At a Fourth of July celebration over the weekend I was talking to a wonderful artist friend who reads my blog about the topic of confidence, a subject about which I often write.
She asked me, “Linda, when do you feel the most confident?” I told her I feel the most confident when I am fully present in a situation and I believe in myself. This is the result of being fully aligned inside and outside. In other words, I feel good because I’m doing what I love and expressing who I am inside and out.
I went on to explain that confidence is not perfection. Confident people have flaws. The difference is they acknowledge their flaws but they play to their strengths. How do you play to your strengths? I believe you need both self-awareness and practice. Repetition, repetition, repetition. You’ve done this a thousand times before (or ten thousand times as Malcolm Gladwell calls it “the 10,000 hour rule”). You’ve presented your speech to a group many times before, or you know your signature style and dress that way every day. That’s what gives you confidence.
However, sometimes you have to wing it, just go with the flow. For instance, walking into a party where you don’t know anyone, or, teaching a new workshop for the first time. In that case, I told my friend, you fake it til you make it! My friend smiled broadly at that, and admitted that everyone is faking it to some extent. We all experience anxiety about ourselves at some point.
And yet, we hate to admit we’re feeling anxious, and that we’re faking it! After all, aren’t we supposed to always be in control and know everything as the expert?
I invite you to join me in admitting that sometimes we have to fake it til we make it.
We need to teach our daughters (and sons) that it’s okay NOT to have all the answers or not be the most attractive person in the room. Of more value, is having the courage to take a step outside your comfort zone and try something new or allow a new experience to take you somewhere you’ve never been. Faking it can mean starting that new business you’ve always dreamed of even though you don’t have all the details worked out.
Faking it can be as simple as having the confidence to walk up to a stranger at an event and introducing yourself with a big smile. You’d better believe this stranger is probably feeling just as uncomfortable about approaching people as you are, and appreciates your friendly gesture.
Try these 3 tips to fake it til you make it:
- Tip #1 – Practice Amy Cuddy’s power pose before you enter the room; use confident body language – make eye contact, straighten your posture, and smile! Are you familiar with Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses? Her work verified that your body language shapes who you are and makes a bigger impression than your words.
- Tip #2 – Carefully select an outfit well ahead of time that makes you feel like yourself because it is fully aligned with your inner personality. The power and energy this evokes is palpable when you enter a room. You’re like a clear radio signal — people notice you!. And, give yourself enough time to get dressed and get to your destination. Leave early. Strive to be early. That’s my new mantra!
- Tip #3 – Allow your inner beauty to shine through. This doesn’t require classic beauty or a perfect body. Far from it. Inner beauty is showing compassion, kindness, and a desire to listen. This is what makes you beautiful!
My passion and focus has always been to help women rediscover, reinvent, and reinvigorate their beauty, passion, and power. I’m excited by this! I love helping women see their inner beauty on the outside by aligning the way they dress with who they are inside, and what they DREAM of accomplishing. I am confident about this.
What brings you confidence?