Confidence is the secret weapon to success in life. From professional to personal matters, confident people are always the ones who seem to succeed without really trying. Many people struggle with confidence because they are fearful of coming across as arrogant. This is especially true in Britain, where self-deprecation rules. Break out of this mindset and realise that a confident you is just waiting to be set free.
Let your body do the talking
Most of what you say about yourself doesn’t come out of your mouth at all. It is how you hold yourself and the way you act with other people. Try sitting in front of a mirror and notice the way you naturally sit. Do you slouch? Keep your head lowered? All these give off the impression of someone unapproachable, nervous and in some cases, defensive. You might be perfectly confident in the situation but your body says differently. Try to sit with your shoulders back and head high. Your back should be straight at all times as this immediately makes you appear more open and approachable. If you seem comfortable in a situation, it will affect those around you. People are more likely to notice and value you, if you present yourself in a valued way. Show that you are proud of yourself and others are sure to follow.
Putting yourself down
When someone compliments you, do you usually reply with a self-depreciating comment? “You look nice,” followed by, “Oh no, this is old and it doesn’t fit and I’ve put on weight.” No one does it better than the Brits. Taking a compliment or even a bit of self-praise seems alien to us and “not the done thing.” But try to resist that urge. If someone pays you a compliment don’t immediately throw it back in their face. Thank them and reply truthfully. It will show you appreciate the gesture rather than dismissing it. If you don’t seem to have much faith in yourself, how can you expect others to? This is especially true at work. If you have achieved something then don’t play it down – be honest about your achievements. Anyone who does criticise you for acknowledging your successes probably has confidence issues of their own anyway.
Acknowledge your successes
If you achieve something, don’t wait for someone else to give you a tap on the back and congratulate you, realise yourself what you have done well and let yourself enjoy that praise. Most people feel as if they cannot be proud of themselves until someone else acknowledges it as well – but try. Often you can achieve a lot more than what you give yourself credit for. Make sure the people who matter know what you have done and don’t be shy about it. If you are proud of yourself say it! It is not a crime!
Take on a challenge
A great way to demonstrate your abilities to your boss or family is to take on something ambitious. This shows you have guts and is sure to get the admiration of your co-workers and superiors. If you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, confident enough to take on a challenge and not scared of failing, you are sure to go up in their estimation. Actions speak louder than words after all. If you don’t want to tell them you are good at something, show them.
Be positive and friendly
This may sound like an easy option but if you strive to be helpful and friendly then more people will take the time to notice you. It will also make you more confident as you become comfortable around people. They will want you to succeed and celebrate your achievements, so if you do appear arrogant or self-promoting at any time, they are more likely to forgive you. Gritting your teeth, staying out of arguments and keeping your head down will all help you to get ahead and avoid the “people politics.” This applies to friends and family as well as office colleagues.
Give them the eye
Looking people in the eye is the best way to appear confident. It shows you are not scared to meet them head on and also appears more honest and open. This is incredibly difficult if you are not confident, but fake it – they will never know! Consciously tell yourself to look people in the eye when you talk to them or tell them something about yourself. If you talk about a passion with your head down you may seem disconnected or unsure of what you are speaking about. By meeting their eye you will be more persuasive and make more of an impact. Next time you achieve something at work, relay it to your boss and keep his gaze held as you do it. You will be surprised at how much more memorable and important what you say will feel.