7 ways to increase your confidence – Birds on the Blog

7 ways to increase your confidence

Many of my friends used to say that I exuded confidence. They’d see me walk into somewhere as if I owned the place. The truth is that wasn’t true.

In my first year of living in Spain, I was often faced with going out on my own to meetups where everyone knew each other. There were people going that I knew (vaguely from Facebook), but no one I knew well enough to say, hey, can I go with you. If I’d have waited for the offer, I’d have waited a long time. I simply had to pull up my big girl pants and go or end up feeling lonely and isolated.

During the lockdown, naturally, all venturing out was curtailed, and I did retreat into my shell. But, when people started to share that they were meeting up, I think 18 months had passed, and I found myself unsure again. But, one day, I saw an invite from a friend and just thought – go for it. In doing that, I ended up joining a lovely and very welcoming singles group.

These things reminded me of my twenties when my parents had moved home, and I had to make new friends (again). Taking myself off to the pub was the easy part. Sitting at the bar on my own was horrendous. However, I smiled and chatted to people as they ordered their drinks, and then out of the blue, I was invited to join a large group of people. I was overjoyed, and friendships developed. This incident taught me that no matter what, you should just get out there, hold your head up, smile and just do it.

I even forced myself, when starting new jobs, to go and knock on the CEO or MD’s door to say hi. Of course, my heart would be beating out of my chest, but I did it anyway. And I was always greeted kindly and even received the best coffee…

What does confidence mean to you?

If I asked you what confidence was, where might you feel it, what would you hear, see or feel? Are there levels to your confidence? Do you have different kinds of confidence for certain situations? How would you describe this almost intangible feeling?

The dictionary definition provides a broad term that tells us that it is having faith or belief in yourself. So that a confident person is demonstrating their faith in their knowledge, skills, ideas, values and in who they are.

I think it means different things to different people in different situations. It is, I believe, highly personal and how you view it can have a big impact on the way you lead your life and business.

The flip side of confidence is that horrible sick feeling called fear. That nasty little chattering monkey that appears when we least expect it whispering sweet crap in our ears. However you feel about fear, the facts are that it keeps us safe (in survival mode). It also provides an opportunity to confront it, learn more about ourselves and grow.

What is confidence?

Confidence is acknowledging fear and not giving in

Confidence and courage go hand in hand, and together they will support you not to give in. It is important to know what being scared or fearful feels or looks like, acknowledging it exists, and equally important not to submit to the fear– being courageous instead. Changing direction and creating a new life (for example) can be a little scary – have faith that all will be good and as it should be and call on your positive mindset – being confident.

Confidence is about trust

Trust yourself, and trust in yourself, so that others can trust you. It is also feeling certain that you can and, if you can’t, certain that you will find a way. I love people who just say yes (in the right circumstances) and then work out how.

Confidence is a knowing

Confidence is also believing and knowing that you are your best resource and asset. Confidence is acknowledging that you are scared, but trusting, believing and being certain about what you ‘put out there’ is great stuff. Stuff can be your website or blog, presentations, handling meetings, speaking at events, the way you conduct yourself online and offline.

Look around you. Who do you see, feel, think, sense or know is confident? How do you know? Have you spoken with them, read their blog, heard great things from others? Are they quietly confident or incredibly charismatic or somewhere in-between? You can learn a lot from watching and noticing other people. Ask yourself right now what does confidence mean to you? Then, silently ask yourself that question while feeling into it.

7  Quick and practical methods to increase your confidence, here we go:

  1. Think about someone who is confident and act, talk and walk like them. Watch them presenting, for example, and model their mannerisms and behaviour. It works for them; it may work for you. Just be careful whose walk you copy!!
  2. Smile a lot more. That doesn’t mean putting a silly grin on your face (they may cart you off to the funny farm!) Nevertheless, smile when you walk down the street when you meet people and be happier even if you are not feeling that way.
  3. Learn from the past; don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s gone; it’s never coming back. Instead, learn from it and ask, ‘what would you do differently?’ When you have done something once, it is easier to do it better next time.
  4. Buy yourself some new clothes, get your hair done, treat yourself to something new. It will make you feel better and give your confidence a boost.
  5. Are you prepared for situations? Are you prepared enough to meet any challenge that may come up? Are you prepared for that meeting, presentation, job interview, or when you meet someone for the first time? If not, get to it. Being prepared always gives me confidence.
  6. Play to your strengths. Know what you are good at and expose yourself to these opportunities at every opportunity – because you are good at it, you’ll enjoy it and have more confidence.
  7. Improve your weaknesses. Know and appreciate what these are and put a plan in place to improve them over time. These are great growth opportunities.

Here is a great exercise that I employ when I am about to deliver a training course, and no one will ever know you are doing it.

Before you head off, make a mental note of all of the resources you will need. When there, cast an imaginary circle. In it, throw in all of the resources you need. Then, as you walk on stage or to the front of the class, walk through your circle and allow all of your confidence-boosting resources to wash over you. Try it. It works.

About the Author Dale Darley

Helping over 50's women at a crossroads to rewrite their story and become the CEO of their lives. My role is to help my clients to find purpose, design their life and find inner peace. We all have stories. Stories that shape us fundamentally. How we show up today is a direct result of our experiences. I believe that even in our darkest moments, we are on the right path. Even though it may not feel that way. There are crossroads, transitions and the seemingly endless cosmic roundabouts that we enter. Right now is the perfect time to take stock and look at where you are, where you would like to be and what you would like to create – your legacy. I believe that we are all on journeys to discovering who we are so that we can use those experiences to make a difference and an impact in the world. Our personal leadership skills give us an incredible gift that enables us to be the CEO of our lives. Through my online courses, books and mentoring, I help you get clarity with: ♥ Getting clear on your hearts desires and purpose ♥ Becoming the CEO of your life ♥ Working on your personal leadership skills ♥ Finding inner peace Connect with me Dale Darley

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