Want to know how to project confidence? It’s easy, no imposter syndrome is needed
Confidence is the bedrock of so much in life and it’s a quality both in demand and much admired by those who seem to have little of it. In my personal experience, the ability to project confidence has helped me progress in my career fast. Now, this wasn’t always the case but over the years I’ve learned how to build confidence without having to fall back on some of the more woo-woo methods being taught by self-improvement ‘gurus’.
Way back in the past, when I was a boy I was not confident. I remember my first-ever crush – a girl who was a full five years older than me (I was only 7 at the time). We spent hours together although I think this was less to do with her liking me and more to do with my parents paying her to watch me while they had some quiet time. You see, inside my home, I was what can be best described as rebellious; outside I was quiet as a church mouse.
Times have changed.
This young (older) lady was the object of my adoration and I like to think we had fun playing together, but the stakes were much higher for me. I was smitten; in love, in a way that only a 7-year-old boy can be. And maybe just a little infatuated. So I decided to up the stakes and declare my undying love for her.
But I choked. The words lodged and no matter how hard I tried they would not come. All I could muster up was, “I really like you.” To her credit, she admitted to liking me too, although my young mind told me she was waiting for more and I simply wasn’t confident enough to reveal my emotions. If you’re wondering – this wasn’t a case of low self-esteem. It was more a fear of rejection that I was sure would follow my admission.
We stayed friends and, after a time, she moved away with her family. I never saw my first crush again and, from time to time, I do wonder what kind of life she lived.
This sad story ends here. So…
What is confidence?
It’s a feeling that you can achieve whatever it is you set out to do or a belief in yourself or someone else. For the sake of arguments, we are going to talk about self-confidence and how to have more of it.
What’s wrong with being confident?
In most cases, there is nothing wrong with being confident but you should take care not to become over-confident in situations that can harm your life, relationships, or career. We’ll deal with this topic in another post. For now, let’s agree being confident is good for you.
What are the types of confidence?
There are 4 types of confidence: social, physical, professional, and expertise. And having one doesn’t mean you’ll be confident across all four types, although any one of them will raise your self-esteem. I’ve heard many arguments that suggest there are in fact 7, but they all overlap so we’ll stick with four. Read more here where we dig deeper into the question: what are the four types of confidence?
Rather than choose a specific type, we’re going to dig into what it means to be self-confident in any situation without ‘faking it until you make it’. And the tips we’ll discuss work. I know because I’ve used them on many an occasion.
How to feel confident no matter what your circumstances
There are no tricks. No magic formulae to learn. And definitely no telling yourself lies.
You see, no matter what your desire (social acceptance, success in building relationships, having people trust and believe in you) the foundations already exist in your mind. I promised no tricks, no sleight-of-hand tactics to bring more confidence into your life. What we’re going to do is mine your experiences and find the numerous successes you’ve already had (because everyone on the planet has their fair share of wins) and use them to your advantage.
So how does this work?
It’s so simple, you’ll be amazed.
Finding examples of success in your life
Get a notepad and pen/pencil;
Relax (I recommend using binaural beats to get you into the alpha state);
Start to recall events in your life that you, or someone you know, considers a good outcome;
As each memory comes to mind simply write it down. Don’t analyse – you’ll do that later;
Keep going for as long as you can. For the best results find at least 10 good outcomes in your life.
Right now you’re thinking, “What is a good outcome?“
It’s an event or experience which has brought happiness, achievement, or a form of wealth into your life. The effects will be even more powerful when you identify a situation that has provided someone else with these same feelings.
Once you have this list, filter out the least powerful memories. Let me give you an example. Saving someone’s life is a more potent memory than that of helping someone cross the road. But if all you have is the latter, that’s fine.
In my practice, I use five memories.
The next step is to use self-hypnosis to embed these memories in your mind so that you can draw confidence from them. Here’s a good example of a script to follow. Read this script first and replace the words from the “I am” section with the positive memories you’ve written down.
Repeat the process once per day until you feel yourself brimming with confidence. This works. It really works, but I have a feeling there may be some objections such as…
I haven’t had any kind of success in my life. How can I find positives to use?
Yes, you have. Learned to drive a car? That’s a positive. Won a school race? That’s a positive. Passed a tough exam? That’s a positive. It’s easy to believe that we have achieved little in life, to convince ourselves that nothing goes our way*, but this simply isn’t true. And when you’re desperate for even a sliver of confidence those small wins, sometimes reframed, will give you a boost.
If it’s so easy to boost my confidence, why isn’t more research highlighting this?
There’s plenty of research. Check out the references at the end of this post.
Will this method help me be confident in all situations?
Yes, and it becomes even more powerful when given context. For example, giving a public speech is high on the list of people’s fears, but the reality is you are already a public speaker. Every day you engage with people and talk to them in public, maybe even in groups, which makes you a ‘public speaker’.
That’s it. Now go do the practise daily and watch your confidence grow.