“Confidence is the precursor to greatness.”
– Me (I’m amazing)
In order to accomplish anything worth anything, you must believe you can. Now, I could go on and on regarding how important confidence is. I could probably find a couple lackluster quotes and throw them in to up my word count, but we all know the importance of state of mind and confidence already, so I won’t bore you with that. Instead, I will share some ways I help build and display confidence that improve productivity and satisfaction in my life.
First of all, how you hold yourself is imperative. Stand up straight, be deliberate in your actions, show a face of calculation and thoughtfulness. Be aware of your hands/arms. Don’t let them fidget or awkwardly hang; instead, find something comfortable to do with them. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before, but good advice bears repeating, so be sure to always give a firm handshake and make eye contact when directly addressing someone. You may consider these things trivial, and to be honest, they can be. But little things go a long way, and they will indirectly affect bigger things, whether you realize it or not.
When you walk, walk with purpose. When you talk, talk with conviction. Say what you mean and mean what you say. I know people who never stop talking, and yet they never really say anything. You have to know what you want and how to get to it.
Now, I’m hardly one to talk. I can ramble for hours. I can write elaborate, convoluted paragraphs that dance around a point that I’m too unsure of to boldly make. And yet, as bad at following my own advice as I am, as hypocritical as I can be at times, people tend to listen when I take a position of confidence. This shows that confidence doesn’t have to be an integral part of your personality for it to work. You can use it whenever you want to. It’s just that certain tasks require different standpoints, and confidence is a quality that helps more than not.
Another great way to bolster your confidence is to listen to music. Everyone has different music tastes, and god knows my music tastes are as convoluted as my personality. But a few random songs I know that can easily make you feel confident are “Everybody Loves Me” by OneRepublic, “Confident” by Demi Lovato, and “Glorious” by Macklemore. I can personally attest to these—if I can feel confident wearing a Burger King crown and a “sketchy” (depending on who you ask) jacket, drinking a cup of coffee with roughly 20 creams out of a thin straw while walking through an area I’ve never been before, then you definitely can.
Additionally, appearance does matter. To be confident, you have to be comfortable and in control. A good outfit can give the impression of confidence. You don’t have to wear popular or necessarily stylish clothes; you just have to wear something that you are perfectly comfortable in, and obviously you don’t want to look like a mess. If you want to wear that old T-shirt, go for it. You want to wear dress clothes, then you do you. Just make sure you own it. A few tips on outfits that I’ve learned:
- Wearing a watch can dramatically increase how good you look. It is simple, handy, and useful.
- A hat can be very helpful. Make sure to go for dark, basic colors. An intricate design takes away from where their attention should be focused (you). A baseball cap’s asymmetry makes your face look more symmetrical by comparison and therefore makes your face more attractive. (Generally speaking, of course.) Wearing a cap backwards can also make your face more attractive, because the strap across your forehead makes your face more defined and structured.
- If you are wearing a suit coat, when you stand up, you should button the top button.
- Experiment. Accessorize. Figure out what works for you. Accentuate your best features. That sort of thing.
These are great, small ways to boost your confidence and allow yourself to jump on a task and get it done. When it comes to procrastination, most people procrastinate because they are perfectionists. They worry too much about the final result and end up not focusing on the actual task at hand. If you are confident in yourself and your ability then you will be able to follow through with a task because you know you will do a good job. Now, everything I have said above are great ways to feel more confident and inspire confidence, but they are not, in and of themselves, actual confidence. There is a big difference between acting confident and being confident. But that’s just the thing, acting confident can greatly help you become confident. In the words of Tony Stark: “Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.”
I read somewhere that “Real confidence comes from fake confidence.” [Ed. Note – some of us have heard this as “fake it ’til you make it.”] That can be interpreted many different ways and could possibly be a controversial statement, but there is a certain truth to it. If you act like you believe you are confident, you eventually will see all the reasons you can be confident.
On the topic of being truly confident, I should probably provide a definition of confidence. Google defines it as follows: “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”
Given that definition, everybody can be confident. You don’t have to be arrogant or narcissistic (though I still am, just to be sure). You simply have to appreciate yourself for what you are. Confidence isn’t “they will definitely like me,” it’s “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”
I’ve given my pointers on how to act confident, but in terms of how to be confident I can’t give any easy answers. All I can say is:
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on yourself.
- Stay relaxed and collected. Believe that you can deal with anything and don’t stress over small stuff.
- Do what you want to do. Pretty cliché advice, but still true. Life isn’t long enough to mess around doing what you don’t love.
Well, that’s all I got for now. I may make a second installment or a similarly-themed article (mostly because I didn’t have that many jokes in this one, not because I actually have more helpful tips). For now, keep #ballin and don’t do anything I would do. Like, for instance, submit this article without rereading it and call it confidence.