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11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

11 Easy Ways To Boost Your Confidence

When I was a manager, I was never very good at speaking at meetings. In fact, I hated them! Now, thinking back to that period in my life, I think it was mainly a lack of confidence in my skills and abilities.

If I had to do it all over again, this is what I would concentrate on. If you can resonate with all this, here are 11 ways you can boost your confidence.

1. Your lack of confidence is not so obvious.

You probably think that everyone in the room is looking at how you behave, speak and move. The truth is that people are all too often, absorbed in their own thoughts.

They are thinking about their next move, future plans and what they are going to have for dinner! Keeping this in mind helps you to become less intimidated by the people around you.

2. Be your hero for a day.

Who is your hero? You can bet your bottom dollar that they are full of self assurance and confidence. It probably oozes out of every pore in the way they dress, speak and walk! The secret is to pretend to be your hero and ask yourself how she or he would deal with this awful problem which is nagging you.

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Stepping outside that vicious circle where you and the ‘problem’ spin around out of control is really helpful. You can imagine a different, happier ending when you pretend to be your hero.

3. Take a philosophical approach.

The break up was unpleasant and has left you feeling un-confident. Take a philosophical approach where you think this has been a useful experience. You learned that this person was not for you, you will recognize the warning signs the next time and the right person is waiting in the wings.

It just takes time but why beat yourself up for something which was not entirely your fault? You cannot win every game in the championship. Just think that you are still on a winning streak because you have a lot going for you.

4. Build your support team.

“I’ll get by with a little help from my friends.” – The Beatles

Choosing supportive friends will be essential to help you boost your confidence. These are the precious friends and family members who are always there to tell you that you can do it when faced with a problem, challenge or minor disaster.

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Avoid toxic friends who are likely to point out the buts and ifs, rather than tell you to go for it. The classic one is where they say that there will be stiff competition for that dream job. Your support team will be rooting for you and egging you on. That makes all the difference.

5. Take a humorous approach.

“Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Most speakers tell a joke or maybe laugh a little at themselves. Why do they do this? Laughter produces those endorphins which makes everybody in the audience feel better and it also relaxes them. A lot of the tension goes.

The audience warms to the speaker and are generally much less critical. If you want to feel more confident, just watch one of the funny videos here. You will immediately feel better. I love the one with Mayson Zayid whose talk is entitled ‘I got 99 problems … palsy is just one.’

6. Watch your body language.

Do you walk or slouch? Is your handshake firm? Making eye contact is vital when you are networking or speaking at a meeting. There is no doubt that body language sends a powerful message. Why not take advantage of it and convince others and, more importantly yourself, that you are confident and you can meet all the challenges with ease?

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Watch Amy Cuddy on how important body language is when we want to feel confident.

7. Build a Pinterest board.

What does your future look like and how do you want your life to be? One of the best ways is to build a vision board. You can have a notice board in your kitchen with favorite quotes and pictures that inspire you. This is difficult to organize and you may not have the space you need.

Why not build a Pinterest board? Repin the images and the quotes that build your confidence and also that fit in with your goals. You get a vision of your future and this will help to build your confidence. Taking a few minutes a day to do this is much more fruitful than trying to keep up with all your Facebook ‘friends’.

8. Self-confidence is about you.

 “Self-confidence is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.”- Nathaniel Branden

Think of it like this. Your confidence is like the motor that drives you. If that is defective in some way, then you will never even get into top gear. You are held back because of the fear of failing. But if you have a superb engine, then you are going to race ahead and achieve success. That is real confidence.

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Watch out for the triggers that can affect your confidence level. You may be late for work and rushed into a meeting, in which your performance is dismal. Plan ahead so that these triggers do not get a chance to catch up on you.

9. Cut down on the negativity.

Everybody gets overwhelmed at times by the negative self-talk that we inflict on ourselves. There are about 80,000 thoughts that flash through the brain every day. Let us think of some practical examples. We may be assaulted by worries, doubts and problems. They crowd in on us.

But a good tactic is always to ask yourself if it is really true. Very often, the answer is that is based on a negative scenario which is like a contagious disease, infecting every train of thought. The secret is to cultivate a state of mindfulness and choose to take another road at the negative intersection. This is a great chance to build new, positive beliefs and stories about ourselves. “I have achieved so much,” needs to be your mantra.

10. Give yourself a daily mini confidence boost.

Listen to your favorite music or wear those clothes that make you look and feel really great. Read some inspiring poem or quote. Write it on a post it and place it on your computer at work. These little boosts of confidence can set the tone for a much more positive day.Try them out.

11. Teach others and benefit yourself.

When you set the example for your loved ones and colleagues by teaching them to be more confident, you will be surprised at your own results. Yes, teaching it by complimenting and encouraging people around you will pay you handsome dividends. Walk the talk and you find that your own confidence levels will soar as a result.

Featured photo credit: Mona Lisa Eyes/Emilio Labrador via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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