Confidence is key.
Whether you need to make a good impression at a job interview, when giving a presentation, or even when trying to meet a potential partner, it's important project yourself with confidence.
When we feel we are on the line, or going to be judged, it is important to know what to do to project the most confident version of ourselves.
Confidence needs a boost when our anxiety or stress about a situation gets in the way and starts to erode our ability to follow through successfully. When we are nervous our stress hormones are automatically released into our system, resulting in symptoms that are in opposition to maintaining a solid level of confidence. For example; our body can respond to anxiety by shaking, sweating, getting clammy, wanting to shrink and hide, lowering our head and crouching over to protect our vital organs. In some instances we want to remain invisible, because if we go unnoticed, then maybe we won’t be under threat and then our anxiety can go down. We’ve all seen a shy child cower, whisper or refuse to speak, lower their head and hide behind a parent when they are triggered. It’s not much different for us adults, although we have learned to be a bit more subtle about it.
In order to combat this natural instinct and project confidence, we need to do the opposite of what our bodies are pre-programmed to do. We need to practice specific strategies to dial up our confidence and when we practice, no one can actually tell the difference between acting confidently and being confident. So give these a try:
Open Body Stance – Stand or sit tall, shoulders back but relaxed.
Head Up – You are in control and ready for the situation.
Eye Contact – You are an equal, don’t take a one-down position.
Smile – Unfreezing your face makes people warm to you.
Strong Voice – Shows you are in control of yourself.
Firm Hand Shake – No “wet fish” – Ugh!
Psych. Yourself Up – Tell yourself; “I can do this.” “I’ve got this.”
Visualize – first rehearse a scenario, with yourself acting confidently, in your mind, then act it out in real life.
And remember you can still project confidence even when still feeling anxious on the inside. Just accept your anxiety and let your confidence shine through.
By Susan Cockle