mindset

The Confidence Mindset

Whether you are at a professional negotiation, dating a new guy or performing in front of a crowd, the one trait that makes you unforgettable is to have unshakable confidence. In order to build confidence you need practice, time and as they say, the perseverance to fake it till you make it. A few simple habits in your day-to-day life will set you on the path to becoming confident.

Accept your body

This concept has been beaten to the ground in self-help circles but the fact remains that it is true. When I delivered my first baby, I was 25 pounds heavier, four sizes larger and oozing “fat woman vibes” all over the place. It was a ragged road to recovery. The depression hit me real hard until I realized that that I could be sexy without the skinny. Instead of wearing the maternity clothes to hide the mummy tummy, I went out and bought myself flattering “normal” clothes. My body was still a little flabby and misshapen but if I didn’t mind it, neither did those around me. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, I urge you to embrace your body as it is this very moment. The funny thing about people is that if you act like you are sexy and powerful, then to them, you really are.

Find yourself

Take time out from your day to spend exclusively with yourself. Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, make it a point to do something solitary and self-centered. Just for you and nobody else. A luxurious bath. An exciting book. A random doodle. A delicious glass of wine.

Be decisive

A mother intuitively knows her baby needs feeding. A nurse knows when her patient is about to code. An entrepreneur takes risks based on a gut-feeling. The more you use your intuition muscle, the stronger it gets. Malcom Gladwell, in his book, “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking” claims that “our power of thin-slicing and snap judgment are extraordinary” Learn to trust your subconscious. Try it today – give yourself no more than a minute to make intuitive decisions whenever the opportunity presents. The more quick, sound and intuitive decisions you make, the greater your faith in your competence – and confidence.

Next week, will talk about how you can use your body language to seem more confident.

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The 7 Secrets of Self Confidence

Everyone’s heard of the proverbial strong woman. She’s confident, sassy, smart – and elusive. She lurks ahead of us, just out of our reach. We all want to be like her and if we try hard enough to reach out, we could almost brush her with our finger tips. For every woman out there who has longed to be the kind of formidable woman that spreads sunshine and warmth, that stands up tall and strong, that scares the sh*t out of the devil every time she looks his way – our “Secrets of Succesful Women” series is for you.

1. Be approachable

Smile. Even if you don’t feel calm or happy inside, act serene. A strong woman has a composed demeanor and is open to engaging socially with people. Reach out to an old friend, go out of your way to have lunch with your parents or siblings, make new friends by picking up a new hobby. Being engaged and socially approachable gives you an air of confidence. Whenever you can, help those who ask for it.

2. Say no

A word of caution when helping others: take care of your own agenda first. It is human nature to abuse someone’s time or resources if they keep helping you day after day without regard to their own purpose or preferences. So sprinkle your help generously with a “no” every now and then. When you refuse something, be polite. Say it firmly in a neutral tone of voice. Make solid eye contact. Try not to let your voice waver or rise up a few octaves – it could make you look harsh or nervous. Smile, if you can. Practice in the mirror, if you can’t.

3. Be confident

Pretend you are. Smile, square your shoulders, walk tall, walk proud. Stick your nose in the air for good measure. Surround yourself with confident and successful people. Confidence, like success, is contagious.

4. Respect yourself

Always put yourself first. By saying that, I do not mean that you should be selfish and only take care of your needs and wants. Respecting yourself means reserving the right to make the final decision regarding your actions. Think critically for yourself. It means sticking to your guns if you feel passionate about a certain point of view. Putting yourself first means being the opposite of a pushover. That said, being a rebel without a cause is only appropriate when you are an adolescent. Even then it’s not in good taste.

5. Be flexible

Pick the fights you will have the energy to invest in because your stamina is not infinite. Stand up for the things you really care about – and be flexible the rest of the time. People will know you are genuine, rational and have a backbone.

6. Be comfortable

In your own skin. Spend time with yourself. See yourself as an asset. See yourself at par with other people no matter how much taller, smarter, successful or better looking they are. You are also taller, smarter successful or better looking compared to many other people. That is the way of the world. Focus on being the best friend that you never had. One that is proud of you, knows your short comings and doesn’t give a damn.

7. Be clear

Know what you want and go after it. Sure you may have four kids, a corporate job or a demanding spouse that plant their needs and wants on you. Unless someone is about to have a code blue, meet your needs first. You know how on the airplane, they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before putting it on your kids? Like that. If you burn out, you will be of no use to others. So live with the clarity of putting yourself first. But what of the children, you say? As a mother, you will set an example for your kids. They will model the way they are in the world upon how you were when they were growing up. By putting yourself first, you are teaching them to be responsible for their own needs – which will serve them better than indulging them every time and making them extra dependent on you.