| 6. Pray or meditate briefly
If you believe in a higher power, whether God, or another spiritual force, it can be a real boost to self-confidence to say a silent prayer. (You could also meditate instead of praying.) This helps you to take a step back from your immediate situation, to see the wider picture and to seek help from something or someone greater than yourself. This is a Christian prayer, but you could write something similar that fits your own religious beliefs or spiritual tradition:
Dear God, thank you that you love and accept me as I am … please help me to do the same … and help me to grow to become the person you want me to be so that my God-confidence and self-confidence will increase greatly—all for the glory of your name and not mine. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen.
If something unexpected happens, it’s easy to let it knock your fledgling self-confidence. Perhaps you spill your drink on someone, you arrive late for the big meeting because of traffic problems, or someone who you wanted to speak to gives you a cold brush-off. Try to “reframe” the situation; put it in the best possible light: often, events are only negative because of the meaning we attach to them.
8. Find the next step
Keep your self-confidence up by taking gradual steps forwards, rather than freezing when faced with what seems like a giant leap. If you’re not sure what to do, look for one simple step that you can take to make progress. That might mean making eye contact at a party, introducing yourself to a stranger, breaking the ice in a meeting, or asking a question of your interviewers that shows your knowledge of their industry and company.
Start taking action even if you don’t have a clear idea of what needs to be done. Start moving towards your goal. Make corrections later.
9. Speak slowly
An easy tip for both seeming and being more self-confidence is to speak slowly. If you gabble, you’ll end up feeling worse as you know you’re being unclear to your audience or to the person you’re in a conversation with. Speaking slowly gives you the chance to think about what you’re going to say next. If you’re giving a talk or presentation, pause at the end of phrases and sentences to help your audience take in what you’ve said.
A person in authority, with authority, speaks slowly. It shows confidence. A person who feels that he isn’t worth listening to will speak quickly, because he doesn’t want to keep others waiting on something not worthy of listening to.
10. Contribute something
Have you ever sat through an entire class at college or meeting at work without saying a word? Have you had an evening out where friends chatted happily while you sat and stared silently at your drink? Chances are, you weren’t feeling very self-confident at the time – and you probably felt even worse afterwards. Whatever the situation you’re in, make an effort to contribute. Even if you don’t think you have much to say, your thoughts and perspective are valuable to those around you.
By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.