How to be Self-Confident (when you really feel like an impostor)

Feeling self-confident when you really feel anything but can be a challenge!  This post will give you some tips (most of which I’ve used at one time or another) to help you gain control in any situation.

My last post was on making fear your new BFF, and this article is a complete 180 from that topic…or is it?  Fear and feeling like an impostor are, at the very least, kissing cousins.

In one, two, three…everybody say, “Ewwwww!”

Over 100 years ago , William James said, “Most people live in a restricted circle of potential.” (source) It’s a perfect saying that illustrates some things don’t really change over time.

For this reason, it’s important that we don’t get too much of our self-worth from external influences, but pull up our bootstraps and do what’s necessary to develop self-confidence and wear our crown like a boss! Way too many people are looking for help from all the wrong places to garner courage to try to do something.  Deep down, if they would admit it, they’re really looking for an excuse to NOT start at all.  That’s the larger problem here y’all.  

We can be so busy asking someone’s opinion, or polling several someones, that the second we find a naysayer or a group who poo-poos our ideas, we hang it up and think,

“It’ll never work anyway – why even try?”

And then –  we give up.

Allow me to give you a list of ideas that will help propel you forward.  I will warn you though, that you may find several that sound like the last post.  That’s okay – sometimes we need to hear things more than once before they sink in.

Ned Ryerson, “Groundhog Day”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes.  Yes I am.

First of all, let’s put a stop to those negative thoughts immediately.  Even if you have to go old school by putting a rubber band on your wrist and flipping yourself every time you have a negative thought, do it.  Do you hear me?

DO. IT.

You have to stop these thoughts in their tracks in order to move forward.  I promise you, the Bill Gateses, Steve Jobses, Warren Buffets and John Maxwells of the world did not achieve their success by secretly speaking negatively to themselves.  You have to shut the mouth of that inner 3-year-old and imagine that rubber band being a stinging slap across her face every time you have to use it.  Negative thought processes are a rabbit hole of self-pity.  Every time you think you’re not qualified to do something, or you don’t deserve to have success in what you’re trying to accomplish, give yourself a snap.

Another tip is to have an anchor or mantra.  See the featured image up there?  I bought a necklace with that same exact quote and illustration on it and I wear it often as a reminder of  self-confidence.  I have another necklace that was a gift from my husband that is very unusual.  When I’m going into a new environment and I’m not sure how to start conversation, that necklace never fails to elicit a comment from someone, which opens a door for a chat.  Surround yourself with mantras or similar quotes – whatever you can go to instantly to get an infusion of  ego.  Honestly, buying things like this should be tax-deductible.  They are essential to your mental clarity.

Wear an outfit that makes you feel magnificent.  In fact, have two.  Wearing something that feels good and looks good can give you an empowered feeling like no other.  If you’re a woman, knowing your makeup is on-point just adds to that feeling. While it may seem shallow and as if we’re focusing on appearance, it’s more about how you feel on the inside about how you look, your perception of yourself.  When facing a new situation, take the time to get ready meticulously so no matter what the outcome, you’ll feel like a million bucks!

Have an  “I CAN” mindset and flip that negative thought to a positive.  “I can’t” becomes “I Can”.
Change the way you’re seeing and feeling about it.  It’s more than just being positive; it’s knowing that you’re worthy with every fiber of your being.

What have you accomplished so far?  Giving yourself credit where credit is due isn’t being an egomaniacal jerk (unless your friends are starting to roll their eyes – then you may want to tone it down a bit).  It’s actually very healthy

The LARGER problem behind a lack of self-confidcene is a misunderstanding of knowing what it feels like to be confident.  Don’t you dare think you can’t be confident.  Think about something you do, without a second thought, in which you feel confident.  For instance, a couple of my friends always ask for my help when they have phone issues.  Without a second’s hesitation I’ll reach for their phone to fix their problem.  Am I always successful? No.  But I’ve been successful enough that I’m confident in my ability to at least attempt it.  Watch for times like this when there is never a question about your self-confidence.

Have you ever had a flash of inspiration that hit you like a lightning bolt? ⚡ Or , better description – fireworks going off in your head? 🎆 (Can you tell I’m in an emoji mood today?)

So that’s what you do…

You capitalize on that feeling and do whatever it is you’re – wait for it – SCARED TO DO and make that fear your new BFF.  Sound familiar? You jump on that feeling and away you go – doing  the very thing that was scary and made you at first feel like an impostor!

You will not always make the right decisions, but part of being confident means admitting when you’re wrong. Everything is a learning experience, and throwing up your hands and changing directions is a confidence-builder in itself.

Just ask Sheldon.

As quirky as he is, Sheldon has never suffered from a lack of self-confidence.

Another confidence booster is to check yourself out when you pass by a mirror – or better, a reflective window.

Reflective windows never sugarcoat the truth.

What is your posture saying?  Are you stooped over looking all hangdog? What’s your expression?  Consciously pull back those shoulders, straighten your gaze to look ahead and not down (because hopefully, you’re not going DOWN), and walk with purpose. This one correction alone can change your whole outlook and demeanor.

Bottom lining all this…

Fake it ’til you make it.

When watching the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” – based on a true story, by the way – the very best technique Frank Abagnale employed was walking in and acting like he belonged in every situation he was in.  We would do well to emulate that technique in whatever situation we face, walking with confidence as we straighten our crown!

Ummm, but not for the same outcomes. Don’t go saying I encouraged you to be a felon, k?

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