December 12, 2013

Why Confidence is Overrated. ~ Alexis Meads

Yup, you heard me. I think confidence is kind of overrated.

You see, if you wait to start anything until you feel confident enough, then you’ll never take action. None of us feel confident when starting something new.

For example, when I first started making videos for my website I was terrified—completely shakin’ in my boots and the videos were terrible.

But I kept at it, and in time I became more and more confident with my videos.

That’s why I want you to know that confidence is overrated and that it can be learned.

I’ve had a lot of clients come to me feeling that they naturally lack confidence. They look at others with some jealousy because it appears that some people have this innate confidence we don’t have.

I want to tell you that it simply is not true. I don’t believe there are people out there who were born more confident than we are. They simply learned how to be confident at an earlier age, and it’s never too late to start.

If lack of confidence is keeping you from taking action then I’m going to give you a few tips, but first I want you to understand the following:

The time to take action is not tomorrow when we feel that we’ve healed all the wounds in our heart, or that we’re the best versions of ourselves. The time to take action is now. When we are our beautifully fearful, imperfect, vulnerable and fragile selves.

Okay, now here are my signature steps to become a more confident, bad-ass human being.

1. Self-Acceptance

We’ve all had those awkward moments where we trip over our own feet on a date, or we say something stupid at work or stutter our way through a presentation. Believe me, I’ve been there. And we feel that others are judging us, which leads us to want to work on becoming more confident.

Well, the only reason you are not feeling confident is because you are judging yourself. Period. The second you stop judging yourself and looking for all the ways you should be better, or do things differently, you will experience the feeling of confidence. You do not feel confident right now because you are not accepting yourself fully as you are. So accept your wonderful self, flaws included!

2. Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Or as I prefer: fake it until you become it. Like I mentioned earlier, none of us are confident when we’re just starting out on something new. Take public speaking. For many people, this is one of the most terrifying things to do. You might literally pass out or have an out of body experience the first time. But fake it. Pretend you’re really good at it and force yourself to keep getting out there. Look at yourself differently, as though you are already an excellent public speaker. Then one day, I promise, you will get up on stage and realize that you have made it. You became exactly what you felt like you were faking for so long. This is true for anything you want to do in life.

3. Stand Up Straight

Body language can actually make you feel more confident. We’ve all heard that our thoughts are manifested within our bodies. For example, if you start thinking stressful thoughts most likely your stomach will knot up and you will lose your appetite. However, did you know that your body could actually shape your thoughts?

Crossing your legs, keeping your eyes lowered, wrapping your arms around your body—these are all ways of shrinking and getting small. Literally expressions of not wanting to be seen. So if you want to feel more confident, make a point to stand up straight with shoulders back and heart open. Look people in the eye. Smile, like, a lot. You can also stand with your feet spread apart and arms above your head while looking up for two minutes if you really want to psych yourself up (winners stance).

4. Get Out There!

We’re not going to become more confident if we stay within our comfort zones. Yes, it’s easy to sit at home in your favorite sweats while eating a pint of ice cream. But it’s not going to make you feel any better about yourself. So get out there! Take the time to tidy up your appearance, dress yourself in clothes that make you feel great and then go out. Treat yourself to a manicure, sit alone at a bar for a drink and try the new restaurant you’ve been dying to go to. Even if it’s by yourself.

So there ya go! You can start feeling more confident today.

But please stop measuring yourself up to other people to determine whom you should be or how you should act. The most important thing is what you think about yourself.

Only you can be you. So stop judging yourself and go be you because you’re awesome and no one else can do that!

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Assistant Editor: Richard May / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: courtesy of the author.

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