Self-Confidence (Owning It)
The single greatest thing you can do for your own success is build and learn to show self-confidence. Self-confidence is not egotistic or acting like you are better than others. Self-confidence is simply the belief that you know what to do and how to do it, that you are good at what you do, and that you can handle whatever comes your way. Demonstrating self-confidence helps to engender trust in you, and demonstrates that you are skilled and adaptable.
What does it mean to be confident? Studies show that confident people share many of the same traits, even across cultures and industries. Cultivating those traits you already have, and developing those that you do not yet have, will build your overall self-confidence. Remember – self-confidence is about building yourself up, not tearing others down. When you confident, you make others around you feel confident too. Some common traits of confident people include:
- They are not afraid to be wrong
- They are willing to take a stand, even if they end up being wrong
- They value finding out what is right more than they value being right
- They listen more than they speak
- They do not seek the spotlight, and they share the spotlight with others
- They ask for help when they need it
- They think in possibilities, not obstacles – they ask “Why not?”
- They don’t put others down
- They aren’t afraid to look silly or foolish
- They acknowledge their mistakes
- They seek feedback from only those who matter
- They accept compliments
- They “walk their talk”
How confident are you? It can be hard to assess our own self-confidence. Taking some time to ask a few questions and answer them honestly can help you gauge the areas where your confidence is high and the areas in which you can develop greater self-confidence. Ask yourself if you agree with these statements:
- I intuitively know what’s right for me
- I walk my talk
- I am honest with others
- I am honest with myself
- I feel comfortable being wrong
- I am more interested in finding out what is right than being right
- It is not important to me that I be right all the time
- I feel like I can meet any challenge
- I operate well under pressure
- I do not put others down
- I like to share the spotlight with others
- I have a clear vision for my life
Self-confidence is a trait that can be built. In fact, a few very simple tactics can help you quickly build your self-confidence. And as you become more confident, you will have experiences that will build your confidence even more! Here are ten sure-fire tips for building self-confidence:
- Dress your best! Knowing you look good is a key to feeling good about yourself. When you know you look good, you project confidence. Take the time to choose clothes that fit well and which you feel good in. A good haircut that is easy for you to style is also key. If you enjoy make-up, jewelry, or other types of adornment, find pieces you love that make you feel like a million.
- Stand up straight! Good posture is a quick, free way to build your confidence. Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back. Don’t be afraid to take up space. A bonus of good posture is that you breathe more deeply and get more oxygen, which may mean you have more focus!
- Practice gratitude! When you take the time each day to practice gratitude, you see how many blessings you have in your life. This builds your confidence and appreciation for your life.
- Compliment others! Confident people take the time to compliment others. When you compliment others, you project that you have concern and appreciation for others.
- Accept compliments! When someone compliments you, accept it. Too often we say “Yes, but…” instead of just saying “Thank you.”
- Spend time with people who build you up. This helps keeping you focused on the positive.
One key trait of people who have high self-confidence is that they build up others rather than tearing them down. Having self-confidence means that you do not feel competitive with others – their success doesn’t take away from your own. Find ways to build up others. Compliment others. Acknowledge their contributions, and express your gratitude. Being a mentor can also help to build others up by helping them develop skills, which will help them develop their own self-confident
“Mark Twain was so good with crowds that he became, in competition with singers and dancers and actors and acrobats, one of the most popular performers of his time. It is so unusual, and so psychologically unlikely, too, for a great writer to be a great performer, too…. ” –Kurt Vonnegut