Do you play to your strengths, befriend your fears and find every silver lining?
Are you immune to the world’s morale-depleting ways or does your inner confidence quotient need a booster shot?
Here are some expert tips on how to increase your reserve of pluck.
Before you get out of bed in the morning think of something to be thankful for, recommends Lisa Phillips, founder of life-coaching business Amazing Coaching.
She says giving thanks frames the mind in a positive way and reminds us there are billions of human beings with far less opportunity than ours.
“This is particularly important for businesspeople and can help set you up for a positive day at work,” says Phillips.
Cover the basics
Are you getting enough fresh air, nutritious food, deep breathes and exercise?
It seems kind of obvious but some of the most confident people are also some of the cleanest-living, so don’t overlook the basic staples of a healthy human life on your mission for optimum confidence.
Look fear in the eye
What is it that really stops you shining?
Is it the fear of what people may think, or do you think that if you are confident and assertive that people may not like you? Are you asking yourself ‘what if others judge me’?
See fear as your own creation and hold its hand, Phillips says.
“Look at what stops you from becoming confident. A major factor in people struggling with confidence is they fear what will happen if they do change and worry other people will judge them.”
Change your body language
Superman didn’t just leap tall buildings with a single bound. He projected superhuman inner-confidence by walking with his head up, back straight and chest out, says Sydney counsellor Rodney Owen of Bloke Support.
“You can turn feelings of under-confidence around by pretending to be confident; ‘faking it till we make it,’” Owen says.
“By playing Superman you can feel far more confident and will eventually become second nature, invaluable in the business world.”
Build power slowly
Arnold Schwarzenegger was not built in a day. Those biceps took years of training, incremental rises in reps and weights and strict dietary discipline.
“Confidence is like a muscle, you need to build it up by taking small steps,” Phillips explains.
“Start small and praise yourself every time you do something that puts you out of your comfort zone.”
Don’t cut corners
In this digital age there is no excuse for poor preparation ahead of a meeting with a potential client, boss or business partner.
Take the time to research the other party and it will always shine through in your presentation and personal confidence.
Become your own coach
One common trait of people who feel under-confident is a prevailing sense that there is nobody in their corner.
However the best-placed person to become your loudest supporter is you, so try to reframe your thinking to see yourself as your personal super coach – always on duty, always ready to encourage and praise when you reach a goal.
“Whenever you are doing something new and feel you lack the confidence to do it, you need to loudly encourage yourself and tell yourself you are going to be OK,” Phillips says.
Turn your glass over
Did you know the average person has about 65,000 thoughts daily and about 95 per cent of them are repeats?
It is a good reason to focus on life’s positives but if you are stuck on a negative track, consciously flip your half-empty-glass mentality.
It will initially feel strange but every time thoughts drift down, forcefully redirect them up.
Delayed buses become opportunities to meet people at the bus stop, possibly new business clients?
“A major factor in people who don’t feel confident is they give themselves a hard time and believe outcomes will be negative,” Phillips says “Start changing that mindset and confidence will grow.”
Unleash your inner crooner
Did you know 85 per cent of people are told they cannot sing?
“It is a huge number and it is all down to confidence,” says vocal coach Sharon Stokes of Entertainment 88, who encourages anyone who suffers shyness to sing because it creates a natural endorphin-fuelled high and boosts self-confidence.
Turn up the radio and warble en route to your next boardroom presentation to boost inner nerve.
Learn to forgive yourself
“You are not perfect, you are not superhuman, you must not beat yourself for 55 days every time you make a mistake,” Phillips says.
Make this your mantra. Recite. Learn the lesson. Let go. Move on.
Your business will thank you and your confidence will grow when you know you have given yourself permission to be human.