Being confident is important, but it’s not always easy to do and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It can also waver — confidence comes and goes and some days you need to put in a little extra work to channel it.
Here are some things you can do today to feel more confident, according to experts.
Self-confidence can be interpreted through both your physical and verbal language, so in order to feel confident you have to portrayconfidence through your posture and your presentation, said Lisa Wentz, author of “Grace Under Pressure: A Master Class in Public Speaking,” who holds a master’s degree in voice and speech studies.
“Start by standing and walking with a balanced, neutral posture — meaning you are not carrying excess tension or slouching,” she told INSIDER.
By staying neutral, you’re able to easily access your breath, adjust your voice, and switch gears from a place of insecurity to a place of authority and engagement, she added. She said you’ll also want to try “slowing the pace of your speech so that others listen.”
Hone in on the moments you find yourself comparing yourself to others. Instead of focusing on how you feel you fall short, try to quiet your inner critic by reaching out to loved ones for support, said Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method.
“Have [friends and family] remind you of all of your strengths and achievements,” Silva told INSIDER. “The goal is to have you see yourself in a more capable perspective, rather than always incapable.”
Silva told INSIDER that setting small goals and meeting them can give you a sense of accomplishment while also putting you closer to fulfilling your larger aspirations.
This way, by focusing on the smaller victories you achieve over time, you’re more likely to see yourself progressing and moving forward rather than as failing to meet a larger goal.
“Make two lists: one of your perceived shortcomings, and one of your achievements,” Silva said. “For each perceived shortcoming, list out the strengths that you gained while trying to achieve that particular goal.”
Self-talk is powerful because what you repeatedly tell yourself can become ingrained in your mind until it’s a belief, not just a passing thought. But sometimes people don’t understand just how destructive their internal dialogue can be, Silva said.
By standing in front of a mirror and saying what you think about yourself, you’re forced to confront your negative thoughts and you give yourself a chance to reframe or correct them, Silva told INSIDER.
“Stare back at yourself as you repeat all of the negative things you say to yourself about yourself. The goal of this is catharsis and expect your reactions to be highly emotional because it seeks to make you confront the perceived suboptimal version of yourself,” she added.
Ellen Hendriksen, author of “How To Be Yourself” and a clinical psychologist at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, told INSIDER that attention is like a spotlight — you get to choose where to point it.
When you start to feel insecure, your attention typically focuses inward. You might begin overthinking things, picking apart pieces of the conversation you contributed to, and second-guessing your word choices and body language. But she pointed out that this internal conversation can deplete your confidence so you may want to try focusing your attention outward instead.
“Turn your attention outward — to the environment, the group, or the person you’re talking to,” Hendriksen said. “Be interested and curious in what’s being said. Look at others. This external focus can make you feel more grounded in the moment and therefore more confident.”
“Aiming for perfection doesn’t just stifle us, it actually pushes others away,” Hendriksen told INSIDER. In other words, your confidence might be lacking if you’ve set the bar too high.
So instead of trying to master a perfectly timed joke or being afraid to share ideas that aren’t fully formed, Hendriksen said you should own your imperfections and try to feel comfortable with them. They’re not necessarily a bad thing.
“Humans find perfection boring, intimidating, and inauthentic. Instead, people are drawn to imperfection. It’s humanizing, it’s endearing, and it makes people like you more,” she added.
Impact coach Katie Sandler told INSIDER that one of the best ways to feel more confident is to hone in on your strengths and build upon them.
“There are many things in life we need to be competent with, but there are few things we have true strength in,” she explained. “Building upon something you have strength in also builds self-confidence, no matter what it may be … being good at something feels good and feeling good is the name of the game.”
Above all, confidence stems from believing in yourself. Once you’ve established this mindful choice — to choose to believe in yourself in every aspect of life — that’s when you can display your self-esteem for the world to see, Sandler told INSIDER.
“Perhaps you do so by standing tall with your head up and a smile on your face, maybe you speak up and share your thoughts and ideas. Whatever it may be, [confidence] is a conscientious choice and believing in yourself sets you up to make the best choice[s] for yourself,” she added.
Originally Published on INSIDER.
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