In this TED talk, Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., explains in 21 minutes how your posture has a powerful influence on your level of confidence.
Ruth, a client of mine, was very hesitant to work on developing more confidence. We had spent several sessions working on various family issues that were distressing and lingered in her psyche. Since those issues had been resolved, I suggested that it was time for her to move to the next level of having more self-confidence in both her personal and professional relationships.
Ruth was reluctant, so I asked her to explain what held her back. “I don’t want to be arrogant,” was her emphatic reply. Ruth had confused confidence with arrogance.
Ruth had been exposed to people who covered up their fears and insecurity with false confidence, so she was trapped in being timid and insecure in her relationships to avoid counterfeit confidence.
Spot counterfeit confidence with these 3 tips.
- Arrogance is not confidence – Arrogance is being egotistical and conceited and having an attitude of superiority. The arrogant person usually insists on being “right,” argues or won’t tolerate discussions or dissenting opinions. This kind of persons is commonly called a “jerk”.
- Bragging about achievements is not confidence – You have seen or heard someone boast about their extraordinary feats or remarkable triumphs in a way that is intended to make them superior to other people.
Braggarts often engage in “name dropping”. In this way, they try to enhance their own social standing by indicating they have some connection to another person with status or prestige, such as a celebrity or local authority.
Cataloging one’s accomplishment as a way of establishing credibility is not bragging. Detailing accomplishments is a way of backing up your claims that you can do the job.
- “Liquid courage” is not confidence – The so-called self-assurance that comes from drinking alcohol or smoking dope to medicate anxiety in a social situation is not really confidence. Drinking may allow the person to temporarily overcome nervousness and chat more easily at a cocktail party or a business mixer, but it is counterfeit confidence.
What is authentic confidence? The root of the word means trust. Your trust you physician, so you have confidence in him or her. You trust your car mechanic, so you have confidence in him or her.
Self-confidence is trusting your self to handle whatever you are facing. Being confident is trusting your skills, whether it is driving a car, chatting with a stranger at a party, doing your job, hitting the golf ball or barreling down a ski slope.
Don’t be guilty of counterfeit confidence. Do the genuine emotional work and acquire the necessary skills, so that your confidence is rock solid bona fide.
Confidence Tip: EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, is a very effective method for quickly cultivating confidence.
Blunder #1 – Discount your successes and achievements:
A friend once told me, “As soon as I reach my goal, it doesn’t count anymore,” so he ignored one of the major building blocks of confidence.
Acknowledge and count your small daily successes and give yourself credit. A legitimate pat on the back won’t give you a big head and it will build confidence.
Blunder #2 – Reinforce your flaws, inadequacies, and shortcomings with frequent declarations:
Keep telling yourself – and others - that:
- I can’t do that,
- I always make that mistake,
- I’m such an idiot and other put-downs.
- I’ll never…..
“Argue for your limits and they’re yours,” to quote author Richard Bach. And those limitations keep you stuck without the confidence to move forward.
Remedy: Either accept your inadequacies and be quiet or choose to develop the character trait or the skill you would like to have. If you can’t do something, get a teacher, read a book, hire a consultant. Learning always improves confidence.
Blunder #3 – Believe you have to be perfect or your achievements have to be perfect.
This is a confidence killer. Nobody is perfect and everybody makes mistakes. “Perfection” is only possible when a team works together to back each other up to catch the mistakes and rectify them.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes, learn from them and do better the next time. Even Phil Mickelson has his bad days on the golf course.
Blunder #4 – Ignore your body’s need for enough sleep.
Research clearly demonstrates that even a few days of sleep shortages cause the amygdala, a structure deep in your brain that regulates moods and emotions, to go into overdrive with fear and anxiety. Confidence vanishes as fatigue sets in.
Get off of Facebook, quit the video games, turn off the TV, and go to sleep. If you can’t turn off the TV, select a soothing station and set the timer for the TV to shut off automatically. Use a sleep app. Give your mind and body time to down-regulate from the stress of the day.
Blunder #5 - Never admit you are wrong and never apologize
People who do this are very small inside and feel very, very insecure. They are doomed to repeat their mistakes and fear doing so. What confidence can they possibly have?
Decide to be a “bigger” person, learn to take responsibility for your mistakes and learn to apologize. Responsibility is not blaming. It is the ability and the power to right the wrong. Paradoxically, your confidence in yourself will expand and your insecurity will diminish.
Confidence Tip: EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a very effective method for quickly changing mental patterns that sabotage your confidence.
© 2017 Lynn Kennedy Baxter