There’s always that woman that walks into the room and just oozes confidence. She looks amazing and you want to be her. Don’t worry, me too.
Having a lack of self confidence could be holding you back from living your dream. Do you put off applying for that dream job job for fear of failure? Building your belief in yourself could open doors for you and help you become the person you want to be.
I’m not preaching from up high on this one. I’ve got a long way to go when it comes to my own confidence and esteem issues. My head is usually filled with negative thoughts that cloud my judgement. I try to second guess what everyone thinks about me and it’s usually negative. So I’m along for the journey on this one. Let’s do this together.
As Richard Branson once said, “Life is a helluva lot more fun if you say yes rather than no”. When an opportunity arises to try something new, whether it’s going to a Clubbercise class, a work trip abroad or moving to a new city, ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’
Yes, you could hate it and wish you’ve never tried it but what could you learn from the experience? Perhaps you’ll learn that your knees can’t cope with jumping up and down for 45 minutes to club tunes, but chances are you’ll feel better for trying. I’d rather have given something a go than regret saying no.
When I was 20 years old I worked as a travel agent. I’d only been there for 4 months when I was given the opportunity to go on an educational trip to Majorca. I was going to spend five days with people I’d never met before, including sharing a room with a girl who was a total stranger. I could have said no and pass on the opportunity. Instead, I got the train by myself to Manchester, I ate in a restaurant alone for the first time, and I met some lovely people who were all in the same boat as me and we had a great time.
That experience really boosted my confidence and helped me to realise what I was capable of.
Dress the part
I’m all for women dressing how they want. Hell, I spend most of my life living in jeans, trainers and a tshirt. But it’s interesting how you can feel more confident wearing certain clothes. For me it’s heels. I can’t wear heels for very long so I don’t wear them very often but when I do I turn into Dave from the Moneysupermarket advert. Heels make you strut your stuff down the pavement. Probably best not to twerk a random passerby though.
Choose clothes that make you feel epic good about yourself. If you feel more confident in a certain outfit you’re going to project this and look more confident.
Change your body language
Certain postures and behaviours can make you look and feel less confident. Having hunched shoulders, looking down and generally contracting your body inwards can make you look defensive. Conversely, if you hold yourself “in an expansive pose”, according to Harvard Business School research it gives you a feeling of power and dominance and displays these attributes to others.
So next time you’re in a situation that’s outside your comfort zone, such as at a networking event, stand tall, relax your shoulders and smile. And remember what this diva has to say:
Set yourself a challenge
Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Give yourself targets to achieve so your success is measurable. Practising things that you aren’t confident doing and then realising you can actually complete the tasks is a huge confidence booster. A lack of self confidence is often down to a lack of self belief. You don’t believe you can do something and that’s what you tell yourself so don’t even try.
Setting yourself small challenges can help you to build up to the bigger goal. Hate using the phone? Challenge yourself to ringing up and ordering your next takeaway, or call the hairdressers and make an appointment rather than doing it all online.
If you don’t like going to networking events – book to go to one and then set yourself a little competition to see if you can collect at least 5 business cards. Then at your next event, try to beat your record.
By achieving these smaller goals you’re proving to yourself that you can do it. Practise and then practice some more.
If you can’t make it, fake it. Remember that confident girl who came in and rocked the room at the beginning? For all you know, it’s all an act. Inside she might be quivering but she’s pretending to be confident and she’s winning.
Create a character that is yourself but the confident you who doesn’t care what people think of her. She’s doing it for herself and she’s living her dream life. How does your character dress? How does she act at parties? Put yourself in her shoes and be her. Putting on a facade might seem a bit fake but it could be the means to actually becoming that person.
So ladies, becoming more self confident probably isn’t going to happen overnight. But by thinking about how you present yourself, saying yes to things you’d normally avoid and acting like the person you want to be, it might just happen. Next time you go to a meeting with an important client or go to a interview for theI’m going to address my wardrobe and create a charity bag of clothes that do nothing for my self esteem. What one thing are you going to do this week that will help you get one step closer to feeling more confident? Tell me in the comments below.