Confidence gets you the big date, closes the sale and wins the job but young professionals, circa 2014, have heard a lot of mind trash that undermines their career confidence. Just recently I listened to a very sharp and entertaining speaker on the topic of millennials in the workforce who had a long list of excuses for these professionals not to appear or act top notch.
Confidence can be cyclical. Look at professional athletes who fall victim to slumps. The best golfers in the world miss two-foot putts and basketball all-stars panic at the free-throw line. But just as confidence can slip away, it can be summoned and bolstered.
Here are a few tips to help you get shots of confidence throughout your day.
1. Watch your body language. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has an amazing TED talk video on the affects of body language. Her research shows that, as much as our mind can tell our body what to do, our body language can send signals back to our mind.
Related: How to Project Confidence
By demonstrating poses of confidence and dominance, our body messages to our brain to help us feel more confident. For example, standing up straight with your hands on your hips five minutes before an important meeting will make you feel dominant. Raising your arms up in victory formation can make you feel “victorious,” even before you make the presentation.
Use your body language to send more positive signals to your brain and upping confidence throughout the day.
2. Dress for confidence. Antonio Centeno, founder of Real Men, Real Style, is passionate about how what you wear will have compounding effects on your confidence and performance.
“Dressing sharp will exponentially boost your self-confidence,'' he said. "Don’t believe me? Go put on your best clothes that you own. The immediate psychological effect is unquestionable. Look good, feel good. Feel good, do good.”
3. More gratitude. Constant negativity and complaining will bring down confidence levels.
Jon Gordon, a great author and one of my favorite public speakers, talks about the power of gratitude. Jon states that you cannot be negative and express gratitude at the same time. Instead of using the phrase, “I have to,” Jon suggests to switch the phrase to “I get to.”
“I get to go to work today, I get to work on this project today.” Gratitude displaces negativity in your life and that translates into a more confident you.
4. Organization. Full disclosure, organization is not a strong suit of mine and it wanes confidence on chaotic days. Kristin MacRae is the founder of Organizing in RI, a business outside of Providence that specifically helps professionals stay organized and feel more confident. “When professionals are organized and have systems in place, they have more free time, less stress, more energy and are more efficient and productive,” says MacRae.
5. Small sales and marketing wins. Butch Bellah, a sales coach and recent author of “10 Essential Habits of Sales Superstars” speaks to the importance of small wins for boosting confidence.
“Most business owners started their business because they are good at their craft, whether it's monogramming, making pizzas or being an accountant or photographer,'' Butch said. "Few got into business because they were good at sales and marketing. Confidence is going to come from those wins. They expect to win at their craft otherwise they wouldn't have started their business.”
6. Build a high performance calendar. What time of the day are you most productive? For some people it is the first two hours of their day, for others it is two hours before they shut down their day.
Build your most important daily activities around whenever is your productivity “hot zone.” If you are highly focused and performing well at the most important tasks, your confidence will spike throughout the rest of the day.
7. Encourage confidence in others. Give to get. If you need a shot of confidence, buy the first round by paying a genuine compliment to someone else.
Uploading some confidence to someone else will give you a small sense of empowerment and contribute to a positive environment. It will also put another staple in the relationship with that person. Fortifying positive relationship is confidence building.
Confidence has a compounding effect. Be more aware of what your environment is, or actions are, when you feel confident so you can replicate that when it serves you. Confidence is an intangible that will help you succeed in all areas of your life.