‘Ahead. Ahead of what?’, do I hear you ask? Answer: Self-confidence.
Yep, even leaders lack confidence at times. That’s because confidence, or the lack of, is the result of our mindset and that not a static.
A mind-set takes diligence to maintain and this is especially so in challenging moments. A mind-set is not only learned, it must be practiced to master, just like any other skill. The good news is, once mastered, it is effortless – it still needs to be maintained, but that’s a matter of polishing. And you know the trick with polishing? Stay on top of it and it isn’t like work at all.
Enjoy polishing your self-confidence. daily with these top FIVE ways leaders do:
- Be it.
Not only wise advice to ‘be the change you seek’ (Dalai Lama), science supports it. Carry yourself with confidence. Neuroscience reveals that your brain monitors what you body is doing and then decide how you feel. How can you do this if you have never behaved confidently before? Watch out for confident people who display self-assuredness and watch what they do. In fact, find three different people to discreetly observe and your brain will work out the patterns and start to create these behaviours in you. As a heads up, some standard non-verbals associated with confidence are: head high, upright posture, shoulders aligned with your spine, firm handshake and good eye contact when listening.
- Speak assertively.
A confident person speakers with certainty, in a steady, rhythmic tone. Listen out for speakers you enjoy and be mindful of the way he or she speaks. Instead of allowing “ums” and “ahs” to interrupt the flow, use a pause to collect your thoughts and it will work to emphasise your ideas.
If you are female and you naturally have a high tone in your voice, consider cultivating a slightly deeper tone. You can not be taken seriously if you are high-pitched, nervously chatter, twitter or giggle.
- Think positively to act positively.
Positive energy leads to positive outcomes, so determine to choose a ‘can do’ attitude. In addition you need to diligently look out for ANTs. ‘ANTs!?! What are ANTs’, do I hear you ask? Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) are a feature of every brain on the planet. Our brains are wired to protect us from danger by having a negative bias. How can you help overcome this negative bias? What ever you put attention on you reinforce and you get more of that. The more you focus on your positive traits the more your confidence will expand.
- Engage others.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear, but action creates confidence and courage. Take the initiative of approaching someone you don’t yet know at a networking event and introducing yourself. That is easy enough, isn’t it? And then, after the introduction, pay careful attention to them and be curious about who they are. See how much you can find out about what they do and why that appeals to them – how they go into that. People generally enjoy someone showing a genuine interest in them. Or, consider accepting a project you’d normally reject.
If you go to an event, pay attention to who the speaker is, any VIPs welcomed and research them. We all have smart phones that allow us to do an internet search in moments. Memorise their role/title and some of their key achievements. You don’t have to mention these, just be aware and this will allow you to feel more relaxed – like you know them somewhat – when speaking with them (and remember tip 5, go up and say hello).
NOW, the key question is…
choose to do just one of these things every single day,
how much would your confidence strengthen in a week?
And… if you
choose to do more than one a day,
consider the impact on your mind-set in a month from now.
NOW … the facts is, this blog won’t make any difference at all,
but you can if you
choose to proactively build your confident mind-set everyday.