How To Gain Confidence
The 4 Step Confidence Plan
If you asked 100 people the question ‘what is Confidence,’ you would get 100 different answers. But one thing’s for sure, most people want it or want more of it. Why? Because, quite simply, confidence is a life changer.
Confidence can really make the difference between success and failure. So, it’s not surprising that when we struggle to do something, it’s our ‘lack of confidence’ that often gets the blame.
Imagine confidence as a medicine. Imagine being able to have a good dose of it whenever you need it. Who would not want some of that?
Confidence can’t be bottled but the good news is…. confidence can be learnt. In fact, I have been teaching people how to gain confidence for over 15 years. On my confidence courses, I encourage all my students to think of confidence as a series of steps.
Each new step is just as important as the one before. It’s like building a path. I want to help you along that path. I would like to share my strategies on how to gain confidence and make the most of your life.
Let’s get started
The best way to start is by downloading your free confidence plan. It asks a series of questions relating to each step of the Plan. You can then quickly work out the areas (or steps) where you struggle most.
Download your Confidence Plan now
Here’s a very brief guide to the 4 Step Confidence Plan
As you start building your path there are certain things that are going to get in your way. They’re going to try and stop you moving forward. I call them confidence killers. It’s essential to deal with them first. If you don’t they will keep trying to pull you back.
My confidence killers are: negativity, low self esteem and self doubt.
Killer #1 Negativity.
Negativity is your number one enemy. It’s the first thing you need to learn to deal with. You must stamp it out. I cannot stress this enough.
The truth is we can all be positive for an hour, a day, or even a week. It’s staying positive that’s hard. It involves training your brain to recognise, react and deal with negative thoughts. It’s essential to eliminate negative thoughts before they spiral out of control. Negativity will happily overtake your desire to be more confident.
I have called Step 1 – ‘Staying Positive’ for a reason. It’s to remind you that positivity is king. Why? Because negativity feeds the other two main confidence killers; self esteem and self doubt.
Killer #2 Low self esteem.
Do you spend countless hours wishing you could fix yourself? Maybe you think; my nose is too big, I am too fat, I am boring. Do you seek approval for everything you do? Maybe you convince yourself that you are not worthy of your friends or that you don’t deserve to be happy.
Many of my students who tell me they lack confidence have a very low opinion of themselves. Their self esteem has hit rock bottom.
There’s only one answer to this (and there’s no getting out of it if you want to move forward) ….. you’ll need to learn to have self-love.
That can be a really scary thought for some people and one of the hardest challenges they face on their journey. You’ll need to work hard at this if you want to move on. The truth is that unless you take charge of yourself you will be your own worst enemy.
Killer #3 Self Doubt.
Too many very capable people lack faith in their own abilities. This stops them doing the things they really want to do. The main reason for this? A fear of failure. The thought of getting it wrong is enough to stop them doing it.
Self doubt usually stems from someone else. A parent or teacher perhaps. A seed is sown, often in childhood. That seed grows and raises its head whenever a challenge arises.
Don’t get me wrong. Fearing failure is not all bad. For some people, a little self-doubt can be a good thing. It can increase the amount of effort you are willing to exert to achieve your goal. It can actually spur you on to create something great.
But it’s a fine balance. To continue to build your path; you’ll need to keep any self-doubt in check.
Good Communication Skills
Now that you have the right mind-set. You’re ready to move forward along the path. You’re ready to get people to listen to you. I often hear on my courses – People don’t listen to me. I get talked over. I can’t speak up at meetings. When I try to be confident I sound aggressive.
Good communication skills really are an essential step in learning how to gain confidence. These skills are a delicate balance between listening and speaking.
Imagine you’re on a see-saw. On one side you have got listening and on the other side speaking. Get the balance right and you’re one step closer to communicating with real confidence.
Call me old fashioned but I prefer to talk to someone face to face. Why? Because it means I can control a situation. I can make a judgement on how to engage the person and get them to listen to me. Put simply, confident people can adapt the way they communicate to get their message heard. Remember, you’re in the driving seat here. If you have the knowledge and the right mind-set you can control a situation.
So, what do you need to build this step? There’s one essential thing. You’ll need to know your natural communication style. This is the way you come across when you’re not consciously thinking about it.
