If I told you I was a very anxious, awkward person, what field of study might you think I was pursuing?
Computer engineer? Web developer? How about a journalist?
For an anxious person, conducting an interview is like taking everything you hate about conversations and turning the knob to 11.
Trying to get the truth out of people, knowing damn well they might hang up the phone at any minute and tell their secretary to put your name on a blacklist, is something that leaves you hanging in a very delicate place, whether you’re an anxious person like myself or not.
So what gets you through experiences like that, you ask?
You see, we all have things we’re anxious about, activities that terrify us. For me, it’s talking to people. For someone else, it might be entering a crowded room or eating in front of someone.
But what separates confident people from those lacking in self-confidence is the ability to go ahead and do those things anyway, despite whatever consequences might arise.
So how do you increase your confidence?
While the list I’m about to share with you contains things confident people tend not to do, I encourage you to also look at it as 20 to do to make yourself feel more confident. Like smiling makes one automatically feel happier, it’s often by emulating the behaviors of those we wish to be more like that we wind up accomplishing what we want to accomplish.
In other words, fake it till you make it.
Confident people never…
1. Lie to Themselves
The greatest way to keep yourself locked in your comfort zone is to stretch the truth, to bend the odds out of your favour in an effort to convince yourself that the thing you really want to do, the thing you probably could do, is impossible.
Confident people don’t do this. They don’t paint themselves into sad sob tales. They face the – often harsh – facts of life and get on with what they know they can do.
2. Avoid Sharing Ideas
As reported in Forbes magazine, confident people see opportunities and take them. They don’t worry about what might go wrong by speaking up – Hell, they don’t even worry about being proven wrong.
The times you are wrong are the times you wind up learning quite a bit about yourself, and when you’re right – hey, nice.
3. Become Ashamed of Their Failures
Failure has been a part of many a success story in the world of business. And that’s just one aspect of life – Never mind all the other areas where failure is key.
Confident people learn what they can from failure and understand that it is necessary for their success.
By extension, confident people don’t try to hide their failures from others.
4. Compromise Themselves to Please Others
It’s so much easier than saying “I’ll see” or “I dunno, I’m not sure.”
Be confident about your goals and desires. Reject things that don’t fit if you need to.
5. Focus On Appearances Too Much
You know that kid in high school who used to go around putting other people down? With time, you probably came to conclude on your own that they did that because they felt so poorly about themselves.
Well things don’t change after high school in that regard.
People who lack confidence put others down to gain attention and build up their appearance. But confident people not only know they don’t have to focus on appearances so much – They are confident enough to let others shine in the same room as them without stepping on their flame.
Similarly, while confident people know appearances are in fact important to impression management, they don’t put too much emphasis on how they look because they know there’s so much more to them.
6. Ignore Body Language
Body language is an important thing. It’s absolutely crucial to effective communication.
Confident people know this and, even though they may be anxious, don’t let their fears get in the way of paying attention to things like eye contact, handshakes and smiles.
7. Focus On The Negative
There are negative sides to everything. We get it. And to be successful, you have to take those into account.
But a confident person can do this without focussing on the negative aspects of everything, from new ways of doing things to new people.
8. Ignore Their Gut
As reported by Medical Daily, your gut feeling is so much more than a voice in your head that tells you what to do.
A 2011 study found that the body has very fascinating ways of telling the brain what to do, which decision to make. When you lack confidence, you might tend towards allowing others to make your decisions for you. But when you’re confident, when you know your facts and know what’s best, you stick to your guns.
9. Ignore Their Skills
This one is a personal pet peeve of mine.
As a musician, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve come into contact with who refuse to acknowledge how good they are, and as a result, refuse to ever get past the “practicing” stage.
People who lack confidence often find themselves in a loop of always thinking they need to improve, always thinking they need ‘x’ training or ‘x’ piece of equipment.
Take stock of the skills you do have and run with them. You’re never going to be 100% ready.
10. Assume They Know It All
While confident people are able to take stock of what they do know and move towards their goals, they never assume they know all there is to know. Even when it comes to confidence.