How to Build Your Confidence

Do you feel like everyone else has more confidence than you do?  Do you always feel like the underdog?  Do you find it difficult to talk about your skills in a job interview, or even to approach employers when you are looking for a job?  Here are some tips to help you build your confidence: 

Pay special attention to your appearance.  It is easier to feel confident when you know that you look good.  Take extra time to get ready in the morning, choose your clothing carefully, and it will pay off all day.   

Prepare a professional introduction.  You never know when you are going to make an important networking connection, and you may not get a second chance to tell them what you have to offer.  Prepare and practice a strong professional introduction, so that you are always ready for when that moment arrives.   

Make an effort to have a positive attitude.  It’s easy to get into the habit of constantly complaining about everything.  If you want to improve your confidence, then your attitude is a good place to start.  Make an effort to see the positive side of every situation.  It takes practice, but once you start appreciating all of the good in your life, it will become second nature.    

Confront your weaknesses.  We often let our weaknesses hang over us like a dark cloud.  We try not to think about them, and we just hope that they don’t stand in our way.  This passive approach inhibits your growth and limits your opportunities.  If you acknowledge your weaknesses and come up with an action plan to overcome them, you will have the confidence of knowing that you are improving yourself.   

Identify your strengths.  While it is important to acknowledge your weaknesses, it is essential that you also identify your strengths.  You need to have a clear idea of what you do well.  This will allow you to effectively market your skills to employers, and to find positions that match your qualifications. 

Think about others.  Take the time to put yourself in another person’s shoes and to consider the challenges that they might be facing.  See if there is anything that you can do to help lighten their load.  When you’re not so focused on yourself, you start to realize that everyone has their own set of challenges. 

Exercise.  Exercise gives you more energy, it makes you healthier, and when you exercise, you feel better about the way that you look.  Sometimes you have to force yourself to get started, but after you finish your workout, you’ll be glad that you made the effort.     

Take the time to do something that you really enjoy.  When was the last time that you did something just for the pleasure of doing it?  After dealing with all of the day’s demands, many of us just watch television, or go to sleep.  Try to break out of that routine.  Even if it is something as simple as taking a daily walk in the evening, enjoying a cup of tea on the porch in the morning, or reading a book before you go to bed, be sure that you make time for yourself.   

Don’t take things so seriously.  Many of us take our lives way too seriously.  We view inconveniences as serious problems, and setbacks as disasters.  Try to take a step back and see the bigger picture.  Remember that most of the problems that we spend our days worrying about will be a distant memory five years (or even one year) from now.  Life is short; try to enjoy it.

Building your confidence is a lifelong process; you can always strive to improve.  The great thing about confidence is that it is very difficult to detect if someone genuinely feels confident, or if they are faking it.  If you don’t feel confident yet, put on a smile and pretend that you do.  Nobody will be able to tell the difference.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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