For many people, confidence is an elusive quality that is an aspiration, but rarely a reality. We see it all the time in others, people who look poised when speaking in public, people who walk into a party and seem to be at ease with everyone.
Genuine confidence comes from a healthy self-esteem combined with an understanding that you have a competent set of abilities. When you mix those qualities with body language that displays an air of confidence, you feel much more empowered; able to resourcefully tackle most of the challenges of life and to navigate through otherwise challenging social situations.
By taking control of your body language, you are much more likely to feel more confident and comfortable in a range of situations. As the saying goes, “if you were to be powerful, pretend to be powerful.”
So what is the body language of confidence?
Stand up straight. Confident people walk tall, with their shoulders back and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same. It seems simple, but by changing this aspect of your posture, you are more likely to feel more at ease and in control. Imagine yourself six inches taller than you really are. It’s a powerful mental image that can change how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you.
Look people in the eye. There’s something about making solid eye contact that gives the impression of confidence. By avoiding the gaze of others, you are saying to yourself that you aren’t good enough to interact with them. By looking people in the eye, you tell yourself (and others) that you are on their level and ready to start building rapport with them.
Smile. Genuinely confident people feel comfortable within themselves and positive about the world around them. Smiling gives the impression of being at ease and is a must for a truly confident person. The challenge is to make sure that you’re not just smiling when things are going well, but to make sure that you can do so when under pressure or in an unusual situation as well.
Firm Handshake. Is there anything more off-putting than a dead-fish handshake? They’re just terrible and a sure sign of a lack of confidence. A nice firm handshake creates a positive first impression, putting others at ease and as a consequence, increasing your own confidence. Remember though, it’s not a test of strength, so don’t squeeze too hard or hold on for too long.
If you want to increase your confidence levels, you need to understand the importance of body language. So the next time you are feeling as though you need an extra burst, remember the above tips.
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