How to build confidence and self esteem: that’s the topic I’ve been writing about a lot, and teaching to my confidence coaching clients. Today’s post is about the core confidence which comes from bullet proof self belief. I will illustrate the entire how to build confidence story with a Johny English character: totally opposite of everything that dashing, handsome, charming, ultra confident, brave and fearless James Bond character represents.
HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE TIP #1: TRYING TO IMPRESS WILL LEAVE YOU POWER-LESS
How to build confidence from deep within? True confidence comes from within and it can be felt when you enter into the room. Your presence will speak louder than words. The way you dress, walk, and talk will make an instant impression on others, but your vibes a.k.a. the way you feel deep within will be reflected subconsciously onto everyone who meets you.
Your attitude will speak for you even if you don’t speak at all. If deep down within you are not confident, well prepared, sure about yourself and your skills, if you are doubting yourself or you are pretending to be someone or something that you are not… no matter how hard you’re trying to impress and what performance you put on, it won’t serve you greatly. You can only end up embarrassing yourself, or being seen as an insecure person trying to look “bigger” in other people’s eyes. Instead of trying to impress, work on becoming the best version yourself and master what is your core competence. You have to be the hero in your own eyes, and then only other people will see you as one!
HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE TIP #2: TREAT OTHER PEOPLE WITH RESPECT
Being rude to others is a sign of weakness, as well as talking about others in disrespectful manner. People who deep within know how worthy they are have no need to put other people down to prove themselves. They do not need to spread around roomors and talk behind other people’s back. They do not need to criticise and humiliate others to project themselves “as better than”.
Confident person will not hesitate to praise others for the good work, but at the same time will also be bold to give a constructive critics if required, in a respectful manner, with an intention to help the person to become better and improve, not to hurt that person’s feelings! Confident people will not be intimated by the competition, but instead, will make their competitors a grounding force, which will continuously inspire them to improve and set higher standards for themselves!
HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE TIP #3: DON’T PRETEND TO KNOW IT ALL
We are not and we should not be the masters of all trades, It is unrealistic to set that kind of standards to ourselves. There are things that we are good at, and there are things that we are not or never will be, and that’s OK. The good thing is that we can always ask someone who does know what we don’t, to help us, but this we can do only if we build the core confidence within.
It takes confidence to admit that we don’t know something (especially if it is expected from us that we do). It takes even bigger confidence to take an advice or ask for help!
We all love giving the advice: because it makes us feel and look smarter, better, more experienced, strong, and wise. But, when it comes to receiving the advice…that comes much harder, because then we need to admit that we don’t know it all, and that we need help or guidance from someone who knows more or better than us. Than our ego and deep insecurities come up to the surface!
Deep insecurities can also come to the surface when we are surrounded by people who are better at something that we are not, or when we are in a new environment we know very little about; be it an activity we never practiced, speaking foreign language, eating first time in an exotic restaurant, finding ourselves in the middle of a conversation where we know almost nothing of what topic is about …
In those times, true confidence reflects when we share that we are not very practiced or experienced, ask for a tip or a little help, and have a laugh at ourselves, but at the same time, we dare to give it a try! The deepest indicator of low self confidence is definitely pretending that we know what we don’t!
We see Johnny English throughout the movie (part 2) acting like the agent who knows it all, and because of deep insecurities and BIG ego (as he wants to project the image of experienced, elder and “great” agent), he ignores the advice and opinion of his fellow younger (and smarter) agent Tucker, which results in putting them both in life danger, and compromising their mission over and over again.
Is there anything more repelling and unattractive than people who are arogant and act like they know everything, while at the same time, they don’t have a clue what the hell they are doing, but they keep on being deaf and blind to any advice or suggestions?
HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE TIP #4: IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Being our authentic selves is the greatest gift we can offerr to the world, and the most genuine way to build the confidence, but let’s face it: at the times when we are feeling a lot of pressure (like on a date, when we meet the person we are very much attracted to, on important job interview, or while having a “big” client call…), we can freeze! We may end up not only not sharing our authentic self, but not sharing anything at all, and start sweating, shivering, stammering, and end up saying “something stupid”.
To avoid moments like that it is really important to work on our communications skills. I go into details with this with my confidence coaching clients, and we even work out a sort of a “script” so that they are prepared for a date, important interview, presentation, client pitch… It is crucial to have the right thing to say at the moment when we need it the most!
