Ten Top Tips for More Confidence

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Yesterday, I wrote about my recent experience at a networking event, that women were holding themselves back and that we need to talk about confidence. In this follow up blog I’m going to share 10 ways that can develop your confidence (whether you’re a woman or a man).

This means that the next time you’re given a brilliant opportunity you’ll reply with gusto “Why of course, I will be there with bells on – just try and stop me!”

Below are five ways to re-frame how you think about confidence and five practical exercises to boost your confidence.

Five ways to reframe your thinking about confidence

1)   You’re probably the go to person on this subject that you’ve been asked to speak about. Your friends and colleagues ask about it all the time. Their opening sentence begins with “Can I just ask you…” This means that you’re already helping out the needs of an audience. This speech is just to a bigger audience.

2)   The subject you’ve been asked to talk about is something you know well. You’ve probably studied in this field and have likely worked in this area for a while. This means you can speak about what you’ve learned both in theory and in practice. So, you’ve already got two ways in which to share information with people.

3)   Not even Google is the absolute authority on everything and neither are you. Don’t say no to this opportunity because you aren’t perfect. No-one is perfect. The host inviting you to speak thinks that you are good enough. And that is good enough.

4)   Role models are important. Chances are that you have young people in your life, whether in your family, your team at work, or in your community. You stepping out of your comfort zone is a terrific example to them. Don’t underestimate this. Be that role model. Step up and step out of your boundaries.

5)    How can you develop your confidence in less than 4 minutes? What affect does neuroscience and your environment have? How about the choices you make and the risks you take? Which music instills confidence? And what’s all this stuff about growth mindset and actually practicing failure? For answers to these questions simply watch this terrific Ted-Ed talk.

Five fun exercises to boost your confidence

6)   What praise have you received? Previous employers who think you’re the cat’s pyjamas, supremely happy feedback from delighted clients, testimonials on LinkedIn that show you rock? Go through these and read them. You have lots of strengths that make a difference. Lots.

7)   This is called the Friends Exercise from the ever wise Simon Sinek. I’ve modified it a little. It goes like this.

Think about 10 people you trust and who know you well. Ask them to give you some feedback on why you’re friends. They’ll maybe find this a little tricky – especially if they’re British. You may get an overwhelming “’Cos, you’re alright, you know” as they fear such unbridled praise will swell your ego to the size of Jupiter. Be patient with them and ask them to think a bit deeper. Likewise if someone tells you that you’re awesome ask them why they think you are awesome.

What they’ll end up doing is describing situations that show your value in their lives.

This is a great reminder of the positive, personal qualities you have. And it’s another practical way to develop your confidence in yourself.

More info. on this exercise can be found here.

8)   This is a little exercise I call Confident Me. Take 10 pages of A4 paper. At the top of each page write down the title Confident Me.

On each page write down one example of when you did something that you felt really confident about. You were in the zone. On top of the world.

Keep it specific.

Soon, you’ll have 10 clear examples of when your confidence is shining, demonstrating you are already confident.

9)   If you want to go a little deeper into this exercise put these ten pages in order from situations where you were most confident to least confident. This shows you where you your spectrum of confidence lies.

10) To delve a little deeper still, on each of these ten pages write down what you did that led to you being confident. Now you can see evidence of your growth mindset. This reminds you that confidence is a muscle and that you already develop your skills and knowledge which in turn further develops your confidence. And if there’s a topic you want to develop more confidence in you know that you’ve got this.

You can do it.

You can say yes to the opportunity in front of you.

Step up and step out.



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