When it comes to being a leader, you’ll need to show the conviction and assurance to make people want to follow you. It sounds simple, but before you start building confidence in others, you have to first develop it in yourself.
Feeling confident isn’t always easy, especially when you’re in unfamiliar or uncertain situations.
In this piece we’ll cover some a range of simple confidence-building exercises so you’ll feel more self assured – whatever the situation.
1. Speak slower than you normally do
Speakers who speak quickly are often doing so for several reasons; one of which could be that they feel nervous when presenting or talking to someone; they want to get through what they have to say as fast as possible in order to make themselves feel more comfortable, perhaps out of fear of judgement.
Speakers who speak slowly are doing the opposite.
Speaking slowly will make you seem like you have confidence, which is what many leaders aim to exude when giving speeches. Speaking slowly also denotes an open mind; someone who speaks at a normal speed is not willing to or cannot pause long enough to let others catch up with their thoughts, whereas someone who speaks slowly gives their audience time to process what they just said before continuing on, resulting in deeper understanding.
2. Do your most difficult task first
We all have daily to-do lists. When we’re making them, we’re more than happy to include difficult or awkward tasks. However, when it comes to actually completing the tasks, we always push the most uncomfortable ones to the bottom.
Next time you have a to-do list, make sure you take on the most difficult one straight away. Whether it’s an awkward phone call you have to make, conversation you have to have, or email you need to send, the impact of doing it instantly will be transformative on your day.
Once the most difficult task is done, the rest of the day will look simple in comparison, and you’ll feel more confident as a result.
3. Get up early
There have been countless studies on business leaders, linking success to those who get up early. But the benefits might be even greater than you think. Getting up early can make you feel ahead of the day, rather than like you’re playing catch up. There’s also the mental benefit of knowing that you’re already being productive while others sleep.
However, the biggest benefit might be in relaxation, which will help grow your confidence and mental wellbeing. Most people believe that the time to relax is after work. But there’s always one more email to write, or meeting to hold.
Instead, get up early and relax while there is nobody putting demands on your time. That way, you’ll carry confidence throughout the day.
4. Dress your best
Why do we always feel better when we’re wearing new clothes, or shiny shoes? The answer is simple, we feel better because we subconsciously believe that we look better. It helps us stand a few inches taller, and carry ourselves with more positive body language. This in turn makes us feel even better.
The secret to being our best, is knowing that we’re making the best of ourselves on every level. It’s not shallow or superficial to care deeply about how we’re dressed, it’s simply an easy way to give ourselves a confidence boost that will last throughout the day.
5. Record your day in a journal
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your achievements or life to others. We all do this in some form. However, this rarely ends up well, since there will always be someone who we perceive to have more than us.
The antidote to this is to compare yourself with… yourself. If you need to make comparisons, try comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday, or last week. Writing down your day, your feelings and your reactions not only detoxifies your stress levels, but also helps you to be more self aware, so you can focus on building a more positive mindset.
6. Talk to someone new
There comes a point in our lives where we feel like we stop making new friends, and instinctively interact with fewer people. Being social is a skill that you need to practice, otherwise you’ll get rusty.
Try interacting with those people you meet daily, and add a little sparkle to their lives in the process. It can be the person serving you coffee, or dropping off a parcel. Knowing that you still have the ability to make others smile during the course of your day will fill you with confidence in every situation.
7. Exercise for at least 10 minutes
As humans, we weren’t built to sit still all day. Exercise has many very well documented benefits, including better mental and physical health. Confidence is another huge benefit to getting your body moving.
You’ll have a positive effect on your confidence even if you do a ten-minute brisk walk, or a quick burst on an exercise bike. Getting your heart going will make you feel more alert, less stressed, and much more confident throughout the day.
Confidence building: a conclusion
Confidence isn’t a switch you can turn on and off. It takes work to build it, and good habits are just the start. Whether it’s forcing yourself to confront difficult tasks, writing down your day, or speaking to strangers, there are a multitude of simple, easy exercises that’ll help you see each day from a more positive perspective.
Confidence is also infectious, so the more self assured you become, the more positivity you’ll receive from others – which will grow your confidence even further.
Try each of the tips in this article and see how they work for you – good luck!