When you’re a shy or reserved person you will often be told to “be more confident” to get ahead in life. While that’s good advice, the people doling it out often don’t go into detail about how you can get more confident.
Sure some might say “fake it til you make it.” I’ve given that advice myself but admit it can be tough to follow.
Here are some practical ways to improve your confidence in seconds:
1. Stop Saying ‘Just’.
I was reading an article in Business Insider that really stood out to me. An ex Google exec was explaining why she hates the word “just.”
She writes, “It hit me that there was something about the word I didn't like. It was a ‘permission’ word, in a way — a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking, ‘Can I get something I need from you?’”
Also read: 9 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence.
After reading the article I was shocked by how often use the word just. When you start thinking about it you notice how unsure it makes you sound. I’ve since cut it out of my vocabulary.
2. Develop a Mantra.
At my day job as a senior health producer I recently interviewed a fitness coach who incorporates mantras into her routines.
When she was a struggling dancer she used affirmations like, “I’m a powerful dancer” and “I pick up the steps easily” when she wasn’t feeling confident to give herself a boost.
Researchers at Kent University had similar findings. They tested “self talk” with a group of cyclists and found those who repeated positive affirmations pedaled much longer and felt less exhausted, compared to those who didn’t.
Have a mantra ready for when you develop a bout of insecurity to feel more positive
3. Go easy on yourself.
For the most part, people are paying a lot less attention to you then you think. While you are busy scrutinizing every weird hand gesture or slight stutter you make, nobody else has even noticed!
The less critical you are of yourself the more comfortable you look and feel.
Paula Rizzo is an Emmy award winning television producer and founder of the productivity site ListProducer.com. She’s also the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.