4 Ways to Build Powerful Confidence

by Geekgirl, October 21, 2016

Confidence is the visual cue that you own your knowledge and expertise. Whether you’re in the corporate workplace or on your own as an entrepreneur, selling your ideas starts with having confidence in them. Your audience wants to be able to trust you and know that you’re going to get the job done.

Beating your nerves requires conscious actions. You may not be naturally confident, but with practice you’ll get there. Check out these 4 tips on building powerful confidence and put them into practice. Being confident can change everything from having your voice heard and making networking connections to being a role model for your peers.

1. It Doesn’t Matter What You Know

In the face of daunting challenges, confidence can waver when you have no idea what you’re doing. Instead of having a panic attack, remember that it doesn’t always matter what you know and sometimes it’s even better when you don’t have all the answers.

Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers, took to Fortune to describe her experience about being asked to present on a topic she knew nothing about. Liz’s first plan of action was to do everything she could to learn about the topic from contacting experts to researching reports. With all this preparation, Liz began to feel confident about her presentation. More unexpected challenges came, but Liz stayed calm by bringing out her inner-confidence and remembering that we often do our best when we know the least.

Finding confidence within starts with the things we tell ourselves. Are our own thoughts bringing us down or lifting us up? We have to be our own cheerleaders before we can expect anyone to cheer us on. When the unknown is all that’s ahead, the rewards of heavy research are clear. Preparation is unequivocally a major tool in building unbeatable confidence.

2. Become Growth-Minded

One of the similarities between every female founder By Geekgirl has interviewed is that they all view failure as a necessary pit stop along the road to success. Most founders don’t even accept that failure exists. They see failure as a means of moving forward.

Recognizing that the worst thing that can happen, isn’t really a failure at all, can give you the confidence you need to push forward. Successful people take chances. By definition, the successful outliers in our society did things that no one else had the guts to do. Take Richard Branson for example. He had no experience in mobile business or airlines, but by taking enormous calculated risks, he’s done the impossible. This is the same thing with pretty much every successful entrepreneur out there.

Dr. Carol Dweck is responsible for life-changing research on the growth mindset. While studying response to failure, Dr. Dweck and her team noticed the difference between people who were devastated by the smallest failure and the people who bounced back. She coined the term growth mindset to describe the underlying belief of that effort leads to improvement. People with a growth mindset put in more time and effort which leads to much better results. This research proves that just by changing our mindset and believing that we have the power to become better and smarter with extra effort can lead to greater confidence and success.

3. Find Your Sense of Humor

Even the worst of outcomes at work can be humorous. So you slipped on stage in front of hundreds of people or you lost a big client, you’re not going to get ahead by wallowing about your mistakes. Having a sense of humor about failures can help you come out positively and unafraid of your next mistake.

Working your funny bone is a substitution for self-judgement. Tearing yourself apart for every little thing you do wrong destroys your confidence and makes it hard to get back on track. Being able to find humor in things that don’t go as planned is a powerful skill. Part of this involves taking your ego out of the picture. Practice detaching your ego and self-monitoring habits and live in the moment without fear of looking bad.

Laughing at yourself is a step along the way to living without fear of failure and if you can live without fear, you can do anything. To help get your sense of humor going, seek out friends who effortlessly laugh at themselves and keep moving.

4. Own Your Body

While our bodies are something we often lack confidence about, they are also the key to being confident. You’ve likely heard about body language before, but it’s time to take a second look. Military practices are one place to look for actions that promote authority. Everything from the salute to the starched uniforms are sharp and precise. By echoing these types of behaviours, we can become confident ourselves.

Research has shown that by smiling, we become happy. So doesn’t it make sense that by appearing confident, we become so? Standing taller, instead of slouching, speaking clearly, instead of making suggestions that sound like questions, are just a few examples of what we can do to appear and become more confident. We hear ourselves and the inflections at the end of our sentences. Practice looking and sounding confident and you’ll see your ideas flourish.

How do you look confident? Think about people you see as confident and mimic what they do. Authority figures and successful entrepreneurs all have a pattern of actions that make you see them as confident. Study their habits and take them as your own.

Your Voice

What makes you confident? Have you ever had a big public slip up? Share your tips with us in the comments below.