I always say to my coaching clients that no matter how smart, talented, nice, wise and hardworking you are… other people (whether it is your date, potential client or your dream employer) cannot read it on your forehead! They will not have a clue about who you really are and how good you are, unless if you are able to communicate it in a right way!
You need to learn the art of presenting yourself in a way that other people can take you seriously, perceive you as an expert, think of you as someone smart and talented, confident and worthy of respect!
The words we speak have the power to make us or brake us. So, saying the right words and acting in the right way at the right time is crucial for growing in our career, and building fulfilling relationships. Otherwise, we may end up poor Johny and waste the precious moment of a good opportunity ;))
HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE TIP #5 : DON’T BE AFRAID TO SHINE!
I love the definition of humility by American pastor Rick Warren: “Humility is not hiding our strengths. Humility is being honest about our weaknesses! “
Wow! Not hiding our strengths, but being honest about our weakness. Same like we should be honest about our weaknesses, admit that we don’t know something, or that we aren’t good at something… in order to build the confidence, we should also let go of fear to shine! There is nothing wrong in showing and displaying our skills, out talents and our core strengths!
When we do things we are really good at, we will naturally feel confident and be in the state of flow, which will have a mesmerising effect on people around us.
Instead of trying to impress, we can “actually impress” people in our presence, effortlessly, if we act true to ourselves and just show how good, funny, talented and smart we actually are. Psychological research has shown that other people find us much more attractive when we are in the state of flow, performing an activity we are really good at and we enjoy doing it so much that we are totally present in the moment!
Now, I believe that ladies will totally agree that Johny has the most attractive and confident presence, while cooking dinner! There is no pretending of any kind: he is 100 % himself, he is good at it, and HE KNOWS that he’s good at it, so his confidence is felt up to the roof! He is not only good at it, but he is enjoying it fully and having fun! He is in the state of flow and totally present in the moment, and that as we’ve learned is the secret of other people finding us much more attractive and confident!
HOW TO BUILD CONFIDENCE TIP #6: LEARN TO BEAR THE PAIN (IT WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER)
There is an old saying that anything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. If we are avoiding situations that will be painful emotionally (risk of being rejected, risk of getting hurt, risk of embarrassing ourselves while learning something new, risk of failure, pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone and doing once in a while something that scares us) we will always stay fearful. And how the hell can we feel confident if we are fearful all the time?
Behavioural therapy in (which helps in overcoming phobias) consists of exposing the phobic person to it’s biggest fear gradually, over time, until that same person becomes comfortable with the object of fear. So, the only way to become more confident and brave, and overcome our fears (a.k.a. shyness, insecurities, social anxiety…) is to actually go out there and start doing the thing that scares us the most. The true courage is not the absence of fear: it’s feeling the fear, but doing it anyway!
Same way, if we keep on avoiding situations that “hurt us” physically (regular exercise, strength training, fasting or restricting our diet…) we will always stay weak! Martial arts, yoga, advanced hip hop or break dance, body building, strength training of any kind… can help us big way, not only to improve health and our vitality, but also to skyrocket our confidence! If we feel strong physically, we will feel strong mentally and emotionally as well! Not to mention that there’s another side effect of building a strong body that can make us feel more attractive or confident (good looks!).
CONFIDENCE TIP #7: BE YOUR OWN HERO!
Every little thing you master or learn, every little success you achieve, every little thing you do that will make you feel proud of yourself, will boost your confidence naturally! I’m not saying that we should primarily draw the confidence out of our achievements and things and skills we master, but it’s the process that happens naturally.
If we have high opinion about ourselves, we will radiate the confidence from deep within. Accepting and loving ourselves, pursuing our dreams, and achieving great things in life, will make us more confident as a side effect!
Just like professional success, personal victories like eating healthy, transforming our diet, being physically active on a regular basis, quitting bad habits that are harming us, volunteering for a good cause… will make us feel proud of ourselves and respect ourselves more! And we know that only if we respect ourselves, others will respect us as well. And respect is very closely tied up with confidence! Now, is there is a scene where Johny feels and acts more confident than this one, after saving the England and becoming a national hero (and Lorna’s hero, too! ;)?