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30 Tips To Become More Confident Nobody Told You Before

30 Tips To Become More Confident Nobody Told You Before

Confidence is belief. It is the ability to rely on something or someone. Self-confidence is your ability to rely on yourself – to rest in the assurance that when it comes right down to it, win or lose, you can count on you. You just need to be more confident than the other person.

If you lack self-confidence, it may feel like a lost cause. But confidence is not an intrinsic quality. Confidence can be learned. Read on to see how.

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30 confidence-building habits you can incorporate into your daily life to allow you to become more confident:

  1. Be clear. Unless you’re The Riddler, it’s time to put away babbling. Be clear. Be direct. Speak without ambiguity.
  2. Speak more slowly. People who talk fast often lack confidence in what they are saying and are usually saying too much.
  3. Make eye contact. In Western culture, the easiest way to truly connect with someone is to give them the respect of looking them in the eyes.
  4. Say hello. Make it a habit to offer a greeting when you pass people on the street, especially if your eyes meet for a moment as you walk by.
  5. Stand up straight. A study by Richard Petty, of Ohio State University, and Pablo Brinol, of the Universidad Automonma de Madrid, found people who sat up straight had more positive thoughts about their own abilities.
  6. Take up more space. Executive coach and author Olivia Fox Cabane talks about the importance of power poses in her book, The Charisma Myth. Power poses take up more space and make you feel more dominant.
  7. Walk in the center of the sidewalk. Conduct a social experiment where you test out your confidence. Focus on exuding dominance. Walk in the center of the sidewalk. Do not veer when another person heads in your direction. See if you can get that person to move off the sidewalk just by the way you carry yourself.
  8. Smile more. Smiling makes you feel good and it puts the people around you at ease.
  9. Giggle less. Laughing at inappropriate times is a sign of insecurity. Now that you are aware, you can slowly begin to break the habit.
  10. Do what you’re good at. Find your strengths and focus your attention on building your strengths, rather than hiding or building your weaknesses.
  11. Listen to compliments. When someone compliments you, graciously accept it. If you find multiple people compliment you on the same thing, internalize it. It may be true.
  12. Exercise. Regular exercise improves your self-confidence, self-awareness and overall health.
  13. Do something that scares you. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Every day do something that scares you.” The more fears you conquer, the fewer fears you will have, and the more confident you will become.
  14. Do the worst thing on the list first. As a matter of habit, prioritize every task by doing the most important things on your To Do list first.
  15. Start and finish something challenging. It’s difficult to start something new and it takes effort to see it through. Start and finish something that challenges you. Conquering challenges always boosts confidence.
  16. Create goals that are difficult to reach. We are happiest when we set and strive to attain goals that require some effort on our part. Goal-setting is a great confidence-building habit.
  17. Stop hiding. Be transparent. Show people who you really are and be proud.
  18. Display your hidden talents. Put on display the talents you have that may be judged most harshly or that make you feel insecure. Get it out in the open.
  19. Write things down. Organize your thoughts and time by writing down important information.
  20. Use “I am.” Quite possibly the two most powerful words in the English language, “I am” are your life-sculpting words and it takes courage to say out loud what is really in your heart.
  21. Speak well of yourself. If you say something often enough, you will begin to believe it. Your words are containers for power. The most important opinion in the world is the one you have of yourself.
  22. Get good at something. Master something you always wanted to learn. Get really good at it and do it often.
  23. Learn to tell one great joke really, really well. We can’t all be Jimmy Fallon, but we can all get good at telling one joke. Get the words, the voices and the timing down until it’s flawless. Then take the opportunity to entertain people with that joke once in a while.
  24. Become an active listener. We live in a culture where the ability to multi-task is a desirable trait, but you can’t listen and do something else. It’s one or the other. Learn to listen to people. Give them your full, undivided attention. It will make you a much better conversationalist.
  25. Dress well. Image is important. When you look good, you feel good, and with both of those you become more confident.
  26. Put away the measuring stick. Break the habit of comparing yourself to other people. It is counter-productive.
  27. Celebrate little victories. Resist the temptation to say, “It was nothing.” Every victory counts. Every single one. Celebrate them.
  28. Believe in yourself. Make it a point that whenever you begin to doubt your ability, you stop the “stinkin’ thinkin’” and replace doubt with belief.
  29. Mind your own business. Focus on self-development and doing your best. That’s all you can do and it’s all anyone can require of you.
  30. Help out. There’s nothing like helping someone reach their goals. The late Jim Rohn used to say, “You can get what you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”

If you follow these 30 tips you will—yes you will!—become more confident!

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Featured photo credit: 7908265452 via Photopin

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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