Do you think of yourself as confident? Would you like to be more confident? We all would – right?
I believe confidence is a skill, and can be learned and perfected with practice over time, just like any other skill. In keeping with our habit theme for November, here are seven things to make a habit, to cultivate your confidence. I’m limiting this to seven, but there are so many more to potentially add. If you even take one, and practice it regularly, so that it becomes a habit, and an unconscious action, then that will be a huge achievement. If you are feeling energetic, try a few, or even all of them! Remember, like any new skill, it might feel a bit (or even a lot!) uncomfortable at first, but keep practicing until it feels completely natural and then it will start to feel easier, and eventually, become a habit.
- Act as if: also known as ‘Fake it till you make it.’ You want to be confident, but you don’t feel it. No matter. Practice faking it. Think of someone you admire for their confidence, and try to emulate it. Practice it. It will feel odd for a while, but eventually, you will acclimatise to the new way of being, and it will be the new reality. Just keep on faking it until you ARE it.
- Practice good posture: Stand tall. Sit up straight. Allow your body to relax and be comfortable in this new position. It takes practice! Body language is so important in our communication skills. In fact, research suggests that body language accounts for 55% of how we formulate our initial impressions of people (Mehrabian, 1971). So if you want to be confident, practice getting your posture right.
- Compliments: offer them and accept them. Giving other people genuine compliments feels good. It makes them feel and good and you feel good. So, don’t hold back. If you think someone looks nice today, tell them. If you think your colleague did a great job, tell them. And when someone compliments you, accept it. Don’t dismiss it. Allow yourself to feel how good a compliment feels, and say ‘Thank you’.
- Exercise regularly: There is a myriad of research on exercise and well-being. Sure, we all know we should exercise to maintain our weight and health. But, it’s also essential for our mental health. Exercise results in extra production of serotonin – the mood regulating hormone, the one that makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you feel confident.
- Keep a success journal: This is one of my favorites. Start a journal of all your successes, big or small, and keep adding to it. When you feel a dip in your confidence levels, pick it up and have a good read over all of your awesomeness. If you are feeling extra enthusiastic, you can add a section for compliments others pay you to the journal too. BONUS feelgood!
- Practice positive self-talk: Got a gremlin on your shoulder whispering negativities in your ear? Get rid of him. Change the tape. Always remember you have a choice when it comes to thoughts. Just because you think it, doesn’t make it true. Choose to focus only on positive, supportive thoughts that guide you forward with your life’s goals.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes: It’s the best way to learn. Mistakes are a part of life. Allow for them to happen, because they will… and when they do pick yourself up and try again, try harder. For more on this one, check out this post from the archives.
Now, it’s over to you. Choose one or more of the above to work on, and let me know in the comments below
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