You can find out your natural style by taking my free communication style questionnaire. It’s called – ‘What’s My Natural Communication Style?’
You will receive four scores. One for each of the communication styles. Your scores will indicate your natural leaning. There’s no best or worst style. You are interested in your low scores as well as your high scores. You’ll also need to understand the traits of each style. The key to getting people to listen to you is understanding how to adapt your style to suit the other person.
Being able to adapt the way you communicate takes discipline, patience and practice but it’s well worth the effort. It is an essential step on your journey. What’s more, it will open a whole host of doors for you. You will be able to ‘say no’ without feeling guilty. You will feel less nervous when you’re talking. You will be able to approach and handle conflict more diplomatically. You will be able to deal with difficult people more effectively. You will have influence and charisma.
Have you ever wondered how you really come across? I’m talking about the way you look, sound and act. Well, now is the time to find out. To feel confident inside we need to reassure ourselves that we are acting in a way that exudes self-confidence on the outside. Being aware of any distracting habits, awkward body language or strange facial expressions means you can deal with them. What if you possess a glaring flaw that everyone notices apart from you?
I gave a presentation recently which I prepared and practised. I received a standing ovation. I was really chuffed with myself. Yet, when I watched it back, I found myself squirming inside. I was astounded. The way I came across was completely different to the way I thought. I noticed that I spent a lot of time touching my head and looking down. It made me think… What if I think I look confident but really I come across as nervous and awkward?
Warning: The tools you’ll need to complete Step 3 are Honesty and Courage.
One of my students (Dave) asked me to help him because he was failing every job interview he attended. We discussed the reasons why this might be. Dave was very well qualified and thought he came across enthusiastically and confidently. Each time he left the interview, he was convinced he’d got the job. We set up a mock interview and the class gave him honest feedback. Dave was shocked. The perception he had of himself was completely different to the way other people perceived him. The class thought he came across as arrogant and aggressive. They also told him he had a very distracting habit of rubbing his finger nails together. Dave had no idea that this was annoying for other people.
The truth might hurt but if you have the right mind-set, it will only hurt for a short while.
Think back to Step 2. You are already aware of how to adapt the way you come across. Now, you can take one more step. Understanding how other people see you means you are in a position to control their perception of you.
Making assumptions about yourself is dangerous. Like Dave, if you get it wrong, it could mean the difference between success and failure. On the flip side, you could be worrying unnecessarily. Most people I meet actually come across more confidently than they think.
So to complete Step 3, take a long hard look at yourself. Write down how you think you come across. You can get a good idea by watching yourself back on video. Then find out what other people think. You can do this by asking someone you trust. Alternatively, to receive anonymous and honest feedback you can complete our Reality Check Questionnaire.
So now the final step. You’re ready to link everything together. By now, you know how to think and communicate like a confident person. You should also be aware of any distracting habits or unusual traits you might have. Most importantly, you know how other people perceive you. So what’s next? It’s the final step. You need to add the important finishing touches. It’s the little things that make all the difference.
What will make you stand out from the crowd?
Imagine you are climbing a really high mountain. You will need some essentials to make it to the top; water, food, knowledge of the route, rope, suitable clothing etc… Confidence is the same. You need some essentials.
Positivity and self-esteem equate to water and food. These are absolute essentials. You can’t get the job done without them. Good communication skills and understanding the way others perceive you equate to knowledge. With this knowledge you can map out the route you will take.
You could possibly climb the mountain with just these things. But would you reach the top? Without the rest of your kit, you could stumble and get into danger. You may be forced to turn back.
Your body and voice make up the other tools in your kit. To be truly confident you need to use these effectively. They will help you to make a great impression, stand out, be engaging and enthusiastic. You will be able to look and act like a confident person.
This is the physical side of confidence. You’ll find some great practical techniques and exercises to help you in this blog.
Our Confidence Training Options
Courses designed to help you change the way you come across
Look, feel and be more confident
THE 4 STEP CONFIDENCE PLAN – A great place to start. Download our Free 4 Step Confidence Plan.
FREE RESOURCES – Just browsing? Check out our Blog and Free Resources.
ONE DAY COURSES – Kick start your confidence. Feel and see an immediate difference.
ON-LINE CONFIDENCE COURSE – There’s no pressure. Learn in your own time at your own pace.
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