Confidence is a trait we are all born with. However, although innate, there are still factors that can make us feel shy and not so sure of ourselves. Because of this, one still needs to connect with confidence.
As children, we’re natural performers. We tend to relish any opportunity to dance, sing and play. We’re not concerned yet with the opinions of others and we can still express ourselves enthusiastically!
I remember one sunny day in primary school. I must have been only 6 or 7 years old during that time. My classmates and I were in the stuffy classroom.
Out of my seat, I was standing up and dancing, giving an impromptu performance to the children who sat at my table. Their hands were over their mouths to cover the high-pitch giggling but it was too late. Miss Clack, our teacher, had caught on to our mischief and was now angrily pacing towards our table.
Glaring down at me she (regrettably) asked, “William! I don’t suppose you wish to show your little performance to the WHOLE class, do you?”. I imagined Miss Clack had expected me to respond with a “No, Miss” as my pale cheeks flushed red in embarrassment. I very much doubt she thought I’d take her up on her offer. But I did…
A few moments later, with a smile on my face, I was dancing in the middle of the classroom. The whole class, including Miss Clack, were in stitches. William, 1. Miss Clack, 0.
Sadly, for many of us, by the time we reach adulthood, it feels like our confidence has taken a bit of a bashing. Teachers, friends, family and our failed romances leave us feeling disconnected from our confidence. This was certainly my experience.
Even though at times we may feel we have no confidence left, let me assure you, we do. Confidence is always inside us, ready to shine.
So, what can we do to connect with confidence again? Here are my top 3 tips.
1Stand like a Soldier (Dressing in army attire is optional)
We all know how our feelings affect the way we use our body. You don’t have to be a body language expert to look at someone and accurately know how they feel.
By observing a person’s posture, gestures and facial expressions, you can determine his emotions.
Feel this for yourself! For the next 7 days, make a conscious effort to stand tall, have your shoulders back and your chest upwards. It may help to imagine a chord being pulled upwards directly from your head and spine.
At first, this may feel awkward so many of us (myself included) have a tendency to slouch. But, by standing upright, you will not just feel more confident; it can also help relieve your body tension.
2Do at least one thing that scares you every day
I once had a conversation with a young man who told me ‘I just don’t have any confidence’. I replied by asking ‘How confident are you about that’? The young man smiled back at me before thinking about his answer.
I could almost see the cogs spinning around in his head as he gained an insight into this simple truth: We are all confident. We just don’t always have confidence in ourselves.
So how can we gain more confidence in ourselves?
Do at least one thing that scares you every day. Every time we take action, despite feeling fear, we’re growing our comfort zone.
We’re changing the story of what we believe is possible for us. And when you’ve done this for a little while, you’ll find yourself feeling more connected with your confidence.
What’s important here is not the result of doing what scares you; it’s the action. It’s the message you send yourself.
3At the start of each day, visualize
This final tip only takes 30 seconds and can be completed even before you’ve left bed in the morning.
With your eyes closed, see yourself moving through the day with total confidence. Notice how you look (Tip 1), how you sound, and how it feels to live connected with confidence.
Imagine the interactions you will have with your family or colleagues and any important actions you have to take (Tip 2). This mental rehearsal sets up how you desire to show up each day. The final step is to open your eyes and do your best to create the day you visualized.
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4Author: Will Aylward
Will Aylward lives to help others and spends his days Coaching people to become more Confident in themselves and their ability. Will also loves travel, coffee and people watching. www.willaylward.com