Confidence. Either it’s something that comes naturally to you or every party and work presentation makes you wish you had so much more of it. It’s the difference between taking on a task and knowing you’ll do your very best, versus telling yourself that you’ll fail before you’ve even given it a go. The main thing to remember about being confident is that it’s all inside your mind and only you can summon up enough gusto to make self-doubt a thing of the past.
We know that’s not always easy, even if you’ve been following our advice on how to be more positive. So we spoke to confidence coach and human behaviour expert Jo Emerson to give you five tips on how to be more confident.
Perfect Your Presenting Skills
Practice makes perfect when it comes to giving good presentations at work, but if speaking up in front of your colleagues is rare, Jo says you should always “assume support”. “What I mean by this is that if we assume we have buy-in and support from our audience, we will speak with greater confidence.”
She continues: “Think about it. They have turned up to hear what you have to say. You are the ‘expert’ on this particular area, and that means these people want to hear the information you are giving. So do business with that voice that tells you people want you to fail. The opposite is far more likely to be true.”
If that doesn’t help you fight the fear, then own it. “Tell your audience you feel nervous but that you are determined to nail this,” adds Jo. “They will get behind you even more.”
Draw Confidence from Crystals
If you’re on the fence about crystal healing, 2018 might just be the year that changes. According to the New York Post, even corporate executives on Wall Street are turning to this new-age trend in a bid to improve mental wellness. For confidence, look to carnelian, orange calcite or a chunk of rose quartz—the latter being Miranda Kerr’s go-to gem for improving self-love and confidence.
“Rose quartz, […] is my all-time favourite crystal,” Miranda told The Cut. “I really notice the difference when I’m holding it. I keep one in my handbag. I have a small heart-shaped one I put in my bra. It’s known to encourage love (like self-love) in your life and open the heart chakra. It’s supposed to have healing and protecting powers.”
As for why Miranda keeps rose quartz in her bra—close to her heart—she explains: “I know it sounds crazy, but I feel as human beings, that we either come from love or fear. If we have something like that little reminder, like rose quartz, to always come from love and not from fear, it’s a much more expansive place to come from.”
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
You know the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy”? It’s the thief of confidence, too, because comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of inferiority. Nowhere is that more the case than on social media, where an endless stream of idealistic scenarios are played out on users’ Instagram grids and Twitter feeds.
A study of 1000 Facebook users found that women who spend more time scrolling through their newsfeed reported feeling less happy and confident in themselves. It’s hardly surprising, but it doesn’t mean you have to ditch social media entirely. Instead, adopt a healthier approach to engaging with the digital world.
Remember you’re seeing the highlight reel. Just because the people you follow don’t divulge the details of a failed job interview or a social faux pas at a party, it doesn’t mean those things don’t happen to them (and everyone). Keep this in mind when it feels like everyone but you is acing their goals.
Recognise the root of your negative thoughts. Next time you find yourself comparing your life to the seemingly glossier life of an influencer, assess where your negative self-image is coming from and figure out what you can do to improve it. This could mean taking on a new hobby, placing a higher value on your relationships or something as simple as reminding yourself of your own accomplishments.
The simple act of wearing lipstick can be a confidence booster, according to a study conducted by researchers at Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University. They found that, of 300 lipstick wearers, 85% reported they felt “very confident” when wearing lipstick, and 82% said lipstick made them feel “really good about themselves.” Result. “Power dress” your lips in a red by following our guide to wearing red lipstick. It’s hard not to feel positive when you’re flaunting this complexion-boosting colour.
Get in the Party Mood
If you’re a shy person, a party can seem like a minefield of potentially awkward moments—and that’s especially true if you only know one or two people who are going to be there. The first step to feeling more comfortable starts at home when choosing your outfit. Pick something out in advance, so you don’t feel flustered and unprepared for the day. While you’re getting ready, play music that’s loud and upbeat, as a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that bass-heavy music can make you feel powerful and act more authoritatively. Then when you arrive, be present. Unfold your arms, keep your phone tucked away in your coat pocket, and practice mindfulness by making an effort to notice your surroundings when the self-conscious voices start. As for those nights when you’re the host—not the guest—Jo recommends having “an intimate dinner party and letting the extroverts who love big groups host the parties. Life is too short to be a square peg in a round hole.”
Feeling more confident already? Us too.