Confidence can make or break you, especially when it comes to your career. You can be the most talented person in the world and have plenty of experience, but without confidence, you may never get a chance to show what you’re capable of. Confidence is not just about being liked; it’s also about being respected. The more confident you are, the more others will respect you and your abilities.
So how do you build your confidence? One way is by making subtle changes to your body language and the way you present yourself at work. Here are ten tips on how to appear more confident throughout the day.
- Avoid negative people.
Avoid negative people. They are going to project their negativity onto you and make you feel bad about yourself. They will look at you and tell you that you aren't good enough, that you'll never achieve your goals, that things will never work out for you. You want to be around people who will encourage you and make you feel good about yourself.
Create small victories for yourself and celebrate them! This is really important because it will help build your confidence even more by seeing how much you can do!
If there is something that scares you, like public speaking or being in front of a crowd, start small. Give a speech to one person first if you're afraid of public speaking, then two people, then three… And work your way up from there! If it's something else, just remember to start small.
Be with people who believe in you and cheer for your success. Be around those who are supportive of your mission and encourage your efforts. Be with those who are happy for your victories no matter how big or small they are. These are the people that deserve to be around because they will lift your spirits up when they're low.
- Don't compare yourself to others.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
We all do it, but it’s something we should really stop. We compare ourselves to others and we start to feel bad about ourselves. The only problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t work. In fact, if you want to be more confident you have to not compare yourself to others.
What Comparing Yourself to Others Does for You: NOTHING
Making yourself feel less confident by comparing yourself to others does absolutely nothing for your self confidence or anyone else’s. Being less confident doesn’t help anyone and it certainly won’t make you better at anything! The only thing comparing yourself to others will do for you is make you feel worse about yourself, which in turn makes you feel less confident, and less likely to attempt new things because of your lack of self confidence! So who wins? NO ONE!
- Always be prepared.
It's one thing to be prepared when you're the only one who knows what to do. It's another thing to prepare for a situation where you have to interact with other people.
Being prepared for a conversation is about knowing what you want to say, but also knowing how you want to say it. Be aware of the situation in which you will be speaking (are there many people present? Is it a formal setting? Will there be time for questions and answers?). Then, take some time before the event to practice what you want to say.
The best practice for pre-set speaking is to prepare a speech ahead of time and then rehearse it until everything is perfect. When you rehearse, change things around so that you can feel comfortable saying anything that might come up during the talk.
- Do one thing that scares you every day.
Let's get the obvious out of the way. There are some things that are just not going to happen for you, no matter how much you want them to. You won't be a concert pianist if you've never so much as touched a keyboard. You probably won't be an astronaut if you're afraid of heights and can't stand to fly across the country.
Those problems are easy to recognize, and it's ok to let them go. But what about the things that are just outside your comfort zone? Those can be more difficult to recognize, but they're still holding you back.
If you want to be more confident in your life, you have to do one thing that scares you every day.
I know it sounds counterintuitive at first. If we're scared of something, why would we ever want to do it? The idea is that by doing small things every day that scare us, we are slowly building up our confidence in our abilities and making ourselves less afraid over time.
- Take calculated risks.
If you want to be more confident, the fastest way is to take calculated risks.
I'm not suggesting you quit your job and sell everything you own to start a business. Unless that's what you really want to do.
What I mean by risk-taking is to stop being scared of doing things that make you slightly uncomfortable. Don't let fear rule your life.
For example, public speaking is a common fear people have, but if you do it more often, it will become much less stressful. As a writer and now podcaster, I'm constantly feeling uncomfortable with my work at first, but I know this feeling so well by now that I can actually enjoy it and use that as motivation to make something great.
If you're shy or have social anxiety, don't avoid going out because of it — do the opposite. Make plans with friends and go out every weekend. The more you do it, the easier it will get and the better you'll feel about yourself for doing it.
You can also start small by taking risks in your personal life or at work/school. For example: speak up in meetings even if you're afraid of what others will think
- Say yes more often.
Say yes more often. Saying “yes” is a great way to boost confidence because it gets you out of your comfort zone and helps you break out of old patterns that are holding you back. Try saying “yes” for a week — not just to things that excite you, but to things that scare you a little bit too. It'll help build your confidence and sense of adventure.
- Let go of perfectionism.
The desire for perfection is deeply rooted in many people's mindsets. But unfortunately, it can also lead to procrastination and avoidance if you're fearful of making mistakes or being judged by others. Instead of trying to be perfect, do the best job you can and then let go of the outcome.
Confidence is the linchpin in your quest towards a more successful life. Everything from your career to your relationships will be made all the better when you’re confident in yourself and your ability—confidence goes a long way towards others respecting you, as well. It’s a very valuable asset, and one worth cultivating. Take some time for yourself and try these eight tips, and see if it helps you on your way.