Let’s paint a picture. You just heard from your totally awesome recruiter at MHA and they have a cool job that sounds perfect for you. You’re totally excited about it. You have your prep call with the aforementioned totally awesome recruiter and they tell you things about the position, how to dress, and, above all else, exude confidence. But, what does that mean exactly? What do confident people do? 5 Ways to Project Confidence is a great article published by Forbes gives some great tips on how to just that.
Start by playing to your strengths. This is simple because you are already good at whatever strength you are exhibiting. Doing something you are good at is an easy confidence builder, but the key is to identify what you are good at. The article explains that you can be good in your job, but that does not necessary translate to confidence. However, once you are aware that you are competent, at even the little stuff, your confidence begins to build. Try to find things everyday, no matter how small, that you are good at and hit out of the park. You will be beaming with confidence in no time!
Next, with the way you look. Dress for success. When you look and feel successful, that will translate to just about everything else from your firm handshake to your unwavering (but not creepy) eye contact. Also, watch your posture. Standing up straight can make you feel more powerful and dominant. When you feel you are in control, your confidence automatically rises. It’s been proven by science. The article discusses that posing in “high-power” stances helps to reduce cortisol (the stress producing hormone). This makes sense. How confident do you feel when you are completely stressing about something? Not very. So, if we can reduce the stress, we can increase the confidence.
Choose to be positive. This can be challenging for some people who are naturally more negative. Do not dwell on the things that can go wrong or something that did not go quite right. Hashing negative events over and over is a waste of time and energy. Instead, focus on the positive and things that are going right. Now, that is not to negate the fact that learning from mistakes is useful, but learn from them and move on. Also, focusing on the positive will shine light on other opportunities that you did not see before.
Loosen up and go with the flow. I have to admit that this is my biggest downfall. I am such a worrywart and like things to stick to my plan. Now, this does not mean to not worry at all about anything, but to let go of the things you cannot control. This also goes back to controlling your stress. Learn to be flexible, if you are not already. Work, and life in general for that matter, do not always go as planned. Adapt. The quicker you are to adapt and think on your feet, the more confident you will be.
Lastly, embrace failure. Have you ever heard the saying “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”? You do not fail if you do not try. And not succeeding at something does not make you a failure. Even just the fear of not succeeding can be a huge road block. This goes back to being an optimist. Failing does not need to be a bad thing or a negative experience; it can be looked at as a learning and growth experience.
Exuding confidence is definitely easier said than done – especially on a professional level. However, if we can inhale confidence and exhale doubt, getting that new job or getting a promotion would be easy as pie. Nothing can stop you when you are feeling your best.