As part of my series from my first post on Untemplater entitled “8 Ways to Avoid Mediocrity“, here’s #3:
#3 – Be Confident
Similar to #1 — take risks and #2 — think big, it also sounds fairly trivial to just “be confident”. However, I think there are some important considerations in working towards increasing your level of confidence.
Here are 5 ways that have helped me to be more confident:
1. Follow your instincts — Learn to trust your intuition. In the words of Steve Jobs at his commencement speech at Stanford in 2005, “you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, God, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.”
2. Have a story — What makes you, you? Everyone has a story. Learn it. Perfect it. Articulate it. In addition to being able to share your personal story, I find that often times, some of the most confident individuals are great at telling stories. It’s a great way to connect with an audience, humanize issues, and make listeners remember message points. Practice telling stories. It’ll definitely help with your confidence level.
3. Jump in with both feet — Forget second guessing. Pick a path, make a decision, and go full steam ahead with it. Even if it turns out that it may have not been the best decision. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have the ability to make a decision and see it through.
4. Run your own race — In our hyper competitive world, I feel that it’s pretty important to try and remain as grounded as possible by focusing on you. It’s easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing, and be side tracked from your own agenda. However, being significantly moved by others could negatively effect your level of confidence. For example, when growing up, I found that it took me twice as long to retain something in school than it did for others in my class. I would try and mimic them. Obviously, as a result, I didn’t do so well. Overtime, that negatively affected my level of confidence until I decided to care less about following others and started to focus on me. When you focus on yourself, only you decide whether you’re going to be discouraged or not. And, that’s important to gaining a higher level of confidence.
5. It’s ok to be ridiculed — Are you ok with making fun of yourself? Tim Ferriss, Author of The 4-Hour Work Week, recently wrote a blog post about Public Speaking and in one of his pieces of advice, he mentioned to “have fun and laugh at yourself whenever possible.” I agree. When you just don’t care what other people say or think about you, this will help towards gaining confidence.
***In writing this post, I was curious to learn what other ways my closest friends may respond to this question. So, I reached out to Justin Lee, my business partner and Co-Founder of Viewpointr, who had these two refreshing points to add:
1. Haircut — “To increase your confidence, it definitely helps to look your best. And the most important part of looking your best — is a good haircut. Be sure to pay more than 30 bucks. 🙂
2. Dance — “Some of the most confident (not arrogant) people I know are dancers. There is this effortlessness that they have within their own skin. Dance expresses one’s mind, body and spirit. You’re never more “yourself” than when dancing your fullest. So dance. Be yourself. Let it out. Whether it’s in your bedroom, at a party or even further… on stage! (regarding the latter, if you can do that, you can probably do anything)
What do you guys think? What have been some ways that have helped increase your level of confidence?