As a Confidence Coach, I work with people from all walks of life, prison officers, actors, managing directors, young mothers, sports people, students…..We are all essentially the same. As young children we enjoyed confidence but as we got older many of us have been challenged by self doubt. The good news is that everyone can be confident. l work with clients every day to successfully find their ‘confident self’- it’s the best job in the world and I love to watch my clients blossom and begin to live the lives they really want. Here are 5 steps that YOU could action TODAY that could make a real difference to how you feel about yourself and will provide an important step towards becoming a ‘confident you’.
- Ask trusted people who know you well what your strengths are. Yes, that’s right, ask! The people who you spend time with and know you well can provide a useful insight into how you are perceived by others and in helping you to identify your strengths and talents. If you lack confidence, you often lack the objectivity to acknowledge your plus points. Asking supportive friends, colleagues or family members to help you to appreciate what you have to offer is a good starting point to restoring your confidence. Being able to enjoy positive feedback, rather than dismissing it, is vital if you are to become a more confident person.
- Remove the red tinted glasses. Think about three people you know who you consider to be confident and perhaps you admire. Write a list of their skills and achievements. What do you admire most about them? Now, ask yourself what they are NOT good at. This is an important exercise in order to gain some objectivity about confident people. Is your boss an amazing innovator, but is terrible at spelling? Do you have a colleague who extremely good at their job but their time keeping is frustrating? I once knew a colleague in the media industry who was at the height of their career. She commanded the room in every meeting and had over the years commanded everyone’s respect. Every project she touched turned to gold. However, as I got to know her I realised that this was not true of all areas of her life. This lady who exuded confidence at work really struggled to communicate at a social level. In social situations she was unsure how to behave or dress and seemed very uncomfortable. She later confided that she didn’t feel very confident socially. She had spent many years focussing on working in an area that showcased her strengths and developing an impressive work persona yet no longer remembered who she was as a person and what she had to offer. To consider those we admire or respect and recognise that they are not perfect in every way is important to do. It helps us to recognise that we also do not need to be perfect. We are all just human…it’s OK not to be good at everything…work with your strengths!
- Look like a winner not a quitter! Dressing in clothes we love, having our hair in a style we like, wearing smart shoes, and walking tall etc. all make us feel better about ourselves and invites interest from others. Some years ago, I arrived at an important meeting in our London office and having felt at a bit of a disadvantage that day, I had dressed very smartly in my favourite suit, styled my hair and wore killer heels. As I sat down and gathered my notes together I became aware that a number of other candidates were sitting and attentively waiting for me to speak…they had mistakenly taken me for the National Director who would be chairing the meeting that day! As first impressions go – that was an interesting day for me and it was a great boost to my confidence. It is important sometimes to dress for success in a way that says ‘I respect myself’. To dress down, in colours and styles that are aimed at hiding yourself away communicates your lack of confidence and does not help you to feel good about yourself. When someone enters the meeting room/store or school playground looking like they are ‘going somewhere’, people take notice and it is a way of communicating a more confident you.
- Set some goals and take action today! If you want to lose a few pounds in weight, finish that assignment or revitalise your social life, take some action on this today! Go for a walk at lunchtime, or give your chocolate bar to a colleague, or perhaps join a slimming club online. Plan a space in your diary to finish that assignment, break down the tasks into chunks to make it easier to manage, and plan how you will celebrate when it is completed. And where your social life is concerned, text 5 friends today to invite them for a coffee at the weekend or call in at your neighbour’s house on the way home for a chat. If you take some immediate action to help you move closer to your goals you will feel much better and more confident by the end of the day. Feeling like you are taking control of your life helps you to feel much more confident immediately and you will feel better still when you achieve those goals!
- Invest in your confidence! Decide today to actively invest in your confidence…whether this means, reading a great confidence technique book, doing all of the above regularly or investing in the services of a confidence coach like myself….it will always be worth your time and efforts. Confident people are happier, more fulfilled and achieve more in life. And the best news of all ….We can all be confident!