Many of my clients tell me they lack confidence, here’s 10 tips written for an older audience, but still relevant to people of any age. Need more help what about this?
Say stop to your inner critic
We all have an inner critic. The voice that tells us that we can’t do something, that we are too fat and look far older than our friends. Say STOP and change it with something else – remind yourself of your smooth skin, your ability to listen well to friends. This negative voice is not your friend.
Wear your killer outfit
We all have at least one outfit that makes us look fantastic – the colour suits, it flatters our shape and we know it makes people say wow! So anytime that confidence is important make sure you wear one of your favourite and flattering outfits. And ditch the outfits that are out of date, too tight or itchy. You will never feel great wearing clothes like that!
Go into a new situation with a smile on your face. When you smile it radiates across your whole face, and people are likely to smile back at you. You will look approachable, people will want to talk with you and you are at least half way there!
Understand your strengths
What are you good at? Do more of it – where do you struggle? Do less of it. Our confidence takes a knock every time we fail. Just because a friend makes a perfect soufflé or type of cake it doesn’t matter that yours doesn’t match up. Have just a couple of things you are good at – your signature recipes perhaps and focus on these – me? It’s my legendary trifle!
Be up for a challenge
Trying something new, and finding that you are good at it can be a real boost. You have the time to take up a new hobby so try something you have never done before – use an iPad, join a book club, Nordic walking and aim for a reasonable level of competence. You will get excited and have something new to talk about.
Remember your successes
You’ve had masses of success from learning to walk and read to passing your driving test and raising a child. Any time you have doubts about your ability think about the things you have achieved. It really helps to make a list – in a notebook, on your phone, so you can refer to it again and again. Read and appreciate each and every one.
Handle mistakes and failures in a more positive way
When we get it wrong we can keep returning to our mistakes. We should have dealt with a family member differently, if we had there wouldn’t have been the rift. Or perhaps we keep replaying what we said, or didn’t say at a party. Be your own best friend. You wouldn’t keep on at a friend, and if your friend spoke like you speak to yourself you would remind them about their good points and look for practical ways to address this. There is always a learning point from every situation.
Spend more time with supportive people (and less time with destructive people)
Some people love to bring us down. They are worse than our inner critic. They tell us over and over not to do something, that we are too old, not intelligent enough, that it will all go wrong. They rain on our parade! Choose to spend less time with people who are unsupportive of your dreams or goals and more time with positive, people who encourage you.
Set a small goal
You don’t need to focus on large goals, aim for something small and achievable. Maybe to start counting steps and aiming to increase by 500 a day till you reach the 10,000 steps level – you don’t have to do it all in one go. Or to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake. Once you achieve it you have a success so write it down (see point 6) and work on your next small goal.
Fake it until you make it
How would a confident person walk, talk, hold their body? Find your inner actor and act as if you are confident. Once you act in a particular way, you walk tall with shoulders back and smile, you will find you feel much more confident on the inside too.