As a confident woman, I want to state that being confident does not stop fearfulness or the feelings of being overwhelmed. In my experience what my self-confidence allows me to do is press forward regardless, always with my desired outcome in mind. So even if there is a shadow of a doubt, even if there is some internal chatter willing me to take the easy road and not do anything challenging, I argue my corner and just do it with a smile!
Confidence – Accepting that you don’t always know what’s going to happen in a given situation but being focused on the best possible outcome.
Great self-confidence can be learnt, it is a skill… That is the good news! And I would like to share some Tips on how you can build your self-confidence:
Identify what self-confidence means to you and in what situations you wish or need to be more confident. Most of us are confident in one or more areas of life and less in others so home in on where you feel you want to become more confident. (Bonus tip: always state your desire in the positive: ‘I want to be more confident when I ……’ – this is not the same as ‘I’m not confident enough when I … and need to …’. Make a statement of intent)
Find a role model of confidence. Who are the people you admire because they appear confident and all together? What is it about that person that makes you think they are confident? Note their gestures, the way they walk, their language and how they talk, their style, even the sound of their voice. Be specific about the mannerisms because you will want to be able to take them and make them your own… It’s not copycat fashion, it’s mirroring! (I use Oprah Winfrey & Ali Brown; great women in different ways. But it could be your mother, sister or teacher).
Start visualising yourself using some of those mannerisms noted above. This is best done in practice (yes, in your room on your own!) or with your eyes closed and going through the motions. The use of a mirror can be really helpful, even if it seems daunting, as it helps you to identify the behavioural style that best fits you, that looks natural. This helps you to formalise the behaviours into a natural happening through repetition. It may feel awkward for a while but as with any change, you need to keep persevering. With confidence comes the ability to take it out of your head to the mirror and from the mirror to the interactions with others and then into daily living.
When you start to sense some progress, ask yourself:
- How does this newfound confidence affect your life?
- Who else does it affect?
- What changes might it bring to your life?
Record your achievements in a journal and don’t miss any off! If it was that you managed to smile and say good morning to a stranger today and it’s something you wouldn’t normally do then note it and feel good about it. If it was that you made yourself go to the gym on your own for the first time, note it and acknowledge it. These are the little achievements we so often dismiss but each one helps you to recognise the bigger possibilities and each one helps you to build your self-confidence.