Confidence leads to success…
She boldly takes the stage and in an instant, your ears perk, you sit up a little straighter, and you grab your notebook and pen so you can take notes. Your cell phone is at the ready because you’re certain you’ll want to take pictures of some of her presentation slides. Interestingly enough, you don’t even know who she is yet because she’s a last-minute substitute speaker.
Not knowing her, you may be wondering why you’re taking a sudden interest. It’s her level of confidence alone that sparks your attention and builds immediate trust and credibility. That may seem like a huge assumption, but in truth, you are making a judgment based on the visual and energetic voice she is speaking. Her self-confidence is a powerhouse and the golden key to unlocking the positive impression she desires. We want it, too! Right?
Self-confident people are admired by others and inspire confidence in others. Confident people are magnetic and attract their ideal customers and opportunities.
Studies show that more than 70% of your first impression depends on your level of confidence.
Your visual voice builds chemistry with prospective clients and audiences and helps you make connections. If you display self-confidence your prospects will be more inclined to respond to you. Bottom line, if you have two professionals with the same exact resume, the person who exudes the most confidence will get the job.
If you’re still not convinced, read on… A while back, I attended a high-end business conference. The room was filled with seasoned business owners and was buzzing at a 50% charge. Quite suddenly, there was an energetic shift in the room. While the volume of the conversation had not changed, there was a change in the overall feel of the conference hall. As I turned to make my way to the lobby, I instantly knew what had changed. Standing by the entrance was a confident, 6’+ man smiling down at one of the attendees. He was deep in conversation with intense attention. He was neatly dressed in a mix of NJ business casual with a bit of earthy Arizona flair. While his stature could have been intimidating, he was warm, highly-energetic (like double-espresso shots), and real.
I’m fascinated by people who captivate attention and knew that this gentleman, Michael Bernoff, would make an interesting case study. We scheduled some time to chat because I was curious to learn his unique strategy so I could share it with you. I was ready to take copious notes, but as our conversation continued what became clear was the simplicity of his one ‘strategy’. Michael said (and I paraphrase), “I’m just myself and don’t really give a shit what other people think!” Michael is absolutely right. Yes, he’s being himself, but more importantly… he’s confidently and comfortably being himself. While that concept may sound simple, achieving it is quite the opposite.
You may be asking yourself how you can gain this confidence and comfort. It comes from consistent practice, just like any other skill. I’ve struggled with confidence my entire life and have created some life systems or confidence building blocks to keep my confidence charged so I’m at home within myself, just like Michael is.
Why is confidence so important? Think of it like this… If I’m not confident, why would a client prospect have the confidence that I could help them build a powerful personal brand. The same is true for you.
These daily practices will amp up your confidence factor:
Daily Meditation or Quiet Time
Each morning I take a minimum of 10 minutes for meditation and prayer. I do this to set the mindset foundation for my day. This is my time to get centered, focused, and begin my day with intention. When I live with intention, I feel more grounded and confident about my activities and goals for the day.
Careful Planning and Preparation
Looking the part is crucial to reflecting a powerful confidence factor. Dress the part of success. One of my favorite quotes is, “Dress the way you want to be addressed.” Consistently looking the part requires planning. Every Sunday I open my calendar and plan my outfits and neatly pack my business bag for each event or appointment. I choose my ensembles, make sure they’re pressed and hang them as complete outfits so they’re ready to go in a snap. My business tote is always neatly stocked with plenty of business cards, tools of my trade. When I’m looking my best and fully prepared it’s a confidence booster like no other!
Know Your Value and Values
Think of your happy customers. Those who can’t wait to sing your praises. Get clear on the value you offer your clients. What are the benefits of working with you? A great place to access the answer(s) is to take a look at the testimonials you’ve received. If you don’t have any in writing, now is the time to request them. It’s also the perfect opportunity for a client touchpoint!
Now think about your values. Yes… your personal values. Why are you in business? What value(s) are the foundation of the products and services you offer. If you are a speaking coach, you may value clear and effective communication. But take that a step further. Was there a poignant time in your life when you didn’t feel heard? Is that why you’re so passionate about what you do? Use the depth of that passion to boost your confidence in your abilities. You know you’re making a difference. Have confidence in that!
Set the Mood
There’s an old computer science saying from the 80’s (OMG, I’m dating myself), “Garbage in, garbage out.” Feed your mind, body, and psyche health and happiness. Whether it’s the food you’re eating, the book you’re reading or the podcast you’re listening to, when you surround yourself with positivity you’ll be more apt to emulate it. When you are thoughtful about your intake, you will exude more confidence and spread love, peace, and health everywhere you go. One of my favorite rituals is to listen to upbeat music or a podcast on my way to a networking event or client meeting. That way my positive energy will enter the room before I do.
Smiling is a simple way to boost your mood, feel better, and can even make you a better leader. A warm smile shows others that you want to engage socially. It also makes you appear confident, approachable and willing to interact. As an expert or leader in your industry, smiling may be the key to your continued success. Research from The University of Montpellier discovered that smiling is a more effective leadership technique than having great management responsibilities.
Confidence begins with self-care. Quality sleep, regular exercise and a balanced diet rich in nutrients will give you more energy, focus, stamina, and magnetism. The actions of self-care are a powerful message to yourself that you matter and are worth taking care of. Read my post on Confidence Care for more tips.
I’ve saved the best for last. Contributing to something greater than yourself is a surefire way to build your confidence. Acts of service fuel your confidence internally and give you a sense of accomplishment and meaning. Whenever you need a boost, reach out and help another achieve their dreams. It will light your confidence fire in a significant way.
So, take the time to get quiet, cultivate your planning systems for success, and set your own mood by controlling your environment. Focus on your values, shine your pearly whites, amp up your self-care routines, and finally, help another. You will see how much more solid you feel about yourself and others will see it, too. When you display self-confidence, you will attract more clients, opportunities, and even better service.