How to be more confident.
Confidence is one of the prerequisites for success in life irrespective of our predisposition. It is what makes you take on challenges and go after what you want.
When I started off as a public speaker, I used to be terrified of speaking and my thoughts used to run wild. I used to wonder how other speakers seem to be more confident and relaxed while speaking. whenever I seek their advice on how to be more confident, they always tell me to just be yourself. I didn’t get it back then, in fact, it felt like rocket science to me.
I’m sure you must have wondered the same, probably not with public speaking. Maybe you wonder how come some people seem to have it all in life, or how some people seem to date whoever they want, or even speak their mind freely, or maybe you wonder how some people are more confident in business, or in your office, or at school.
It doesn’t mean that people who are successful don’t have fears or doubts, they do, in fact, we all do. The only difference is that most of them have mastered their fears, and they don’t let it control them.
Take for a moment to imagine if you had no fears in life, what would your life be like, what things would you be doing right now?
Think for a moment.
There are different reasons why most people have low self-confidence, low self-worth, and insecurities. And they all depend on various factors such as background, relationships, and so on. To understand how to be more confident, let us take a look at some of the reasons why some of us lack confidence in the first place.
Reasons Why Someone Can Lack Confidence
There’s a saying that if you throw a man inside water over his head, the experience might teach him how to swim and the same experience will cause others to drown.
Our behaviors in life are largely due to our experiences. Someone who has experienced rejection or failed in the past can go on with the scar and fear being rejected again, they’ll always project their past to the present.
If you want to know how to be more confident, you have to investigate your past experiences and see how it’s affecting your present state.
Comparison is the thief of joy in life and it’s unfortunate that most of us allow these thieve to cohabit with us. There are healthy comparisons, that is when you compare where you used to be with your present state and there’s unhealthy comparison. Unfortunately, most of us don’t appreciate our journeys in life, we engage in an unhealthy comparison with others. These comparisons can make you feel inadequate, it breeds insecurity, fear, and doubts.
Words they say is power, it has an incredible power to alter our attitudes and life. People who engage in negative self-talk have high tendencies of lacking confidence. And for most people, it can be the negative words that have been said while growing up that still affect their present state.
Words like “you are dumb”.
“You’ll never be anything good in life”.
“You’re a loser” and so on.
These words can have powerful effects on our lives even as an adult.
What you think and say about yourself has a great effect on your level of confidence in life. If you think you’re not worthy enough, you’ll always act that way. If you see yourself as shy, or an introvert, chances are you’ll always avoid confrontations.
To understand how to be more confident in life, you have to first monitor your thought patterns and see how it is affecting you or else, it can lead you to feel like an imposter.
How to be More Confident
1. Visualize Yourself as being Confident
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life’s coming.” ~ Albeit Einstein.
It is said that whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. Just as the mind can cause damage to our confidence, it has the ability to increase and make us more confident in life. To be more confident, you have to visualize yourself as being confident. You have to create the mental picture of who you want to become, see it, feel it, and act it.
How to Visualize?
Who do you know that is confident or successful?
What traits or characteristics do you know that make them confident?
Now imagine yourself having all the traits and abilities you’ve listed out. imagine yourself walking, talking and acting confidently and also having all these traits.
Always do this when you feel less confident or when you need motivation. Practice it and you’ll become it.
2. Engage in Positive Self-Talk
Words are power and they have a way of defining who we become in life. The type of words you say to yourself matters a lot, instead of saying you are worthless, say you’re worthy. Instead of calling yourself dumb, say you’re smart, charismatic, and confident. Say these positive things to yourself and soon you’ll see the level of transformation in your confidence level.
3. Face your Fears
One of the most important lessons I learned as a public speaker, is to face your fears. When you face your fears, you’ll be surprised how confident you are. You’ll discover that your mind has been playing tricks on you, telling you can’t do it when in reality, you are capable.
When you face your fears more often, you become familiarized with different situations. This helps to build you up, and make you more confident. And you’ll learn how to manage yourself and your fears when in doubt.
Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen?
