I was once really nervous to speak in front of people. From the tender age of three I was completely comfortable dancing and performing on stage. But utter a few words? Gulp. Instant fear. Fortunately, my nervousness was not of the serious panic attack sort, but certainly no where near comfortable. Fast forward to now. Though I still get nervous, I actually love speaking to large groups. I feel confident being interviewed on podcasts, webinars, even on live TV.
Confidence is a belief in oneself and our powers and abilities. Fortunately it is something we can boost and develop at any stage of our lives. Confidence does not equal aggressiveness, arrogance, or a lack of regard for others.
Why is confidence so important? For one, a lack of it can feel downright uncomfortable, encouraging us to play small and play it safe. Confidence builds courage and encourages action. Research shows that success correlates more closely with confidence than it does with competence. Confidence also increases motivation because it cushions failure.
How did I go from being a nervous wreck to confidently speaking in front of hundreds? By using the following evidence-based tips at various times throughout the years, as needed. I hope you find them helpful, as well:
Be authentically and unapologetically yourself.
This is who I am. Owning it is empowering and magnetic. When we let go of what we think we are supposed to do, look like, or act like, we are free to expend our mental, physical, and emotional energy on our own unique superpowers.
Connect with your superpowers.
(Read more about this in the What Are Your Superpowers Mindful Break in Breathe, Empower, Achieve.)
Create a quick grounding habit.
When you walk into a room or begin a Zoom call, start with a designated action or motivating thought to calm your nerves and access courage. Take a deep breath or sit up tall in your chair. Remind yourself how hard you have worked, how prepared you are, or that you belong. Repeat regularly and it will become a soothing, confidence boosting ritual.
Tout your accomplishments.
No need for modesty. Take annual stock of all that you have accomplished in your career and in the past year. We tend to forget, gloss over, or take for granted all that we know and have achieved. Read it when you need a refresher.
Remind yourself I can do hard things.
Adopt and channel your strongest persona, the most confident part of yourself.
(Read more about this in the Ego States Mindful Break in Breathe, Empower, Achieve.)
Counter to common advice, DON’T fake it till you make it.
Instead stay true to your own values and needs. Be yourself and take action.
Visualize holding your head high, walking into the room, and owning it.
Do your homework. Practice. The confidence you get from mastery is contagious.
Progress, not perfection.
Do not fear mistakes.
Fail fast and learn valuable lessons.
When in doubt, act.
One small courageous step at a time.
Lift other women up.
Encourage other women to take action and to talk more about their successes.
I hope this helps! Now, go get ‘em!