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Tips for How to Be More Confident

Saturday, June 6, 2015
Everyone loses confidence at least one time in life. I can't count how many times I've heard concerns over public speaking or the nerves that come with meeting new people. These experiences tend to draw a lot of premeditated anxiety even if you’ve prepared, and even if you are a cool person worth sharing with others. (You are, by the way.) The "bad" or "scary" things that could go wrong give us the feelings of dread and uncertainty that seem to have us running for cover. Remember, at one point we may have even been excited about this new experience, or interested. Where did all that energy go?

A lack of self-assurance can be even more overwhelming when you have a responsibility to someone or something else. Following through seems like a nightmare - first because you may not be feeling it and second because you're obligated to others. But I can tell you that it is in this exact moment that we have the chance to grow closer to becoming our best self. Getting out of one's comfort zone is an act of power. We physically mold our new identity through action. And if done regularly we are changed. However it’s not always easy to force ourselves to alter our nature again and again in the face of panic. The solution is to have some tricks in your back pocket for building yourself up when you need to master this confidence thing.

Jump start yourself with music
Of course I'm going to suggest this one. Music has been proven to affect mood and productivity, and thus can be a great tool. Choose a song or playlist that either invites the zen or gets you hyped. My pump it up playlist is the All-American Rejects. Something about their bouncy music and pin-pointed lyrics always get me going. A solid dance jam can work wonders. On the other hand, when the anxiety is too much to handle I like to listen to Classical or Baroque music. Maybe it's lame, but the consistent, basic sounds can lull me back down to earth when needed.

Stand tall with a confidence pose
Think of a pose in which you feel important or confident. This sounds silly - and it probably is - but it’s something that makes a big difference for me. When QOK first started recording in the studio I was so nervous. The thought of my voice being permanently tracked made me feel small. But in the studio you have to be able to give it your all in order for the music to sound right. I came up with a confidence pose that required me to stand up tall and literally face the music. Standing like a superhero with my hands on my hips and proverbial cape flowing behind me worked magic. Now I've got 5 songs under my belt. Maybe something similar would work for you.

Go to your happy place
Do you have a room in your house or a special spot in your neighborhood that is comforting? The front porch is my happy place. When I'm upset or need a minute I sit out on the front steps to watch life happen. Truly it is the only place I can stop thinking. I also hang at the library. Sometimes I swing by just to walk in the doors, almost like a reset button. Where is your happy place? A coffee shop down the street? A scenic road stop in the mountains? Find a place where you can reset and regain your confidence.

Find yourself a cheerleader
I'll be the first to say that discouragement can be a lot louder than belief in yourself.  Asking for help can be a difficult thing, but I promise finding one person you can rely on is necessary. More often than not, especially these days, I have to be reminded that my contributions are needed and valued by others. The obvious way to make this happen is to ask for help. But let's be honest, that isn't always easy. Luckily, though, I'm sure there is someone out there who already thinks you are the bees knees in whatever you are doing. This is the person who comes to your poetry readings or comments on all your Facebook posts. In my case, I an so energized when my husband reminds me that I'm doing a good job with our daughter. Being a new mom is a struggle, but I've learned someone believes in you, even if you don't. Find out who that person is and remember what they would say about you. And if you can't think of anyone, know that I think you're totally popular table material.
You know, being confident isn't about being on top of things all the time. I'm in front of people all the time and it can scare the pants off of me. No really, I pretty much only wear dresses when I'm on stage for this reason. And yet, I get up and do it over and over again. Confidence is about doing what you have to do although the easier option might be to not go through with it. Eleanor Roosevelt agrees,

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to  look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." - Eleanor Roosevelt

So whatever you're doing today, stand up tall and get work done.

Updated 9.21.2017
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