With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world. — Dalai Lama
Want more confidence? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Pay attention to people you perceive as confident: How do they act? What do they say? How do they handle the situations you’re concerned about?
Pay attention to the specifics: Does your manager smile and greet everyone in the morning? Always wear a jacket? Always smile and think for a few seconds before responding to a question, even a difficult one? How do men who attract women socially act? How do they carry themselves? Find the specifics of the behavior you admire and copy those traits.
2. Always act and believe you are doing the best you can with what you have where you are right now.
Just knowing you’re doing your best, and being mindfully aware of it, can help you.
3. Meditate and/or pray to develop a clear, still, inner peace.
Hold onto that feeling of inner peace during the challenging parts of your day, and you’ll find you’ll develop the outward confidence to match the inner.
4. Take your mind off what you’re nervous about by focusing on what you’re grateful for.
Have to give a tough presentation? Be grateful for the growth experience it will give you, for the friends and supporters you have in the room, for the fact that you’ll be finished with it by the end of the day! Find something to be grateful for and focus on your genuine feeling of gratitude.
5. Take baby steps to build confidence in whatever area you’re worried about.
Toastmasters, for example, helps you develop your confidence with public speaking. Do you lack confidence in your personal life, perhaps with dating? Practice by talking to people you’ll never see again. Or try going out with as many dates as you can so you can get over feeling nervous. You can also practice taking baby steps through visualization. Pretend you are in the uncomfortable situation and visualize, step by step, what you’ll do to get through it with confidence.
Confront what you aren’t confident about through tiny, repetitive steps.
6. Think about an area you are confident in, and see what you can do to take that feeling into an area of your life where you’re less sure of yourself.
What I’m getting at here is that it’s likely that you feel confident in at least one area of your life, so you know how confidence feels. Experiment with different things until you can duplicate that feeling in the area you’re not so confident in. So, for example, I used to be very confident in academics, but not in public speaking. I took a job as a assistant law professor, which forced me to speak publicly (to law students, who are not an easy crowd!). I focused on what I was comfortable with – the book side of teaching – and that helped me find my confidence at the front of the classroom.
7. Ask questions. In almost any situation, this will help boost your confidence by taking the attention from you and putting elsewhere.
Whether you are on a date, in a classroom, in a meeting, or in front of an audience giving a presentation, if you feel your confidence evaporating, use one of your prepared questions (yes, you’ll prepare questions ahead of time for this purpose!) to shift the attention away from you for a moment.
What do you do to boost your confidence in difficult situations?