What is it that gets you up in the morning? Is it your job, or your dog harassing you for breakfast or maybe it’s your family preparing bags and lunches for the school run? Whatever it is that gets you out of bed and ready to face the day, are you happy with it?
We’re not really talking about the family or the household pet of course, but rather the job you find yourself in, day in, day out. If you’ve been stuck in the same dead-end position for the last few years and haven’t found the motivation to seek alternative employment, then leaving your bed every morning will be something close to torture. On the other hand, if you’re motivated, engaged and ready to take on the day’s challenges then you’ve found the sweet spot that all of us are after.
So, what it is that’s holding you back? Why spend your days sitting in traffic, or in a crowded train commuting to a job that doesn’t fulfil, inspire or motivate you? It’s highly likely that you lack a key ingredient to your character: confidence.
It’s hard to be confident and very often we just tell ourselves that we are being realistic not lacking in confidence at all. But the thing about confidence is that doesn’t need facts, figures and qualifications to back it up it just needs self-belief.
Of course, you don’t feel like you have any self-belief and the cycle continues but think about some of the most confident people you know, how they carry themselves, how they talk and present their opinions. What every positivity guru and or set of motivational speakers will tell you is that confidence can be a learnt habit, something you can practise and grow and see real change in yourself.
We take a look at some of the habits of confident people and show you how to incorporate them into your life.
Be Happy, Right Now
You might have ambition and longing to progress up the career ladder or change job but don’t confuse that with wanting to change you and your personality. While you want to make real changes, having a strong belief that you are just fine as you are, just enough as you are will not hold you back. In fact, this feeling of self-acceptance will mean you forget about all the inadequacies that you feel and take your mind away from an introverted gaze, directing your focus outwards and towards the goals you want to achieve.
Achieve this in your life by practicing something like mindfulness or meditation and tell yourself positive affirmations during your quiet time that you can believe in. This practise will very quickly become a habit and train your mind to bat away negative thoughts, focussing on the positive. Mindfulness is also very good at helping to deal with past traumas or events that hinder you in your goals.
Nothing Is Off Limits
No more “I couldn’t” or “It’s just not me”. Those days of believing that you couldn’t possibly jump up a pay grade are behind you.
It’s time to start expanding your horizons and looking beyond the obvious sense of progression. Aim higher than you would ordinarily expect yourself to go for. Start writing a list of everything you want to achieve and don’t give yourself a limit on what you can and cannot do. If travelling abroad is a burning desire, put it on your list. If a parachute jump is something you’ve always wanted to try, it goes on. In short, think of yourself as someone who can achieve all these things, not that they are just for someone else.
You’ll notice that confident people are do-ers, they take action when it’s needed and often drive the agenda forward themselves. If that seems pushy, then rethink how you view this behaviour. It’s precisely this kind of confident leadership that gets things done and determines the direction that teams and even companies go. You might find it a little out of your style, but you have to admit you respect the person with the confidence to do it.
Don’t worry if it seems overwhelming, practising confidence starts off slow and gains momentum as it grows. Start with little acts of sticking up for yourself when you’re about to get talked over. You don’t have to be rude or confrontational but calm and firm and you’ll stop your colleagues in their tracks.
Practise the same outside the workplace too, in a sport you play as a team or at a restaurant when you really don’t like the dish and need to send it back. Don’t be afraid to state your case.
Don’t Fear It
Being confident isn’t about making yourself popular, you don’t have to be that person who’s always the centre of attention cracking jokes but instead the person who has a quiet, determined sense of self-belief that means you will be heard, and you will not be walked over.
If you tend to be more extroverted then becoming more confident will merge seamlessly with your character and if you’re a more introverted type, then your confidence will grow surely and steadily.
You won’t change unrecognisably, nor will you become someone you don’t like, rather you will stop apologising for having opinions and allow your voice to lead a debate, open the discussion and help steer things the way you want them to go.
Grow your confidence and your self-belief and that job you always felt was out of your reach will be yours before you know it. Build on who you are, your core values and learn the art of being content with all of those things. Confidence has a knock-on effect and will inspire those around you to follow your lead and view you the way you now view yourself. That inner confidence is going to open doors.
Don’t let anything hold you back, seize the day and make the world your oyster.