Spoiler alert: you can. But don't just take our word for it. Find out what confidence expert and fab audio course creator Lucy Baker has to say and pick up some top confidence building tips to boot.
When you’re nervously scrolling your phone on the loo to buy a bit of time before you host a meeting / walk into a new environment / interview for a job / meet your date, it can seem like everyone else in the WHOLE WORLD is more confident than you. At least that’s what your social media feed is telling you so it must be true, right?
‘Sometimes we let a lack of self-confidence become the loudest thing in our heads and we give in to it’, says confidence expert, Lucy Baker. But, when it comes to confidence, it’s important to remember two things:
- Some days you will feel more confident than others.
- Everyone suffers from a lack of confidence occasionally.
It’s also important to know (especially if we’re currently interrupting your nervous scrolling with this article) that you can improve your feelings of confidence. So often, says Lucy, ‘people just accept that their confidence isn’t where it should be’. They define themselves as an unconfident person and run with it, never realising that they can change, if they want to. Never realising that people who present themselves to the world as ‘confident’ probably work bloody hard to feel good some days too, just like you. They are just more aware and deliberate about it than most of us feel we should have to be.
Lucy knows all about this. As well as working with her clients to help them develop their confidence and hosting the fabulous Confidence Rooms Podcast, she struggled with her own confidence for years. When she realised that her low self-confidence was holding her back, she didn’t just try to find ways to help herself, she made it her mission to share her knowledge and experience with others. But, even for Lucy, ‘the process never ends’. Working on your confidence is a commitment and requires more than someone like Lucy just, ‘throwing some tips’ at you. Confidence is personal and knowing more about yourself is the key to feeling more confident, more of the time.
But, what is confidence anyway?
‘It’s a mindset…a sense of cool, calm and collected togetherness with a big dose of self belief’, says Lucy. Even people who already think of themselves as being confident people (lucky them, eh), ‘won’t be firing on all cylinders at all times’, continues Lucy. The key to building more confidence is to ‘know what to do to pick it back up again’. That requires a degree of self knowledge that we don’t always take the time to develop.
Here at Discoco we don’t believe in self-improvement. We think you’re already great. But, if your head is giving you the big negative self-talk more often than not then it could be time for a bit of self-development. Tuning in to what makes you tick is the starting point for any kind of development and, doing this, can be a confidence boost in itself.
So, how can you learn to be more confident?
Firstly, you need to notice when your confidence is low and own it, ‘people don’t want to wave that flag and admit that they aren’t confident’, says Lucy. It feels like a private concern and an admission of weakness in a world that favours the outwardly bold. But tuning in to the times when your confidence dips, why it might be happening and working to address the feelings before they take over, is the best starting point. For Lucy, journalling is a great way to get more in tune with yourself, ‘getting your thoughts out on paper, getting clarity through your own writing…is so powerful for confidence and well-being’.
Celebrating your achievements can be a big confidence booster. Go on, admit it, when was the last time you treated yourself after a period of really hard work or a big win in your work or personal life? Okay, the wine might count, but do you ever really give yourself the pat-on-the-back you deserve? If the answer is ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ then building this in to your life is a must. Stop cringing, it’s allowed. And if you don’t do it, who will, right?
Your communication style can have a big impact on your confidence. The way you communicate will influence how people react to you and their reaction will influence the way you feel about yourself…and so it goes on (and on, and on, and on). So, if you use confident sounding language, ‘the more confident you will feel… you will be in a more assertive and in control place’, says Lucy. Next time you write an email with all those minimising filler words like, ‘just’, ‘might’, ‘possibly’ or – our chosen email conversation starter – ‘sorry’ *groan*, don’t send it, go back and edit it. It’s easiest to start with written communication first – lower stakes and you’re more likely to do it!
Finally, have a read of this great book by psychotherapist Amy Morin, ’13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do’ to find out more about building the resilience you need to feel confident more of the time. No more hiding in the loo.