In this episode, Chris Brophy provides you with 18 tips on how to boost your confidence. Banish the nerves now and become more confident in all areas of your life. This is a great podcast aimed at people of all ages. If you prefer, you can read the transcript of this podcast below!
– Transcript –
Confidence is one of those things that holds people back in all areas of their life. Those who lack confidence tend to undervalue their capabilities are overly shy, often accept the blame for things that aren’t their fault, are preoccupied with negative thoughts, are fearful of something bad that may or may not even happen and do things just to keep others happy. This lack of confidence can be crippling to you in certain areas of your life, becoming an obstacle to achieving the things you dream about. In this article, I’ll tell you how to boost your confidence, by providing you with 18 tips that could transform your life.
Confidence is the trust or faith that you have in yourself or your abilities. Self esteem is how we value ourselves; what we think we are like and can do. This confidence along with a positive self-esteem affects how you think, talk, act, feel about others and in many way dictates how successful you will be in your life.
I think everybody lacks confidence in one way or another and suffers from nervousness. I don’t think there’s a way of stopping you from ever becoming nervous if I’m honest. You just need to focus on how to overcome that fear. Feeling fearless, makes you feel better about yourself and that you’re an achiever, not somebody who will never do what they truly want to do because of the lack of confidence which is holding them back. But confidence isn’t something you will have for every situation in life, because how you react depends on a number of factors including the environment you’re in.
I have presented on live radio in front of millions of listeners when my show was broadcast on 76 stations around the world. Was I nervous? Not at all. I always spoke like I was talking to a close friend rather than strangers. It enabled me to relax and talk more confidently. Now… if you’d have given me a job as a sales person, selling I don’t know let’s say vacuum cleaners and asked me to cold call strangers, then I’d be very different. I’ve DJ’d on stage in front of 30,000 people, yet the thought of talking to one person I don’t know on the phone has always made me shake with fear.
Everybody has a moment of nervousness, lack of confidence or low esteem. We just need to learn how to control it for the various situations we find ourselves in throughout life. Knowing how to boost your confidence will not only enable you to perform better at work or school for example, but in all areas of your private life too, plus it makes you feel good about yourself, and there’s no better feeling than that!
18 Confidence Boosting Tips
Look the part
The way we look affects the way we feel about ourselves. Make yourself look good even if you feel that you don’t particularly need to for that occasion. A friend of mine would often turn up for her radio show dressed in the kind of clothes you’d wear around the house (loose tracksuit type of clothing). But whenever she “dressed down”, she didn’t feel or sound the same as when she looked smarter or wore make-up. You may be wondering why you would need to dress up for radio? Well, the point here is that the smarter you dress, the better you should feel about yourself. And believe it or not, the listeners can tell if you’re having a bad day or aren’t feeling too good about yourself. Make an effort to look good.
Think and act positively
This is easier said than done if you’re the kind of person who has a lot of negative thoughts (and situations) in your life. It’s about being able to switch off from those thoughts as soon as negative ones enter your head. I’m not a psychologist, but I have used one who showed me how to switch off from the bad thoughts I was getting, but it’s not easy to do. It takes time. You may feel that you are unable to achieve a particular thing deep down, but you still have to tell yourself that you can do it. If you tell yourself that you can’t do something, then you won’t; it’s as simple as that. Plus, how do you know if you don’t try?
Stop the comparisons
Nowadays, it’s too easy to be compared to others. There are pop stars we look up to because they are considered role-models…albeit very bad ones sometimes. Comparing yourself to others kills confidence, because if that person is considered by you to be more successful, then you will feel like you’re a failure. Comparing yourself to somebody who you may feel is a failure and hasn’t achieved very much in their life is disastrous also. You can be inspired by people and aspire to be like them one day, but never compare yourself or your life as it is today with anybody!
Speak more confidently too!
How you speak affects how others perceive you. Those who lack confidence tend to talk quite fast, whereas the most confident of people such as public speakers tend to speak slowly. My advice is to pace yourself better. Don’t rush your speech, take the time to think about what you want to say and speak clearly. I’m going to provide voice tips in another article soon actually because voice-over work is something I have great experience in. I have helped thousands of people worldwide develop their confidence and public speaking skills over the years, and there’s so much to it that I can’t squeeze it in here. But to summarise, control your pace, diction, projection, breath correctly and relax!
Look at your posture
How you sit, how you stand, how you walk (and how you talk – see above) affects how others perceive you also. Seriously, we are judged all the time, and we judge others. Some people say “I’m not the kind of person who judges others”. Nonsense. You are! We use these skills to judge who are the people to trust and who to avoid. Ok, we can get that wrong sometimes in life, with friends and in relationships, but through time we get better at it. Posture is something that is considered a sub-topic of body language and trust me, I can run an entire course on that (and will do at some point). I’ll post the link here when that happens. In summary, though, sit upright and don’t slouch, because slouching gives the impression you tired, lazy, not interested or lack confidence.
To become more confident with yourself in a particular area of your life, you should consider training or re-training in that subject. Never say you’re not good enough because you can be good at it with the right training. For example, you may have a great business idea but feel that you’re not so good at selling. Well, there are a ton of books out there on Amazon that will help you with that if you haven’t got the time to attend an actual class in person. Always look to better yourself in some way or another. Learning new things doesn’t always cost money. The Internet is the biggest library and best educator in the world.
