- Christine Angelica
7 Ways to Build Genuine Confidence
It's not just the insecure among us who need to build their confidence. We all could use a little boost in that department. It's why we women pull out just the right dress and pair of heels when we want to feel taller and take up space.
You've probably heard of these common confidence-building tips...
✔️ask good questions
✔️maintain eye contact, and
✔️don't overshare or monopolize the conversation.
But to build the deep-seated confidence that doesn't just rely on social crutches, there are other things you can do. When you make these strategies a regular part of your life, expect to feel more confident around new people and even give a Ted Talk.
1. Get out of the house
Shy and socially awkward people tend to hide away from the world, but this is self-sabotaging behavior. It does more damage than you can imagine. You need to have a life so you will have things to talk about. Get out of the house and get involved in your community—take classes, join local sports teams, and volunteer. This will give you stories to tell, and not surprisingly, it will increase your confidence too.
Meditation has a noise-canceling effect on our inner critic. In fact, it arguably works so well, that meditation can turn your inner critic into an ally over time. Meditating for as little as 2-5 minutes a day, or every time you feel overwhelmed, can yield significant changes in your mood and thought patterns. To get started just sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes, and breathe naturally. Clear your mind and if you begin to wander off in your thoughts, especially undesirable ones, simply refocus on your breath. As with all habits, it's a consistent practice that's going to transform you. Regular meditation will help you stay out of your head, and allow you to be more present in social situations.
3. Think well of others
If you think poorly of others in general, you'll expect them to generally behave poorly. But if you think well of others, you'll expect others to act well. 100% of people won't act the way you hope and expect, but you won't be carrying around a bad impression and projecting it socially. Most people are on their best behavior socially anyway, because they don't expect to be judged. Thinking well of others will make you a more cordial person, will make you less defensive, and remove that chip from your shoulder.
4. Believe in yourself
Contrary to popular belief, confidence isn't about being cool or captivating a crowd. It's simply about being OK with what you do and who you are, no matter what that means. Take a closer look at your beliefs. Could you have picked up some that mean little to nothing to you? Resources such as therapy, daily affirmations, and reading books such as Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice can help you begin to see yourself positively.
Get over the fear of looking silly because that's often what endears you to others. Prepare before meetings and group situations so you can ask better questions. From reading up on a topic before a meeting to checking out someone's social media page, preparing can help you feel more confident in these situations.
There are many people, myself included, who find intelligent people more interesting, that's because you are when you read. According to research, reading makes people more interesting, empathetic, and confident. As Susan Cain writes in Psychology Today, “Books are one of the few media to portray introverts as intellectually and emotionally aflame, as opposed to aloof, flawed, or dull.
6. Don't take yourself too seriously
Shy people usually hate when the attention is on them. So, ironically, when they make a blunder, they'll draw attention to their embarrassment (and themselves), which makes others uncomfortable. Remember, everyone makes gaffes and some embarrassing moments can even be used to your advantage socially—if you don't take yourself too seriously. From now on, think of most gaffes (or things that play in your head as embarrassing), as opportunities. Take a curious or humorous approach instead of trying to be the person with all the answers. If you botch the pronunciation of Balmain, don't carry on as if no one noticed or get embarrassed. Use it to your advantage and admit your mistake. Simply laugh it off and ask, “How do you pronounce Balmain?” Or ask, “Did I pronounce that right?” If you say right when you meant left, lighten the mood by saying, "I meant my other right."
7. Look your best
Studies show that people like people who dress like them. Other studies show the clothes you wear affect how you perform. So if you think about it: dressing well is a no-brainer! When you look the part, how you look will be one less thing on your mind as you stand in front of a room.
By implementing these strategies into your daily life, you can begin to feel more self-assured and confident in yourself and your abilities. You can build genuine confidence on your journey to living your best life.