Confidence is a valuable tool to have in leadership and in life, but is often not easy to cultivate. These strategies may be simple, but each will have a very positive effect on your self-confidence. You can incorporate them gradually, only use some of them, or adopt them all. As you do, you will find that your confidence will grow steadily, and with it your results will improve.
Have you ever tried to think negatively or act sad while smiling? You can’t. It is impossible! Smiling triggers and releases endorphins in the brain, which send a wave of happiness through your entire body. Barbara Johnson said, “A smile is the lighting system of the face and the heating system of the heart.” So, smile often. You will feel more confident and you will look better too.
- Make eye contact
This may seem like such a small thing, but unconfident people look down or look away when they are with others. Confident people make eye contact and engage with others. The eye is the window to the soul. When you make eye contact you connect to others deeply.
- Introduce yourself
When you are with other people, introduce yourself. This may take you out of your comfort zone at first. GOOD! You will be amazed at the positive people you will meet and the new friends you will gain.
- Be thankful
It is easy to throw pity-parties and feel that our situation is unbearable. Regardless of how bad you may think your circumstances are, there is probably someone worse off than you. Put things into perspective. Volunteer at a hospital or a shelter. Change your outlook and start to recognize the good in your life. We all have a lot to be thankful for and when we are grateful our reality changes because our perspective has changed. One of the things my wife and I do is to keep a gratitude journal. In it we record something everyday that we are grateful for. This little exercise keeps us on track.
- Change your posture
When you think confidently you will notice that you stand a little taller, you raise your head a little higher, and sit a little straighter. Inversely, when you change your posture you will change your perception. Stand tall. Lift your head up. This isn’t like your mom getting on you for bad posture; this is because you have every reason in the world to stand tall.
- Choose a theme song
This may seem like a strange suggestion but music has an amazing ability to invoke emotion. You have seen sports teams warm up to “pump up” music, so why don’t you. Before you go into a sales meeting, give a presentation, run a race, face the world, whatever, listen to a song that will spur the emotion you need. Find your theme song – play it loud. This is a fun way to build confidence.