If there were a universal list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), this one would manage a position at least among the top 3. When looked at from two different points of view, the question could be too vague and too specific at the same time.
The question is: “How to build confidence?” Well specifically, one could say, “Be yourself and be confident.” However, there is no one answer to this question and hence no one way to be confident. In fact, with most people confidence varies from one situation and the other.
Most people have this strange stage fear. There was a schoolgirl who got very nervous minutes before her speech. So her senior asked her a question: Are you nervous because you think they would laugh at you?” When she answered in positive, he said: Then let them laugh at you today because unless they do, you will never be able to overcome this fear.
This implies that if you keep thinking over ‘what will they think?’ or ‘what if they laugh’, you suffocate your confidence. So it is important that you go ahead and do what you have to, regardless of what others think. The world never stops for you, so why should you ?
But how do you go about building confidence? There are several ways. Eye contact is one of the biggest indicators of our confidence and so we must learn to look into people’s eyes. This certainly comes with a lot of practice. Try doing that with everyone you meet or practice while talking to your peer group. The best trick, as any motivational speaker would tell you, is to look at the other person’s forehead. That way you would at least ‘appear’ to be looking into his/her eyes. So next time when you feel your friend is confident enough to look into your eyes, think again! He may just be faking it!
Body language can also be a parameter of one’s confidence. If you sit most of the times with hands folded, it might be an indication that you don’t enjoy your own demeanour and constantly compare yourself with others. Follow a few tips. While holding a lecture or talking to a person, just clench both your palms together (but no folded hands). One can also lean one hand on a table or hold a pen with it etc to flaunt a confident self. While delivering a speech, your best friend is the podium. That way, you just need to use your creativity to ‘tailor’ your body language so you come across as a confident person.
Another important lesson to build confidence is to learn to love oneself. God has made you a unique person and there’s nobody in this world that is even remotely like you. That should give you all the confidence in the world.
Look around, you will find that even your worst of enemies and fiercest of rivals have bowled you over with their ‘better sides’. Each person is blessed with some special characteristic and this is one of the biggest reasons why you must love yourself. The most confident people are those who love themselves the way they are. And this amour propre so naturally adds to their confidence.
So guys, here’s a not-so-adequate yet a tried-and-tested guide to confidence building:
• Learn to love yourself- your physical features, your voice, your accent, your background etc and be proud of yourself.
• Tell yourself everyday- I am unique. So don’t try to be someone else!
• Look into people’s eyes while talking. Start with looking at the forehead.
• Discover your strengths and weaknesses. Flaunt the former, try to eliminate the latter.
• When at fault, admit it. This boosts your self-image.
• The world doesn’t stop to know what you think about it. Why should you?
• Discover newer ways for self-development. Find out where you lack. Then correct that part quickly.
• Practice talking in front of a mirror for at least five minutes.
• Then observe your body language, eye contact, pronunciation and accent. Do the necessary corrections.
• Challenge yourself every day by being in the company of more confident people. Make a target to reach their level. Beat it every time.
• Play ‘news anchor’ every day. Pick up a daily. Read headlines, news pieces, ads etc aloud for at least 15 minutes. But don’t copy news anchors. Develop your own style.
• There are two kinds of people in the world- confident and diffident. Now decide.
These, to some extent, would help you develop confidence in your abilities. The only hurdle between you and your confidence is a choice to be confident. And that choice is yours.” Have YOU made your choice today?