How To Build (or Fake) Confidence | Life Love and Hiccups: How To Build (or Fake) Confidence

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

How To Build (or Fake) Confidence

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I love confident people but if I'm being totally honest with you, I'm kind of in awe of them, envious even, because they are everything I would love to be, but I'm not.

It's one of those tricky things - confidence. You can fake it on the outside for a while, possibly even convincing others along the way. 

But for those of us who are pros at faking it, you will know all too well those butterflies that go to town on your stomach, and the racing heart and sweaty palms you get before you meet new people or do anything outside of your comfort zone.

I have two very different sides to my personality.

One is awesome at faking confidence. That side of me has learnt how to take a big breath and walk into a room full of strangers and act like it is the most natural thing to do even though I am dying a thousand deaths inside. Sure she talks too loud,says the wrong things at the wrong times and often (and I mean often) makes a complete arse of herself, but hey, she is doing better than the 'other me'.

The 'other me' is super busy hyperventilating into a brown paper bag in the bathroom just down the corridor from the room full of strangers. The 'other me' has Buckley's chance of having any fun, because half the time she cancels on people and the other half she simply refuses to come out of the bathroom.

My lack of confidence is not just limited to meeting strangers. It can strike me when I am sitting behind my computer screen too. As I type away on my keyboard, post a photo on instagram, or simply comment on something, there is often a little voice inside that is bashing me with comments like "What did you write that for? That's so dumb! And as if anyone really cares what you have to say anyway!".

That kind of lack of confidence is the most threatening in my humble opinion as it is my own ego turning on me.

It's hard enough in a world where complete strangers can be unkind, but to beat myself up too?

Wow! Way to go!

I'm not alone in my lack of confidence, I know this for a fact.

It is one of those things that when you open up and start talking about it, so many people relate and are all "OhmyGawd me too!". Even my kids are lacking in confidence, although one of them also seems to have mastered the art of faking it like his mother.

I figured it might be helpful if I share some of the confidence boosting tips I have learnt in my years of faking it... you know, just in case anyone reading this also happens to have an ego that likes to rough them up a bit too.

DEEP BREATHING
When you are nervous, your breath becomes shallow and you breathe faster. You lose carbon monoxide and start to feel light headed and giddy and even panicky. Slow it down and focus on your breathing. It will relax your muscles and provide a sense of calm. Its much easier to face a difficult situation when you are calm rather than a nervous jittery wreck.

DRESS FOR CONFIDENCE
Wear something you are comfortable in, something that makes you feel good about yourself. It is a proven fact that wearing an outfit that you feel good in naturally improves and boosts your confidence. You have enough going on inside your head with out feeling self conscious in an outfit too.

TELL THAT VOICE TO SHUT UP
No seriously, tell that voice in your head to take a freaking hike. That voice isn't real - it is your ego and when your ego feels threatened it goes on the defence and attacks it's host - you! The power of the mind is an incredible thing - it can make you or break you and the sooner you realise that you are NOT actually your ego, the better. Eckhart Tolle explains it best in his book "The Power of Now" - he tells us to look at that voice in your head as you would look at a child being naughty. Don't judge it or belittle it, but don't reward it with your attention either. Eventually just as naughty kids do when you ignore their bad behaviour - it will stop what it is doing and start to behave.

FACE YOUR FEARS
There is nothing more exhilarating than facing a fear and winning. You know that rush you get when you do something you are afraid of? That is adrenalin, and adrenalin is a brilliant confidence booster. The more fears you face, the more confidence you will naturally build. Even taking baby steps is a win and can change your mindset. Eventually you will start believing that "If I can do that then I can do ANYTHING!"

SMILE
Smiling in a stressful situation actually helps to lower your heart rate and stimulate more positive emotions. It also makes you more endearing to those around you so that others will be naturally drawn to you. Nothing makes you more confident than having someone by your side, so start smiling for yourself and any other nervous individual looking for a friendly face to stand with

DON'T DISMISS A COMPLIMENT
Your ego loves to diss a compliment because then IT is control of you. IT will tell you if and when you have done something worthy because IT has the power over you. Well bugger of ego! 
Gracefully accept that compliment and then use it as a weapon to beat that rotten ego over the head. 

You know how good it feels to give a compliment, so don't you deserve to feel good by receiving one too? 

Um the correct answer would be yes!

ASSUME THE BEST
Instead of starting of any situation with a negative though, flip it around expect the positive. Instead of assuming that people won't like you or will think that what you have to say is stupid, simply start by assuming that they will and go from there. It's a much better place to start from than the alternative.

REWARD YOURSELF
When you have a victory, no matter how small, reward yourself in some way. Do something nice for yourself. Building confidence is hard work and you have done good - you've earned it.

Trust me when I tell you - I am no expert as building confidence, but I am flipping awesome at faking it when I have to. These tips are simply things that help me when my confidence is in the gutter and as Problogger draws closer I will be using them like there is no tomorrow.

I have committed to going, and I WILL go. I just WILL. Although I may need a little coaxing out of the bathroom.

Are you one of those confident people I envy so much or do you have to work at it too?
Any confidence boosters you can share with those of us who need a little in this department?
Going to Problogger? Fancy sharing a paper bag and bathroom cubicle with me?