Confidence—the dictionary defines it as trust or faith, being sure. I believe it means feeling good about yourself, especially in regard to accomplishing something. That something can be a new job, a new assignment, a performance review, networking, or a meeting with co-workers. Here are a few actions that will result in real payoffs in our confidence quotients.
Move: No, not to a new job or neighbourhood. Move your body. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store you’re about to visit. Walk. Run. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Lift weights. Work up a sweat. You’ll feel better.
The bottom line is, when we feel better, we become more confident. Exercise clears the brain and the lungs, making room for newer, better, and possibly bolder thoughts. It gives us more energy. And—let’s face it—energy is attractive. Energetic people magnetize others.
Take a look at what you are wearing: There is no such thing as neutral clothing. Everything you put on represents a decision you have made and is a reflection of your good taste, your good sense, and your style. Remember, we judge others more on the basis of what we see than anything else.
Breathe: Find sanctuary inside yourself. There is honour in standing still. We are so time-crunched, information-bludgeoned, downsized, and multitasked that it’s spiritually suffocating. Who we really are comes from the inside out. Without a way to “go inside” and focus, we add to our environment’s chaos rather than its harmony.
Learn “belly breathing”: Lie down on the floor, be quiet and place your hands on your tummy. Breathe from your belly, letting your belly rise and fall like bellows. Babies breathe this way and we know how self-confident they are.
Be disciplined: Keep your agreements. Be on time. Be mindful and in the present. That is a gift to yourself as well as others. Whatever we think and feel now creates what happens in the future. When we stick to the “now” and don’t chase rabbits, we are involved and aware of opportunities. Others we deal with will sense that we’re fully with them. That has tremendous impact on the quality of our personal and professional relationships.
Give and receive:Give whatever you hope to receive in turn. If you want more cooperation and respect, give respect and cooperate. If you want to succeed, help others succeed. When we circulate our positive energy, we create more and more to enjoy.
Mary M. Mitchell has written several books on the subject of etiquette, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Etiquette and Class Acts. She is also the founder of the executive training consultancy, The Mitchell Organization.
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