Thanks to human foibles, you can make small changes to how you act and what you do to instantly increase how much confidence you project to others. It’s remarkable just how easy these things are!
We’re told, “You never get a chance to make a second impression” and at the same time, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Is it any wonder we end up confused? Let me help by bringing in the wisdom of balance.
It’s important to recognize that humans are wired to make quick impressions. It’s how our species has survived and will continue to survive. That said, let’s face it, the things we need to look out for are very different today than the saber tooth tigers of long ago. But, since we can’t get around the fact that first impressions happen, we should embrace them. Here are some built in ways at your disposal to project confidence in any situation you need it.
1. Acknowledge your strengths. We all have them. An easy exercise to help you identify your strengths and project confidence is to:
Think of a past success that filled you with pride and a high sense of achievement.
Recall the feeling of power and certainty you experienced – and remember or imagine how you looked and sounded. Really try to remember and feel as many details as you can.
Recall this genuine emotion and situation before doing anything where you want to project confidence: entering the meeting room, walking up to the podium or meeting your gorgeous blind date.
2. Improve your posture. The way you hold your body speaks volumes! Notice I didn’t say the way you hold your perfectly beautiful and in-shape body. The way your body looks matters less in the projecting confidence department than the way you hold yourself. Please tell that to your critical self talk! So get in the habit of rolling your shoulders back, standing up tall and keeping your chin up and you’ll be ready!
3. Choose optimism. Spending too much time worrying about troublesome aspects or negative outcomes is a waste of mental energy and can spill over into interactions with others. It’s important to solve your problems, but work on doing so from a glass-is-half-full perspective. And focus on the positive when with others. Both of these things will emanate confidence!
4. Dress the part. Your appearance is the thing people see first. They look at your clothes, hair, shoes, etc. They make assumptions about you before you even open your mouth. This is said not to make you nervous that you have to be perfect. Because you don’t have to be perfect.
But it is important to know the type of dress, behaviors and expectations that go with whatever situation you’re going to find yourself in. You’ll project more confidence when you’re not worried that you are underdressed, overdressed, etc. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to maintain your sense of style and individuality, you just may have to be a bit more creative.
5. Respect others. Many people don’t realize that how we treat others is a direct reflection of how confident we are. Confident people don’t treat others disrespectfully, even when they disagree. It can be challenging at times, but if you look for attributes you respect in people, you will find them.