Being Confident feels amazing and will open many doors for you! But how can we become more confident?
Can we learn it?
Many people think confidence is a god-given talent that only some of us were born with. I now understand that confidence is a skill that can be learned! When I was a child I was far from being confident. I didn't have the courage to say the things I wanted to say and was very insecure about my body. Over the years I started to challenge myself on my travels as a Model and actor. These experiences ultimately helped me to become more confident!
How do I start?
You can start right away by choosing to go out of your comfort zone! By facing your insecurities and fears you will learn that it's not as scary as you thought. I remember how uncomfortable I felt on my first photoshoots. I was nervous and felt uncomfortable looking into the camera. With every shoot I became more confident.
Here are the 7 secrets that have helped me to be more confident!
1) Eye Contact
The most important sign of confidence! If somebody avoids direct eye contact they instantly look insecure. It is hard for almost everybody to maintain eye contact but it can easily be learned!
Challenge 1: For the next two days I challenge you to never break eye contact. Look people on the street directly into the eyes and observe how you feel about it.
This can be very challenging especially in conversations. Instead of just staring at them, try and figure out their eye color in your head and count every time that person blinks.
This will not only affect the way they perceive you. It will also show them that you are engaging and actually interested in what you have to say. Challenge yourself by going to the extreme. With every person you look into the eyes this will become easier until it eventually becomes a habit!
2) Learn from others
"You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with."
We have a natural tendency to confirm and always adapt to the people around us. If you are surrounded by insecure people you will most likely develop the same habits.
I personally experienced this in South America where people are very open minded and warm hearted. Just by spending one year in Peru I became more open myself. This does not mean that you have to break up with all your friends who might have some insecurity issues.
Instead challenge yourself and if you know somebody who seems confident, go and talk to them!
3) Name Insecurities
We all have insecurities! No matter how confident some people seem: I promise they are dealing with some sort of insecurity issues. We just don't usually show them in public. Having insecurities is not the problem, denying them is!
If we pretend not to have insecurities, they will just get stronger and stronger and eventually start to own you. They subconsciously affect your confidence. But once you name them you turn the whole thing around!
Challenge 2: "Take out a piece of paper and write down 5 things you are insecure about!"
"I am insecure about my body. I feel like I am too weak."
Accept that it is completely normal to have those insecurities. That's when you can start to overcome them. Define your insecurities and you own them. This was a huge step that helped me to become more confident and accept myself the way I am!
4) Work Out
Now, picture a bouncer at a night club. A very strong 300 pound bodybuilder in a leather jacket. Does he look confident?
His physical presence alone makes him look more confident. But the perception of others is not the only effect! Having a strong and athletic body will also boost your confidence from within! I was very insecure about my built as a child. I thought I was way too skinny. Once I started to build a body that I felt more comfortable in I felt a lot stronger.
There are 132,345 reasons to work out! A boost in self-confidence is just another incentive. Set yourself the goal of having a body that you feel comfortable with. In this article I show you how to get there.
5) Upright Posture
An instant confidence boost! Most of the secrets in this article will increase your confidence on the long run. Your posture though is associated to a certain emotion and can instantly make you feel more confident.
Roll back your shoulders and turn your palms out. This will open up your body. An open posture conveys confidence. Do this every time you walk into a room or when you have a stressful event or conversation that you are nervous about. In this article I talk more about how to walk into a room with strength and confidence!
For a long term improvement of your posture, stretch out your chest on a regular basis and work on your back muscles! Yoga is a great way to achieve a balance within your body and a nice upright posture.
6) Give Compliments
"How is that supposed to help ME?"
Giving compliments has two amazing effects. First, people love getting compliments! Giving somebody a compliment will always result in a positive feedback like a smile or a simple thank you. Just receiving this smile and knowing that you made somebody else feel good will boost your self esteem.
At the same time you get out of your comfort zone and train your people skills. If you give compliments on a. regular basis it will be a lot easier to talk to anybody.
Challenge 3: "For the next 2 days give at least 3 people a compliment!"
It could be anything! Just mean it and once it comes into your head don't hesitate and instantly say it. It could simply be a compliment about the positive energy of some people around you. Or about a nice dress or shirt somebody is wearing. Even if it sounds obvious- SAY IT!
People love hearing it, you make people happy and will become more confident in the process!
7) Specific Goals
This is where I got most of my confidence from. I used to be very insecure and didn't believe in myself and in may ability to achieve the things I want.
Over time I started to set myself small goals. And with every goal I achieved I realized that I have something I can be proud of. I set myself the goal to move to New York by myself. I set myself the goal to practice Yoga every morning for a week straight. It doesn't matter how small the achievement is.
Being aware of the fact that you set yourself a goal and went for it is going to help you tremendously. Make sure to have Specific, Measurable, Action based, Realistic and Time based goals. (=S.M.A.R.T. goals)
Start today and write down one small goal you want to achieve by the end of next week.
This made a huge difference for me!
It is your choice...
Now it is all up to you. Again, confidence is a skill that you can learn! Never think it is something you were simply not born with.
Challenge yourself to face your insecurities, work on your body and follow the 3 challenges and you will see the difference!
Watch my Video about how to be more confident down here and let me know how the challenges went for you.
"Always follow your impulse."