You are getting ready to attend a networking event this evening. You put on your best business attire while attempting to look cool and approachable at the same time. You do your hair nicely and spritz on a nice touch of cologne. You walk out the door feeling fresh, energized (you have just downed an 8oz Red Bull), and self-assured – definitely on the right track to meet some interesting people and build up some much needed connections. After arriving at your destination, you take a deep breath and enter the room. The event is filled with amazing looking people that all seem like they are talking about the world’s next greatest invention. Suddenly, you find yourself shrinking into a corner with wet palms and pretending to be checking your voice mail. In actuality, you are starting to feel nervous and overwhelmed. But what about the Red Bull, and all the confidence you just thought you had? Wait, what confidence…?
Feeling good about yourself is never an easy feeling to maneuver. We understand, and are going to provide you with some helpful steps and tips on how to be confident. The next thing you know, you’ll be strutting towards the middle of the room!
Fake It Till You Make It!
Often times, the first step into getting anything done is playing the part or the role that you are setting out to achieve. In this case, it will be appearing confident. Let’s take a look at what you can do to easily slide into your role of looking like the confident person that you know you are!
- Groom: Spend time grooming yourself properly every day. If you have a cat, take a few notes from your feline. Demonstrating personal hygiene will give you the chance to present yourself to others well. After all, no one is going to want to mingle or go up to someone who looks like they just climbed out of bed, or has horrible body odor!
- Dress the part: Depending on what you are setting out to do, dress appropriately so that you feel comfortable in the situation or setting. Feeling confident does not always mean buying new clothes or cutting your hair – just do things to ensure that you are comfortable in your skin.
The way that you carry yourself will give others a pretty good idea about what you think of yourself. Remember, they can even look and evaluate your body language without even talking or getting to know you first. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Posture: Always sit up straight with your shoulders back and your chin high (but not pointing to the sky!) You want to look confident, but not overly snooty.
- Smile: Even if you might not be feeling particularly chirpy, go ahead and smile. A simple smile can work to make yourself, as well as others, feel more comfortable in a situation. It can also show that you are confident and sure of your actions and words.
- Eye Contact: Depending on the culture you grew up in, eye contact can say a lot about the confidence you have in yourself. In the United States, eye contact is a sign of respect, attention, and interest. It also shows that you have value and validity in your words. Similarly, if you see someone looking at you, return the favor and hold your eye contact with them for awhile and smile! See what reaction you will get (it is bound to be a positive one!) Remember, your eyes are the windows to your soul!
- Look Approachable: Be sure to be aware of the message you are sending out when you are just standing in public. Do not cross your arms, and do not always be on your cell phone. These things make you seem preoccupied with yourself and confined to your own world, and are not qualities of someone who is confident in allowing others in.
Just as it is important to portray an outer appearance of confidence, it is also important to develop a confident mindset and thinking pattern. Here are some great tips on how to think confidently:
- Write down what you like about yourself: We all have talents, so why not acknowledge them? Usually, when you are feeling unsure of yourself, you are not remembering what makes you unique, capable, and interesting as an individual. By shifting focus from your insecurities to the things you know you do well, you can help your confident shine through.
- Compliments: It can be helpful to remember compliments that you were given or recognized for. In the same sense, it is also important to give compliments to other people as well. By helping boost someone’s morale, you will feel good about yourself too!
- Goals: Of course, there are going to be qualities that you would like to work to achieve. This is fine – no one is perfect! By writing down what you want out of yourself, you can have a proper game plan to put you on the right path towards achieving them.
Once you have down some of the goals you want to achieve and qualities you would like to see in yourself, ask yourself this: what is standing in my way? Your next step to finding the confidence you desire is to determine whether or not you had control over these obstacles that you face or not. We are not super humans, and we have to understand that we cannot control every aspect of our lives. Alternatively, if there were factors that we can control, then the solution is simple: make the proper changes next time.
Simple Things to do to Boost Your Confidence
Now that you are aware of some of the more complicated steps you will need to take to boost your confidence, let’s take a look at some of the more fun and simple things that you can do in your life to help with that confidence-building of yours.
- Find some hobbies: Trying out different hobbies or pastimes may spark your interest in things that you did not think you liked before. Simple things like improving your skills in areas that you were already good at, learning an instrument, or brushing up on your second language are all things that will help you feel more confident about what you are capable of.
- Groups: If you are looking for new hobbies, consider joining groups where you can meet people that have similar interests as you. Making friends is an easy and fun way for you to build confidence and impact the lives of others.
- Keep at it: Remember, that whatever you set out to try, whether it is old or new – do not give up. Developing new skills or maintaining the ones you already have is not an overnight task. Be consistent and your efforts will pay off!
- Engage with Others: Always wanted to say hello to the guy sitting two seats ahead of you on the bus? Well, now is your chance! Not only are you likely to make someone else’s day a little brighter, but showing others that you are confident will make you feel confident as well. Although talking to others may seem intimidating, it is a good way to practice your social skills with confidence.
- Accept Compliments: Just as it is good to give compliments, receiving them with confidence is just as important. If you do not feel like you deserve a compliment, think again. People rarely ever compliment without meaning it, so suck it up, and let it soak in!
- Help or Give: By taking a few minutes out of your day to help someone else, you will boost their confidence by showing them that they matter, and you will feel better about yourself. Aim to do one good deed for someone else each day. You will notice a difference!
- Let go: Let’s face it; there are probably some people in your life that are not the best medicine for your confidence. Unfortunately (or fortunately for you), now is a better time than any to let them go. If you are not feeling confidence, examine the people that you surround yourself with in life. Do they constantly bring you down or disrespect you? Often times it is as simple as stepping away from someone else to allow yourself to grow as a person.
- Appreciate: Everything these days is fast, instant, and hurried. Remember to take the time to slow down and appreciate what you do, who you are, and what you have to offer. This will help you boost your confidence and give you time to reflect, breathe, and accept ourselves.
Keep That Chin Up!
Remember that confidence is not a characteristic that develops overnight. Continue to nurture and care for your confidence, and it will eventually grow and bloom into the personality that you deserve. If ever you feel your chin dropping, check out Udemy.com for some wonderful courses to boost your spirits, mind, and set you back on the path to self-assurance!