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 or open your laptop to take copious 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. She’s a substitute because the main keynote speaker came down with the flu.

You may be wondering why you’re taking such a sudden interest, or you’re absolutely certain she’s an expert in her industry simply by her confident air. That may seem like a huge assumption, but in truth, it isn’t. While society seems to look at being judgmental as a negative, we all make judgments about people based on the visual voice they speak. Self-confidence is a powerhouse and the golden key to unlocking the positive impression we desire.

Self-confident people are admired by others and inspire confidence in others. Self-confident people tend to see their lives in a positive light even when things aren’t going well. Confident people have little time for self-pity and when faced with challenges, immediately challenge themselves to find solutions rather than wallowing in their problems.

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 few months back, I attended a high-end business conference. The attendees were seasoned, successful business owners and the room was buzzing at about a 50% charge. Quite suddenly, there was a substantial increase in the buzz. While the conversation volume had not changed, there was a shift in the 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’+, late-thirties, early-forties man smiling down at one of the attendees. 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 fully engaged in conversation.

Once Michael Bernoff and I met, I couldn’t help but ask lots of case-study-type questions of him. I’m fascinated by people who reflect a captivating image and wanted to know if he had any strategies to share. I was ready to take lots of notes for an upcoming post, but as our conversation continued what became clear was the simplicity and success of his ‘strategy’…. Michael said (and I paraphrase), “I’m just myself and don’t really give a sh!:t what people think!” BINGO Michael…it IS really simple!! Yes, he’s being himself, but more importantly… he’s CONFIDENTLY being himself. It was his confidence that amped up the charge in the room.

You may be asking yourself how YOU can gain this confidence. It comes from consistent practice, just like any other skill. Each of us struggles with insecurities. I am never really feeling on my game unless I have been practicing my confidence building blocks. Think of it like this… If I’m not confident about myself, why should anyone else have confidence in me?

These daily practices will amp up your confidence factor:

1. Daily meditation or quiet time: Each morning I take 10 minutes for meditation and prayer. I do before I drink my protein shake, take my walk or open my email. This is my time to get centered 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.

2. 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 and the fully charged electronics I’ll be needing. When I’m looking my best and fully prepared it’s a confidence booster like no other!

3. 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 testimonials you’ve received. If you don’t have any in writing, now is the time to request them. If you provide personal chef services, you’re probably saving your clients time, money and nourishing their bodies with healthy food. Nobel benefits… making their lives better.

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!

4. 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. The way my positive energy will enter the room before I even walk in.

5. Smile: 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.

6. Practice Self-Care: 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.

7. Slow Down and Keep Positive: Take time each day to slow down. Begin your day with meditation. A time to set the tone for your day and nurture your positive mindset. Negative self-talk and cynicism will drain your confidence. Make a decision to focus on your positive attributes instead of what you perceive to be your weaknesses. Do more of what is working instead of fixing what is not working in you. Stay positive and present in each moment as you go through your day.

These 7 tips will help you boost your confidence and lead to even more success. Confidence is a key differentiator.  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.

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