It doesn’t work, does it?
For you, I mean.
It might work for some people, but the truth is, you’re not ‘some people.'
You’re unique. Uniquely ‘you’.
And when you lose touch with your authentic self, the real you, you’re all at sea, unable to find that confidence you so desperately seek.
Because your authentic self is your compass, your GPS. Without it you’re like a ship without a rudder, going nowhere. Lost.
Which is why it doesn’t work.
And why, when you need it the most, your confidence is nowhere to be found.
When you’re fretting over speaking up, selling yourself at an interview or even meeting new people, your confidence has gone AWOL.
Because the standard advice on how to be more confident, more self-assured, has left you even more anxious. Even less sure of yourself.
And the sweaty, knotted stomach, shaking and sick feeling? Well, if you’re anything like I used to be, they’re all worse than before.
And all your efforts to be more confident have got you worrying that there’s something wrong with you.
Because the advice on building confidence that works for ‘some people’ doesn’t work for you at all.
Take heart. There’s a really good reason…
You are not the problem
Like me, you’ve read all the standard, generic advice on how to be more confident, more self-assured:
Talk louder, raise your voice, lower your voice, walk faster, lean forwards, lean backward, hands on hips, feet apart, legs apart, hands together, hold their gaze, dress sharp, look sharp….
Which is all great advice, except for one, small detail - it doesn’t work, for you. Or me.
Because it’s all EXTERNAL. It’s all huff ‘n’ puff, smoke and mirrors. It’s all show for the other person.
In essence, it’s ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ advice. And if you don’t ‘make it’, then just keep faking it.
Until that is, you die of the stress or shame at the walking, talking, posturing caricature of yourself you’ve become.
Or you could try another way to ensure your confidence never lets you down...
- A way in line with your values
- A way in line with your inner confidence
- A way that boosts your self-esteem, not puncture it
- A way that’s in tune with your authentic self
- A way where ‘you’ are the strength, not the weakness in your confidence armor.
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So here are 7 commonly accepted pieces of advice that are crippling your authentic confidence...
1. Speak louder.
Commanding attention in this noisy, busy world can be a sign of confidence. But demanding attention by unnaturally raising your voice isn’t going to get you noticed for the right reasons.
You have a normal speaking voice that reflects the real you. Trying to crank up your amplification isn’t going to encourage your confidence to show up. In fact, it’s going to have it running for the shadows!
There is no need to bellow your way through life to be heard. You can command more respect and attention than the loudest person in the room as the real you.
Gandhi never raised his voice, and a whole nation heard him just fine.
2. Walk faster.
There’s a vast difference between walking faster and walking with purpose. Being assured of where you’re going shows true confidence, irrespective of your speed.
But walking faster than your natural pace will leave you feeling rushed, and appearing to be anything but in control. Your confidence certainly isn’t going to dash to your aid in that situation.
Instead of faking a faster walk hoping your confidence catches you up, ease up and go at your own pace. Let your confidence walk by your side.
After all, can you imagine the Dalai Lama rushing?
3. Look busy.
‘Busyness’ is the new hallmark of success. It’s also a meal ticket to confusion,
Do less and do it well.
Your confidence will thrive when it’s clear what you’re focusing on.
"There is more to life than increasing its speed." - Mahatma Gandhi
4. Dress sharp.
‘Dress to impress’. No doubt you’ve heard that piece of advice more than once. But in today’s credit card age, what weight does wearing a fancy label or a sharp cut collar really carry? Not so much.
And your confidence? That’s as uncomfortable as you are showing up in clothes that shout 'look at me!'
Self-conscious and self-confidence do not make good bedfellows!
What does impress is having the confidence to dress as yourself. No one wears your personal style as well as you. Remember, long after people have forgotten what you looked like, they’ll remember how you made them feel.
“I don’t want to be just known for the way I dress. I want to be known for how… I treat people” ~Rickie Fowler
5. Make and hold eye contact.
Being able to look anyone in the eye can show that you have nothing to hide. It can also leave you feeling horribly uncomfortable if you try and hold their gaze for longer than is natural to you.
You don’t need to fake false eye contact. As Ralph
6. Adopt power poses.
You’ve read the advice: stand legs shoulder-width apart with your hands on your hips, lean back in your chair, steeple your fingers together.
And how you stand and sit can tell a story about how you feel in a situation. But as an authentic person, if you’re
In the real world, that kind of acting is going to give your confidence paralyzing stage fright and have it cowering in the wings.
Instead give your authentic confidence the boost of playing the only role you’ll ever win an Oscar for—you.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde
7. Shake hands firmly.
First impressions are important, after all, they can be hard to change. So you’ve been led to believe that your handshake can fool others into believing you have the confidence of a lion.
A firm grasp followed by two or three pumps up and down supposedly says you’ve bursting with unshakable self-assurance.
But inside, that kind of contrived bravado is likely to have the opposite effect. It can leave you feeling pushy and competitive. Your confidence will sense the conflict with your authentic values and simply refuse to be a part of it.
Want to leave the best possible first impression? Remember P.J O'Rourke's advice: "A firm, hearty handshake gives a good first impression, and you'll never be forgiven if you don't live up to it."
So give a handshake that reflects what you can live up to - being you.
Confidence is an inside job.
All this advice is still good advice… for anyone not like you.
That’s not because there’s anything wrong with you.
In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s because everything is right with you.
Your confidence is designed purely to flourish in the person it was born to - you.
Your own unique version of confidence is inside.
Come and let your authentic confidence rock your world. From the inside, out.
If you need some help in unlocking that inner confidence, you’re far from alone. It’s easy to grasp the concept of acting naturally, of being yourself always. But in new or difficult situations that can seem incredibly daunting.
Intimidating people can leave the real you feeling overpowered.
The fear of creating or getting caught in conflict is enough to make you act in any way that will avoid those stressful encounters.
Don’t worry, I’ve worked through this myself. And I’ve teamed up with Mary Jaksch, who as you know, is a master of confident authenticity, of learning how to feel comfortable in your own skin.
And now, we’d like to help you reach the point of enjoying your own authentic confidence, too - with our newly released course, The Confidence Blueprint.