Ever sit through a class presentation, meeting, or conference and wonder to yourself how some people are just so confident? Well, confidence is not one of those things that you “have or you don’t”. It is a skill that can be developed overtime and improved through practice.
- Body Language– This is a great place to start in order to look and feel more confident. In your next interview or networking event, always make sure to make eye contact, sit up straight and actively listen to the other person. By keeping your body aimed at the person you are talking to, you can appear more engaged during the interview. A good body posture will not only make you look more confident but feel that way.
- Speaking– People who are confident speak with certainty. They rarely use any filler words and believe in the things they are saying. This encourages others to listen and follow what they have to say. Another important aspect of your voice is tone. During an interview, I would shy away from using an upward inflection when answering questions about yourself and be more assertive in your responses.
- Thinking– After a few victories and wins, people often begin to build confidence in their own abilities. Still, it is important to remember that challenges are inevitable in our professional careers. A crucial step to building self-confidence is getting back up from failures and overcoming setbacks. If you are rejected by a company, think to yourself of all the new information you gained from the interview process, and the soft skills you practiced. By being discouraged, you may engage in negative self-talk, which leads to declining confidence and performance. It is important to find happiness from within and credit your small wins because they will give you the confidence to tackle the bigger challenges.
“Fake it till you make it”. While people have different opinions on this mantra, I believe that it does have some aspect of truth to it. To become the ideal version of ourselves, we often have to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and do the things we may normally turn away from. Just remember, confidence is not something you learn in a day or year, but it is a skill you try to practice and develop over your lifetime.