Confidence is both a verbal and non-verbal communication tool. It’s a skill that we can all learn if we want it enough. What’s more, if you nurture your self-confidence it will last a lifetime. How good is that!
For many, confidence is an elusive quality. It’s an aspiration, but not always a reality. You look at other people and immediately notice if they appear very confident, or totally lacking self-confidence. Other people will be making the same judgements about you.
Would you like to be able to walk into a room and immediately appear at ease? We’ve all met people who do this, and then probably felt a twinge of envy. This is what genuine self-confidence looks like. It comes from a healthy self-esteem and an understanding that you’re competent and have a broad skill set. Throw a little positive body language into the melting pot and you’ve mastered the language of confidence.
Taking control of your body language is a good starting point; followed by positive words. So, how do you develop the language of confidence? Try this…
1. Stand up straight. No more slouching! Confident people walk tall (regardless of their physical height) with their shoulders back. Start to become aware of your posture and consciously straighten up when you’re aware that you’re slouching. This will give you a powerful mental image that you’re six inches taller
2. Learn to practice deep breathing whenever you need a little calmness or courage. We’ve all heard the expression “take a deep breath”. It’s a simple technique that will help to calm your nerves. This breathing space will enable you to think and speak more clearly
3. Make eye contact. If you lack self-confidence then almost certainly you’ll be uncomfortable with eye contact. This is a demon you need to battle. Eye contact gives the impression of self-confidence and helps build rapport
4. Smiling gives the impression of being at ease and feeling confident. The challenge is to make sure you’re not just smiling when things are going well. Learn to smile when you’re under pressure or in an unfamiliar situation too. Smiling give the impression of confidence (even if you are faking it)
5. A firm (but not bone crushing) handshake is a sure-fire sign of confidence. Trust me, a dead fish handshake is off-putting. The other party will immediately label you as weak if your handshake is limp
6. Use positive words that reinforce your body language. Your choice of words says a lot about your unconscious beliefs
7. If you feel overcome with self-doubt do something to tackle it immediately. For example – you find yourself at a networking meeting or social event and realise you don’t know anyone. At this point your self-assurance has probably nose-dived and you’re overcome with self-doubt. Put tips 1-6 into practice and you’ll be speaking the language of self-confidence in no time
Just by making a few minor changes you can increase your self-confidence. There’s no substitute for a healthy level of self-belief. So, find your metaphorical trumpet and blow it. Find your light and stop hiding it under a bushel. Enough clichés, but you get the idea. The language of confidence is beautiful and all encompassing; it’s not arrogance.
Know that if you want confidence it’s yours to have. Be guided by Marcus Garvey’s pearl of wisdom “with confidence, you have won before you have started”. Happy confidence building.
Until the next time…