There’s no doubt that confidence is critical to success in life and business. Countless studies and surveys have revealed that men are more confident than women in the workplace regardless of skill, talent, experience and results. While there’s much to discuss in terms of the gender gap when it comes to confidence, this post is about how your wellness impacts your confidence and what you can do to make changes in a positive direction.
At the core of confidence is how we look and feel. It may sound superficial but when you don’t like how you look, you will not exude confidence and authority. Think about when you’ve had a bad haircut. It probably consumed your thoughts. You convinced yourself that everyone was looking at you and wondering what the hell happened to your hair. It drove you crazy until you fixed it.
The same is true about our bodies. If you are standing at a podium and your pants are a little tighter in the waist or you’re tugging at your dress because it doesn’t fit the same since you’ve put on a few pounds, it’s distracting. To you. To your audience. And it damages your ability to influence because your confidence is diminished. Your mind is on that button on your pants and not on the speech or presentation.
I’ve spent the last 20 years writing for and coaching executives who stood in front of hundreds of people and I’ve seen what a lack of confidence will do to even the most seasoned exec with the most brilliant idea or pitch.
So, what can you do when you’ve gained a few pounds and have that big meeting, presentation or on-camera interview in a week? Here are a 7 quick tips you can implement over 7 days to get you feeling better inside and out, and bring back some of your confidence:
- Schedule 5 workouts. Now. Tell your assistant to find 5 days that you can sweat it out for 30-45 minutes. Schedule those sessions like meetings. Even if you are traveling. Every hotel has a gym with a treadmill. Set it on an incline and get moving. Practice your speech or presentation while you walk, bike, etc.
- Drink your weight in water. Well, half your body weight in ounces. Every day. Water reduces bloat. Water clears your mind and system. You’ll think and perform better when you are super hydrated.
- No alcohol. You can do it. While that glass or three of wine may seem to de-stress you, it adds empty calories to your diet and encourages you to make bad food choices. When you eliminate that wine or beer, you might lose a pound or two without a lot of effort.
- Eat more; eat better. Busy executives have little time for a sit down meal. We eat on the go, or not until later in the evening. When we don’t eat all day, we’re destined to overdo it. Aim for 2-3 larger meals and 2-3 healthy snacks. Eat more plants than meat. Load up on filling fiber. And, don’t be afraid of healthy fats – they not only taste good, they satiate your hunger.
- Get Some Sleep. Stop laughing. I know you may be in the final days of preparing for a big pitch or meeting but sleep is almost more important than exercising when it comes to losing weight and being healthy. Aim for 7 hours a night. Shut off the phone, tv and other distractions and let your body recharge.
- Make time for quiet. Whether it’s morning meditation, extra stretching after a tough workout, or just simply closing the door to your office and sitting in silence for 15 minutes. Quieting your mind every day will reduce stress, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol in your body that can slow your metabolism.
- Buy the outfit. Yes, I said go shopping. You may not like the size you’re buying but you will look and feel infinitely better when your clothes fit properly. No one in that audience can see the tag, and you can always have the suit taken in later when you shed the 10 lbs. For now, you want to look your best, and ill-fitting clothing doesn’t communicate confidence.
Seven days; seven ways to be your best self on whatever stage you find yourself. It’s a small investment in your health and overall well-being, and you’re worth it.
When you implement these strategies, you will feel better, look better and project more confidence in front of your next audience.