WE Aussies are known for saying it as it is and getting the job done. Confidence is important because it opens us up to opportunities. It takes confidence to move half way around the world and start over.
But even Aussies have their bad days; days when self-doubt creeps in. It might be because we need a job and are worried and anxious about whether we have taken too much time off between contracts. We may need extra reassurance that we are doing the right thing. A lack of confidence can be stifling and can quickly start a cycle of negative thinking, dulling our sense of adventure.
Confidence is about how we feel about our abilities. It is linked with how we perceive ourselves and how we think others see us. Despite popular belief, confidence is not something we are born with. It is not genetic, like our eye colour or our height. Confidence is something that is learned and habitual.
Sometimes, even the most confident looking people can have doubts about their abilities. The difference is that confident people have developed ways to overcome their doubt and focus on getting the job done. Knowing how to maintain your confidence levels in times of strife can mean the difference between a momentary blip to an all-out panic.
Here are four easy ways to keep your confidence high:
Practice makes perfect
The more we practice, the better we get. School was right: practice does make perfect. When we repeat something many times the connections in our brain strengthen and we get better at that task. Watch a baby trying to walk. The more they do it, the better they become and the more confidence they gain in their ability to walk. To become an expert at something, the theory is that we need 10,000 hours of practice.
Mistakes are a part of life
One of the great things about growing up in Australia is the ‘have a go’ attitude. If we got it wrong, we got up and tried it differently. Mistakes are for learning. The more mistakes we make, the more we learn and the better we perform. Better performance breeds confidence in our abilities.
Adjust your posture
Your body is one of the most important instruments you have. By adjusting your posture you send a message to your brain and you begin to feel confident. Try it. Stoop, fumble or fidget and tense up your shoulders. How do you feel? Now, stand or sit straight. Feel the strength in your core and look straight ahead. Notice the difference?
Ask yourself, “How would I behave if I was confident?”
A simple but effective technique. By asking yourself these questions, your brain starts to visualise exactly what you would do if you were confident. You open yourself up to new ways of thinking and behaving; this breeds confidence.
Sepi Roshan is Director of Astute Coaching & Development, helping Professionals become fearless presenters and leaders. Visit www.sepiroshan.com