3 Easy to Practise Skills for Building Confidence
It’s easy to write off being confident as something you’re born with. Or using the extroverted vs. introverted excuse. The simple fact, however, is that confidence is nothing more than a positive state of mind coupled with a skill. And like all skills, it can be practised and built over time.
Before we get into some simple ways to begin building your confidence, you have to stop making excuses for your lack of it. Nobody was born as supremely confident, nor were they born capable of speaking in front of people. They have just made the choice to put themselves outside of their safe zone, and you can make the same decision too.
Without further ado, here are 3 easy to learn skills to help you build more confidence.
This may sound unbelievably simple, but as humans, we are hard-wired to return the gesture. Go for a walk, and when you happen to pass someone, simply look at their face and smile. Trust me, it’s infectious.
I’m not saying to give them a smile like you just won $20m on lotto! Think about something that makes you smile, give them a genuine upturn of your lips, and you can say a friendly hello without ever opening your mouth. I guarantee you 9 times out of 10 you’ll get a smile back, and in that small moment your own smile will become more genuine and lift your spirits for the day!
2. Eye contact
How often have you been staring at someone across the room and had them meet your eye? And when they do, your first reaction is to fake a huge blink and pretend you were looking at something completely different. I’m sorry to break the bad news, but you didn’t fool anyone and both of you know it.
Maintaining eye contact not only lets you build confidence, it causes the other person to instantly assume you are more confident
Not to mention it makes you feel great, and can help you maintain a positive energy throughout the day! I would suggest practising this skill with people who are close to you first. If you’re talking to friends and family the chances are they won’t even notice if you’ve started to hold their gaze more readily, but you will.
Start by taking notice of how you talk to people. Are you looking into their eyes, or at their mouth? Do you stare past them or next to them and talk to the wall? How is your posture? Do you even face the person in a manner that allows for eye contact? Check out this article for some awesome tips on how to make this practice a little less awkward.
Eye contact isn’t just good for building confidence; it can also build trust and intimacy. Once you have become consciously aware of the way you interact with people close to you, you can focus on the way you interact with others. Chances are if you’re smiling more at people, you’ve already begun to catch their eye, even if the moment is fleeting.
Build on these simple skills, combine them, and you’ll begin to notice the positive feedback and confidence that it will build.
3. The 10% off rule
One of the main reasons we lack confidence is the fear of rejection. Whether it’s in your personal or business relationships, it’s time you understood that this ‘fear’ is nothing more than a conditioned response. Until you accept that fact, begin to face your fear, and realize that with repetition and practice you can overcome it, it will prevent you from achieving your true potential.
This is one of my favourite hacks to build confidence, so let me explain what I’m talking about.
Have you ever been to McDonald’s and asked, “Would you like fries with that?” Or “would you like to upsize for $1?” When you politely declined, the 15-year-old serving you certainly didn’t sit in a corner and mope, did they? They’ve asked the question that many times that regardless of your answer they simply accept it and move on to the next customer.
Now whilst I never thought I would be comparing something to McDonald’s sales tactics, the basic principle is the same:
You need to be OK with rejection
Introducing the 10% off rule! From now on, every time you order a coffee, eat at a restaurant, hit a retail store, or any other interaction that involves money, you need to ask “Can I get 10% off?”
The point of this question isn’t actually to get a discount. The point is to get used to rejection. Get used to being told no, and build some resilience to it! That way when you ask for something in life you actually want, you’ll be completely fine whether the answer is a yes or no, and be less afraid to ask it!
I should note now that the question of ‘why?’ will usually follow, and in this case, don’t lie or say the service was bad (unless it was). Simply smile and say, “It’s my lucky day!” Most people respond positively to the enthusiasm and if nothing else you’ll get a smile back.
This is the simplest hack I know of to help you to develop a ‘thick skin’ and get used to rejection. Who knows, sometimes you might actually get the discount! That’s got to be worth something, right? Try compounding the question by smiling and meeting their eye, and you’ll be building your confidence before you know it!
Do you use these skills every day? What else do you use to build your confidence? Let me know in the comments below or on Social Media!