To an outsider it always seems that some people are born with confidence. As if it's in their DNA.
Nothing can be further from the truth however. Confidence is a learned skill which comes with practice and determination. This skill, once mastered at a basic level starts to become an art and its in these moments that others tend to believe that some are born with the natural ability of self-confidence.
Another concept of confidence is that it is largely situational. Meaning that in the right circumstance confidence will come very naturally to a person. An example can come from the dating game. Some people ooze confidence when trying to "woo" the opposite sex. They may have a keen interest to get better at it so the practice and work on what they can do better when they don't get certain aspects right. When they do get over obstacles and achieve success, this automatically gives them confidence because now they have a certain amount of experience and may be better to handle various dating situations better.
However, take that same person and tell them to do something that they have never done before like speak in front of a large crowd. With no experience, they will have little to no knowledge on how to handle themselves in such a situation, which will mean that their confidence will take a knock.
However again, because this person has confidence in the dating arena, he/she may be able to access various internal strengths gained from dating that they can apply to public speaking. Awareness is key!
But maybe you as the person you are have none of these skills or talent and have to start from the bottom (per say), then check out the below pointers on how you can learn some of the tricks of the trade in the Art of Confidence.
1. Confident people are not afraid to speak up
This is a big one, but fairly simple to learn and apply. When something needs to be said, you will usually get a sensation somewhere in your body to tell you to say something. When this happens your mind will kick in to hyper drive and you will have this back-and-forth internal discussion with yourself about why you should or why you shouldn't speak up. This "self" discussion is not a bad thing and is quite natural. However, when it comes to confidence, you will want to put on your brave face, convince yourself INTO saying what you feel and get on with it and Speak Up! You need to put aside your own fears and insecurities for a moment, be brave and let everyone hear what you have to say.
Always think : "Will I die or be physically/financially damaged if I say what I want to say?"... If you get the all clear on this, then you know what to do.
All that may happen is that 1) Your opinion will be well received (Bonus!) or 2) Your opinion will get shot down and your ego will be bruised... And should point 2 become a reality, then this will be a brilliant opportunity for you to learn about the situation, yourself and what can be improved for next time. A win-win!
2. Confident people listen much more than they speak
Why do they do this? Because when you talk, you are only verbalizing what you already know. On the contrary to when you take the time to effectively listen, you allow new knowledge and understanding to take root in your subconscious. Hence, you become smarter, more knowledgeable about that particular subject and people will like you better because they know that you take the time out to listen to what they have to say. Always remember, people are drawn to people who take an interest in what they have to say.
3. Confident people don't mind asking for help
At the end of the day, although some us think we know it all, we really know very little about anything. Even top specialists in their fields of expertise are constantly learning about their craft. Knowledge is power and the only thing that will stop you from acquiring more knowledge is the rubbish you tell yourself to convince yourself out of asking for help. Just think, someone may show you something that will not only save you time & energy, but will make you better at your craft which will automatically give you more confidence. A bonus point, imagine how confident you will feel when some day someone asks you for help with the exact thing that you have just over-come with the help that you got.
4. Confident people don't put other people down
Putting someone down is a very poor quality to take on in the first place. It may get some laughs from those around, or make you feel slightly better about yourself or even allow you to blow off some steam, but all at the expense of someone else. Do this to enough people and you will quickly make enemies when no enemies ever needed to be made.
This is totally different to reprimanding someone however. Reprimanding in the right way is effective because it allows for an awkward conversation to take place for the betterment of situation at hand. Done correctly, this is actually a trait of a confident person.
5. Confident people own their mistakes
Perfection is an illusion. There is great value in making mistakes... if you have the self-awareness to know where you went wrong and apply methods to change the outcome, should such an event present itself again.
We are only human and it is ridiculous to assume that we cannot and do not make mistakes. Trust in your own strength to say : "Damn, I messed up on that one. My apologies. I understand where I went wrong and will do my best to fix the error (if it can be fixed) and to learn from this mistake.
6. Confident people are internally happy first
It is a sad and unfulfilling attempt to find your happiness from others. Yes, it is good when people make you feel good, what happens when something negative is said to you or about you? How will that destroy your confidence? Confident people aren't robots so negativity can still affect them, but they have much more respect for themselves and will bounce back much faster.
7. Confident people don't always say "Yes"
Its okay to let people down sometimes by saying no. If you are too busy at work to help someone with their work, why do you feel the need to satisfy them at the expense of your own time and energy? Saying no, may make you feel bad, but it will show people that you respect yourself enough, without always wanting to please everyone else. Your time, energy and life is not only precious, but it is your gift to use while you have it. Use it wisely.
8. Confident people speak with certainty
This is worthy information. How many times have you said the follow : "They say that..." or : "I heard that...". Who's they? When you speak your truth, you say it with conviction. When you say : "They say that...", you are denying responsibility for the statement so that should someone disagree, you can happily move out the way because your truth will not be in the firing line. It will be someone else's issue.
Here is another issue of speaking with certainty. Try to prevent yourself from say : "Um..." and "Uh...".
Rather speak a bit slower and gather your words better.
9. Confident people celebrate other peoples success
Why? Because confident people know how great it feels to be cheered on by achieving great stuff. It builds confidence, respect and understanding. We are all people with feelings and emotions. We all know how great it feels to be given the thumbs up by those around us.
10. Confident people don't live in a bubble of comfort.
They are willing to step out of their comfort zone, knowing they may fail because beyond the zone of comfort lies opportunity to be great. They look for the un-easy feeling of stepping out of their comfort zone, because they know that that feeling is the bread crumb for any future potential success.
Confidence is a tool in your tool box of greatness. Use it as much as you like because it is and always has been inside you just waiting to come out.
Thanks for reading,
4 Habits of Superbly Confident People