What makes a person appear confident? Is it something innate, something we grow into, or something we can learn?
Without a doubt confidence is something that can be learned – and it is sometimes as easy as adopting a new attitude, and working on simple everyday techniques until they become habits.
Here are some well known confidence-building tips that will help even those who are nervous, shy or uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations.
There are several cues that we interpret as ‘confidence’, so it stands to reason that if you want to build confidence you need to recognise and adopt them. They include:
The way we dress affects the way we feel and the way others perceive us. Buy well made, though not necessarily expensive, clothes that fit well. They should suit your height and shape, and be in keeping with the situation in which you’ll be wearing them.
When you know you look good and are comfortable with what you’re wearing, it will give you one less thing to be nervous about, and help you to project an air of confidence.
When we see people with good posture we perceive them to be happy and confident. So take a close look at your own posture: stand and sit up straight and not only will you look more self-assured but you will start to feel that confidence as well.
Confidence has an energy about it. If you find yourself shuffling or slumping, a simple shift to stand straight and move faster will boost your energy.
If you find yourself low on energy, do some vigorous activity, walk briskly and rub your hands together to lift your energy level and help you refocus.
Confident people smile. As with posture, the great thing about smiling is you don’t have to BE happy or confident in order to smile, but it can make you FEEL happy and confident – the external change drives the internal change.
Smiling is one of the simplest ways to exude confidence – so practice by looking at the people you pass on a day to day basis, and smile. Its a great habit to get into!
Confident people speak up, and the best way to learn how to do this is by practising. Research relevant topic areas, monitor reliable news reports on that topic, and begin to contribute to conversations. Most people find that it is easy to talk about topics that they are familiar with, and have some knowledge of – so get that knowledge! The more often that you speak up, the more comfortable you will be to do so when it really counts.
One of the most striking differences between those who are self-assured, and those who are not, is eye contact: a confident person will look into the eyes of their audience (one person or many). An ideal way to practice eye contact is to use it in everyday conversation until it becomes a natural element of the way you interact with people.
Confident people are often seen to engage with those around them. This begins with the elements mentioned above, and flows through to showing an interest in their responses and views, and asking questions that will help to continue the dialogue.
So if confidence does not come naturally to you, why not try implementing some of these strategies?
The Butterfly Program helps to build your confidence by learning how to believe in yourself, and to shift your focus from the things you cannot do, to the things at which you excel.