How to Increase Your Confidence

leadership development
At the Table with Jen

Your thoughts and language reflect how confident you feel and are perceived by others. The more your thoughts are of a “can do” attitude, the words you use for self-talk as well as shared with others will reflect this way of thinking. As the affirming thoughts and words keep playing on your mental loop, you will exude confidence.

To bring this full circle, let’s say you were asked to give a presentation to a large group. And let's say that it's either your first one for this magnitude or public speaking is something you've yet to become more confident in doing.

What would your first thought be? What would you initially feel? And what would you tell yourself?

So, let’s say that you felt unsure of yourself and really didn’t want to do it, how might you shift this feeling and thought so that you felt more confidence delivering the presentation? Instead of allowing the negative thoughts and feelings replay over and over in your mind, try telling yourself that you will do well and that the group you are presenting to is routing for you. In order for you to actually tell yourself those words, you have to first think them and feel them. And more than likely one time won’t be enough, but keep going.

Each time you start to feel the inner critic speaking up or taking over in your mind, change the direction.

As for an exercise, try standing in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips stating words of affirmation and smiling as you say them. Try this for one week. You might laugh at first or even as you read the suggestion, but the more your mind hears your voice say positive things about you, the more your mind believes what is said.

And as Napoleon Hill says, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

How we see ourselves drives the difference that we believe we can make in the world. It takes the same amount of energy to think negative thoughts as it does to think positive thoughts, so why not choose positive thoughts, especially when those thoughts are about you?

It takes practice and a conscious decision to:

  1. become aware when our thoughts are stemming from worry and fear, AND
  2. change directions, but it’s worth doing.