Ever looked at someone who flawlessly delivers a presentation or smoothly starts a conversation with a stranger at a party and wonder how they do it? They make it look so simple and effortless, when most people would rather run away from a situation like that.
True confidence - not to be confused with misplaced confidence or arrogance! - is a much admired trait. Some people believe that you’re either born with it or you aren’t. Tough luck.
Fortunately, this isn’t true. Whilst some people are naturally more confident than others, confidence is a bit like a muscle: the more you train it, the more it grows. But how do you grow your confidence?
Just like in sport, it makes sense to observe and learn from those that have already mastered a skill that we want to develop.
There are 4 things that confident people do differently - and you can benefit from that. Take note and inspiration! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a very good start.
1. THEY ARE THEMSELVES
Confident people are authentic. They know who they are, warts and all, and are comfortable with that. They don’t pretend to be someone else and that is liberating. When you are truly yourself and have accepted your strengths and your weaknesses, you have nothing to hide and nothing to defend. You know your own worth.
Knowing your own worth is powerful and supercharges your confidence.
Because confident people know their own worth, they don’t (often) compare themselves to others. When they do, it’s only for healthy competition and to better themselves. Their self-worth doesn’t depend on how well other people do or present themselves.
So, if you’re wearing a mask, take it off. Who you are is enough and if you find it difficult to believe that, know that even the most confident people have flaws and weaknesses. They have simply learnt to accept them and embrace who they are.
2. THEY ACCEPT MISTAKES
Putting yourself out there is scary. You risk being criticised. People might not like you or what you do. You can get it wrong and make a (very public) mistake.
Guess what, it’s all inevitable and part of the game. Confident people know this.
They know that they’ll probably fail. They know that they’ll make mistakes. They also know that whenever they do, they’ll take it as an opportunity to learn and get better.
From a young age we learn to avoid mistakes and that failing is not good. What a missed opportunity that is! We learn and get better by trial and error. That’s how it works. Why feel ashamed or embarrassed about it?
We would all benefit from dropping this mentality and accept mistakes as an inevitable part of life. Embrace your stumbles and falls, don't beat yourself up about it and always aim to learn from it.
3.THEY PREPARE, BUT DON'T OVERTHINK
Confident people don’t wing it - at least not when they’re still a beginner at something. They put in the hours, the work. They make sure they are prepared and do what is necessary to stack the odds in their favour. That doesn’t mean they don’t fail (see above), but it means that they will feel like they’ve done everything they can to succeed.
Preparation gives peace of mind, and peace of mind gives a quiet confidence.
Don’t push it too far though. Know when enough is enough. Overthinking something more often than not leads to worry and this destroys your confidence.
4.THEY DON'T LISTEN TO THEIR INNER CRITIC
We all have an inner critic: that voice inside our head that tells us we got it wrong, that we are not good enough, not lean enough, strong enough, smart enough. Our inner critic loves nothing more than to bring us down. If it were a friend, we would have long banned them from our life!
Confident people have an inner critic too. They have learnt not to listen to it. They don’t buy into its stories.
Neither should you. Don’t believe everything it says! All your inner critic is trying to do is keep you small so you won’t be hurt, but you are strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you. Failure won’t kill you.
If you find it hard to discard what your inner critic is saying, try to do the validity check: breath slowly, count to 10 (this calms down your brain and nervous system) and ask yourself how true is it what he/she is saying? Have you got real evidence to support this? Criticism given from your inner critic is very rarely true so once you decide to silence that voice from within, watch your confidence grow.
And hey, if you really want to supercharge your confidence there is no better boost than when you train like a fighter and master those combinations. Click here to get started today!
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