“Be confident when you present your ideas,” says a teacher to a reserved student. “Answer the interviewer’s questions confidently,” a career counselor advises job seekers attending their first ever interviews. “Believe in yourself and in your ideas,” a supportive employee attempts to motivate a fellow co-worker stressing over an important project.
On more occasions than we can count, we’ve been told to exude confidence, either as a gentle reminder or as a piece of advice because we seemingly lack the quality. However, more often than not, it’s easier said than done.
Self-confidence, for some people, is almost like an innate trait. According to Larina Kase, Author of The Confident Speaker, inheritable characteristics – such as attractiveness, height, intelligence, and extroversion – can help people feel more confident. As others recognize and appreciate these easily-observable characteristics, their level of confidence only grows.
For others, confidence is an acquired trait. While it cannot be learned like a set of rules, it’s something that people develop with knowledge, exposure, practice, networking, and positive thinking, to name a few. If anything, confidence is a state of mind that we can control. Here’s how:
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1. Be Confident by Looking Presentable
This tip may sound like a no-brainer but is nonetheless highly deserving of a mention. It’s unbelievable how much of a confidence boost a fresh haircut, a clean shave, or a nice manicure can give us.
It’s also important to dress well, especially in business settings and important social events. Dressing nicely doesn’t necessarily mean wearing expensive, designer-label clothing. All it takes to make us feel good about ourselves is a clean and crisp-ironed outfit complete with a few sprays of perfume and maybe a little bit of make-up.
2. Speak with Self-Confidence
Here’s a fun fact – It only takes 7 seconds for people to form first impressions. When you meet someone new – a potential friend, date, or even business partner – it’s important that you make your mark within those 7 brief seconds using the primitive, yet extremely powerful tool of language. A simple introduction of yourself with a steady tone and clear voice followed by a “Nice to meet you!” will do the trick. When you succeed, the person you’re talking to will express obvious interest in continuing the conversation and that validation is a confidence boost unlike any other!
Continue the conversation by listening first before you speak while being attentive and empathetic. Mention the name of your new acquaintance every now and then as you see fit to make the conversation more personal and friendly.
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3. Exude Self-Confidence with Correct Body Language
Actions speak louder than words. Having the right body language can instantly boost your confidence and is powerful enough to tell everyone what a self-assured, credible, and charismatic individual you are.
The correct form of body language can be learned and perfected. Simply stand tall with your shoulders wide to project assertiveness and make sure to watch your hands, as they may be communicating things differently than what you intend. Remember to smile politely whenever necessary and maintain eye contact.
4. Confident Spirits are Full of Positivity
Being a positive person is not a genetic gift; it’s a muscle in our mind that we ought to exercise daily. Its strength depends on our conviction to counter negativity with positivity. There’s a human tendency to overlook positives and dwell on negatives, but we should strive to grasp the good around us and cling onto it. Once we embrace the positive in our lives, we’ll feel a lot more self-confident and at peace with ourselves.
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5. Always be Hungry for Knowledge
Knowledge is power, and for that reason, we should develop a desire to learn new things and pursue knowledge tirelessly. Knowing how things work and what to expect will make us feel more prepared, and ultimately, add to our confidence.
However, gaining knowledge can sometimes make us feel less confident about our abilities as we begin to realize there’s so much that we don’t know. When this happens, we need to combine our knowledge with experience. Putting the knowledge we gain into action aids our learning and comprehension. Not only does it restore our lost confidence, but it also increases it.
No matter what we do, our level of confidence is bound to waver at one point or another. This is because, as humans, we are prone to making mistakes along the way. This allows self-doubt to enter our thoughts and can cause our self-esteem to take a hit. While it’s normal for these episodes of uncertainty to come and go, it’s important to be resilient and regain our confidence. We should not let setbacks drag us down like shackles; we should learn to cut ourselves some slack and become light enough to fly high again.
About Andres Pira – Philanthropist, Real Estate Tycoon, Author, Speaker, and Global Citizen, Andres Pira enjoys living in Thailand where his journey began from Homeless to Billionaire.
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