“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
The invisible string that holds people back to dare to do what they’ve always dreamed of, the invisible thing that instills fear in to the hearts of the brave, when under self-doubt. This invisible thread, the truth of human expressions is a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem. These two things are actually closely relative, yet not completely the same. Self-confidence is the way one believes in himself and the way he does things, where self-esteem is how worthy you think you are to others around you. While self-esteem is a state of mind on what others think of you, self-confidence is something more than it and the very essential spark that when lacking leads to the doom of one very talented person.
Self-confidence is all about the way you present yourself to others and take it from me; people do judge you by our outer personality. The people around you are not mind-readers, no one will ever realize your beautiful mind if you can’t present it in glittering shades. You need to speak up and present yourself in a way that supports your knowledge or expertise or whatever it is that you want to convey to others. A few such situations that you would definitely need it in abundance are when you want to work at your Dream Company or progress in your career, is during interviews and meetings.
Although your knowledge and expertise are what matters the most to your parent company, that doesn’t mean you can dress and behave as a hermit just off from the woods! As being an introvert, people manage to dodge the bullet that they are not comfortable presenting themselves, even though they possess all the quality features. But that doesn’t apply in real life. You can go on and give all the reasons for you being the way you are or get up and do something about it to make it a little better, I wouldn’t say perfect as none of us are, are we?
How to Take control of your self-image
Low self-confidence is not something genetic, and it is completely a state of mind which can be altered by instilling a few habits in your daily life. Pursuing your goals relentlessly even with your naysayers nagging around you is an essential in a competitive world where no one wants others’ to get ahead of themselves. Self-confidence is gaining control of your life, and with some aplomb.
Although instead of lying on the ground and feeling sad for yourself for not exhibiting this quality naturally, you can instead take control of your lives’ steering and steer it to glory and success. Here are some of the habits, which you can instill into your daily life and regain your lost self-confidence.
Groom and Dress Yourself Up
Okay, now this might sound a little bit offbeat, most of us are all clean! But I would still like to strain on the importance of being groomed for the event perfectly. Having a good shower, a clean shave and clean dress would add to the confidence with which you carry yourself around. Make sure you are not in that baggy dress that makes you more self-conscious about the way you look in it.
A higher self-confidence is usually exhibited when you don’t have to worry more about your dress and how it is making you look fat. Making sure you are clean and comfortable in the way you are is one great move for boosting your self-confidence during important events like meetings and interviews.
Stand straight, Stand tall
The way you carry yourself has the power to exhibit your image in positive or negative shades accordingly. Make sure that you are not giving off negative signs with the way you behave among audience. Nail biting, running your face through your face or hair, trembling hands or feet or slack positioning while standing or snooping around while walking are some of the ways that wouldn’t put you in good shades.
Try avoiding these actions that usually imply a lower self-confidence among your sub-ordinates. Eye contact while talking and little hand movements are a great way to exhibit self-confidence. While standing, make sure you stand tall and straight and not slouching off your shoulders. Avoid having weary legs while standing, stand firm and confidently with your chest held out. Body language is an important aspect of improving self-image and make sure you are not doing it all wrong.
- Watch this video: Hack your confidence with body language
Speak slowly and meticulously
The thing that I have noticed among many people is that they run through their talk and always in an hurry to finish off whatever it is that they have to say. This is not the sign of a man with high self-confidence. Even though you tend to be a fast speaker, keep in mind that the others are not quick to comprehend something at a blistering pace. Being comprehensible with your talks is an important thing and you need to slow down your words.
Try talking slowly, at a little less speed than you usually talk at and you would see the difference it has on your self-confidence. At a much higher pace, you tend to run out of what to say next and even end being not understood clearly. Try to slow down your talking speed and speak meticulously and to the point.
This needs no introduction when talked about improving self-confidence. But being positive about your meeting or the interview or simply anything at hand tends to get the work already half done. Talking affirmatively and being positive about how things unfold makes one more self-confident and concrete.
Being positive of everything coming your way would make you prepared even for the tough times. As Benjamin Franklin would put it, “You fail to prepare, Prepare to fail“. Instill this positive outlook on the events of your life and see yourself do wonders.
Or at least, don’t think Negative
This is for those who couldn’t think positively of their imminent doom in the upcoming turn of events. Human emotions are one complex thing and there are people of different molds and it is not easy for someone being something they are not. So, if being positive is not your cup of tea, at least, stop being negative.
Being negative about the upcoming turn of events is one big sign of low self-confidence and would seriously hinder your progress if not eliminated. Stop being negative about things out of your control and interest focus on getting things done perfectly.
Try to calm yourself down
The one thing that you ought to do before a big event up your sleeve is to keep yourself calm, composed and at your best. Try meditating for a few minutes before you head for the task. This not only would make you calm, but also focused and be concise in your talking, as you see the way events unfolding clearly.
Listening to calming music or doing a five minute breathing exercise before your big event adds up to your confidence levels and something that shouldn’t be neglected at any costs.
Smile often and be emphatic
The power of human smile is unbelievable and could do wonders in situations unfavorable to you. Your talk delivered with a little smile or when making introductions or small talk to your sub-ordinates, a simple smile would make both the parties feel good.
When you smile at people, they tend to return your smile by smiling back to you and that is a good sign of acceptance and tends to clear the air among them. Being kind and generous to people around you would also improve your confidence by three-folds as the brain rewards itself by the thought they have been good to someone. Humans are made to be kind to fellow living beings naturally and don’t lose your natural form of being emphatic to the people around you. Here a beautiful video done by RSA team on Empathy which you should watch right now:
Focus on problem solving
The most important of all while you are scheduled for a meeting is to solve the problem or task at hand. Focusing on the task at hand instead of the worrying about the rest is one great way to exhibit strong confidence. Working on your problem solving skills would lead to a greater self-confident as that would make you feel accomplished for finding the solution to a problem at hand.
So, try concentrating more on your task at hand and coming up with a better solution for the same.
Look back at your achievements
The mind works in mysterious ways. For one such thing, the mind always works the best when rewarded. One starts to feel self-confident when they are achieving something and making steady progress. Progress is a great way for the mind to stay positive and optimistic about the events in life. So, thinking about your past accomplishments is a great way to boost your self-confidence.
Taking time to look back at your past achievements and accomplishments is one great way to boost your self-confidence when in self-doubt or when your self-esteem is low.
Stop comparing and kill your inner critic
Comparing is the root of all these low self-confidence and self-esteem issues. Remember always that everyone of us in unique in every way possible and respect for what others are, instead of feeling dejected that you couldn’t be them. You weren’t meant to be that way, and the quick you are to accept the fact, the less effect it would have on your self-confidence.
Your inner critic is something that might be held responsible for your low self-esteem. We all have our own inner critic and sometimes it happens to have an impact on everything that we do. The reason you wonder about your self-worth and the time of self-doubt is this inner critic in action. Try stopping the train of thought of this inner circle and it would significantly improve your self-confidence.
So, what is it that is holding you down during key events and how do you manage to overcome them? Share your experiences during times of low self-confidence and how you managed to overcome them.