Whether it’s asking for a pay rise, making a call to an awkward customer or committing to learning a new skill, we all know someone with the ”chutz-pah” or the ”smarts”. Someone who can simply do it all without batting an eyelid (cue begrudging nod stage right).
Why? Because they believe they can.
So, how do you break down what savvy, self-assured people actually do (knowingly or otherwise) and use it to your own advantage?
Here are 5 tips for cultivating a healthy boost of confidence in any situation.
Use positive speech
Picture two candidates interviewing for a sales job. One might say, “Yes. I’ve got a lot of experience working with people at many different levels.” While the other candidate says, “Well, I’ve got a bit of experience, but not that much.”
Who do you think is going to get the job?
In every situation you can think of, positive speech is going to up your game. It’s not only going to make you feel better about yourself but make others see you in a better light too. It’s a no-brainer.
Feel the power of “No”
Confidence means prioritising. It means placing real value on your personal time and energy.
So, when something genuinely won’t fit your (reasonable) schedule or priorities, be firm. Say, “Sorry, no. Not this time.”
You’ll be amazed at how much respect you’ll command from others in the long run with this simple act of self-preservation.
Don’t make negative assumptions
“I’d never get an interview at that company!” (Why not?)
“My boss would never agree to that idea!” (Are you sure?)
“My articles are nowhere near good enough for that publisher!” (Says who?)
“They’d want someone much younger/older/more qualified than me for that position!” (How do you know?)
One of the keys to getting what you want in life is to confidently ask. Remember if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Focus on the good stuff, not the mistakes
This is something that many of us battle with. Instead of constantly running through all the bad offcuts of your life, try to focus on what you’ve learned instead.
You’re just going to drive yourself and everyone around you nuts by reliving all those negative events over and over.
That lacklustre report that nearly cost you a place on the team? Offer to re-do it in your own time. Polish it until it shines. And make a note to self not to start work projects at 10pm on a Sunday night.
Job done. Lesson learned. Move on.
Adopt assured, direct and open body language
It’s energising to see someone with real presence enter a room. And if you’ve ever seen someone walk onto a stage and own it, you’ll know that it can be mesmerising. These are the people we listen to, learn from and admire.
They hold their heads high. They take confident steps. They have natural energy. They smile and engage people around them. They make eye contact. They listen. They shake hands firmly whilst looking you in the eye and acknowledging you.
Think about the signals your body language is putting out when you engage with people around you today. Are you projecting yourself in the best possible way?
Practice really does make perfect when you want to bring out the best, most confident version of you. It takes a lot of effort to cultivate an upbeat, competent, self-assured air but it’s encouraging to know that confidence isn‘t a gift, it’s a choice.
And because confidence is such an attractive trait, you’re going to make a much better impression in any setting by dialling it up and nurturing it.
Sarah Virág BA (Hons), is a confidence coach, writer, columnist, linguist and lifelong nomad. Formerly a senior global events manager in the incentive & motivational marketing industry, she is the founder of the Wings for Life online coaching programmes and author of “Wings for Life: Your Pathway To Freedom After Emotional Upheaval.”
Find her on her coaching Blog and website or on LinkedIn.