you can use to increase your confidence starting today:
- Recite a positive affirmation whenever you feel the lack of confidence creeping up. For example, if I am making sals calls and the rejection calls are starting to wear me down, I would say “I am self-confident. I got this” before I pick up my next call. I have also done this before big interviews and it works GREAT. It feels a little silly at first, but it works.
- Do something out of your comfort zone. Seems a bit counter-intuitive, I know. But find 1 thing every day that makes you feel outside of your comfort zone. When we do things out of comfort zone and we make it through them (Eating with a different coworker during lunch? Speaking up during that meeting?), our circle of comfort starts to expand – and so does our confidence.
- Help someone. Use your talent, skills, abilities to help someone. This reaffirms your own abilities, and it also takes the focus off yourself so it feels freeing and makes us happy too. Bonus – you get to help someone, so its a win-win.
- Take a power stance. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips or clasped behind your head. If you are sitting, go ahead, fold your hands behind your head and kick your feet up on the desk. A power stance is very open and the more space you take up with your body, the better. Taking a power-stance gives us an immediate surge of confidence. This is a great tactic before a meeting or presentation. I will sometimes go into a restroom or empty hallway before a big presentation and walk around for a moment in a power-stance!
If you have other ways that have helped you increase your confidence, please comment or reach out to me so I can share them. There are so many people who struggle with this, and one way we can help each other is by sharing our own struggles AND solutions.