How to be confident. It is something that we have all struggled with at times in our lives and in certain situations, yet we all want to know how to be this confident person who knows how to carry themselves and interact with others in any situation. We want to act like the leading lady (or man) in our own life story and not like a supporting character. There are more people than you think wanting to know how to be confident, even people you would never suspect. You are not alone in this confidence quest.
This weekend I watched two movies where a couple of the characters just oozed confidence. I mean it was coming out of every pore. One was Nick (played by Dermot Mulroney) in The Wedding Date. And the other was Jacob (played by Ryan Gosling) in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Now, admittedly, these characters are quite the playboy/gigolo types, but you cannot deny their confidence, their swagger. They definitely knew how to be confident. And while they used their power of confidence in some less than savory ways, this same power can be used for good. Use it to be kind to others, to influence others to live their best life. Another thing to consider, if we are unkind and haughty with our self-confidence, we will not be very well liked at all. So while you may feel you know how to be confident, you will also be very lonely if you are not a nice person.
I was inspired me to start jotting down a few notes for an article Monday morning, and while I was writing I saw a talk show host speaking on how she is so shy at parties and wants to grab one person and hide in a corner, talking with this one person so that she can avoid having to mingle with other people. It is not at all what you would expect from a talk show host. If a National talk show host feels this way, we probably should not beat ourselves up too much for not always feeling confident. I have even seen celebrities tell similar stories. We all feel this way at times, but there are also steps we can to be more confident if we want to develop this sense of confidence.
Some think we are either born with it or we are not. In some ways we are all born with more confidence that we think. Even if you have forgotten this, you can almost always find an old photo where you are shining. Sometimes we just need to remember who we are.
But until we get there, there are things we can do that will help us. Yes, some of it is faking it until we make it, but often doing the outward things will generate the inward feelings. At some point, we begin to own it. We will become it.
“The virtue you would like to have, assume it is already yours, appropriate it, enter into the part and live the character just as the great actor is absorbed in… the part he plays.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
No matter where we are right now, there are steps that we can take to be more confident.
If we study confident people, we will see they have certain traits and actions in common. It is not a secret or magic formula, just steps we can all take to be more confident. And remember, to some degree, you were born with it.
Why is it important to appear confident if you do not feel it? Because at some point your inside will change to match your outside. And often, it is honestly the easiest and simplest place to start. It is simple steps and actions that we choose to practice daily.
If we do the all the right things, we will get the right results. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen. It just takes time.
“Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” -Roger Staubach
How to Be Confident in Your Appearance:
- Practice good hygiene. Shower daily, brush and floss, and practice good skin care. While these are good for the obvious reasons, they also make you “feel” better about yourself.
- Get dressed every day. This is us showing up. When we talk on the phone, write, answer our door, we are going to do so in a different way when we show up for the day and come dressed for it.
- Wear what you love. Spend some time on Pinterest defining your style before you spend a culling session of your wardrobe. And do not forget to accessorize. Even the right accessories can dress up jeans, white t-shirt and black jacket. Choose 3 “Go To” outfits from your closet that you love and give them a place near the front of your closet for those days you just do not know what to wear. And most importantly, wear what you love. If you do not love it, do not wear it. You will never feel your best, confident self if you do. If your wardrobe is far from being what you want right now, start small by defining a style that you love and begin one piece at a time. The important thing is to begin with a plan and know what you want.
posture: stand and sit straight and walk with a sense of purpose and confidence. walk like you know where you are going.
- Practice good posture. Stand up tall and sit up straight. When we slouch, we send a message to ourselves and everyone around us. If this is an issue for you, practice posture exercises. Remember, when we used to see people walking with a book on their heads? It is not one of those things that comes naturally. We must practice it. And even if your posture is never 100%, it can always be better. The important thing is to do your best.
- Smile. Sometimes we forget to do this, but it not only changes how we are perceived, it changes how we feel.
- Make quality eye contact. Do the listening with your eyes. They are, after all, the window to the soul. Make good, quality eye contact. Do not just stare at someone, but listen with your eyes. Imagine if your eyes were conveying your sentiments, your support, encouragement, understanding, or your agreement with a person. It actually makes you feel more engaged when you use your eyes and expressions in a conversation. But most of all, do not avoid looking at someone in the eyes. Think about it. If you were talking with someone who never made eye contact or very little contact, wouldn’t they make you uncomfortable, or at the very least like they were not interested in you or anything you had to say at all? Don’t be that person.
How to Be Confident in Your Actions:
- Be good at something. Learn something and be good at it. Being able to speak authoritatively on a subject or skill makes us more confident. Learn about something that interests you, and do it well.
