Does it seem like everyone around you exudes confidence? Do you wonder how you can be confident when you have nothing to be confident about? What’s the secret that confident people have discovered?
The answer is that confidence is not something you have. It’s something you create.
How then, can you create confidence?
1: Body language, physiology and state
The fastest way to become more confident is to change your body language.
Don’t believe me?
Well check out the second most watched TED Talk of all time.
Our body language changes the chemistry in our brains.
Ever wondered why you might feel more confident when singing loudly to a song, dancing when no one is watching, laughing around with friends. Well the answer is because all these things change our physiology. They change the chemicals in our brain, making us more confident.
So stand up straight. Square your shoulders and open up your chest. Uncross your arms. Breath deeply. Walk powerfully.
The same applies in an interview. Uncross your arms and relax your body language. Pretend there is a tennis ball under both armpits if it helps. Breath deeply. And speak more slowly.
So yes, fake it before you make it.
2: Practice – rehearse what you fear
How can I practice confidence if I am not confident?
Plenty of ways!
First, you can practice confident body language. And in time what you practice will become real.
Second, you can practice putting yourself out of your comfort zone.
Rehearse being out of your comfort zone so that when you are actually out of your comfort zone – whether that’s in an interview or wherever – you are used to it.
For example, if you lack confidence in public speaking, you could push yourself by joining Toastmasters.
Or, a more novel way of putting yourself out of your comfort zone is through ‘comfort challenges’. Yes, these might sound strange, and you will likely think to yourself ‘I’m not going to do that’. But that’s the point! If you felt like doing these tasks they would not be comfort challenges. They are meant to make you feel awkward.
Here are some examples:
- Lie down on the ground for 30 seconds in a busy place…then get up with a smile and pretend nothing’s happened
- Give a random stranger a compliment
- Ask for 10% off your next coffee
- Drive around, crank your favorite songs and have a dance off at traffic lights
- Hold eye contact with everyone you see
- Do stand up comedy for a night
- Walk up to a girl or guy you don’t know and introduce yourself
3: Improve your self talk
Confidence is not about what you have. It’s about what you believe.
Some people who seem to have everything still lack confidence. And some people who seem to have very little, exude confidence.
There is one logical conclusion: being confident is nothing more than a belief in yourself.
It comes from within. And this means we can choose to be confident by learning how to create confidence.
And guess what, your self-talk affects your confidence. Our words create our emotions. And emotions determine our state. So if we choose more positive words in our mind, then we start to create different emotions, which can result in different outcomes.
So the big charade is that confidence is about what we achieve. But the truth is that confidence has nothing to do with what we achieve. It’s about being comfortable irrespective of the outcome.