Confidence. It’s a very attractive quality isn’t it? Look at public figures and world leaders. They all have confidence, and they need to have it, in order to lead people. I know that sounds obvious, but it is true.
I think human beings are pre-programmed to respond to confidence. For example, if someone runs into a room and shouts – FIRE – GET OUT NOW, chances are everyone will get up and follow. It isn’t the words – it is the way the words are said.
If you don’t sound confident, or are pretending to be confident, as human beings we are innately able to tell that you are NOT in fact confident. And therefore, we will likely ignore your instructions to leave because of the fire. Which would be unfortunate of course, if there actually was a fire. (Did you ever watch The I.T. Crowd – where the guy types an email “Fire…. exclamation mark, Fire …..exclamation mark, Help Me…. exclamation mark”. No-one helped him!
Of course, confidence taken to the extreme can become arrogance – which no one likes. And I wonder if this fear of appearing arrogant or big headed, is the reason why many people struggle to develop real confidence. Maybe it’s a part of it?
Maya Angelou once said, “people won’t remember what you said, or what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel”. And people want leaders they can feel confidence in (since they struggle to have real confidence in themselves sometimes).
Confidence is also very sexy. Have you ever wondered why it is that very attractive often much younger women end up with not so traditionally good-looking older men – like for example, Donald Trump? Well apart from money – and in some cases genuine love (I said SOME cases) – confidence IS sexy. And I know that from personal experience.
You see, you may have noticed I do a bit of public speaking. And it’s something I enjoy and am pretty good at (she says confidently!). It is interesting that after I come off stage – I get approached by all sorts of very good-looking people. It’s nice – because what they are noticing is the energy of confidence, which they also have – or want. And no, I’m not looking for husband number 5 – perfectly happy with MR C. It’s interesting though, because before I was a public speaker, that didn’t happen.
So How Do You Build Self Confidence?
Well, that’s a big question and it’s not necessarily easy. If you are in business though, it IS essential. Clients will feel it if you are not confident – for example when asking for the order or when discussing your ‘prices’ (never use that word if you can avoid it).
So, here are a few tips to help you begin to increase your self confidence.
- Start with the inside. What do I mean by that. Well, there is no point ‘trying’ to come over as confident if everything happening inside your head is against you. You see your brain will do what it thinks you want and it takes a lot of its cue’s from your internal dialogue. So “I’m so stupid”, “why can’t I get this right”, “I can never …..” – will all not help. Catch yourself in your negative inner dialogue and change it.
Instead of saying “God I am such a dickhead” catch the thought and change it to “I am such a dillbrain (what’s one of those?), or turn “I’m such a loser” into “I’m such a lovely person and I’m doing my best”. Remember no one else is listening – so you re not being ‘arrogant’.
- Stick a bunch of post it notes around the house with “I Am Enough” or “I Am Confident” at strategic points around your house – back of the bathroom door, on your mirror, next to your laptop.
- Knowledge creates confidence – so educate yourself. Learn more. Invest in courses and books and time to read them.
- Step outside the situation. Sometimes when we are in the thick of things, we are unable to look at ourselves objectively. If we have just fucked up, we can only see the mess and our responsibility for it. If you can take yourself out of that situation, and better still, have planned time away from the daily grind, then it is easier to look at things in reality not in emotion.
- Remember how you felt when you did something BRILLIANTLY – and feel that feeling. I have recently been reading – You Are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza. It was recommended to me, and I now recommend it to you. He said “Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. Choose yours wisely.”
- Surround yourself with other confident people. “You are the sum of the 5 people closet to you” – Jim Rohn. So make sure you choose wisely!!
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