Think your way to more confidence

Stop for a second. Take a moment to think about the last time you felt extremely confident.  Maybe it was just the other day. Or maybe it’s been 20 years since you felt confident about anything.  (Because now we’re at that age where we can think in terms of decades. Yay us)

No matter how long it’s been, you can start feeling more confident today. That’s because confidence can be learned.

CONFIDENT PRESENTATION AND MINDSET

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” which basically encourages people to ACT confident until they FEEL confident.  That simple phrase captures two key components of confidence: presentation and mindset.  We’re going to explore both of them. 

Listen, confidence is a huge subject. And you don’t want to read all that because tl;dr. So this article will focus on the mindset aspect of confidence.  Next week’s article will be about how to show confidence in your actions, gestures, and posture.  I chose this order because changing your mindset will get you further than just learning to present as confident. But both are extremely important!

DEVELOP A CONFIDENT MINDSET

There’s no set criteria for you to feel confident. “If you obtain X, Y, Z then you can believe in yourself.”  You basically make it up using your own rules and standards. You get to decide how confident you feel about something, highlighting why your mindset is so important.  

Here are ways of thinking that can impact our confidence.

  • Believe that you know your stuff. There’s no way around improving this one without taking action. It often only changes when you can answer the question, “What do I need to accomplish to feel competent in this specific subject?”

  • Trust that you have influence. The less control we have over the outcome, the less confident we feel. (ex: my speaking ability impacts how people receive my speech). So remember, the butterfly effect (the science, not that bad movie with Ashton Kutcher). Even small choices can have a big impact on others.  

  • Match your values to your actions. Doing work that inspires us is a superbooster (real word?) to our confidence!

  • Believe in others. Do you believe people have positive intentions and want you to succeed? For example:

    • If you believe your co-workers are working toward the same goals as you, you can focus on doing your best.

    • If you have to give a presentation, remember the audience is rooting for you.  They want you to do a good job.

  • Remember past successes. This is so important!  You not only remind yourself of your ability to succeed, you can also re-experience what it was like to accomplish your goal. Feeling this way can be a huge motivator!

  • Embrace failure. Viewing “failures” as teaching moments will make you better. Remember the expression, “You either succeed or you learn.”

  • Keep it real. It’s easy to go after perfection. Which is a big fat road to nowhere. So try to keep a realistic perspective. For example, when we first started recording our weekly quick tips, I wasn’t very confident because I twpeople would not like them. Guess what. Nobody is watching them right now!  

It’s funny to say, but that has improved my mindset. I feel more confident because I have the opportunity to get better with the stakes still relatively low. Plus I remind myself, “You have to start somewhere.” (But, you should totally check out our videos on YouTube)

CONFIDENCE START HERE

If you’re still struggling with a confident mindset, it’s okay. We’re socialized to be hard on ourselves. And confidence doesn’t come from reading one article or meeting with a life coach one time. It takes time and work to repave those brain circuits. But here’s a good place to start:

Ask yourself, “Who do I know that’s confident?  How is their mindset different than mine?  What do they do to maintain a high level of confidence?” And if you’re drawing a blank, ask! You might be surprised at what you find out!