You know the feeling. Even if you swear up, down, left, right and center that you’ve never felt this way...just between you, me, and the fence post, you know you have. You walk into some event and you don’t know what to do with your hands. They feel too big for your body and everyone there is smarter, nicer and better at conversing than you. Everyone at some point has felt insecure and under qualified.
I have really good news though. You can change and you can become the most sparkling, confident and quietly awesome person that you allow yourself to be!
You know how I know this? Because I used to be the most insecure, unconfident, self-hating person I know. And I changed. If I can change, you can as well. You do have to want to change. You have to decide that you don’t want to be insecure any more and that it is only holding you back from greatness in your life. Some people talk all the time about how insecure they are but aren’t actually willing to make the change necessary to bring about results in their life. It’s easier to stick with what you know. That can be said of almost everything in life. Results demand that you step out of your comfort zone, try something new and not revert back to old habits when the going gets tough. It’s a lot easier to talk about the change you want to see than it is to actually live it.
Fake It Till You Make It
Here’s the thing that’s not very popular to say: it’s easier to tell yourself that you’re a failure than it is to try something and possibly mess it up. It takes courage to try and change parts of your character. It takes courage to try something new. Right now I want you to go ahead and tell yourself that you are brave for even thinking about doing the hard thing and that you can do this! You can!
First of all, fake it till you make it! So you’re not confident. Guess what? That’s OK. You just have to pretend that you are at first. Search out someone you know that is confident (confident, NOT cocky or blustery or a bully, there is a difference and those of us with insecurity issues can get confused), and copy the hell out of them.
Our insecurities frequently display themselves in our body language: a huge “tell” to the outside world. These are the easiest, “quick-fix” ways to can help you become more confident.
Walk With Purpose People who are confident have a destination in mind and they walk as if they are determined to get there! Keep your chin up, look where you’re going and walk with a purpose!
Don’t Slouch Stand up straight with your shoulders back and your chin up. Keep your hands out of your pockets and NEVER cross your arms. That is a huge sign that you’re feeling threatened or insecure. Fold your hands in your lap when you’re sitting or rest them on the arms of your chair. This is way more elegant and approachable looking to others.
Maintain Eye Contact When you’re talking to someone, look them in the eye, don’t stare off into the distance as if you were wishing that a big Mac were about to appear. Maintain eye contact with people and show that you are interested in what they are saying by paying attention to them.
Have A Good Handshake When you’re introduced to someone new, shake their hand well. Don’t present your hand like a cold, clammy fish. Your handshake says a lot about who you are. However, don’t squeeze their hand to death in a “I’m tougher, stronger and meaner than you,” sort of way either. Being overly aggressive appears just as insecure as not shaking someone’s hand, it just stems from a different place.
Dress Well Take pride in your appearance. This is a way of telling yourself and the world without having to use any words, that you matter. When you go out in public try to look as put together as possible. Maintain your hygiene, make sure your hair is washed, combed and done. This may sound silly, but scuffed or dirty shoes can make the best outfit look sloppy.
Stay Off Your Phone We frequently use our cell phones as a crutch. I read a quote the other day that said that the President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world and he doesn’t carry a phone. That really resonated with me! If you’re in a situation where you feel uncomfortable, don’t instantly retreat to your phone for security. Face what’s bothering you head on.
Educate Yourself Many times insecurity comes from ignorance, or fear of appearing ignorant. Read and educate yourself! You are in control of your education and how you appear to others.
Get Really Good At One Thing Ina Garten, also known as The Barefoot Contessa, is a fantastic example of how helpful it is to be really good at something. Before she was an internationally known chef with a television show, she was a White House nuclear policy analyst without much cooking experience. When she and her husband, Jeffery, were first married, they were supposed to have Jeffery’s boss over for dinner. The week before the boss’s arrival, Ina made the dinner she was going to serve three times as practice. Basically, she was building her confidence up and by the time the boss arrived for dinner, boy howdy you can bet she felt good about that dinner! Focus on something, be that skateboarding, horseback riding, cooking etc...and get really good at it!
The wonderful thing about confidence is that it builds upon itself. When you try something that challenges you and you see success, this bolsters your already existing confidence! Next time an opportunity presents itself, you will be even more willing to challenge yourself because of the success you saw previously. The cycle repeats itself and your bank account of confidence will grow. That's pretty awesome, if you ask me.
Check back in tomorrow for Part Two of Going from Insecure to Confident!!
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xo xo Elizabeth