Just because we’re good at some things doesn’t mean we’re gung-ho confident about all the things we do, all the time. Not a bit – our confidence can desert us when we’re learning something new, get on the wrong end of someone’s sharp tongue, or are simply having a tough day.
Here are 5 simple ways to boost your confidence. You’ll notice that they’re not ‘quick fixes’ but rather habits that you can build into your routine over time. That way, they’re much more likely to stick – and much more likely to boost your confidence.
- Identify your strengths
- Find an exemplar and model them
- Buddy up
- Join a practice group
- Audit daily
Think of the skills that seem to come easily to you, yet not to others – those are probably your strengths. Not sure, or want some reassurance? You can find no or low cost questionnaires online such as Gallup Strengthsfinder and Pennsylvania University’s VIA Signature Strengths. When you’ve done that, make sure you use your top 5 strengths each day.
I’ll bet you know someone who’s really confident, and in a way that appeals to you – approach them and ask if it’s OK to model them. First of all notice how they appear confident to you: how they speak, or stand, or something they do with their hands? What you’re after is their ‘recipe’ for confidence. You’ll need to interview them about how they think they ‘do’ confidence – and how they recover when their confidence takes a knock, so that step by step, you can adopt their behaviours. That’s the basics – for more detail I suggest you check out the NLP process for modelling projects, such as this one by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley.
This might be your exemplar (you might be modelling each other for different skills) or someone completely different. Buddies cheer each other on, even when the going gets tough, and hold each other accountable.
A book club, debating society, choir, drama group or dance club – whatever you enjoy that gets you moving and/or talking will help build your confidence. Practice is essential for building any skill – and confidence in it. By practising with others you’ll not only improve but you’ll also see others recover from setbacks.
If you’re serious about boosting your confidence, take a few minutes each day to notice the things you are doing better today than you did yesterday.
Shameless plug alert: we run a Zoomly workshop on this very topic.
Dawn is the author of ‘How to be Zoomly at work’, available on Amazon.