I’m just going to come right out and say it…people know better than to mess with me.
I am not entirely sure why, but I don’t catch much flack from people in my life. I am rarely questioned, harassed or “called out” on things. Granted, I am also a recovering people pleaser, so I work hard to avoid offending people or making enemies. We could psychoanalyze all of that for days but here’s my theory:
Appearing confident–even if you’re shaking in your heels–is critically important to elevating your image and expanding your influence.
I am a confident woman and I want to share with you
10 ways to appear more confident
Of course we all need loving feedback and constructive criticism to keep growing (I wrote about the importance of getting a second opinion here) but most of us don’t really NEED feedback from everyone we meet on every aspect of our lives.
Unless I really admire your relationship with your husband, I’m not interested in your advice on marriage.
And do I even have to tell you that if you’re not a parent, you can keep your opinions on raising children to yourself??
I’ve been known to stop someone mid-sentence to say, “I’m not really open to suggestions on that topic.” Oh, yes, I do!
Carrying yourself in a confident way is vitally important. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years.
1. Know yourself.
This one comes first because confident people know who they are and what they’re about.
What delights you? What lights you up? What makes you tick?
If you need to reconnect to who you are, try these:
- Create a personal mission statement.
- Keep a journal of your favorite things.
- Do self-exploration exercises.
- Write some of your stories.
- Spend more time alone.
- Express yourself through art.
- Try something you’ve always wanted to do.
- Start an “all about me” Pinterest board.
2. Stop prefacing your performances.
I know I just prefaced within this post but hear me out. I learned this early on as a singer: even if you’re feeling under the weather, just getting over laryngitis or shaking with nerves, you don’t need to tell your audience that. If you’re a little raspy, don’t quite hit a few notes or make a few flubs, no one will know but you. Saying, “Sorry, I’m just getting over a cold,” or “I’m so nervous!” just makes people EXPECT you to mess up.
Speaking of that…
3. Stop saying you’re sorry.
Of course if you wronged someone, apologize. “Sorry” should be the equivalent of “please forgive me,” not a blanket statement you use every time you bump into someone or make a mistake. It’s the habitual apologizing many of us do almost as a tick, often for things that are completely out of our control or truly not our fault.
I am so guilty of this. I only realized it when my oldest son started saying “sorry” over the smallest flub or misstep. It’s a hard habit to break.
4. Mind your words.
Let’s say you DO need to apologize to someone. Keep your words to a minimum. Don’t say things like, “I was such a jerk,” or “I know you can probably never forgive me, but…”
People will never be able to get that word or association out of their heads–and YOU put it there.
Speaking of words…
5. Take “I think” and “just” out of your vocabulary.
It sends a subtle message of “I don’t even believe what I am about to say.” It’s like saying, “Maybe it’s just me, but…”
Either you’re about to say something that you think applies to a lot of people listening or it’s a new concept they NEED to embrace but either way, state it like truth so they hear it as such.
Instead of saying, “I think we need more gender equality…” just say “We need more gender equality….” and you instantly sound more sure of yourself and like more of an authority. Along the same vein…
6. Play the expert.
If you’re “out there” in any way, it’s because you have some expertise. I often advise my clients, “Being an expert is as simple as knowing more than the other guy.”
If you know something, share it! Establish yourself as an expert.
Blog about the topic. Ask to speak about the topic. Read books about the topic. Then walk and talk like an expert in that area.
I’m known as something of an expert in a myriad of areas, simply because I talk them up and broadcast what I know. Feeling like an expert is a sure-fire confidence booster.
7. Maintain a put-together image.
It says you value yourself enough to take the time to look your best. It says that you care about your appearance and want to make a good impression.
Looking put-together is as simple as coordinating your clothing, wearing a little makeup and/or accessorizing your outfit. Clean shoes and a nice bag go a long way.
To take it to an even higher level…
8. Use color to elevate your image.
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of gray, black and white. Wearing color sends the message of “I’m confident enough to wear colors that will get me noticed.”
Here’s a little secret. Wearing bold colors makes you more approachable.
When you’re approachable, more people reach out to you and connect with you. Those connections boost your confidence!
Having a Signature Color helps. Get yours! Discover Your Signature Color
9. Start acting like you’re a celebrity.
I demonstrate this when I teach a class….walk into a room like you own the place. Smile. Hold your head up. Wave at someone across the room, even if they’re not there. Have a little swagger in your step. Turn a few heads.
I wrote all about it here.
10. Share more.
Self-promotion is an art form that takes practice but confident people are not shy to say what they’re up to, how they’re giving back, what projects they’re working on and even what struggles they’re facing.
If you’re an introvert, just be aware that introverted behavior can come across as a lack of confidence–so find ways to share that you can be comfortable with. If you don’t like sharing about your private life, share about wins or projects that your friends are working on, interesting or thought-provoking articles or a new place you’re trying for dinner.
Please pin and share!