Life is full of awkward and difficult moments. Even on our most confident of days there’s a chance something can take us by surprise and we can feel our insecurities start to rise to the surface. Shit happens and we don’t always have the luxury of the time to write love letters to ourselves or watch this video about boosting confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes, we just need quick and effective tricks to bring us the results we want — to maintain our aura of cool. Here are some of my little secrets for when I’m in a pinch and need a fast shot of confidence!
1. What’s Your Body Saying?
Most communication is nonverbal. Your body is telling everybody around you how you feel about yourself at any given moment. And as the wise Don Draper said, “If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” Simply check your posture. Roll your shoulders back, your chest is forward, and your head is held up. Don’t overdo it. You should still look natural and relaxed, not stiff like a statue. This is the first thing I do when I notice I could be feeling better. It only takes a second and yet it makes such a difference in the way I feel about myself. One of the reasons I’m such a fan of Tony Robbins is because he highlights how physiology can have a major impact on our thoughts and emotions. Successfully addressing your thoughts and emotions directly can take a little longer to get a grip on, but adjusting your body can be done in an instant.
It’s nearly impossible to feel bad while smiling. So show some teeth (and hope there’s nothing stuck in your teeth). Happy people are always perceived as more attractive than anyone else. You’ll feel better and look better. Thinking of something funny can help make it feel more natural.
3. Call Up The Queen (or King)!
Everyone is human and experiences feelings of insecurity and inadequacy at one point or another, even the people we perceive to be perfect. But, we’re in a pickle and we don’t have time to entertain that thought so let’s just get to the point. Who is someone you think is especially confident (ex. Angelina Jolie, Marilyn Monroe, Oprah, your mom?) pretend you’re just as good as they are! (And maybe you are? Who am I to judge?) Sometimes, your insecurities need to take a mini-vacation from a situation and you need to have a stronger, more assured version of yourself step in. We can refer to her as “The Queen” and we can call on her at any time! The reason I suggest to think of someone, whether a real person or even a character, is to give you a point of reference. To “call up the queen” that exists inside you, pause for a second and just think, “What would _______ do if she had to deal with this right now?” or “If I was really confident and comfortable in my skin, I would say or do ________.” This is kind of like an actor’s trick and the reason it works is it shifts your mind’s attention away from trying to deal with whatever emotions you’re experiencing in the moment. Instead, you’re focusing on being fabulous! You can deal with the emotional baggage in private later.
Of course, these are quick, temporary fixes. They aren’t going to do much to build your confidence for the long haul. Real confidence and self-esteem is developed over time. However, there’s no reason why you should have to let anyone see you sweat in the meantime. No one is entirely immune to self-doubt, but we can always improve. Tomorrow is a new day.