Confidence. That’s what most people name as the thing they’d like to improve in themselves, when I talk with them.
I know I’ve been there. How about you?
Feeling a lack of confidence can make your head spiral into a lot of self-defeating conversations and that just leads to feeling more lack in the confidence area.
Wanting to have more confidence makes a lot of sense when you consider that acceptance is one of the 16 basic human needs, according to Steven Reiss, who studied more than 6000 people. Acceptance, is the need for belonging and to be appreciated by your social group, whether that’s with friends, at work or at home.
When we have self-confidence, we typically tend to me more accepted. Why is that?
Well, it has a lot to do with the Warmth Competence Matrix and how we evaluate other people and groups. Basically, warm people are seen as more empathetic, kind and caring. We tend to trust them more.
Cold people, on the other hand, are seen as self-serving, feeling superior to others and separate from the group because of it. We don’t trust people who seem cold to us.
Competent people are the ones who seem to be highly capable, confident in their skills and abilities and they are action oriented. Whereas, incompetent people are unskilled, ineffectual and lacking. It feels better to us when we’re around people who are competent.
When you are both warm and competent, people admire you and that’s the feeling we all really want in our lives and part of the reason we want to feel more confident. Having high confidence, suggest you also have high competence, which is why it is an important trait to cultivate.
The great news is there are things you can do to boost your confidence!
What we believe to be true matters!
Confidence comes from our thoughts, which affects the actions we take, and that of course leads to the results we get. So, the place to start is with our thoughts.
Even if you don’t have a specific skill, your belief in your ability to gain that skill makes a difference to your success. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you can’t – you’re right!”
The way you perceive obstacles also matters. Is it a challenge in front of you or a wall you feel like you’ll never get around? Re-framing the way you think about a problem will change your reaction to it, and that too will affect your results.
Use confident body language.
Every emotion you feel shows up in your body and is projected for others to see. Think of someone with slumping shoulders, a lowered head and crossed arms, versus someone who’s standing tall, shoulders back and has their chin level. It’s obvious which person is more confident.
Be aware of the silent signals you’re sending. Not only are they telling the world how you feel, those emotions are also telling your own brain how you feel, and because of that, your brain will send out the appropriate neurochemicals to match. Because the brain and body have a perfect communication system, those neurochemicals will affect the way you think, and we already know how that will affect your results. So adopt confident body language, and you’ll find your thoughts will follow, helping you to feel more confident too.
Track your success.
People who are less confident tend to downgrade their achievements. Noting your accomplishments and reviewing them regularly, will help to boost your confidence and help you get past imposter syndrome, if that’s something you struggle with. It’s hard to argue with the facts when they’re written down in front of you.
It’s also important to accept compliments about your achievements, when they are given. A simple “thank you” will do. Confident people are aware of their skills, they own their ability and they’re willing to acknowledgement it.
Know your stuff and be prepared.
Being unprepared will definitely through you off your game, but when you know something inside out and upside down, there’s little that will phase you. That’s why putting the hours in to really hone your skills, makes a huge difference to your level of confidence.
Another great way to boost your confidence is to be clear on what you want. Certainty feeds confidence. Before you walk into a meeting, presentation or even have a conversation, consider the outcome you want and make sure you’re fully prepared to get there. Having a crystal clear intention will make it far easier to bring your conversations to the conclusions you want.
Confidence isn’t a magical concept that only the lucky few possess. It’s available to all of us if we just practice the skills necessary to achieve it.
Another great way to improve your confidence it to work on your communication skills. It’s the best investment you can make in yourself. So why not sign up for my newsletter and get communication tips conveniently delivered to your inbox? For FREE! Just click here. And as an added bonus, you’ll also get my video Silence Your Inner Critic, because the way you communicate with yourself matters too!