Whether it’s your first week starting at a new job, you’re standing in line hoping for a refund on damaged goods or you’re cooking a meal in front of the in-laws, it’s important to show confidence when performing a variety of tasks. But what if you are a shy person, can you also be confident?
Yes, you can! You can be shy and more introverted when surrounded by people you do not know or when you are in a place that is new to you and does not make you feel comfortable. However, in familiar surroundings or when accompanied by the people you love the most, you can appear very self-confident.
Confidence is more of a state rather than something you either are or aren’t. Many factors can make your confidence levels go up and down such as:
- The people you are with.
- The task you have to perform.
- Where you are.
- How you feel.
A slight change in these factors can make even the most self-assured person go from feeling like they are on top of the world, flying around on jetpacks filled with confidence, to feeling like they are at the very back of the pack, insecure and nervy.
Let’s consider these factors and see what you can do to boost your confidence levels no matter what the circumstances.
How To Act Confident In Front Of Strangers
I’m sure you would agree that it’s easy to feel confident when you are surrounded by people you know and love such as family members, friends, or maybe even some work or school mates.
Picture the scene: You’re invited to give a 30-second presentation about your favorite meal in front of your family. Now that’s easy! Why? You most likely do that every day! (Well, perhaps not in the form of a presentation, but you get my drift.)
Now, how about we shake things up a little bit? Let’s say you’re to give that presentation in front of:
- A group of people that are older than you.
- A group of your superiors at work.
- A crowd of total strangers.
Not so easy now, right? And those 30 seconds, as short as they are, may begin to feel like an eternity.
So, what can you do if you are a shy person and are being forced to speak in front of people that make you feel nervous? Consider the following tips:
- Control your thoughts.
Negative thoughts are a confidence drainer, so try to block out any pessimistic ideas that sneak their way into your head while you are in front of a crowd.
- Improve your appearance.
Looking smart and presenting yourself well will help to improve your confidence. Even if you do not feel confident, standing up straight, keeping your hands out of your pockets, and using occasional gestures will help you to feel and look more composed.
- Use your imagination.
If you don’t like the look of the crowd in front of you, then why not take your mind on a trip? Imagine that you’re talking amongst a group of friends at home. That will help you to feel more relaxed and will enable you to speak with poise.
How To Act Confident When Performing Difficult Tasks
Your confidence levels may also rise and fall depending on the activity that you have to perform.
For example, imagine you’re talking to a waiter at a restaurant and are placing an order. Piece of cake, right? But what about if you have to talk to the head chef and complain about the attitude of one of their staff members or even to send back the sub-standard meal that you’ve been served? Now that’s a lot harder.
It is easy to feel confident when talking to strangers about mundane subjects but things change when you have to talk about a subject that may make the listener feel uneasy, upset or even angry at what you’ve said.
What can you do to make yourself feel more confident when performing tasks that make you feel uncomfortable? Consider the following tips:
- Prepare what you want to say.
If you know in advance that you will have to tell someone something difficult, why not think about what you will say and how you will say it beforehand? Recite it out loud a couple of times and that will help you to feel more confident about your delivery. If possible, you could also try rehearsing what you want to say in front of a friend or your partner and ask them for some constructive feedback.
- Think about the benefits.
When you find out that you have to complete a challenging task, it can be tricky to find the courage and the motivation to do it. Why not spend some time thinking about the positive results you’ll get from speaking up, as this is a great way to gain more motivation.
- Control your circumstances.
As far as possible, try to control your circumstances. If you need to deliver a negative message to someone, why not wait until they are on their own, or ask to speak to them somewhere private? This will help you avoid creating a scene in front of large crowds of people and piling unnecessary stress onto yourself.
How To Act Confident No Matter Where You Are
It may be easy for you to act confident and to feel less shy when you are comfortable with your surroundings, perhaps when you are at home, when you are in the homes of your close friends and family, or even when you are at your local corner store where everyone is friendly and you know all of the workers. But how confident do you feel when:
- Standing at the head of your conference room in front of the projector?
- Sat in an interview room?
- Walking into the building of your new workplace?
New places can easily make us feel intimidated, especially if we are naturally timid. So what can you do to make yourself feel more confident when you are in a place that unnerves you?
- Use your imagination.
It is easy for the mind to start drifting when we are listening to or doing something mundane, so why not use that power of imagination to take yourself to a happy place when you are somewhere that makes you feel anxious.
- Be realistic.
Although an interview room may look unwelcoming and the interviewer may look even worse, it’s good to remember that we are all humans underneath the fancy front we put up. You never know, your interviewer could be just as nervous as you are! And remember, that daunting interview room is just four normal walls!
How To Improve Your Mood To Feel More Confident
If you are having a good day, it’s easy to feel confident. The sun is shining, the traffic lights are green at the intersection, your favorite song shuffles on in the car – all of these things can boost your mood and help you to feel invincible.
But what if it isn’t a bright and sunny day, you get soaked on your way to work, you’re running late and can’t seem to get anything right? How can you improve your mood on days like these and begin to feel more confident?
- Make a feel-good playlist.
The kind of music you listen to affects your mood, so set a playlist loaded up with your all-time favorite songs and put it on when you are feeling nervy or negative.
- Read something positive.
The things you look at will also affect your mood. Instead of watching or reading something sad before going out to do something important, make sure that your last few media moments are filled with funny and happy images that will make you smile as this will encourage you to carry that positive energy into your next task.
- Make plans.
If the task you are about to perform is challenging and is making you feel insecure, make sure you plan something to do later on that you know will lift your spirits. After all, a hard afternoon of grueling interviews will seem a lot shorter if you know you have a meet up with friends in the evening to look forward to afterward.