Have you ever felt that you’re holding yourself back from the very success you seek due to a lack of confidence? You wouldn’t be alone. In my experience working with businesses and individuals, self-confidence issues are undoubtedly your worst enemy. Confidence underpins our every action. Without it even the smallest task can seem like an overwhelming challenge, therefore we dig our heels into the ground and stop moving forward for fear of change and the unknown.
Feelings of ‘faking it’ and fears of being ‘found out’ or not being up to the job are surprisingly common amongst managers, leaders and those striving for more. This is especially true for people who are new to a role or facing huge change. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of your new responsibilities so coaching can help you conquer your demons, grow your confidence by challenging you appropriately and it doesn’t feel so scary or isolated anymore.
The confidence mindset
During the coaching process, I’ll equip you with powerful techniques for building self-confidence (Read more about the evidence for coaching here). We’ll explore the values that underpin confidence and self-esteem; we’ll challenge your belief systems and work on strategies for overcoming obstacles and developing your effectiveness in your role. Armed with your new coping skills, your confidence will grow. You’ll no longer feel walked over or taken for granted and most importantly you’ll feel in control of your business, life and any new challenges. In addition you’ll experience lower stress levels, get noticed for your efforts and gain more respect from your peers.
My five top tips for feeling more confident
Tip One: Make eye contact.
Eye contact demonstrates both confidence and assertiveness, a first of many very powerful resources in your confidence toolkit. Thankfully human beings enjoy eye contact. It’s a natural thing for us to do when talking to another person. It becomes a bit more scary when standing up in front of a group, but if you can make eye contact with as many people as possible, they will automatically feel more engaged with you as a speaker.
Tip Two: Smile.
Smiling gives a great impression of confidence. Bizarrely, it will make you feel more confident too! Our minds and bodies are one system and our body understands that smiling is a sign that all is well. Then our inner selves calm down a little and we do start to feel a little better. I always look for the smiler in my training classes and make sure that I smile back. Not only have we started to build rapport, but I feel much better and start to relax.
Tip Three: Breathe.
Breathing is always helpful! In particular, it helps to slow down your speech. Nerves will encourage you to gabble, so take some deep breaths before you begin and slow yourself down. Give your brain time to think about what you want to say and then let your mouth take over. Speak as clearly and as loudly as you can, but above all, speak slower than you want to. This will ensure that you communicate as effectively as possible.
Tip Four: Posture.
Pay attention to your posture when you are speaking to a patient, member of staff or colleague or even when you are talking to someone on the phone. You will immediately look and sound more confident, and the person you are speaking to will listen more attentively.
Tip Five: Gratitude
At the end of each day, write down what went well and what you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small, if something went well, it’s worth noting down. Perhaps you finally completed your paperwork for the day; perhaps a newly discharged patient referred a friend to you, and perhaps your reception staff dealt with a tricky situation perfectly and you were able to praise them. It doesn’t matter what it is – write it down. Notice how many good things happen to you each and every day and you’ll gradually build up evidence for your brain that life is really great. In addition to building this positive mindset you’ll feel ready and able to cope with negative or stressful situations with a more positive attitude.
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