CheekyLittleCareers’ associate executive coach, Matt Verrell, explores what is means to be confident and what we can do to boost our confidence levels.
If I asked you to think of a confident person, who comes to mind? What is it about that person you believe makes them confident? It could be the way they speak, with clarity and certainty. Perhaps it’s the way that person stands or how much eye contact they give you. Each of us has our own individual definition of confidence.
Our perception vs reality
We’ve all experienced self-talk. This comes in two guises; positive and negative. Historically, our brains were hardwired to scan our immediate environment for any danger that may be lurking. Over time, whilst our environments and situations may have changed, our brains have been slower to adapt. This means we’re still searching for the same dangers we encountered millennia ago.
How does this feed into confidence? We sometimes don’t give ourselves enough credit. We think we’re not very confident. What’s more, we think others around us are far more confident than they actually feel. This ties into limiting beliefs, which we at CheekyLittleCareers have spoken and written about before. We’re left in a state of high anxiety that we might not be able to cope.
This sounds a little gloomy – well, it need not be perceived that way. Confidence is a mindset. With all mindsets, they can be developed, altered, enhanced and moulded. That’s what makes us so unique – we can physically and mentally change our brains to alter the way we perceive ourselves and those around us. It just takes time, patience and practice. So, how do we go about changing our mindset?
One, two, three
The first step is to imagine the mindset we’re trying to create. If we don’t know what we’re aiming for, how will we know when we’ve achieved it? It’s like starting a journey without a destination. So, take some time out of your busy day, just 10 minutes should suffice. Sit quietly without any distractions. Let your mind wander and imagine yourself as an extremely confident person. Notice what you notice. How do you look? What facial expressions are you showing? How are you standing? How do you sound when you speak? Notice how others are behaving around you, now that you’re very confident. You’re now manifesting your confident self.
Hold this image in your mind.
Next, we need to dig into our memories and unearth evidence of times when we’ve felt really confident. If you don’t think you have any examples, keep looking; they’re lurking somewhere. What was happening around you that made you feel particularly confident? These images and memories will be the fuel that ignites your feelings of confidence going forward. When you need to call on your confidence reserves, recollect these memories and moments and notice how you’re now feeling. Try it, it’s surprisingly effective.
Third, we need to talk about physiology. Our posture plays a huge part in how we feel. Changing our posture can instantly give us an energy boost and this drives into positive feelings around confidence and self-esteem. If you’re about to go into a meeting or interview, regardless of whether it’s in person or virtual, try this – stand up, with your legs shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips and stand up as straight as you can. Hold your head up high and smile. This power pose is incredible. Notice how much more confident you’re already feeling – now you can move forward with a spring in your step. Nothing can stop you.
By repeating these three steps every day, you’ll notice a shift in your mindset. It’ll be small to start with, but this will snowball to positive change. If you’d like to learn more about confidence and self-esteem, why not consider signing up for a one-to-one confidence and self-esteem skills training session with me? Click here to find out more.