Self-Confidence in many is misinterpreted as a person who has a certain bravado or perceived cockiness. Incorrect! It is not about being a ‘know it all’ or deliberately overpowering people vocally.
It isn’t easy to maintain a confident persona. If you don’t consider you to be a confident person, then you are already fighting an uphill battle every morning.
Confidence is more subtle than that. It’s having a clear understanding on your performance level and having a trust in your abilities.
Not too long ago the company I work for had our monthly management meeting. The senior management team was looking at specific suggestions for increasing Facebook engagement.
At this meeting, I fought an internal self-confidence battle. I was thinking to myself “This is my bag!”, “I have got some great ideas to put forward”. Our Managing Director was going around the table, “my chance to shine” I was thinking, I was up to offer suggestions just after our Sales Director.
Shot down! ‘Oh shit’. He hated the Sales Directors suggestions. Immediately, I kept my ideas to myself – I wasn’t going to risk that sort of embarrassment.
“What if they don’t like my ideas?”
“I will come across stupid!”
“Better to offer no suggestion than one they hate, right?”
I regret to inform you that my mouth stayed shut. But, I know no this was, without doubt, the wrong mindset and course of action. This was self-doubt. I missed out on a great opportunity to put forward my ideas and a potential chance to stand out.
You don’t have to doubt yourself. I’ve developed 3 important mind hacks to drastically improve your self-confidence.
1. Aim to fail
Sadly, most people never start projects due to the overwhelming fear of failure. I can assure you I have been guilty of exactly this. It is human nature to worry what people think and what people might say.
But believe it or not…
Nobody is actually watching you. People are concerned with their own projects, insecurities, and fear of failure. They don’t have the time to be waiting for you to fail.
What would you start today if you knew for sure nobody was waiting for you to fail?
Stop treading on eggshells in fear of upsetting somebody. Stop deliberating on whether you should take that course that would enhance your career. If you fail, you fail! Learn from it, pick yourself up and go again!
2. Smile your way to self-confidence
Smiling is infectious. It makes those around you feel great and sparks a sense of happiness in yourself at the same time.
According to neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, one smile can stimulate the brain as intensively as 2000 chocolate bars. Who would have thought it? You don’t need chocolate to make you happy, you just need to smile.
An act of smiling can instantly release endorphins immediately making you feel better. Try smiling at yourself in the mirror. Though it may feel forced at first, the impact of seeing you smiling back will generate a feeling self-confidence.
3. Embrace fear
It seems the most confident people do not have any sense of fear. Look at your circle of friends. Does one stand out from the rest as being a person who is supremely confident?
Believe it, they do experience fear, just as me and you do. The difference being is that they embrace fear.
Self-confident people don’t let fear overshadow their emotions. They have learned to be comfortable in fearful and uncertain situations. They do not let fear limit them. They use fear to push on and experience new situations.
You must start facing your fears. Invite fear and uncertainty into your life. I am a firm believer of ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’. If you don’t embrace fear, you will not grow and become a confident person.