For my regular coaching column in “Asian Woman“, I was recently asked this question:-
I am feeling a little low in confidence right now, whereas everyone around me seems to be quite brash and perky. What can I do to boost my confidence?
This is what I replied:-
Personal confidence is the key for so many things as when you are confident, life is easier when meeting new people, giving a presentation or facing an awkward situation.
Here are my powerful tips to quickly boost your confidence:-
1. You may have heard the phrase fake it till you make it. Many public figures that on the surface appear very confident are in fact a bag of nerves and if they can cope so can you.
2. Here is an exercise you can carry out right now that will boost your confidence. Think of five experiences when your confidence level has been high. Remember how you felt then, and feel like that again, right now. Bring that feeling back into your life. Now write them down so you can refer back to them.
3. You can also develop your self-confidence by being open to learning and growing, and by paying special attention to yourself and those around you. The only thing that is stopping you from becoming the person you want to be is you.
4. A lot of the time you may compare yourselves unfavourably with others. You put yourself down by thinking that you will never be as good as them. Ask yourself what you can learn from the person you are comparing yourself to. What is it they do that you could model, and attract their perceived level of success?
5. Recall the times in your life when you felt really confident and reconnect with that feeling and know that you can access it again anytime you wish. Get to know yourself. Become aware of your values, strengths and skills, and also how others view you. Get feedback from good friends on how they see you. Listen to them and work on those areas that could be improved.
6. In the next two days, talk to three friends and get their feedback on how they see you. Write down in a notebook the most important points they mention. In this notebook, continue to add positive points about yourself and in time it will become a golden reminder of all the great things about you.
7. Develop the confident image that you want to project. Select role models and learn from what they do. In your notebook, list three role models that you admire. Ask yourself what special qualities they have which you can emulate?
8. Improve your image and appearance. Make the most of yourself: get a flattering haircut, manicure your nails and maintain a healthy skin care regime. Take time with your clothes and shoes. Dress to be professional yet comfortable. Decide right now on three things that you will do in the next seven days to improve your image and appearance.
9. Focus on the things in your life that are working well, and on your strong points, rather than what you think is not working. What are you good at? Concentrate on the positive aspects of your life and move away from problems and fears. Continue to clarify where you want to go in your life. Having clarity about your goals and your future will instil confidence in you, and people will sense your assuredness.
10, Let go of the inner voice that criticises you every time something doesn’t quite go your way. Instead, analyse the situation and learn from it. This will help you learn, grow and move on. Look creatively at setbacks.
11. Take care of your health and invest quality time in looking after yourself. Eat healthily and exercise regularly. Reward and treat yourself regularly. If you feel good inwardly, you will look good outwardly.
12. Watch your body language. Present an open, upright and friendly stance. And smile! People will begin to relate to you more, and will feel at ease around you. In turn, you will feel more confident around people.
Stretch yourself, step outside your comfort zone and boost your confidence even further. Confidence does not come overnight. Build up your confidence step by step, and have fun on the way.