There is no such thing as “confidence;” there is only confident behavior that results from confident thinking.
“Confident” people are people who are in the habit of portraying confident behaviors. The more you “act” confidently, the more confident you will become.
You start off “faking” confidence, and you actually trick your mind into thinking that you are a confident person. The more you fake it, the more genuine the confidence becomes.
Thinking confidently is a choice, you can choose to be shy and quiet, or you can choose to be confident.
There are times when you “act” shy, and there are times when you “act” confidently. You are completely in control! Don’t buy into the lie that you are “shy” around strangers or in front of a large crowd. No! You “act” shy when you want to act shy; you flip a switch and you say “Now I’m going to act shy, because I don’t know these people.”
Stop switching that shy switch; decide that you will be confident when you want to be confident. Flip the confidence switch, and people will be amazed at the difference. Imagine you’re an actor; you have to learn how to turn the confidence on, and turn it off.
What does confidence look like?
Think of a time when you were confident, either talking to a group, or one-on-one with someone. How did you act; how did you speak; did you make large hand gestures? That’s what confidence looks like on you; now all you have to do is to channel that version of you whenever you want to appear confident, that’s the secret.
Below I have documented fifteen behaviors to remind you of what confidence looks like.
Remember, when you have confident behavior, that behavior will notify your mind that you are confident. Thereby increasing your confidence, and round-and-round we go, until you have incredible confidence and poise as a result of practicing confident behaviors.
15 Keys to Incredible Confidence:
1. Take Up Space
Confident people lean back in their chairs, they make large purposeful hand gestures, they spread out their files when in a meeting, they take up space…they don’t have a problem taking up space, you should do the same; don’t shrink, expand to show confidence.
2. Don’t Fidget
Can you imagine James Bond fidgeting, it’s not very becoming; you want to appear perfectly in control of every bodily movement. All of your movements should be meaningful, they should matter. You must make purposeful movements to appear confident.
3. Stand Erect
Stand tall, even when you’re sitting. A great posture is a sure fire way to ensure that you both look and feel confident. Chest out, shoulders back, and keep your head level: both vertically and horizontally. This will help you to exude confidence. You should walk as if you’re being pulled perfectly upright by a string in the sky (attached to the top of your head).
4. Speak Slowly, and with Confidence
If you speak a million miles/kilometers a second, then it’s hard to sound confident. Confident people take their time when they speak, because they are confident enough to believe that you will wait to hear what they have to say. Don’t rush; pause, take your time, and be relaxed when you speak.
You always want to appear to be cool, calm and collected. The more nervous you are, the slower you should speak; speak as if you’re talking to a child. Speaking slowly will help you to re-gain your confidence.
5. Be Yourself
Often people say, “Act like someone else, if you want to appear confident.” I think that’s bad advice; it’s too much to think about. Act like yourself! You’ve been confident before, you know what confidence looks like on you. That’s the confidence that you need to bring to the table. Be your confident self, be bold; don’t make excuses! Remember how you acted when you were confident in the past; turn on that confidence switch.
6. Pay Attention and Make Eye Contact
Confident people pay attention to others because they’re not overly focused on themselves.
When you focus on others you will appear more engaged, charismatic and confident. When you listen to others, with your ears as well as with your eyes, you will be able to ask great questions. Others will interpret your engagement, eye contact, and interaction as pure confidence.
7. Move Slow
Think of a lion; slow purposeful movements, exuding confidence, knowing that you can do what you will.
Slow down to speed up your confidence. Don’t be like a roach, panicking at every sudden movement by another; you want to be graceful and elegant. Powerful and poised!
8. Ruffle a Few Feathers
Confident people don’t mind ruffling a few feathers. I’m not saying that you should ruffle feathers for the sake of ruffling feathers. I am saying that you should stick up for what you believe in, and if you have to ruffle a few feathers in the process, then that’s what you have to do. The goal of appearing confident is not to get people to like you, necessarily, but to respect you.
9. Steeple Your Hands
When you steeple your hands (pressing the fingers of one hand, against the fingers of your other hand in the shape of a steeple), you signal to others, as well as to yourself, that you’re confident. Try using this steeple gesture when you’re not feeling confident as a way to conjure up additional confidence.
10. Don’t Try to Please Everyone
Does a king try to please everyone; no it’s the courtier in the King’s court constantly bowing and gesturing for approval. Confident people are not dependent on the constant acceptance of others. Act like a king, confident people do not obsess with pleasing everyone.
11. Pause Before You Speak
Nervous people can’t help but to try to fill every silent moment with meaningless chatter. They can’t wait for the conversation to be over, and so they try to speed through it. Confident people are comfortable with silence.
To show extreme confidence, pause a second or two before you speak. Think about what the other person has said before you respond; let your face show that you’re pondering their thoughts. This will significantly increase how confident you appear.
12. Don’t Cackle
Don’t give away a laugh too easily, don’t be a cackler. It doesn’t come across very confidently. Make people work for a good laugh; you can flash them a smile, or a calm chuckle, but don’t give away the circus too easily.
13. Don’t Offer Constant Reassurance
When speaking with others, try the single head nod, versus the “bobble head doll” version of saying yes constantly. When you agree, give a single nod.
It’s difficult to look confident when your head is bouncing around on your neck like a bobble head doll.
14. Do Everything in the Open, Nothing in the Dark
Occasionally, being nervous arises from doing things that you’re not supposed to be doing. If you have to constantly look over your shoulder, perhaps you should reconsider your activities. Confidence comes from within; to exude confidence, you must have a clear conscious, and you must speak and live from a place of authenticity.
15. Finally, If You Don’t Know, Say You Don’t Know
If you want to convince someone that you know what you’re talking about, give them a timely, “I don’t know the answer to that question yet.” Confident people recognize that they can’t possibly know the answer to every question, and they are confident enough to let you know they don’t know. When you don’t know the answer, don’t fumble around; just say you don’t know yet. This will help you to exude confidence.
You absolutely have what it takes to be confident, starting today, right now! You don’t have to sign-up for a confidence course or read a dozen more articles or books. You just have to turn on the switch; you’ve been confident in the past, and you can be confident whenever you so choose.
Choose to be confident, practice confidence, practice turning on your confidence in the grocery store, in the mall, or when hanging out with friends, so when you really need it, it will be there.
Photo Cred: GetJagger.com