5 ways to look poised and feel confident (Even when you’re shaking in your boots)

5 ways to look poised

How can you possibly lack confidence if you don’t try? Confidence is learnt. Like any skill, it takes practice.

We all grapple with a lack of self-confidence at one time or another. It’s normal. It's uncomfortable. It's character building.

For some of us that feeling of apprehension passes with time and experience. But for others that uncertainty can lead to a debilitating state of second-guessing every choice and decision ever made and that just sounds so damn tiresome doesn’t it?

Chances are you’ve collected evidence over the years that uphold your self-doubts, limiting beliefs and perceived lack of confidence. It happens every time you hold yourself back, choose not to have a go, try something new, or say no when deep down you know you should have said yes.

Isn’t it time to retrain your brain to seek evidence to the contrary? 

To do so requires new proof, renewed thinking and a willingness to accept whatever challenge comes your way as an opportunity to step up and grow, knowing that even when things don't go to plan, you won't burst into flames, or break into a million little pieces.

A new approach to the way you do things takes practice. Practice builds familiarity and confidence comes as a result of that familiarity. 

Rewiring your thoughts and habits for sustainable long-term success can take some getting used to but there's also a lot you can do in the short-term to help you feel more confident right now. As you start collecting new evidence of all things you can do.

Here are 5 (virtually foolproof) ways to look poised and feel confident in any situation: 

 1. Have a fabulous go-to outfit

Always have a go-to outfit on standby you can count on for an instant lift because when you look your best you naturally feel more confident. Look to your favourite colours, simple accessories and smart tailoring. And be sure to pay extra attention to your grooming.

2. Smile and stand tall

Smiling is a power gesture and confidence enhancer. If it doesn’t come easy to you, practice smiling at whoever crosses your path, as you go about your day. Some people will ignore you, others will light up and you’ll start to feel good either way. Also, practice standing tall, with your shoulders pulled back and down, to create a grounded and commanding presence. 

3. Don’t complain

There is nothing charming or assertive about whinging in public so avoid it at all costs. But if you absolutely must indulge in your own pity party, create a daily 7-minute ritual for yourself where you can vent and then reset. But be sure to manage those boundaries. Allow no room for spill-overs. 

4. Slow your breathing

Healthy adults have a typical resting respiratory rate of 12–20 breaths per minute which makes slow, deep and controlled breathing essential to staying poised. On the other hand, rapid and shallow breathing points to anxiety, stress and hyperventilation. Control your breathing and you control your space.

5. Stop being so self-centred 

One of the quickest ways to boost confidence and get out of your own is to stop focusing on your stuff like it's the most important thing in the world. Leave your ego at the door and be of service to others. Find ways to be kind and generous with your time, attention and know-how and your doubts will melt away into insignificance. 

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