Whether you’re dealing with something that’s knocked your confidence, or you’re dealing with a lifelong lack, there are very few people in this world who would not benefit from a boost in confidence. With that in mind, here are some confidence building top tips to help you be on top of your game, whatever life throws at you.
Before you dismiss the idea of using a power pose to improve your confidence, take a look at this video of a TED Talk by Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy. There’s a reason it’s been watched over 37 million times! This is a great trick to use in the toilets before a big meeting or social function when you’re not feeling brave. A few moments with your arms stretched out, apply some Stress Less Balm, take a deep breath and you’re good to go.
Stretch your comfort zone
Stretch your comfort zone
If we stay inside of our comfort zone, you might think that would make us feel more safe. In actual fact, when we opt to stay inside of our comfort zone, we become more fearful of ever stepping out of it. At the same time, the comfort zone begins to shrink and it’s really easy to become fearful of more and more situations.
On the other hand, stepping just outside of your comfort zone can stretch it and allow you to become more confident. That doesn’t mean you need to rush off and book a skydive or take up deep-sea diving on the weekends; just look to do small things each day which allow you to step just outside of your comfort zone. That might mean smiling and saying hello to a stranger on the street, or volunteering to present at the next team meeting. Something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, but not terrified is a great place to start building your confidence.
Pretend the other person lacks confidence
If you are one of the many people who lack confidence in social situations, try this handy trick. When you walk into a party or social function where you feel uneasy and shy, pretend that each person you meet is the one who is feeling shy. Focus on putting them at ease, and you’ll find that once you remove the focus from your own fears, they disappear and you are able to feel more confident.
Make a plan
If there’s one thing guaranteed to knock your confidence, it’s uncertainty. When we do the same thing every day, it’s easy to feel confident that we know what we’re doing. But when there’s a big meeting or event coming up, our confidence levels dwindle. The best way to face this is with a plan. Our founder recently wrote an article for the Telegraph about having a good work day, and her very first tip was about planning your day.
You can’t predict what people will say or do, but you can plan your own reactions, the things you will say and do, and even what time train you need to catch. All of these things will help you to feel more confident about what lies ahead.
Take a deep breath
Whatever it is that’s making you feel less than 100% confident, a deep breath usually helps. Apply one of our aromatherapy balms, take a deep breath and give yourself a few seconds to refocus. When you stop and think about it, there is probably something you’ve done that was harder or more nerve wracking than this. Breathe deeply and remind yourself: you can do this.
Keep a tool kit
Rituals and tools are a great way to help yourself to feel more confident. We based our Ultimate Survival Kit on this principle; a tool kit you can use to help you through tricky situations. Having a ritual you perform before doing certain things can help you to remain confident through good times and bad. Rituals are a great way of giving ourselves that little extra bit of comfort and reassurance when we need it. That might be the Scentered ritual of Stop-Inhale-Reset, or it might be something you’ve come up with yourself.
For some of us, it’s making sure we’re wearing a full face of make up with our favourite lipstick before we go to a social function, or repeating a certain phrase under our breath. Rituals take a wide range of forms, but they can really help us to get through difficult times. When our confidence is shaken, falling back on a ritual can help us to keep going until our confidence returns - which it will, and it might even grow.
Everyone has times or situations where they feel less confident. For some of us it’s a momentary thing when we’re faced with something new; for others it’s a daily battle to muddle on through. For most of us, it’s a mixture of the two. There are plenty of things we can all do to increase our confidence so that we can get out there and deal with whatever life throws at us. After all, your survival rate for bad days has been 100% so far; there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue!