Confidence is a mental state of mind that sets you apart and makes others believe in you. Confidence is the veneer that makes you appear unstoppable even though you might be feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. In a way, perception becomes the reality — the more self confidence you have, the more likely it is you’ll succeed.No one can ever have more than their fair share of confidence - ego, maybe arrogance: yes; confidence, no.
Although clothes don’t necessarily make the man, they certainly affect the way you feel about yourself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look your best, it negatively affects the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on clothes. One great rule to follow is “spend twice as much, buy half as much”. Rather than buying a bunch of cheap clothes, buy half as many, but high quality items. In the long run you spend less, because expensive clothes wear out less easily and stay in style longer than cheap clothes. Buying less also helps reduce the clutter in your closet.
Imagine your body is a tall, narrow building. Place your feet about 10 inches apart. Now, make sure your knees are directly about your feet, hips above your knees, stomach above your hips, chest above your stomach and head above your chest - such that if you took a piece of heavy string and dropped it from your nose, it would fall between your feet. Keep this image in mind as you stand around at networking events, meetings and receptions.
Walk erect with your head held high, your shoulders back, your chest out and your stomach in.
Imagine that someone is pulling your head up with a long piece of string push your shoulders back and smile.
With the aura you create, you command respect without ever saying a word. If you walk with too much of a swagger or a strut, you could be seen as egotistic or having a pompous attitude. On the other hand, when your back is arched and your head is down, it shows a lack of confidence.
Nothing screams: "lack of confidence" like slouching. Walk with shoulders high, waist not bent, and legs locked.
Pep In Your Step
One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about themselves is to examine their walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? aimless? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do! Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important. People who walk faster are perceived to be important people. Walking a bit faster would make an impression that you are busy and about some important activity. You don't have to be panting to be walking fast enough - you just need to show a sense of purpose. It is all about making a self-image for others to see.
Don't stare at the road or at the floor when you're walking - hold your head up and maintain it at eye level. This will create opportunities to make eye contact with other people. And do make eye contact - it's a non-verbal way to say "hello".
Share The Love
When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others. Try not to do that. Instead of spreading negativity, get in the habit of praising other people and making an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well-liked and build your self confidence. By looking for the best in others, you, in effect, bring out the best in yourself.
Frowning, having a closed expression on your face or looking timid will only draw more "non confidence" towards you. Smile at people - it doesn't have to be a flash of teeth, but a pleasant expression makes you approachable, attractive and powerful.
When you are giving a presentation, use your walk as a form of physical punctuation. Strengthen transitions by stepping to the side, pauses by standing in place and emphasis and persuasion by moving forward as if you want to touch the audience. If your movement is seen to be affected or mechanical, it will detract from your presentation. Standing in one place throughout a talk, on the other hand, may indicate you're "frozen to the spot" by the fear of speaking.
Taking up a reasonable amount of space equates to having power. Put your feet a few inches apart with one slightly in front of the other. This also makes it possible for you to easily change weight from one foot to the other. This is particularly important if you are behind a podium; you don't noticeably appear to be shifting weight (which you need to do so you don't get frozen in the "speaker" position). When you don't do it smoothly, this shifting can be distracting to the audience ... and to you when you become conscious of it.