It’s one thing to believe in yourself, which is an internal activity. However, if you don’t act on those beliefs, you’ll limit the amount of success and happiness you enjoy. Confidence begins inside and extends outward—into the actions you take in the world. As you’re now becoming super-confident, first, define confidence for yourself, because people define it differently. To some it may relate strictly to their work environment, being confident in how they perform their jobs or run their businesses. You want to exude confidence so you’re successful in work and make a good living.
For others, confidence may be more about their personal image and how they interact with others socially. Your super-confidence helps you attract and keep confident friends who appreciate you and relate on an equal basis… if you’re not their natural leader.
So decide what confidence means to you and then take stock of where you are and how you measure up to your definition. For example, if you notice that you feel like you believe in yourself and appear to be confident when you network at business meetings, yet you’re not seeing people run up to grab your business card, then determine what you could do to be more confident.
One great way to be super confident once you’ve defined it is to emulate another super-confident person. Whether or not you interact with them or ask them to coach or mentor you, at least you can copy their confidence. Notice how they dress, how they walk, how they shake hands, how they look people in the eyes, how they speak, what they say.
Another way to build confidence is to study how you are when you do something you’re naturally confident at. Suppose you’re a naturally confident writer, yet you want to overcome the fear of public speaking so you can better promote your books. What makes you confident as a writer? You might notice that you have a knack for writing in a way that speaks directly to the reader. How do you do that? How can you do that when you’re speaking in front of an audience?
An additional confidence booster is to ask for feedback from a trusted friend or associate. If you’re building your confidence to speak to strangers in social situations, take a friend with you and ask him or her to give you feedback after you’ve had some encounters. It helps if the friend is confident in social situations.
Confidence training can also include finding ways to stretch beyond your typical comfort zone, in other words, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!” Take baby steps. If you want to speak to groups, start with a few people in your living room. Then talk to a small group at a local library and keep building from there. When people tell me how much value they received from hearing my talk, it zooms my confidence to the top of the charts. And if I get no feedback or people are walking out early, it’s time to see what can be improved. Is it the right subject matter, the right audience, passion for the information, the way it’s presented…? Keep doing what you’re doing with minor adjustments each time and notice how your confidence keeps growing.
With this un-ending commitment, tomorrow can be the first day you woke up super-confident!