Confidence is just as important as competence, according to multiple, recent research studies. While I think competence and confidence are both critically important to achieving goals, there’s no doubt that a lack of confidence will hold you back. That said, confidence can’t be built overnight. As you’re working on becoming more self-assured, you’ll need to fake it ’til you make it. How? Here are 5 tips to get started:
- Refresh your morning routine. “Your morning ritual can determine how useful you are to the world around you, and thus, how much people come to rely on you. And to come full circle, when people rely on you, you do more business,” according to Peter Shankman. Peter’s morning routine is built around gathering information, networking and exercise. Through this, presumably, he finds knowledge nuggets that propel conversations throughout the day and seeks opportunities to strengthen his network and facilitate connections. Plus, he squeezes in a workout, a known self-confidence booster. What’s your morning routine? Can you shake it up a bit to add some activities that will help you feel more self-assured during the day? Can you create opportunities to be useful to your network first-thing in the morning? Being a connector helps you, helps the people in your network, and gives you easy “wins” to build on.
- Skimm the news. We’ve all been there: You’re in a conversation with a group of people discussing the day’s events. Someone asks your opinion and you turn five shades of red because you haven’t read the news that day and you’re just not familiar. You feel like such an idiot, maybe even not smart enough, or well-read enough to travel in this circle. Awful, right? That’s the entire premise of TheSkimm. They read the news and present it in easy-to-read (and remember!) nuggets. Never be caught unprepared to discuss a major news topic again!
- Voice your confidence. “Upspeak“– making a question out of a statement by changing the tone of your voice — is a surefire way to signal that you’re not really confident in what you’re saying. It’s become a natural part of conversation, but you’re not doing yourself any favors making every statement a question in the business world. Along those same lines, the “vocal fry” trend doesn’t sound highly professional either. Pay attention to your voice. Sound confident, even if you’re a little unsure on the inside.
- Research, research, research. Rachel Sklar recently shared a story about the night she met Arianna Huffington and how that meeting turned into a gig as HuffPo’s founding media editor and set her career on a new trajectory. Knowing that Arianna would be at this party, she had her opening line prepared and learned a little Greek to make a good first impression. The actual conversation didn’t go quite as planned, but clearly that little bit of effort was worthwhile and left a lasting impression. When you go to an event or a meeting, do you spend the necessary time beforehand preparing? Know who will be there, crystallize your “elevator speech,” discover mutual connections or conversation starters. This effort ahead of time will help you feel more confident going into the event, plus you’ll likely get more out of it.
- Celebrate successes. As I’ve shared before, I’m a big fan of celebrating successes along the way. Pausing to acknowledge wins provides motivation and energy to continue pushing ahead. Plus, even if it’s just a little celebration, it reminds you that you’ve accomplished something. That you’re making progress. That you’re hitting milestones … building toward success. How you celebrate success is up to you. The important part is to just do it.
How do you build confidence? Share your additions to this list in the comments!