Anyone can learn to be confident
Confidence is like a magic trick, it's like a open sesame and all the doors will open. It will not only open doors but you will become a magnet for other people as they will want what you have, that wonderful feeling that glows all around you, being happy in your own skin!
If I can get confident so can you. I was probably the worst shy person out there for years! It was not really down to personality as I felt really confident outside of job situations, when there was no pressure to get results.
Being in a job situation where I would be compared, judged on results was the worst for me. How? I felt like a fraud all the time. Am I good enough, what are they thinking of me, is X.... doing a better job.
This is also what Tara Mohr is saying in her book Playing Big about women holding back, playing small, by lack of confidence and too many inner critic voices, not feeling ready, is this what's going on in your mind? I still need to take more education, more training, no good enough, too old etc...
The crazy thing about that is that I would always apply for the lowest level jobs as I wanted to be perfect for the job, be productive from day one and the perfect employee, in a way playing it very safe rather than challenging myself! To realise after two months in the job, I was bored, no wonder!
Instead of feeling confident about my position this would put me in an even worse situation, because I had sold myself on really wanting this job and felt at unease of being discovered as a fraud, already fed up with the job.
The results was that I never spoke up during meetings and probably stand out in the office as the wall flower, being ignored for new opportunities and promotions. This would mean changing jobs every two years, not going anywhere, until I decided I had enough trying to fit in, this was not me at all.
Being true to yourself will keep you going
Instead of waiting to be discovered I decided to take action, you need confidence for that, the good thing about going for what you really want to do, is that you have this belief in yourself, this incredible push, that what ever happens you will keep focused on the prize.
How does it change your confidence? I'm much more proud to say that I am a portrait photographer than X at company Y because I always felt quite ashamed of having a low key job when meeting people who where CEO's, VP and directors. Now I don't because I'm true to myself and if I'm not a CEO I don't care it's not me!
Fake it until you make
No one can read your mind! Lack of confidence will come across your body language and tone of voice. Be attentive to these, even if you're not confident, pretend to be so, stand tall, strike a pose as Dr Amy Cuddy recommends in her TED Talk
Your body languages definitely affects how others see us! The good thing is by standing stall it might also change you state of mind and boost your confidence, so next remember stand tall, strike a pose and you will impress!
Choose clothes that say something about
Instead of wearing a uniform that is not YOU. Define your own style, choose clothes that say something about you, your individuality and let you stand out of the crowd. This is a great way to express yourself, and feel unique exercising your creativity, feeling really special wearing clothes that you've chosen to say something about you and not just by convention.
Channel that inner hero
Who do you admire, that radiates this sense of confidence you're after? Step into Audrey Hepburn's shoes each time you have doubts, or project your fears, step into these Audrey's shoes instead!
I truly believe that confidence is a skill that can be learned and developed, via
- Coaching and mentoring
But it's also done via being true to yourself and stop trying to fit in just to please, get that job, being authentic. Making choices by following love instead of fear will not only boost your confidence but also get you more attention, create interest in your story and what makes you different.
Has a lack of confidence been holding you back? What have you done to tackle it?
PS. A portrait photoshoot might be the perfect trigger to boost your confidence, find out more here