4. Change your State
State management is one of the most important elements of marketing and leadership. Your physical state determines how effectively you act. When you slouch, it sends a message to your brain that you’re lacking confidence, or that you’re tired.
The most effective way of changing your state is to anchor previous experiences.
How to change your state?
Visualize or remember a specific time when you felt so confident of yourself, relive every moment of it, see it, and also feel it. Imagine how it would be to feel confident again. Imagine how you’d act.
Key into these feelings and start acting it at once.
5. Stop the Comparison
Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.” ~ Bill Gates
You need to understand that you’re unique, that everyone on earth is different and we can never be the same.
In my early days as a speaker, I used to compare myself with other speakers, people I felt where “more qualified”. It sucked out all my energies, it made me be afraid and resentful about speaking. Giving excuses became easy for me because I felt not good enough.
Comparison is the thief of all joy, stop it.
Understand that you have the right to be happy, and you deserve whatever you desire. Stop the comparison and just act. Just do it, what’s the worst that can happen anyway?
6. Understand that you are smart
We are usually our own worst critics. We cut ourselves short and place unhealthy labels on our abilities and self. This doesn’t only reduce our confidence, it can lead to one feeling like an imposter, it can lead to sadness, and also depression.
Whenever you find yourself questioning your abilities, kindly list out all your abilities, qualifications, accomplishments, experiences, places you’ve been to, your associations and so on. List them out and see how far you’ve come. You’ll observe that you’re quite more intelligent than you think.
7. Stop Faking it.
There’s a popular axiom that suggests you fake it till you make it. This statement isn’t just wrong, it is also one of the reasons so many people are living with insecurities and doubts. Many people aren’t true to themselves.
The problem of faking it is that, if you’re genuine, you’d find it hard to fake it. And if you succeed in faking it, you’ll only live your life looking over your shoulders. You’ll avoid truly living because you wouldn’t want anything that would expose you or validate the fact that you don’t know. You only fake it because you’re comparing yourself with some other person.
Be yourself, accept yourself for who you are, and understand that you’re unique. Set personal development goals for yourself and work towards your goal.
8. Question the Negative Thoughts
It is said that an unexamined life is not worth living. The same thing goes with your thinking. An unexamined thought will always make you crazy.
Have you noticed that when you quarrel with someone, your mind will do a great job in suggesting things you should have done, it would bring up unnecessary things about what the person might be thinking or will do to you, it would create different scenarios and so on. This process can mess you up, and end up making you feel bad or vengeful.
Next time when you feel less confident or inadequate, you should question that thought. Question its rationality, list out 10 great things about you, read it and visualize yourself as having the confidence.
Never confuse memory with facts.
9. Increase your Tonality
The way you speak and your tonality says a lot about who you are. Just like state management, you have to learn how to speak loudly. Not shouting.
When you speak loudly, it shows confidence and it tells people around you that you know what you’re saying. When you mumble, you can either be viewed as ignorant or lacking confidence.
So, when you speak, try to increase your tone, project yourself forward, and see yourself as an expert. This is an important technique for increasing confidence.
10. Improve on Your Eye Contact
People who are shy and timid always avoid eye contact, because they fear being judged. When you avoid eye contact, it tells people that you’re either hiding something, lying, or you don’t know what you’re saying.
11. Increase your knowledge through personal Development
Knowledge is power. This statement is true in the sense that people who are knowledgeable tend to have a significantly high level of self-esteem. They understand themselves and their environment, and also, they can manage their emotions and thoughts.
12. Change your Vocabulary
Instead of saying I can’t or I’ll try, say I’m going to do it. I’ve discovered that in most cases when we say “we’ll try”, we end up not doing it. There are many other vocabularies we use that limit our level of self-confidence.
Check and monitor how you speak and ensure to replace all negative vocabularies with positive ones.
If you lack confidence, simply examine yourself, your past experiences, environment, and thought patterns.
No one is born confident; we all grow up to be confident or lack it. It is a skill and just like every other skill it can be learned. Confidence is a state of mind that can be induced through either affirmation, visualization or experiencing.
Become aware of your thoughts and actions, and understand how it’s affecting your level of confidence.
Awareness brings everything to light; it is the first step in learning how to be more confident.