Confidence is a powerful feeling when you have it because it can make you feel unstoppable and on top of the world. However, when you struggle with confidence, you often get uncomfortable in new situations and unfamiliar places.
But where comes this lack of confidence from and how to get more confidence? And why a good first introduction can help?
Where lack of confidence comes from?
Lack of confidence can come from many places. Be it from family or other people that tell, "you could never do that." Or you make yourself believe that you can't do a certain job or activity. Also, when you are an inner self-critic and tell yourself, you can't, or you are not good enough.
Bad experiences can lead to self-doubt. Especially if you constantly compare yourself to others, you can struggle a lot with confidence. We all have moments of self-doubts and lack of confidence. It can keep you in a bad job or poor relationship, and you stop moving forward in your life or career.
The difference is confident people believe in themselves and have a positive mindset while doubtful people feel more insecure about themself and their decision.
How to get more confidence?
You need to ask yourself, where do you have a lack of confidence, and when do you get negative emotions of self-doubt? Where your skills and abilities are limiting you? Where do you like to have more confidence?
The more you get specific, the easier it is to find what you can improve to become more confident. It is a good idea to identify your struggles and may even write down where you want to have more confidence.
Think about the times where you felt most confident. What made you feel so empowered? In what environment you were and what you were doing? The more you focus on this moment, the easier it will get to tap into it when you need it.
One way to lose confidence, you try to be someone else. If you decide to be someone you are not, you doubt yourself because you are not yourself. So it helps a lot to understand who you are and what values you have to offer.
Find out what makes you unique and also write down what your values are and what is important to you.
Many people spend way too much time improving their skills and changing. But what they forget is to acknowledge the talents, skills, and successes they already had. It is a good idea to think about the thing you did well weekly and where you felt and good and what made you proud of yourself.
Nothing makes you lose confidence more than comparing yourself to others, especially with social media, where it is way easier to judge yourself against others. Better focus on how far you have come and how much improvement you made and what your wins and successes are.
Try self-talking, for example, you can for three weeks every day repeat a sentence like "I am enough," "I am confident." It may sound a little bit corny, but it can have a powerful effect. Especially if you don't just say it but deeply feel it at the core of who you are.
What is also helpful is if you step out of your comfort zone and take new opportunities to create new experiences.
Abilities are directly linked to confidence, so when you learn a new skill, you struggle lesser with self-doubt. Especially, for instance, if you gain knowledge on how to make deeper conversations and practice to present and talk more freely in front of strangers.
Our mind easily tricks us into having self-doubts in different situations. However, if you change your physical and mental state, you can increase your confidence a lot. Here are strategies that you can use:
- Think about the time where you were feeling truly confident. And relive this feeling deeply and moment by moment with every detail.
- Imagine how you feel if you were confident at the moment and how you would act, feel, and be.
- Find a person that you think has good confidence and ask yourself what the person would do in your situation.
Confidence also depends on the people you surround yourself with. There are a lot of benefits if you spend time with people that encourage you, show positivity, and are an inspiration. When people "get you" and see your greatness, it boosts up your energy a lot.
Often it is better if you don't think about something too much and try it out right away. You gain momentum, and it is easier to keep going. For example, if you want to introduce yourself and speak to a stranger, it is better not to hesitate.
With confidence, you can seize potential opportunities and take more chances and make the bigger steps in your life and career.
Why many struggle with first introductions
One thing you may struggle with and make you feel uncomfortable is being in situations, a party, a meetup, or a conference where you don't know any attendees. What do you do? You go in the corner and pretend to be on your phone because you don't know how to start a conversation. And maybe you ask yourself why you are so awkwardly?
Many people feel anxious about meeting new people and being the new person in the room. The fear of strangers starts with child development at an early age of 6 months. Later this feeling is even more supported because parents and teachers warn their children against talking to strangers.
But same time, we have a fear of being excluded from different groups. Modern culture is stating that only losers are incapable of finding a community.
It is why we feel anxious in new situations and still want to fit in.
When you are meeting someone new most people use the same script the name, what is your job, where are you from...
These scripts may prevent users from becoming too overwhelmed. But they can also make use feel anxious Because you don't think about how you can handle new situations. So if you want to get better at being new, you have to adopt a different mindset.
You can try one of these three approaches:
Coach Mindset: You think of a new situation as training, so you improver yourself and get better with feedback and practice.
Gamer Mindset: Every new situation is like a social video game where you try to win by becoming better each time you find yourself in an unfamiliar position. As our approach to life is often too serious, it can be a good idea to turn it sometimes into a fun challenge.
Beginners Mindset: You walk into new situations and get excited because you can learn something new. It helps you to accept any mistakes as those are of a beginner and not a personal sign of failure.
How can you make a good first impression?
Confidence starts with a proper and successful introduction. The problem is many people are afraid to introduce themselves and wait for others to make the first move.
It is understandable when you fear you make a poor first impression. But it is better to make a bad first impression than not introducing yourself at all.
To overcome this, you need to create an introduction strategy. Find an appropriate time and greet the people you want to talk to. Then give your name and say who you are and why you want to introduce yourself. It is a good idea if you ask that you are not disturbing something important.
Remember to be respectful and listen to what other persons share about themself. It can be helpful to establish a good relationship with the people. When you don't know what to say asked questions about the other person, it shows respect and interest. The goal is to find out what you have in common and how you can make future connections.
For instance, if you are at your new job you can say what your position is why you should know each other. It can be helpful if you write down some details after a conversation with a new colleague so you can avoid struggling with anxiety in future situations.
Practice remembering names as this shows respect and flatter others, and you make a good impression. You can use some of these useful name recall strategies:
- If you have a friend with the same name as the stranger, you just met to visualize the friend standing next to the new person.
- Imagine the new person's name is written across their face.
- Repeating a new name during the conversation is a good method to help your brain process it. You can say something like "Hello Tom, nice to meet you" and maybe at the end of the meeting “Bye Tom.”
Don't make multi-part questions into one as it creates confusion where only one question gets answered. If you new say it, people are more willing to help you and less likely to see your question or mistakes as stupid.
The fear of rejection makes us so sensitive that anything that might signal it; we interpret wrong that even neutral behavior is evidence of dislike
It is important to be positive and focus on giving others energy as you build new relationships. It gives people energy when they feel understood and when their opinions and ideas are validated, and you show genuine interest in them. When you listen to people, you encourage them to talk about themselves, and you show them that you appreciate and understand them.
If you don't constantly want to impress others with your accomplishment and talk positively about them, they will remember this and tend to like your personality more.
Many people are afraid to perform in front of other people because they think there are certain talents you are born with. And when something doesn't is as easy as we thought, we conclude we are bad at it.
Use a healthier approach to getting a better mindset where you focus on talent being developed through learning effort and practice. You need to understand your first performance says little about your talent, which is why it is unnecessary to worry about imperfections. Don't hesitate to ask for help or feedback; others will acknowledge that you still have to learn.
Remember, your first performance isn't an accurate representation of your talents and worthiness. Other people may don't even notice a mistake you made as they are preoccupied with their own performance.
It is natural to feel anxious in new situations. But to overcome this fear of the unfamiliar, you need to change your mindset.
Being more confident is about taking action, make decisions, and seeking opportunities. Your mind bellies what you tell it, so tell yourself that you are confident and that you can do it. This will help you gain the confidence you need for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilled life.
Practicing simple techniques to introduce yourself, ask questions, and remember names can benefit you a lot when you meet new people and grow your network.
Remember, we all make mistakes at first, but the more you do it, the better you get at it.
It takes one person to believe in you, and that is yourself.