Change your habits
Maybe you’re the kind of person who is used to eating junk food, drinking fizzy soda drinks or taking sugar in your tea for example. Changing your habits is a great way of boosting confidence as it gives you a sense of achieving something that is better for you. It doesn’t have to be a bad habit you’re changing, you could just change the way you do a particular task. For example, it might also involve looking at how you manage work tasks, such as dealing with emails. Don’t check them every five minutes, find a time of day that you will reply to messages so that you’re not distracted throughout the day.
Set small goals
Never set yourself large unrealistic goals because you’re unlikely to achieve them. Think about short, medium and long-term goals and how you will achieve each one, along with a timeframe for completion. Be realistic and don’t expect too much too soon. If you don’t achieve your large unrealistic goal, then you’ll only feel deflated when you don’t hit that target. Remember SMART that I covered in my motivational post? If not, please take a read here. Your goals need to SMART; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely.
Do something you never thought possible! Make a list of some things you would like to do but never thought it was possible to achieve. Why did you think this? What was stopping you? Do you still feel that it’s a barrier? Find the time to think about what that obstacle is and how you can overcome it, in order to achieve something new. Push yourself to try something new and you will feel like a real success, a true achiever. Do it today! I never thought I’d fly a plane or a helicopter. I never thought it would be possible to do, but I did. I didn’t think I’d ever produce a number one record in the U.S, but I did. Achievement boosts confidence 100%, so push yourself … always.
Forget the problem, find the solution
People spend too long worrying about a problem rather than looking at a solution. We’ve all done it though, haven’t we? Sat there for hours worrying about something that probably isn’t worth worrying about in the end. But then there are true problems that pop up and people often sit there stressed out, thinking about may or may not happen. Instead, think about solving that problem and spend time working out how to do that. Ask yourself; what will get this problem resolved? Can I do it alone? Who can help? When can I do it? How long will it take? What outcome do I want? The sooner you find a solution, the quicker you’ll put an end to the problem. Solving it makes you feel better, more proud of yourself, more confident overall.
Easy one this! Don’t take everything too serious. Find time to laugh. Go on YouTube, find some comedy clips, watch, laugh and enjoy. Many of us forget to take time out to enjoy ourselves, relax, break away from the things that drain our brains every day. It’s good for you in so many ways. If anybody wants to hear a terrible joke, drop me a line. I’ve got thousands of ’em!
Take time out to prepare
Spend some time on your own so you can get enough thinking time in. Gathering thoughts, maybe on how to deal with a situation or problem allows you to deal with it better and more confidently. For example, you may be forced to make a phone call to somebody important but you’re dreading it because you hate talking on the phone. Just think about the last part of that sentence a second. I said, “because you hate talking on the phone“. Actually, I doubt if anybody hates talking on the phone. The thing that makes them a nervous wreck is not knowing what to say or how to say it and a fear that they’ll stumble on words and sound stupid. Preparation beforehand helps prevent this from happening. Write down what you want to say or make bullet points if you don’t want to sound too scripted.
… on the things you’re good at more than the things you’re not. Focus on the strengths, not the weaknesses. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your weaknesses because identifying them helps understand where there’s room for improvement, such as learning a new skill as mentioned in point 6 above. Focusing on the things you’re good at, makes you feel better about yourself and therefore more confident.
Finish something you’ve been putting off!
Get that sense of accomplishment by finally getting around to doing that one thing you’ve been putting off for ages! There’s no better feeling than that of achievement, no matter how small it is. Besides, incomplete tasks cause stress and worry, so free yourself of that by getting off your backside and getting it done. It’ll make you smile! Speaking of which…
Many of us forget to smile when we are nervous. You’re so worried about what the other person will think, that you shake, sweat and your face drops! We might feel like we are smiling, but if you had a mirror right there you’d see that your face isn’t quite a smiley as you’d like it to be… and people judge that. Smiling is used a lot in television to mask nervousness. Of course, in TV you do want the host to smile otherwise you’re likely to switch off if faced with a miserable presenter, but what you don’t always realise is that they are smiling to mask nerves. A smile gives people the impression that you are happy and confident, even though you’re probably sad, stressed and nervous instead. If you come across relaxed and confident in front of people, this causes them to react in a relaxed, friendly manner towards you. If you approach conversations shy and nervous, then you’ll possibly talk fast, mutter, fluff your words and show yourself up. This makes the other person or your audience feel a little awkward or possibly unhelpful towards you. So go on, show us that smile!
It’s hard to retain eye contact with a person when you’re nervous and lack confidence. Our eyes wander and it gives the impression we are distracted or not interested in the other person. Keep eye contact in order to appear more confident whilst holding that smile.
Help others by volunteering
What better feeling is there than helping others, either through writing a blog or working as a volunteer in your community. Volunteering brings many benefits, for example; there’s the social element and new skills you’ll learn, and I’ve already talked about the benefit of those above.
This is an essential tool that helps us achieve confidence. It gives us a sense of achievement when we do something other than sit down doing nothing. Exercise also helps the body release chemical substances known as endorphins which relieve stress and therefore make you feel good, boosting confidence. When you do something that helps fight various diseases and infections, you feel a sense of achievement because you’ve done something that should prolong your life. When you exercise, you improve your appearance also, whether that’s by losing weight or using weights to shape your body for example. Again, the way you feel about the way you look helps improve confidence. There’s also the social side of exercise too, such as going to the gym or attending a Zumba class. Socialisation builds upon your existing communication skills and boosts confidence. Exercise also increases your attention and concentration. You’ll work better, complete tasks quicker and probably more accurately too!