As a professional speaker, I am asked often how I am able to get up on stage, in front of hundreds of people, and speak. One of the greatest pieces of advice I was given early on in my career was that no one in the audience is there for you specifically…they are present to hear your message. And for me, that was enough to help me build my self-confidence and overcome any anxiety of standing up and addressing an audience. By shifting my mental focus away from me and to my message instead, I was able to concentrate more intently on confidently delivering a high-quality, results-focused message in a way that hopefully will resonate strongly and influence behavior change.
I’ve come to realize over the years, that self-confidence is really more of a skill than a trait. And as I age, I seem to acquire more of it, worrying less about what others think of me and focus more on how I can be the best version of “me”. After all, no one is you, but you. So why try to portray someone else? They are already taken, and they certainly aren’t you.
As with any skill, if you don’t exercise that muscle, it will soon become a floppy piece of flesh. So how do I continue to build my self-confidence? Here are 12 simple (not always easy) strategies I use to continuously strive to grow, develop and nurture my self-confidence muscle:
- Love who you are. Start each day by looking in the mirror and loving who you see. Self-confidence starts by having a positive perception of yourself.
- Insist on positive self-talk. Instead of telling yourself what you did wrong or what needs to change, focus on what you did right. The voices inside your head need to be positive instead.
- Forget perfect. Understand that no one is perfect and making mistakes is how you learn.
- Start small. Set one or two small goals for yourself every day and every week. As you accomplish them, enjoy that warm, happy feeling that fills your soul.
- Journal accomplishments. By making note of positive goals you’ve successfully attained, you have a tool to help enhance your self-confidence if it is ever shaken. Reflect on your achievements often.
- Enjoy the feeling of success. Far too often we are more concerned with moving onto the next goal or thing that we don’t celebrate success we just attained. Take a moment and “smell the roses.” It feels amazing!
- Give the gift of gratitude. Tell someone how grateful you are to know them. Express how you truly appreciate him/her. Helping others feel special helps us feel good about ourselves.
- Dress sharp. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to dress nicely. Wear pressed clothing that fits you well and accessorize your outfit it in a way that emphasizes your assets in a classy manner.
- Stand tall. Those who stand with slumped shoulders and walk with lethargic movements display a lack of self-confidence. Make a positive impression by standing up straight, keeping your head up and making natural eye contact.
- Be healthy. By eating well, maintaining a regular fitness routine and getting adequate sleep, you are more inclined to feel a strong level of confidence because you know you are taking care of yourself personally.
- Compliment someone. When you genuinely offer a compliment to another person, you see him/her light up. That light reflects back to you and feels great.
- Prepare. The best strategy I know to demonstrate a high level of self-confidence is to be prepared. Preparation for a task, meeting, conversation, etc. helps you to feel strong and positioned for success.
By demonstrating and continually striving to enhance your level of self-confidence, you can become unstoppable in what you can achieve! There is nothing more attractive than stunning self-confidence.