Sit with Your Thoughts
Andrew Appel, creative director for Beyond Success Consulting, says it’s easy to gain confidence. Sometimes it’s as simple as daily silence and meditation. “Find a technique that works for you,” he says. “Take some time each day to quiet your mind and senses so that you can develop more control over your thoughts and interactions.” Sitting with your thoughts will help you gain clarity — that way, you won’t be so stir-crazed and your self-esteem will rise.
Knowing who you are and what you stand for can also help give you more confidence. “Identify your unique creative expression,” Appel suggests. “Ask yourself, are you working in a job that truly represents what you feel you are here to do in this world?” If not, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about how you could move towards your true passions in life, Appel points out.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
As you focus on the passion in your life — the things that inspire you and give you happiness — it’s also important to stay focused on you, says Lloyd Princeton, a motivational speaker, business coach and author of Marketing Interior Design. “Do not compare yourself to other people,” he adds. “Set the bar for yourself based on your abilities and desires and constantly strive to improve based on that bar.”
“One can also literally work on non-verbal behaviors, such as body posturing, facial expression and eye contact in order to improve the feeling of confidence,” Rego says. He often instructs his patients to take a confident walk around town, using the non-verbal behaviors mentioned, and see how they feel and how people respond to them, compared to how they normally would walk around. “I also have them imagine someone they already see as confident, and act like that person for an hour or so, and then see the results.” It’s like practice!
“Stand straight. Shoulders back. Head up,” instructs Pamela Gilchrist, author, speaker and president of Gilchrist Group, an international award-winning business and communications firm. “This immediately increases your presence in any setting.” Gilchrist also reminds people not to shuffle or slouch. “Walk and sit with authority. If others think you have it, you do.”
Never Look Down on Yourself
“Eliminate negative self-talk,” Gilchrist stresses. “Replace with themes such as, ‘I am good enough, I am successful, I am loved.’ Gilchrist recommends reading Melody Beattie’s book, The Language of Letting Go. If you believe in yourself, others will, too.
UCLA psychiatrist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff stresses you should calm down your stress hormones in order to stay confident. “Eliminate or avoid people and situations that induce the stress response in your body, which speeds up your pulse and mimics the feeling of fear, lowering your confidence,” she suggests. “These include caffeine, sugar and other stimulants, as well as emotional vampires or people who drain your energy and make you tense to be around, traffic jams and arguments.” Keep the negativity out of the way and your positive energy will radiate.
OK, that sounds a little strange, but Michael Ellner, a certified medical hypnotherapist, believes it will work. “Self-hypnosis is easily learned, rapidly effective, and, once learned, is always available for use,” Ellner says. “Imagine a slice of lemon; see it, smell it and imagine picking it up and hearing yourself tasting it — I bet your imaginings produced a sour taste and digestive juices. In the same way you can easily learn how to use your memories of soothing sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches to signal your mind and brain to produce a sense of ease and confidence.” All you have to do is imagine and/or remember the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches that are associated with a past experience in which you were feeling at ease and very self-assured. “Apply those feelings of ease and confidence to new social situations by simply thinking, ‘This is going to be fun,'” Ellner instructs.
“After all this is said and done, let go and trust life’s process,” Appel advises. “Life is what is happening while you are making other plans. Things will never unfold exactly as you intend, so be willing to be flexible and adapt to changes and circumstances as they come about.” Your ability to go with the flow and be comfortable with changes will give you more confidence, too.
It’s as easy as that. Gilchrist urges, confidence comes from within — loving yourself will give your personality the wow factor. Okay, so don’t be overly confident and love yourself so much that you become a narcissist. Keep it to a healthy minimum. “Know that you are worthy, special and one of a kind,” she concludes.