Confidence is a key ingredient to success in sport, business and life. There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. In my opinion arrogance can be a way of compensating for lack of confidence.

Self-confidence can be spotted from a distance. Without even hearing someone speak we can gauge a person’s level of confidence by their body language and general demeanour.

Imagine if people had speech bubbles above their head so we could see what they thought of themselves. Confident people would have speech bubbles that read: “I’m comfortable in my own skin, I’m at ease with myself, I respect myself and I expect to be treated with respect”.

With confidence comes air of assertiveness - if acceptable, boundaries of communication or behaviour are crossed a confident person will make it known that the person has over stepped the mark.

Confidence is a very attractive quality in the opposite sex and it can be reassuring to be in the presence of someone who is self-assured.

Who are these self-assured, self-confident super beings who can face new and even uncomfortable situations with grace and ease? They are people just like you and me and fortunately confidence can be developed at any age, by anyone at any time.

I remember when I took my book Do it! or Ditch it to my publisher, the editor loved the concept of ‘turning ideas into action and making decisions that count’ but said to me “it’s Ok for someone like you who is naturally confident but what about those who aren’t”. I continued to tell the editor that as a child I was quite shy, I never put my hand up in class even if I knew the answer just in case I got it wrong. As an adult I had a debilitating fear of public speaking and on several occasions I passed up media opportunities in business because I was afraid.

Feeling unconfident can be as painful as a tooth ache, it’s nagging, constant and needs to be dealt with.

As any good coach will tell you the first person you coach is yourself. I used all of the tools and techniques that I learned during my coaching training on myself. The great things about building your self-confidence is that over time the things you first practise become natural and part of your DNA. The first time we drive a car we have to remember each and every manoeuvre until one day we get into the car start the engine and we don’t even give it a second thought – we can just Do it! The car moves in the right direction and we are in control.

I learnt so much from my training as a coach and also from the people I have coached. I work with successful entrepreneurs, world champion and Olympic sports people and just like us they have days and situations when confidence can ebb and flow but they have learned to turn setbacks into comeback and have an inner resilience that is built on self-confidence.

I’ve condensed what I have learned from personal experience and also the lessons I have gained from successful people at the top of their game. The tips below can hold the key to your future success. Don’t be a prisoner of your own inner doubts and insecurities, step up, step forward to tap into the fountain of potential that lies within each and every one of us. When confidence is high anything is possible.

  1. Become aware of your inner chatterbox. When you are about to attempt something new that could be a little scary, are you your own critic or cheerleader? Telling yourself that everything could go wrong is not very helpful. Encourage yourself the way you would encourage a child or friend that you truly believed in. Be kind with your words and tell yourself you can do it!
  2. Imagine yourself looking confident and self-assured, how would you stand? Notice your posture and your facial expression. Just walking into a room with good posture can create an immediate effect. Not only does good posture look good it makes you feel good.
  3. Be interested in other people. Being confident isn’t about talking about yourself it’s having the confidence to be interested in others and not feel that you have to prove your worth by telling people how great you are. To be interesting be interested. It’s amazing how much pressure it takes off of you when you become interested in others.

Remember we often judge other people by what we see on the outside and we judge ourselves but what we feel on the inside. True confidence is not always knowing that something is going to go well, it’s knowing that whatever the outcome you will be able to deal with it.

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