A lack of confidence finishes more dreams than failure, ever could.
Confidence is not indicative of skill, it’s merely an enabler. You can be the most suitable candidate for a role, on paper, but without confidence, you can’t portray this as well as you'd like.
We all have our issues with confidence so, here are some expert supported ways to keep your confidence levels up when you next need a boost.
Refer to yourself in the third person
This might seem odd, but recent research has shown that if you refer to yourself, in the third person, during self-talk (for example your inner pep talk before a presentation) it can make a big difference to your confidence.
The trick here is to use he, she or your name to distance yourself from a terrifying situation. For example, instead of saying, "I am about to deliver a presentation" try saying, "Angela is about to deliver a presentation." In other words, see yourself as the observer.
According to the researchers, this type of self-distancing helps you see nerve-wracking moments as challenges, rather than threats. Resulting in you feeling an instant alleviation and confidence boost.
Overcome imposter syndrome
You have the job, the certificates, even the awards but you’re still worried about being called out, as a fraud.
You are not the only one. Many of us suffer from imposter syndrome. Interestingly, this is known as the syndrome of high achievers. Those who set the bar low simply do not care much about the quality of their work.
To overcome the inner imposter syndrome, remind yourself of your achievements. Write a list of your personal successes. Can all of that list just be a coincidence or luck? I think not, it’s time to recognise your value.
Your body needs exercise. We were not created to be sedentary. Even a simple stretch, power pose or walking, helps.
Practicing physical activity allows you to stay in touch with your body, raises your energy levels and releases more endorphins. You are happy after you work out, so it’s worth the hard work and pain. This process is quite reflective of how we reach our goals – working out makes you more target driven and tenacious when it comes to goal setting.
Before you go to an important meeting, interview, or any other stress-inducing situation, do a little workout, stretch or strike a simple power pose and make yourself feel more comfortable.
Visualise your success
Visualisation is a critical part of achieving any goal. It's hard to be confident when you don't know what you’re aiming for. Your future success just doesn’t seem real.
Close your eyes and start seeing your success as a reality. Picture how you'll get there. Picture how you walk, stand and even dress. Try to engage all five senses in it. How does it feel and smell, what do you hear, who are the people around you, what do they wear? Every little detail matters. For better results, take a piece of paper and write everything down, or even draw it. Do what works for you but most importantly get visualising.
Meditation helps you to become more self-aware. Get to know your low confidence triggers, find ways to be more at peace with yourself. After a good meditation, weak confidence seems like a distant dream based on tiredness and stress. When you really put your mind to it, you see confidence as a very small issue.
Meditation is a tool to inspect your daily thoughts and become more self-aware about your own thought process. It helps you to nip limiting self-talk in the bud, and encourages you to create a new, loving and compassionate self.
Get comfortable with failure
No one likes to fail, but failure is the best indicator of your progress. If you’re serious about getting confident, then you need to get comfortable with failure, as it will be your best teacher.
There is no easy way to do this, but according to Peter Guber, you can fail faster. Fix your mistake, as soon as you realise it and learn how to avoid it in the future.