Do you know how to be confident or how to feel powerful and capable in your professional, social, and romantic interactions? Today we are going to bust a big confidence myth.
Here’s the myth I was told over and over again – “Confidence, you either have it or you don’t”. And, no one quite knows how to get it if you don’t. This myth is pervasive and damaging. It destroys those tiny fragile little buds of confidence before they can grow. You want your confidence to grow and flourish and we know it can.
Confidence isn’t something that arrives at birth. It’s a skill that can be developed through intentional and purposeful practice.
How To Look Confident
We are going to do something a little different. We’re gonna start with the outside in. When it comes to confidence sometimes it’s a faster route. Let’s start with your confident looks, and no I don’t mean your clothes or your hair. This tip is all about your body language. Let me ask you a question when you walk into a networking event or office or restaurant.
Do you look like a winner? This may seem like a strange question, but research from the University of British Columbia makes it clear we innately get bigger in our bodies when we feel pride but get smaller in our bodies when we feel defeated or ashamed.
Why does this matter? Without realizing it when we look at someone, we’re trying to decide if they look more like a winner or a loser. When we see someone, do they have their head held high and their shoulders down and relaxed, or do they look like a loser with their shoulders rolled in their chin to their chest and a slouched position. Without realizing it we make snap judgments of people the moment we see them and then put them into one of two buckets. How to be confident starts with your body language as it provides the first impression.
The easiest way how to be confident and be seen as a winner is to claim our territory. Own your body and own the space around you by standing or sitting tall. Keep your arms loose by your side, relax your shoulders down your back and open your chest. These expansive postures will show others that you are confident and sure of yourself. Be wary of low-power postures like crossing your arms or turtling your shoulders to your ears, as this may signal defeat.
How To Be Confident When Speaking
Now that you’ve learned how to look confident, let’s talk about how to sound confident. When you answer the phone or when you start a new conversation it’s crucial that your voice projects confidence. We make our first impression in our hello upon answering the phone.
The question is: is your voice helping or hurting your confidence. A recent study did a fascinating experiment on vocal power which revealed some incredible tips for you on how you can make your voice sound better and how to benefit from every single phone conversation.
Participants were recorded saying “hello” in six different ways: normal, happy, sad, angry, powerful posing, and normal hello again. These recordings were presented to normal people and were asked how much they liked or didn’t like the person in the recording just based on the, hello they heard. They listened to each clip and selected one of the following answers:
- I like this person a lot.
- I like this person a little.
- I don’t like this person at all.
Which version of the hello do did they think was the most likable. The winner was, the happy hello. Of course, the data revealed that the happy recordings received significantly more approval ratings than any other hello. This is a huge finding, as it shows people can hear your mood. Which variation do you think did the worst? The angry hello.
Action step – your mood affects your voice. Never ever answer the phone in a bad mood and if you have an important call. If you have an important call, or meeting, coming up try and watch some funny YouTube videos to bring some natural smiles to your face.
Does Happiness Equal Confidence?
Happiness and confidence go hand-in-hand. If you’re curious about how to be more confident at work, one of the best ways to feel professionally confident is to have meaningfulness in your job. Do you know your company’s mission? Do you know the impact of your work? When we don’t know how our daily responsibilities contribute to a larger mission we can feel disengaged or hopeless in our workplace. There is nothing worse than feeling like what you do doesn’t matter. Here are some ideas to add meaning to your day. First, find out your company’s mission statement. Or if it’s your company, create a mission statement.
If your company doesn’t have one write the mission statement you think your company should have. Maybe you can even bring it up to your bosses. Second, write your own personal mission statement. Why do you do what you do? Beyond just a paycheck who are you helping? This could be your colleagues, your team, or your clients. Put this mission statement somewhere easy to see on your desk or hang it on your cubicle wall.
Lastly, make a success folder on your computer. This is a folder that contains records of accomplishments, testimonials, and any other example of your rock star status at work. If you’re having a bad day open your success folder to remind yourself of your worth.
How To Walk Confidently
Did you know your walk can project your confidence? Biomotion Lab analyzes and synthesizes biological motion patterns. A fancy way of saying they study walking and movement for patterns. Biomotion looks at how emotions and intentions can change our walk. The human visual system is highly sensitive to our motion and without realizing it we’re, capable of decoding things about people from their walk. We investigate the question of how such information is encoded in biological motion and how it can be retrieved. They apply linear methods from statistics to patterns to recognition to analysis. They use several variants to show different kinds of walks from gender, weight, nervousness, to happiness to see the differences.
Find A Confident Role Model
How to be confident is easier to develop when we can watch and emulate someone in action. Do you have someone in your life who exudes confidence professionally or personally? Maybe a partner, a colleague, or a close friend. Assign them as your confident role model. This can be a secret role model. You observe and take notes of how they interact, or you can talk to your role model and ask them to be your mentor. There’s no better compliment than telling someone their natural confidence is alluring.
Look for a role model in the workplace who embodies the following qualities:
- Shows confidence in their leadership.
- Isn’t afraid to be unique.
- Communicates and interacts with everyone
- Shows respect and concern for everyone they meet.
- Is knowledgeable and well-rounded.
- Has humility and shows a willingness to admit mistakes.
- Does good things outside the job.
What I love about this list of qualities is that many are unexpected. Confidence comes in multiple flavors. It isn’t about being the most extroverted bubbly person in the room. Sometimes it’s about empathy, humility, and competence.
How To Overcome The #1 Confidence Destroyer – Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is when you feel nervous, tense, or uncomfortable in social situations because you’re worried other people are judging you. Almost everyone has experienced social anxiety at one point or another. Life is rife with moments of self-consciousness from job interviews to first dates. We all occasionally feel nervous around other people. Unfortunately, social anxiety can become at worst debilitating and, at the very least, damper our inner confidence and make it feel impossible to be social in an authentic way.
How to be confident involves overcoming anxiety and constantly taking steps to kick-start the life you always wanted.
Source: Vanessa Van Edwards via YouTube
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