We all have those days when we’re feeling anything but confident.
Even the most tenacious of people have those days, but they’ve learnt how to up their game and show the best version of themselves.
“When it comes to job interviews, dating or giving a work presentation, most us benefit from a few quick reminders of what helps us to be the best version of ourselves on the day,” says Harriet Griffey, author of I Want To Be Confident.
“If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull of pretty much anything,” said Katy Perry. And that’s half the battle won.”
Here, Harriet shares her insight into how you can feel more confident too – whatever the situation.
This is partly to do with posture and partly to do with feeling physically strong – something that’s difficult to achieve when sitting slumped in front of the TV. Regular exercise helps you focus and trust your body physically while muscle tone improves your posture, all of which gives you the body confidence to walk tall which helps your general confidence.
When we’re nervous, we tend to over-breathe and this has the effect of making us feel more anxious because it mimics the physical symptoms of fear. When you need to feel confident, consciously regulate your breath, relax your shoulders, and gently breathe in for a count of 5, hold for a count of 5, then breathe out for a count of 5. This way, your body will feel calm and this works by conveying to your mind that there’s nothing to be anxious about.
Look the part
Looking the part and dressing appropriately for the occasion, whether it be for a job interview or a first date, will help your confidence. Think this through beforehand and make sure that not only is your choice of clothes appropriate, but also clean, well-pressed, without buttons missing or other signs of neglect. How you present yourself also shows how you value yourself and this conveys your self-respect and self-confidence to others.
Even the shyest person can learn to connect one-to-one and can then build on this to make more confident connections in a wider circle. Eye contact, a smile, a touch of the hand can all be used to make a connection. This simple strategy can be practised in non-threatening environments – try it in small exchanges with a salesperson in a shop, the bus driver, or someone in a queue. Keep it socially appropriate and these tactics will enhance self-confidence both socially and in the workplace.
Do your homework. This is especially important for job interviews or work presentations but can include social events too. Preparation includes checking times, locations and routes to the destination. Turning up late automatically puts you on the back foot, frustrates and potentially alienates the person or people waiting for you, and makes you more nervous which can immediately undermine your confidence.
Find out more about building your self-confidence generally and in specific situations in I Want to Be Confident by Harriet Griffey, published by Hardie Grant, priced £7.99