Self / 10.02.2015

7 life-improving confidence tips

By Laurence Favager
Fake it 'til you make it with 7 easy steps to become the best version of you

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Whatever you want out if life – a job you actually want to do, a fulfilling realtionship, or simply of goal weight – you need a big old serving of self belief to get there.

‘Let your body tell you you’re powerful and deserving and you become more present, enthusiastic and authentically yourself,’ says Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and confidence expert. Follow her top 10 life-improving confidence tips, fall in love with you and the rest will follow.

1. Make a to-do list you’ll actually do

We have all made to-do lists that are only used as a tool to kid ourselves into believing we are being proactive. A great confidence booster is to set achievable targets. Try to list down at least 10 goals that you would like to achieve this year. Cross them off as you go and feel the self-satisfaction build to a point of self confidence.

2. Work your body

Staying on top of your physical fitness and wellbeing is the key to nourishing your self-esteem. You don’t have to overdo it; a daily, fast-paced walk for 30-40 minutes is enough to guarantee a solid foundation to a steel fort of self-admiration.

3. Move in the right circles

People change and friends grow; don’t let it get you down. Keep hold of those friendships that bring out the best version of you. Try to surround yourself with colleagues and friends who have a positive outlook on life and who approach the daily grind with a champion attitude.

4. Mind your (body) language

The power and implications of holding your posture in a certain way can be astounding. Avoid placing hands on your face or neck as it reflects a position of low power, which communicates a need for protection from others. Also, hiding your hands in your pockets – another low power pose – ties you down, leaving you no freedom to be expressive. Finally, shift your shoulders back, opening up your torso, and cultivate a natural, beaming grin. Make the others be envious of your natural warmth and oozing physical confidence.

5. Meet your motivation

Search through those old photos or browse the web and find an image that empowers you and fires you up into a state of self-belief. Once you’ve found it, don’t let it out of your sight! Make it your laptop screen saver, phone background or even stick it to your ceiling above your bed. Whatever you do, make sure it’s always within an arm’s reach to whisk you off to that place where all things are strong, stable and positive in the world.

6. Know your voice

Be aware of how you express yourself verbally. Try to record yourself having a conversation on the phone or in a meeting at work. Analyse how you sound and what you say when you play it back. Are you negative? Do you ask too many questions? Do you seek approval from others? All of these are traits of the less confident person. So don’t be that person and approach every conversation with the knowledge that you know how to control the verbal impression you give.

7. The past is the past and the future is the future

Dwelling on the hardships of the past and worrying about the dreaded uncertainty of the future is a pointless exercise. Don’t pin all hopes on the future, to the point where insecurity develops after failures. Learn to accept the past, and expect failure and fear at some point in the future. It is important to employ mindfulness to sustain a balanced outlook on life, leaving you with time to relish in the moment and enjoy life as it happens.

 

Adapted from The Little Book of Confidence‘ by Tiddy Rowan (Quadrille, £5.99)

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