- Talk to strangers. Say hello to the cashier or waitress and ask them about their day. Make comments to other shoppers when you are out, not creepy or weird comments, but just short little funny comments. These often turn into little conversations, and everyone feels a little better and more connected. I know. You may be saying that you would rather die a thousand deaths. It may never be something that you enjoy very much, but most things that we do regularly tend to get easier. I have faced those fears at times. They got much easier when I did.
- Walk away from those people who do not treat you well. Too often we keep toxic people in our lives far too long. We may never get unstuck if we do not take this important step. People have a choice for how they choose to be. And sometimes there are consequences for those choices. You are responsible to yourself first and foremost. You need to be surrounded by good people who support you being your best.
- Speak slower. These next two tips are straight from The Princess Diaries. I love this movie. The transformation is amazing. There is a scene in which she is speaking publicly, which she hates, but she is doing a great job. Her voice is slow and low. At a certain point, she gets excited and begins to speak faster and higher, losing control of her voice, and she immediately sounded less confident and poised. So slow down, not to the point that you are going to make people go crazy, but just enough to make it feel more confident and more like breathing.
- Speak lower. When we lower our voice, it slows naturally, and we sound and feel more confident.
- Be decisive. Most decisions are not major life decisions and could probably go either way. Practice making quick decisions in these areas, and as you do so, you will find yourself a little more confident in making the bigger decisions of your life.
- Be strong. Helplessness rarely incites feelings of confidence in ourselves. Do the things that you think you cannot do. You will often find that you are far more capable than you ever thought. The only way you are going to find this out is by demonstrating strength by taking on challenges, making big decisions, and taking on what is ahead of you.
- Be positive. Speak positivity. If it is not nice, do not say it. Negativity will bring you down. Stop complaining and stop rehearsing your problems. It is a new day.
- Think good thoughts about yourself. What are you good at? What do you like about yourself? Keep a special journal of these thoughts along with past accomplishments, compliments, words of encouragement from others, and even pictures you love of yourself from any age. We are far too apt to rehearse every negative thing in our life. Let’s be a good finder in our own life. This journal is also a great place for quotes and other inspiration.
- Conquer something. Do things that you have always wanted to do. Do the things that you think you cannot do. The more you push yourself, the more confident you will become. Learn to cook, go sky diving, learn to paint or how to take good pictures. Take a trip on an airplane or boat. Or if you are usually the passenger with someone else making the plans, you be the one to plan a trip. Go with friends if that makes it easier, but play a major role in the planning of the trip. Learn to swim or play a musical instrument.
- Remember who you are. What kid does not feel like they can do anything they want…its just a matter of choosing ti them? We all have had a little of that. We have all seen it in our children. Find that old photo of yourself with the gleam in your eye, completely full of your little self. Remember who you are.
How to Practice Confidence Daily:
30 Day Challenges are a great way to practice daily confidence. They keep us focused and hold us accountable.
30 Day Challenge to Be More Confident
- 30 Day Challenge Method #1: Choose one new step and do it every single day for 30 days. Make it measurable. Give yourself a certain amount of time or number of times to do something every day. Next month, continue that one thing and choose another step to work on. At the end of a year, you will have a good handle on 12 of these steps.
- 30 Day Challenge Method #2: Begin with the “Getting Started” 30 Day Confidence Challenge, and then graduate to the 30 Day Monthly Confidence Challenge, and then do this every month.
If you create your own, you can add things like…
- Posture exercises 15 minutes a day
- Talk to 30 strangers.
- Read for 10 minutes each day using a slower, lower voice
- Work on something you want to be good at for 4 hours each week.
- Develop a good skin care routine. Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize.
- Do one thing that scares you or that you feel you cannot do.
- Make 3 quick decisions this month.
- Spend 90 minutes on Pinterest or reading fashion books/magazines this month and define your style by coming up with 3 outfits for yourself.
- List 30 things you like about yourself.
- Find a picture of yourself shining….at any age.
- Smile at 30 people.
- Be able to give the eye color of the last three people who you talked with at any given moment. Practice until you can do it.
- Read interesting things to be able to start interesting conversations.
We can all learn how to be confident using the simple steps in this article. More important than how it looks to others is how it feels to us, and it feels really good. Do it for yourself. If you would like to learn more about how to be confident, please see the resources below for books, DVDs, blogs, and challenge sheets to help you achieve your goal.
How to Be Confident Resources
30 Day Confidence Challenge Sheets:
30 Day Challenge – Be Confident – Getting Started
30 Day Challenge – Be Confident – Monthly Challenge
For your pinning pleasure…