Cats get a bad rap when it comes to being thought of as scared all the time. It’s true that lots of cats are chill until they see or hear something unfamiliar then they go into panic mode in an attempt to keep themselves safe. But in my experience, not all cats are “scaredy cats.” Take my cat Stewart for example. Stewart is the most confident cat there is. We often joke that Stewart could fight a cougar and win. He struts around boldy and when he looks at someone or something his confidence pierces through his sky blue eyes. The way he sits up tall, still as a statue when another animal approaches throws the vibe that Stewart can hold his own. And when he meets someone new, he automatically assumes they will love and want to pet him, so he goes right over and approaches the visitor, meowing as if to announce that he’s offering them the pleasure.
When it comes to your own feelings about executing your goal’s action plan, do you identify most with a scaredy cat or a confident cat (like Stewart)? If you’re confident like Stewart, you believe that your uniqueness is worthy of admiration and that you belong. This belief has the power to alter how the world perceives and treats you. People intuitively recognize how much self-confidence you have and respond accordingly.
One of the easiest ways to experience greater confidence is to take on the thoughts, mannerisms, and movements of confident people. You’ve heard the phrase, “fake it, ‘till you make it” right? Others will begin treating you with more respect and that will boost your confidence even more. Your level of confidence influences your future.
“High 5” with these five confidence-building skills:
1. Visualize yourself being confident in all situations. Imagine yourself being confident at work, with a stranger, or on a date. Spending a few minutes visualizing each day is a great way to mentally practice being confident. In fact, imagine applying all of these tips in the situations where you feel your confidence is lagging. You can think any thoughts you choose, so make your thoughts positive! Tell yourself that you’re confident and people respect you. Whatever you continuously say to yourself will eventually become your reality.
2. Have the proper level of eye contact. If your eye contact is poor, it can be challenging to develop it. Start slowly and make the effort to slowly increase your eye contact during all your interactions with others. Remember that it’s not a staring contest, but too little eye contact is a very strong sign that you lack self-confidence. Aim to maintain eye contact for 4-5 seconds at a time.
3. Speak with authority. Think about the most confident people you know. Chances are they speak authoritatively with a slow cadence. Try speaking slowly and authoritatively as you’re responding to something said to you. Take a deep breath and pause for a second. Take your time and speak slowly.
4. Move with purpose. First, stand up straight. Your mom told you a hundred times. You feel and look better when you stand tall. Consider how your co-workers walk down the hall at your workplace. People with lower confidence tend to slouch, look at the floor and walk with a lack of purpose and direction. It’s almost as if they’re mindlessly wandering around. Then consider how the most powerful person at work walks. She’s not rushed, her gestures are slow and smooth, but she’s not wasting time and knows where she’s going. Also, avoid fidgeting. All of your movements have a purpose when you’re confident. There’s no reason to bounce your leg, wave your hands around, or to pick at yourself.
5. Avoid trying to please everyone. It’s an unachievable goal anyway. If you’re truly confident, you don’t feel the need to be accepted by everyone. Be kind and polite, but don’t spend your time trying to be a pleaser. When you spend too much time on others and ignore yourself, they come to the conclusion that you must not be that important.Never underestimate the importance of confidence. Some success experts claim confidence is the best predictor of success. If you’re not feeling confident, boosting your self-confidence might be the best way to enhance all aspects of your life. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you have to apply all of these tips at once. Stewart became such a confident cat by consistently trying and succeeding in his efforts. If a cat can be confident, so can you! Add one each week until you’ve mastered the five confidence-building skills.