Every so often in this madcap story we call life, you bump into people that seem to have an aura about them. A genuine aura. Like there is this glowing halo around their entire body. People that can walk into a room and steal the show with nothing more than a quick raise of their eyebrows and the slightest of simpers. It’s called confidence and it’s one of the most epic life skills anyone can hope to acquire (except for maybe learning how to use ‘The Force’ but, even then, confidence has more real-world benefits, so we’re going to say it pips it).
That’s why we’re going to teach you how to be more confident (that and because we can’t teach you how to use The Force via a blog post, it’s more complex than that). We’re going to teach you how to believe in yourself more. How to wake up each morning and see a cape-wearing wonder woman with bulging muscles and a can-do attitude that is ready to conquer the world because, yeah, you believe you can.
So you know, we’re not doing this so you can become some sort of Sneaky Pete con artist or a pro at wiggling your way backstage at every event that rolls into town. We’re going to teach you how to become more confident because we know just how important a little dollop of sanguinity can be in everyday situations, from trying to ask that crush of yours out for a drink to grabbing that promotion opportunity by the horns, to moving on in life, to giving a game-changing presentation in a Dragon’s Den type investor pitch.
And the reason we’re doing this is simple: us humans are naturally attracted to confidence. We naturally have our opinions swayed by those who appear to have fallen out of the confidence tree and hit every beautiful branch on the way down. But even though you weren’t born or raised with this all-important skill doesn’t mean you can’t acquire, build or boost your confidence.
Read on for some incredible tips on how to become (or at least appear) more self-assured:
- Learning Is A Way of Life
Everyone goes on about how knowledge is power, but what they don’t go on to say is how knowledge is also a key to confidence. It has to be. The more you know the more confident you will feel and that is why you need to develop a lifelong passion for learning. Work hard at it. Become a devoted reader in the evenings, tell yourself you want to learn a new skill every month, genuinely listen to others when they speak and, if you don’t know something, say the phrase, “I don’t know, but I’m sure as heck gonna find out.”
- Nail the Art Of Chatting
Striking up a conversation on your first date, speaking to people at a networking event, public speaking, coming out as the best candidate at an interview – knowing how to chitter-chatter is one of the most epic skills anyone can have in their locker. If you feel nervous when it comes to this sort of thing, don’t worry though, you’re not alone – the third most watched TED Talk is all about this very thing. Learn how to talk slowly, know the importance of listening and when to listen, read up on good conversation starters, stop using filler words like “uuuummm” and “uuuuhh” and, if you really want to have some authority, talk a little bit lower to avoid that feeling of uncertainty. Speaking with confidence is a skill, you just need to practise and make it perfect.
- Don’t try And Know It All
One of the major cruxes when it comes to feeling confident is knowing that you are not perfect, which can eat away at some people; fill them with mild fear even. This is partly because you think confident people know it all and so, to be like them, you think you should know it all. This is total nonsense. It doesn’t matter who you are imagining in your head right now, chances are they’ve left the house without realising they’re not wearing a bra before, or stood on lego, or good too tipsy and call their boss a numpty or something like that. The point is no one is perfect, so don’t go chasing it. Confidence is about knowing yourself, including your limits. Think of it like this: even subject matter experts don’t know everything in their field.
- The Real Secret Is Smiling
Next time you walk out of your home and down the street, take a moment to look at everyone who walks past and make a note of the ones that shine with confidence. We promise they will all have something in common: smiling. It’s the secret weapon to feeling confident, even when you don’t. The next time you are having a moment of angst or an anxiety attack or find yourself in a situation where you feel a tad uncomfortable, find a reason to smile. Not a weirdly awkward fake smile, but a genuine one. We know this sounds hard but, like everything else, it can be mastered. Head to the mirror, close your eyes, look down, breathe, think of something you love, then look back up, smile and open your eyes. That right there is a genuine smile.
- Pick Yourself Up, Princess
Having a good posture makes you precisely 189% more confident. Okay, so we made that little statistic up, but it’s probably not too far from the truth. Standing up straight, pulling your shoulder blades down and back, pick your chin up and look straight ahead – that’s the foundation to a great posture and a little trick to feeling more confident whether you are sat in an office chair, walking into a restaurant or just wanting to feel a little bit more wow. Of course, the major problem is going to be your habit. You’ve developed a bad habit. But give it a month of conscious thought and you’ll be walking into rooms like your 2005 Angelina Jolie.