How often did you catch yourself thinking: "OMG, I wish to be like her or him! But of course, she/he is just lucky, she has... blah blah blah"??? But hey, she is confident NOT because of what she has - she is confident because she trained the muscle of self-esteem like a bodybuilder trains the body! What you see is a RESULT. The result of consistent work on themselves. And the good news is: you can do it, too!
When you look at someone - you can never tell how the person actually feels - you can only see how this person chooses to appear to you and others!
Imagine a very grumpy and unhappy face and a perfectly straight posture, OR the biggest smile in the world, the happiest laugh and a very crooked back and low shoulders. They just don't match, do they?
That's right - we automatically shift our body according to how we feel. I won't go into all those studies and facts about body language here. I just want to say: it freaks me out to see so many people totally forgetting about their appearance! And trust me, it's not about what they are wearing! You might wear Prada and Valentino - but if you don't feel good about yourself - you won't look stunning in it!
So here are few tips that helped me and boosted my client's confidence and self-esteem:
1. START WITH POSTURE
Once you straighten up - your mind automatically goes into "action" mode and is ready there, just waiting for the next command. People start admiring your straight, confident look - and start paying attention to you. It might feel a bit odd in the beginning - you will wonder "why are they staring at me," but remember, they are simply thinking about you: "I wish I could be like her/him!" So, hey, inspire others!
2. DOORFRAME REFLEX
Think of that person (in the best-case scenario) you would love to be - and create a very vivid, almost real look. From now on, every time you go through the doorframe - just imagine you are that person already! Watch what happens if you practice that for at least 1 day! It activates your subconscious and builds a habit to "remember who you are" every time you are near the door! It will become so natural and constant that you will actually start feeling and behaving like that person!
3. POSITIVE LIST: STICKY NOTES
Write all positive things about yourself (ask your friends and family, sometimes we are too critical to ourselves!) and qualities you need to become that person. Put them on the mirror you look at every day, the best place - in the bathroom. While you brush your teeth, wash your hands, etc. - read, acknowledge and feel so much better about yourself! 2 days of doing that and you will start falling in love with the "new person"!
4. NEGATIVE LIST: WHAT YOU HATE ABOUT YOURSELF
Very transformational if you do it right! Go through everything you dislike about yourself (bad habits, qualities, etc.) - write them down and put them next to the positive qualities. Anywhere it will be seen by you as much and as often as possible. You will notice within approximately 3 days how your conscious is shifting from feeling uncomfortable imagining you having that quality/new positive habit to actually implementing and having it!
5. IMAGE: GET READY FOR YOUR DREAM DATE
Try for the next 5 days to get ready for work or whatever event imagining you are preparing for your most special date ever! It's quite interesting: people groom themselves and prepare for hours and hours for the first date and totally forget that they look outdated, tired and sometimes even miserable while getting to work or back home. Make every day a special day: it will make you to stretch up and as a result you will look more confident, more successful, will get more compliments - therefore your confidence will grow!
Smiling subconsciously is translated as showing weakness - because you "drop your guard" and show friendliness. However, it is an effort, a real effort to smile - naturally, beautifully when you are actually worried about yourself: what people think and what are they going to say. So practice, practice, practice your smile as much as you can - push yourself to smile first, then answer - that little pause will give you so much "credibility" and actually will raise more attention to what you say.
7. DELIVER YOUR SPEECH LIKE A PRESIDENT
It takes a lot of time to practice, I know, but it's worth it! Have you seen how all powerful, successful people, and especially presidents, speak? Slowly and with such importance in their voice. Just slow down (I have to say, I am a very fast speaker - but when it comes to presentations or speaking from the stage I switch on a "stage speech"), look into people's eyes, take pauses. However, be careful, don't overdo it - otherwise you will sound very unsure or like you are constantly searching for words.
8. WATCH YOUR VOCABULARY
You have to always make sure you give the impression of you knowing everything about what you are talking about. Do it by replacing hedges (but, might, possibly, maybe) with powerful words (and, clearly, definitely). Also replace disclaimers (I am not completely sure, but...) with confident phrases (I am sure / certain that...). And AVOID tag questions (...isn't?, ...don't you think?) - ONLY statements! If you really need to hear someone's opinion - simply ask: "Do you have any questions I can answer?"
9. BE POSITIVE
Just be positive. That's it. Anything negative that comes into your head - just manually throw this thought out and replace it with a positive. It sounds easy and hard at the same time - just try your best to "catch yourself" on anything negative or sad. Of course, life is not about only laughs - all of us have problems and situations. Just try to find at least one positive thing in any negative situation happening to you right now and practice more of it! For example, if you are stuck in a very heavy traffic - that must be the time for working on yourself! Just relax.
10. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
And I mean it - before you finalise that presentation or make a report - always ask yourself "is that the best I can do?" and make it better. With improving little things, doing baby steps in doing everything better and smarter - you will constantly surprise yourself with progress, and your self-esteem will be boosting constantly.
I wish you the very best luck with building your confidence and remember, life is too short to be shy!