Self-confidence is what helps you to gain what you want and it pushes you forward even in the darkest hour. Self-confidence is a sense of identity and empowers you to take that step forward into the unknown, it is a belief you have deep inside yourself under all the other layers. Once you master it you should never give it up willingly.
So I bet you are wondering how we can create a more confident version of ourselves. There are 3 different pillars of confidence that can be incorporated into everyday life to achieve this.
Pillar 1 – experiential confidence
This is all about trying something for the first time. Remember what it was like to sit an exam for the first time? Go to your first job interview? Or on your very first date? It’s about taking action despite risk of embarrassment or failure.
The wonderful thing about this type of confidence is that just by carrying out the task you are creating the confidence from it. Even if you aren’t successful.
Experiential confidence is relative to the comfort zone. When you do tasks regularly that you have done many times before you are operating in your comfort zone, which is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there! So what is needed is to push your boundaries which will in turn build that experiential confidence is to try new things.
This type of confidence is similar to a muscle workout at the gym. You have to keep working on it for it to grow.
Pillar 2 – emotional confidence
This pillar involves you learning to control your body and your mind which then leads to controlling your emotions to create more confidence.
It is something you can create by preparing mentally and physically beforehand. Visualisation is an excellent tool.
There are two ways you can go about using visualisation. You can imagine yourself or think of someone confident you know and visualise how they would act. Think of the facial expressions, posture, voice (loud, calm, soft, deep), gestures, outfit, how you/they interact, how others interact with them.
Then imagine success happening by playing out the situation in your head. Repeat this on a daily basis leading up to the event. This kind of mental preparation is critical because it gives you the benefit of experiential confidence even if it’s imagined because your mind can’t tell the difference.
The next part is to tap into your emotional confidence by controlling your body. When we have control over our body we are then able to control our emotions. Deep breathing and body language are important here.
Amy Cuddy gives a brilliant TED talk on this exact method and how our body language shapes who we are and she shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t necessarily feel confident can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain and might even impact our chances for success: Watch this video.
The power poses she suggests are perfect for social situations where you are being evaluated. Such as giving a pitch, going on a date, going for a job interview or giving a speech.
Pillar 3 – Self-esteem confidence
The third and final pillar. This refers to how you feel about yourself overall. This is what lies deep beneath everything else. It relates to you and who you are as a person. Your identity. Knowing who you are and what you stand for. How you think of yourself. How you talk to yourself.
High self-esteem is the ultimate key to confidence because it is based on your own identity which comes from within. It doesn’t revolve around anyone else or what they think and believe.
To increase your sense of identity start asking yourself who you are and what your standards are. What your boundaries are and what you are willing to compromise on and stick to that code.
As well as having standards look at your core values. Evaluate those and base them on yourself and what matters most to you.
How do you define success and happiness? What if success for you meant being the best person you could be on a daily basis? What if success meant performing one act of kindness a day? This way you are creating a life based around was is important for you and pegging your achievements in life against yourself rather than other people.
Confidence really is the best outfit. Rock it and own it.
Article written by Jayne Robinson, life coach. Read more about Jayne here.
Image of confident man in a suit sourced from Pexels
Amy Cuddy TED talk sourced from youtube.