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At its most basic, confidence is knowing what you’re good at. It’s knowing the value you provide and conveying that value to others. But don’t make the mistake of confusing this with arrogance which involves believing that you’re better than others. On the other end of the spectrum, there is low self-esteem which involves believing you're less valuable than you think.
Building self-confidence is aiming for the middle way without going too far.
Whether it’s personal life, career or social scenarios, confidence is something everyone needs in any given situation. It is how successful people overcome daily obstacles. But it doesn’t happen by accident. If anything, it comes from repeated practice and small successes which then build into larger accomplishments.
The secret to building confidence is to include it in your life as a habit. It may be difficult because people are naturally inclined to
fall back into old habits and feel insecure of taking on a new one. But it is by no means impossible. Even being short of confident is a habit in itself. So the only way to become more confident is to build it as a habit and then become comfortable with it.
This habit formation involves making changes, adopting new behaviors and takes time and energy. At the same time, the process also involves breaking away from old habits and developing new, productive ones.
Expert opinion holds that the best way of doing so is to start small. This makes any task seem easy to handle. So take a look at these seven hacks given here to get you started.
Present Yourself with Confidence
A lot of how you feel about yourself is reflected in your appearance. And a large percentage of how others perceive you also comes from your body language. This can include, posture, gestures, facial expressions and eye movement.
That’s why taking care of how you dress in front of others is important. The point here is not to impress others so much as to feel good about yourself. When you know you look good, you end up feeling good about yourself as well. Dressing well is much more than donning the trendiest clothes. Instead, it’s all about looking poised and feeling self-assured with a confident posture in any situation. When put together, this whole package sends a positive message to others around you.
Expert opinion states that there is a direct correlation between what you wear and what you think of your potential. Looking good and dressed sharp is a powerful way to boost self-confidence. This little bit of effort goes a long way and as you notice the difference, you can bring your confidence into other areas of your life as well.
Even science backs up the idea that dressing well increases performance. Besides feeling good about yourself, being well groomed also encourages others to take you seriously. This means you can make yourself appear more confident based on your clothes alone. A change of wardrobe can help you land the job you want, the deals you want, the recognition you desire, and even the partner you want.
The other important aspect of presentation is posture. There is a lot of power in posture. If you tend to slouch, straighten up. If you tend to fold your arms, open them up. Along with dressing event-appropriately, your posture and body language say a lot about your confidence levels. Research shows that when you have a confident posture during an activity, you actually feel more confident.
How you carry yourself speaks volumes about your confidence level. In fact, if you’ve ever paid attention, you’ll see that confident
people have a confident walk, with a powerful stride. They refuse to hide by slumping their shoulders or looking down as they talk.
You want to be able to express this body language confidently. Make a conscious effort to stand tall, talk with your hands, make eye contact and practice active listening. Engaged body language also uses open gestures, nodding and smiling. It may even involve mirroring the movements and expressions of others. This can make you seem not only more confident as you engage in dialogue but also more approachable.
When you shake hands, remember that a firm, solid handshake is a universal sign of confidence. Although, make sure that while it’s strong, it’s not crushing.
On the other hand, actions like fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, tapping your foot or biting nails are all tell-tale signs of nervousness and uneasy body language.
Use Positive Affirmations
When life gets tough, it’s great to seek advice from others around you. But perhaps the best person who can counsel you is you. For many people, the natural way to relieve anxiety is to engage in some self-talk. But it is the way you speak to yourself during this pep talk that makes real difference.
There is a two-pronged approach to this. First, think positive thoughts and pair them up with positive affirmations. Second, remove any negative thoughts holding you down.