How can I improve my self-confidence?

A key attitude for me to keep my self-confidence strong (e.g.If I’m nervous for a TV gig) is:

Don’t think about myself.

I recently heard a very engaging interview with Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of the Confidence Code: the Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know.

The interview and the book are about women and self-confidence, but the advice I hear from the authors is in my opinion applicable to everyone.

These are the 5 essential tips.

  1. Strive for excellent imperfection

According to the authors, women tend to feel bad when they do not do everything perfectly – from how they look to how they deal with their child to how they talk.As a result, they sometimes take no risks, so they don’t fall short.

My experience is that not only women feel so.I’ve also coached many men who are obsessed with never hitting a ‘ bad figure ‘.

Regardless of whether you are male or female, perfectionism is the enemy of self-confidence, because if you try to be perfect, you will always be deficient. Try to see good enough instead.And choose where to put the bar: it doesn’t always have to be at 100% on every domain in your life.

2.Apologize not in advance

Some women, as the authors argue, have the habit of saying “Sorry” or “excusebefore they express an opinion or take action.The authors claim that the automatic “sorry” is meant to make the other feel more comfortable.

On the other hand, I think that people who apologise in advance for doing something normal do so to make themselves feel better.People (both women and men) protect their own value in case the other reacts negatively.

But to be successful you sometimes have to risk someone else not agreeing with you. Sometimes you even have to do something that is against the meaning of another to get where you want to be.

Instead of apologizing preventively, take the action you have to take, say what you have to say, and then apologize – if necessary and when it becomes clear that an apology is appropriate.

3.Stop converting statements into questions?

The authors talk about the habit that some women have to make their intonation riseat the end of each spoken sentence, whether it is a question or not.

While women are reportedly doing more than men, I have heard men do it, and this also greatly undermines their credibility.

It doesn’t really matter who does it.That rising intonation is just a bad habit, similar to the “Euh…”-Pause or an exposé seasoning with stoppers like “so” or “you Know”.

To break this (or any other) verbal habit, you best develop the ability to listen to yourself as you speak. Pause before you say anything, form the core of what you want to tell, and then deliver it as a ruling or a question.Not some strange mix of the two.


Ignore “mansplaining” (and “womansplaining”)

Mansplaining is the irritating habit that some men have to tell women what they should do based on analytical nonsense.

The downside of this is that women tell men what to feel and how to convey those feelings, based on psychologicalnonsense.

The funny thing about this is that men also do a lot of mansplaining when they talk to other men and it’s equally annoying.I bet that same applies to womansplaining among women.

But don’t let us pretend sex is decisive for your behavior.Because differences between men and women are almost always much greater than the general difference between men and women. In other words, both men and women come from Venus and Mars.

5.Develop your (over) courage

It turns out that successful people of both sexes tend to overestimate what they can achieve and overestimate the value of their contributions.But as long as your overconfidence is based on what is possible, it turns out to be a good thing.

Being Overconfident means saying “yes” to things you’ve never done before. It means “stupid enough” to truly believe that you can start your own business and make it successful.Without overconfidence, people are not stretching.

I must admit that I have never understood the value of overconfidence in the past.I always thought it is important to know your abilities and how you can apply them most effectively.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that every achievement I am actually proud of, stems from the fact that I am unrealistic.The activities I develop, the things I study, the projects and proposals that I say yes to, are often things that others tell me they would not do or dare to do, or think they would not have the time for them.

When I look at (male and female) friends, I see that it is those who overestimate themselves who do something exciting or achieve something big.Think about it: If you are overconfident, being confident is automatic.

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