Have you ever struggled with confidence? Confidence is something I struggled with for many years – so much so that I allowed my lack of confidence to limit my success. Whether you are struggling with confidence or looking to simply gain more, the following 7 ways to increase your confidence will put you in a better position to succeed. I’ve also included a link at the bottom of this post to The Confidence Checklist.
1. Change your body language
This is probably the easiest and fastest way to improve your confidence. In her book Presence, and in the picture below, Amy Cuddy talks about how physiological changes occur in the body by simply changing one’s body language. This isn’t some pseudo-science but rather finding gathered from measurable scientific research. Let’s look at the top picture at the top. Go ahead and stand up with your feet apart and put your hands on your hips, as you see below. Do this for two minutes and you will notice a difference not only in your confidence, but you will notice a reduction in you stress levels. I have tested this and it works. I readily admit that this felt awkward at first. However, the more I have done it the more natural it has become. I’ve even gone so far as to mirror others that I know have high degrees of confidence when standing next to them. The funny part is, in a few cases, they put their hands down while I remained in the Superman pose. Talk about boosting confidence. If you want to learn more about why this occurs I suggest you get Cuddy’s book and watch her TedTalk here.
2. Make a list
I am a list maker. I love to right down my To Do list and check things off. The more I check off, the more I want to do and the more confident I become. Accomplishment plays a big part in increasing your confidence. Think of the last time you failed at something. Where was your confidence level? I would guess is it was less than when you started. The trick with lists, if there is a trick, is you can put some very simple things on the list that you know you will do. For instance, you probably have a morning routine that you do like clockwork every day. Add some of these things to your list so you can check them off. You’ll be amazed at the power this gives you to continue to achieve more. And, the more you achieve, the higher your confidence will be.
3. Avoid negative people
The Debbie Downers of the world will do nothing for you except serve to bring you down. While you can’t avoid all those that are negative, you can take steps to not engage with these people. The simplest way is to just walk away. Whether you realize it or not, their attitudes can affect you for hours after the interaction. There are techniques you can use to block their negativity, but I will save that for another post. Whenever possible avoid these people like the plague. Their negativity will only serve to rob your confidence fuel tank.
4. Be Prepared
You have probably experienced a time, either in school or at work, where you were not quite prepared for that presentation or speech. How did you feel? Probably not so confident and this most likely translated into a subpar performance. Now think back to a time you were very prepared for that presentation. I bet your confidence was quite a bit higher and the likelihood is that you nailed it! Am I right. By taking a little bit of extra time to be prepared for whatever you are doing will serve to increase your confidence and most likely increase your performance.
5. Get out of your comfort zone
We all know the feeling of staying in our comfort zone. It’s quite safe. We can keep fear in a controlled environment and we feel secure. However, if you’re reading this, you very well know that staying in your comfort zone will limit you in accomplishing your goals. And, if you’re not accomplishing your goals you risk decreasing your confidence level. Now I am not suggesting you go do something so outlandish that if you fail you could lose something precious to you. Start with something simple. Let’s say you have a fear of meeting people. Start by just say “Hi” as you pass someone on the street or halls at work/school. Some will respond in kind and other will simply ignore you. Understand this will happen and keep practicing saying “Hi”. Do this for a couple of weeks then pick one or two people to pay a compliment to. Again, keep this very simple. The more you do this you will watch your confidence start to grow.
6. Don’t compare
Comparing myself to others is something I’ve done a lot in my life. So much so, that there have been times that I decided not to do something because I compared myself to the best at something when I had not even started at the beginning. Does this sound familiar? You often have no idea the experiences and preparation that went into the person you are comparing yourself to. Your focus needs to be on, as the graphic above says, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. This is something you can measure each day. If you decide to track your progress, over time, your confidence will grow because you be able to look back a year from now and see the person you used to be and who you are now. Talk about a confidence booster!
7. Take action
Finally, you need to stop thinking about doing and, as Nike says, just do it. Getting in the habit of taking action will probably be one of the single most important things you can do you increase your confidence. The reason for this is the more you take action the more you will accomplish. And as we’ve talked about, the more you accomplish the more your confidence will grow.
For additional tips and a printable checklist, check out The Confidence Checklist.
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Author: Bryan Oliver
Bryan Oliver is the founder of www.flight4success and is a strategic leader, success coach, and best-selling author. Bryan coaches on confidence, mindset, and habit creation to help you reach your dreams.