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10 Ways You Can Do To Build Self Confidence Instantly

10 Ways You Can Do To Build Self Confidence Instantly
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You’re vulnerable. Scared. What if you don’t take that job? What if that guy/girl doesn’t like you? You wish you could just own your power and ask for that raise, but the idea makes you cringe. You need a self-confidence boost. But how do you build self confidence when you feel fat/inexperienced/lacking credentials/whatever your critical self tells you?

build self confidence
    See that guy posing like superman? Did you know that just by taking this pose, his confidence goes up, instantly?

    1. Think: “It’s safe for me to…”

    You lack confidence because of fear. You might be scared of success or failure. Beat that fear by thinking that “it’s safe.”

    • “It’s safe for me to get that promotion. It’s safe for me to ask for it. It’s safe to…”
    • “It’s safe for me to lose 20 pounds. It’s safe for me to fit in my old jeans. It’s safe for me to be thin, even though everyone in my family is fat.”
    • “It’s safe for me to ask that girl/guy out. It’s safe to be social. It’s safe to…”

    Ta-dah! Already feel better, huh?

    2. Ask yourself: “What if…?”

    When you’re insecure, you might find it hard to even think of the possibility of success. Yet if you can’t imagine it, you won’t be able to reach it.

    However, you can open the window of imagination by asking yourself “what if?”

    • “What if I can actually get that new job?”
    • “What if I lose 20 pounds?”
    • “What if that new boy/girl likes me?”

    By asking “what if,” you by-pass the blockage of fear, and gradually start imagining how life will be when you get what you want. It’s an immediate confidence booster.

    3. Take a deep breath.

    Taking deep breaths works. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Right when you hands are sweating, just before you ask for that raise, take a deep breath, shake your hair and do it!

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    4. Prepare and practice.

    Preparation is 80% of success. When you find that insecurity holds you back, it might be high time for you to prepare more.

    • Afraid of your job interview? Practice interviewing with a friend. Over and over. Again and again.
    • Afraid to go on one more diet? Before starting anything, review the possibilities available, imagine how each diet would feel. Once you find a diet/process that feels okay with you, then you are ready to start doing. By the way, I didn’t say preparation would be easy. It’s not. That’s why it’s 80% of success!
    • Afraid of dating? Read a dating book. Build up your confidence by saying “hi” to strangers. Next time you see your cute neighbor, smile.

    The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel, the less you will worry about “the next step,” and the more “in the moment” you will be.

    Now, you are not supposed to prepare indefinitely; preparation can easily become procrastination if you do too much of it. At some point, you will have read enough books, done enough research, watched enough videos. You will be ready to start applying your knowledge. Just start.

    5. Take your superman posture.

    Did you know that your posture affects how you feel? Well, it does. Power postures increase testosterone among other hormones, says Harvard researcher.

    So stand up straight. Imagine you are superman for a second. How would your posture be, if you indeed were superman? Yup, that’s right. Hold it. Hormones kick in, and the confidence goes up. Nice!

    6. Do the things you know you should do, but don’t.

    Postponing what you want to do only makes you think you are a loser. What does this do to your confidence?

    So next time you’re thinking, e.g., “I know I should get back to exercise,” pause. The more you don’t go back to exercise, the more you’ll have proof to distrust yourself and your abilities.

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    I know it’s not really rational to think bad of ourselves just because we don’t follow through with something, but believe me, at moments of low confidence, rationality is not our strong point.

    So if exercise is the case, just do 3 repetitions of squats right away. Or, enroll in Exercise Bliss. Or, call your gym and book your membership.

    If cleaning your garage is on your to-do list, then throw away just one thing, right now. Or, schedule one hour of de-cluttering. Just stop reading this article right now and do it.

    If you want to start your own business, then check out Appsumo’s make your first dollar. Or, ask three people today, whether they would buy your product/service – and if yes, ask for money and promise to deliver it to them in a week or two. Get into action!

    The moment you take this one tiny step, you’ll immediately feel happy with yourself. You’ll replace feeling guilty, with self-satisfaction.

    You don’t need to go to the end to be happy–you just need to take one step. That’s how you build self confidence in you and your abilities.

    7. Dress appropriately.

    Fake it till you make it, ever heard of that? That’s exactly what happens when you dress the part. Combine it with your power posture and you are unstoppable!

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    8. Visualize it. Feel it.

    Your confidence will reach its best, when success is “the next logical step.” When you reach this place that getting what you want feels as natural as the next logical step, then success is yours.

    But how do you reach “the next logical step” level? It’s a combination of preparation, thinking “it’s safe,” asking “what if,” and then once imagining success starts feeling normal, visualizing and feeling your success. Feeling as if you already have what you want.

    Warning: If you try to visualize but fail, then that means you are one step earlier, at the preparation stage. Say to yourself that “it’s safe.” Ask “What if.” With every step you take you, build more and more confidence.

    9. Let it go.

    So you have prepared. You know exactly how to ace that job interview. You’ve practiced it 1000 times.

    Now it’s time to let it go. Thinking about it even more will only cause you unnecessary stress. Take a deep breath, and do something else. Your time to shine is on its way.

    10. List your past successes.

    Sometimes when we suffer an attack from ourselves – you know, when that voice in our heads goes wild telling us we’ll never succeed – it’s super helpful if we’re already prepared with counter-arguments. That’s why listing your past successes can make a difference in whether your own self-critic wins or just stops talking.

    “People won’t like you because you are fat!”

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    “But my girlfriend does like me, even though I am fat!”

    Or…

    “You don’t meet all the requirements to apply for that job. You’ll waste your time applying for it!”

    “That’s not true. I did A and B in my last job. I managed X and Y. I did this and that…blah blah. I could do Z for this company. They’ll be thrilled to have me!”

    Got it?

    Your past successes are the best ammunition against your own self-critic. Buuut, you must already have this list, before the critic strikes! Again, preparation is 80% of success.

    And now, you are good to go! You are unstoppable. The world is at your feet.

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    Photo Credit: josephleenovak

    More by this author

    Maria Brilaki

    Maria helps people create habits that stick not just for a month or two but for years and decades.

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    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

    Warming up

    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

    Stay hydrated

    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

    Meditate

    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

    2. Focus on your goal

    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

    3. Convert negativity to positivity

    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

    4. Understand your content

    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

    5. Practice makes perfect

    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

    6. Be authentic

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

    7. Post speech evaluation

    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

    Improve your next speech

    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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    • How did I do?
    • Are there any areas for improvement?
    • Did I sound or look stressed?
    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
    • Was I saying “um” too often?
    • How was the flow of the speech?

    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

    Reference

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