Let me tell you a brief story…
Once upon a time, there were two very different women who worked in the same accounting office. One of these women was rather shy, had trouble making eye contact, and interacted very little with the people around her. However, this woman was an excellent accountant and always excelled at her work performance. The other woman in this situation was friendly, appropriately assertive, and often organized various events around the office. She was a fair accountant, however, did not measure up to the other woman that consistently excelled at her work. Which of these two women do you think received a promotion at work?
If you guessed the outgoing woman, then you are correct! Despite being an average accountant, this woman exuded a key characteristic that the other woman did not: CONFIDENCE. And because of her confidence, management felt she was better suited for the promotion and the other woman missed out and was left to quietly sit in her office and perform her excellent work while still being paid the same…
From time to time, everyone struggles with self-confidence. There are some people that struggle more consistently with their confidence level, while others appear to always possess a higher baseline measure of confidence.
What is the difference between the people that consistently remain confident and the others that struggle?
And what factors go into a person’s level of confidence?
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Research indicates that people that rate themselves as more confident actually fair more positively in life. Confident people have been shown to feel more adept at handling crises, making friends, and even dealing with transition/life changes.
Do you feel like you need a pick me up in the confidence department? Here 5 ways to help yourself out:
- Take care of your appearance. Not in a vain or self-absorbed way, but confident people work with what they’ve got and strive to look presentable. Confident people take care with their appearance, whether it’s ironing their shirt, lint rolling those black pants, or blow drying their hair to get that frizz out! Contrary to what most believe, it does not take a million dollars to look like a million dollars! If your work pants have holes in them, it’s time to stop wearing them (to work). Check out a local consignment or thrift store and you’ll be amazed at the number of clothing items there that still have the tags on them! Personally, everything that I purchase is on sale, and on top of that, I usually look for coupons that work with the sale price, making it even lower!
- Stand up straight. Stand in front of a mirror in your natural stance and evaluate. Are your shoulders back and head up? Slumping and having hunched shoulders immediately indicates an attitude of “I don’t care” or “Don’t look at me”. Good posture causes you to immediately be revered in a different way. The very way that you walk and carry yourself absolutely sends a message to the world around you. Having good posture is 100% free of charge and the benefits yield a great return.
- Enunciate your words. Look, we all come from different parts of the country but this does not mean that we can’t work on the way that we speak. Say you go in for an interview that you are very qualified for, but the way you speak is hard to understand. Your chances of getting the job will be greatly affected because employers want employees that will represent their company well—and not having good word enunciation will limit you. With all of the functions of smart phones nowadays, try recording yourself talk, and play it back to hear how you sound. If you need improvement, try saying things differently and more clearly. Practice makes perfect.
- Have good eye contact. The eyes really are the window to the soul. Looking at another human being is an instant way to connect nonverbally. Eye contact is essential in order to exude confidence. If you’re uncomfortable with looking people in the eye, it’s time to do some self-exploration. What are you nervous will happen? What about looking others in the eye causes you discomfort? Again, all you can do is practice and make goals. Even if it’s having a goal to look the cashier at the grocery store in the eye, it’s a start! Every little bit helps and the more that you’re able to do it, the more natural it will begin to feel… Think about it this way too; looking others in the eye causes them to feel important so it becomes a twofold benefit!
- Work to increase your self-esteem. Out of all the suggestions that I’ve given you, increasing self-esteem is by far the most important. While we can use the above techniques to exude confidence, true confidence comes from within. So the main difference between confident and non-confident people? A healthy self-esteem. Try new activities. Develop a new hobby that makes you feel good. Eat right and get plenty of rest because that is all a part of taking care of yourself. Surround yourself with healthy people that promote your self-growth. Do any healthy activity that causes you to feel positive about yourself.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings
Tying it all together…
Some days will be better than others in terms of the way that you feel and how you want to interact with others. No matter what, implement the above tips on a daily basis and it will become your norm. Confidence (not arrogance) is very attractive. Watch the response that you get from others when you begin to make these positive changes. What do you think? What are the ways that you convey that you are a confident man or woman?
“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”
Wishing you healthy confidence and self-esteem today and everyday,