Nothing looks better on you than confidence. We all want to feel confident and exude confidence in life. We often look for the good things in life to make us feel confident—a successful career, a great relationship, lots of money, making a difference in the world, and being the best we can be.
The irony is this: you often need to find the confidence first before success comes to you. Feeling confident first helps you be your best.
The good news is that confidence is something you create! The key to your success in all areas of your life is having the confidence to do it, the belief that you can do it, and that you have the ability to do it. We need the confidence to go through both the high and lows that life will throw at us.
Confidence is not about being fearless, it’s about going for what you desire in the face of fear and uncertainty. It’s about knowing you can handle yourself in any situation, even if you don’t know it all.
So, how do you create that confidence inside yourself when you don’t feel it? Here are the 5 steps for you to exude confidence effortlessly and become unstoppable:
1. Use Positive Body Language
The body speaks before you speak. How you hold yourself has a direct effect on your physiology, which affects your emotions and confidence. One of the simplest ways to change your internal state from insecurity to confidence is to shift your body language.
Think of a time when you were frustrated, depressed, or had low energy: What was your posture like? How did you hold your head? Your neck? Your spine? What was your breathing like?
Now, think of a time when you felt unstoppable and powerful. How were you holding your body? What was your posture like then? Did you make eye contact? Did you smile?
Notice the difference in those two visual representations of a low-confidence state and a high-confidence state. Now, practice standing in a confident posture. Feel the emotions of being unstoppable. Feel how good your body feels in that position. Realize how it makes other people look at you with more confidence. Get even more confidence from how others feel about you seeing you stand in that powerful position.
Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy noted, in her 2012 Ted Talk, that research shows that standing in a powerful body posture increases testosterone and reduces cortisol hormone release while standing in a weak position decreases testosterone and increases feelings of stress.
She refers to the strong pose as the Wonder Woman pose, with your hands on your hips, back straight, face held high. This pose, in particular, enhanced the emotions of confidence quickly and effortlessly.
One of the fastest ways to change your confidence level and exude confidence is to change your body posture, so use this any time you feel lacking in emotional confidence. Remember that changing the body also changes the mind.
2. Upgrade Your Thoughts
In general, we go through the day in one of two major thought patterns: worry, doubt, and fear, or abundance, love, and gratitude. Confidence obviously comes from a positive thought pattern.
If our typical thought pattern is negative, we have to learn how to shift it into the pattern of confidence. By first identifying what our internal self-talk is saying, we can then make a conscious choice to shift it.
Our words create our emotions, which then follow through in our actions. If we are not confident, many times we can trace it back to the words we’re using and the story we are telling ourselves.
Your inner dialogue has a direct relationship to your confidence. Positive self-talk can help you exude confidence. It should be the first thing you look at when increasing your level of confidence. Just look at your current emotional state and ask yourself what thoughts led you to that state.
When you catch yourself in a negative dialogue, the key is to shift your thoughts into the positive of that situation. Is it the situation or your thoughts about the situation that feel the most negative? What scenario could make this a more positive situation?
By doing that, you’ll begin to change your internal state, moving you towards positivity and confidence in any situation.
3. Know Who You Are
Knowing your values creates confidence. Knowing what you stand for shows how confident you are. What do you value? What do you stand for? If you can’t express your values clearly, then you need to do a values exercise.
To understand what’s important to you, list out the 5 things that are most important to you in life, and what you believe you stand for.
Here are some examples:
- Making a difference
- Having fun
Now, list them in order of importance. Simply taking the time to ask yourself what matters and what you want to stand for gives you clear confidence on where you spend your time, money, and energy, and helps you avoid the false feeling of missing out on things that don’t apply to your values.
If you are living your life without clear values, you’ll be in a constant battle of questioning what matters, and that will drain your confidence or force you to look to other people to give you confidence.
Knowing what you stand for and knowing who you instantly build inner confidence. It allows you to interact with the world and exude confidence.
Know thyself—knowing who you are creates the confidence you need to shine.
4. Be Present
Being present in every moment allows you to connect with your gifts and talents. It allows you to make mindful choices with your thoughts and actions that give you confidence in what you are doing.
When you’re 100% present, you can have 100% confidence. Being present allows you to let go of the past, and create a future full of what you want. If you’re stuck in the past, you can’t be fully confident, especially if you are looking at a bunch of negative situations from the past.
Confidence requires a fully present mindset, forgetting the past, targeting the future you want, and moving forward powerfully in the present moment to get what you want. One of the quickest ways to get into the present moment is cultivating a mindset called “Timefulness”.
In my book, The Time Cleanse, I discuss how to use Timefulness to discover not only how you are using your time and relating to time in the present moment but also how to instantly improve your relationship with it.
First, take a look at your current thoughts and ask yourself: “am I currently in an antagonistic relationship with time, feeling like it’s being taken from me, or do I feel like time is on my side, a partner and ally, and that I am using my current time to move towards exactly what I want in exactly the way I want?”
If you find yourself thinking thoughts like “I don’t have enough time,” “where did the time go?” or “if time allows,” then you need to change your current relationship with time from negative to positive.
To drop into the mindset of timefulness, first, recognize that time comes from you. You are the source of your time. You get to determine what you do with it.
Secondly, recognize that time is your most valuable possession. It is more valuable than gold or diamonds. You need your time to do literally everything you want to do in life.
Third, recognize that time is your best friend. Time is your ally, on your side, ready to work for you and help you accomplish anything and everything that you desire. All your dreams will be accomplished with the help of time.
Lastly, feel gratitude for the time you have in this present moment, and see the positive outcome that you are going to use this time for. Now, approach the current moment with full confidence that time is on your side!
5. Find Self-Compassion
The last major thing we need to exude confidence effortlessly is self-compassion. This might sound counterintuitive—shouldn’t a confident person not need compassion? But actually, it’s the exact opposite.
A confident person can take risks and have courage in the face of adversity. Self-compassion means being there for yourself in a supportive way in the face of failure, adversity, and challenges.
Research shows that self-compassion increases grit, the ability to recover from a setback, and our willingness to take positive risks. That is what builds self-confidence and helps you exude confidence!
Self-compassion is the secret weapon that allows people to make mistakes and take hits in life, recover fully from them, get back up, and keep going forward with full confidence.
To provide some self-compassion for yourself, simply do the following 3 Steps:
- Take a deep breath and become aware of any negative feelings or thoughts you are having.
- Acknowledge that it’s not just you. “I am not alone. Many others are going through this same experience now.”
- Repeat kind words and phrases to yourself, such as “may I be supported,” “may I be loved,” “may I be protected,” and “may I be at ease and productive.”
Continue the process with patience, allowing for the opportunity for your perceptions to shift off the current situation. This will ground you and help stabilize your emotions.
Best of all, when you have a setback, you’ll be ready to get back up sooner than later and get back in the game. There’s nothing more confident than that.
Self-compassion isn’t letting yourself off the hook or not holding yourself accountable for your results, actions, and performance. This is not giving yourself a trophy for coming in the last place. It’s about being there for yourself as a good friend or coach would be there in the face of challenges. It’s taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally when the chips are down. It’s bringing your best self to yourself when you need it most and along with it increased confidence!
Some people are naturally more confident than others. But that doesn’t mean that some people cannot exude confidence. It’s something that you can learn in your life.
Take these 5 easy steps whenever you need a boost of confidence, and you’ll be able to exude more confidence than ever!
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Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com