Confidence stands out in the room.
Confidence makes people stand out. They have a spark and they certainly make a mark. Their voices are heard because people seem to stop and listen.
But confidence is often misunderstood.
A truly confident person doesn’t necessarily have to be the loudest in the room or have a bold voice type. They don’t have to be extroverts, or have dominant personalities or have all the answers to all the questions.
True confidence has a deeper quality.
If you can reach for that, you’ll have confidence at your fingertips whenever you want it.
Great communicators are confident.
There’s one thing that connects most great communicators. They sound confident.
Confidence is an attractive trait. That’s why it can make someone seem such a great dating prospect, sometimes above physical traits. But it has wider benefits. It can draw people to listen to you, it can make them believe you and feel compelled to respond.
It’s a careful balance. We all know what a turn off too much confidence can be. At that point we’re no longer talking about confidence, we’re talking about arrogance.
But why is true and balanced confidence so attractive? Why is it so compelling?
One reason is that it makes a person shine. It gives an instant makeover, a free facelift. Their eyes sparkle with self assurance, their face lights up with their message, their body conveys their passion.
But there’s something deeper. It’s how they make us feel. When someone conveys true confidence, they give us a sense of certainty. They make us feel safe. That’s an attractive feeling, especially in times of uncertainty.
Knowing this helps us overcome a common myth about confidence. This is that it’s a personality trait, something some people are born with and others aren’t. Like the colour of our our eyes or our physical height.
3 ways to be more confident.
1. Believe in yourself first.
When it comes to speaking with confidence, preparation is never to be underestimated.
What are you planning to talk about? How do you want people to feel? What do you want them to do? You first have to be convinced that it’s the right or best thing yourself if you want others to believe you.
Remember that true confidence is about creating a sense of certainty in people. When you truly believe what you are saying, and sound certain, you will sound confident.
If you’ve lost touch with your beliefs, of find yourself swaying easily with other people’s opinions, try journaling regularly.
Exploring your thoughts in a private space allows you to get in tune with your true thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
2. Be proud to be you.
It’s tempting to want to fit a cookie-cutter for what a confident person should be like, especially if there are some confident figures that you look up to.
The greatest barrier to confidence is shame. Too many people believe they’re not good enough because there is some trait about them or experience they have or haven’t had that makes them worth less.
Sometimes people try to ‘fake it’ to get around this but this only leads to a queasy feeling of being an imposter which is another barrier to true confidence.
So, list out key aspects of your personality, skills, experiences and your values. These make you unique and you can be proud to be unique. Even our weaknesses can be reframed. If there’s a skill you’re developing, then you have learnings to share along the way. If you’ve had a bad experience, you have important lessons that could help others. If you don’t look the part, then you have the potential to stand out.
When we own our uniqueness and let go of the shame, confidence radiates from within.
3. Practice being confident.
Confidence – as we’ve already established – is not a personality trait. It’s a skill.
So, like any skill – from learning the guitar to baking red velvet cake – it requires practice.
The best place to begin is by closing your eyes and think about a time when you felt confident. Maybe you were with people you know well, in an environment that was familiar or with supportive people.
Feel that sensation of deep, calm confidence. Then, trying recalling that sensation and inviting it in at times you may feel less confident. See how it changes things.
You can also try observation. Watch and listen to confident communicators. Spot the traits that you like and could work for you.
Then, spend time in front of a mirror trying them out in a way that works for your style. Whatever you do, don’t try to copy + paste from other people. You are unique and so whatever you do must work for you.
Explore facial expressions, hand movements and the placement of your body. See how each tweak enhances how you come across.
If that’s not enough, it can help to remember that when you have the confidence to speak up in a room, you are of great service to the world. You might say the thing that people need to hear that day. You might tell them about just the product the wanted. And, you may even change a life.
So, get out there. Practice for real. Recognise that nerves are natural and don’t mean that you are not capable of confidence. Just that you are human. I find it helpful to imagine jumping into a pool of water. I know it will be cold and uncomfortable for a couple of minutes but then it will feel good. Don’t stand at the edge and wait to feel better about the situation. Dive in and go for it!
Don't let doubt shake you.
If things don’t go according to plan – especially as you’re starting out – don’t beat yourself up. That’s yet another barrier to confidence. It’ll take you backwards.
Confidence is a skill, remember. It takes time to master.
Take the learnings and use these next time. Before you know it, you could be standing on a stage with someone looking up to you saying ‘I wish I had your confidence’ and you’ll be able to pass on the inspiration.
- Real confidence isn’t about being loud or dominant. It’s about radiating with certainty that makes others believe in you.
- True confidence isn’t a personality trait. It’s a skill and takes practice. There’s no better place to practice then out there!
- Embrace your uniqueness. Don’t try to fit a cookie-cutter. Believe in yourself and be proud to be you. This is the foundation for rock solid, inspirational confidence.