I wasn’t always confident, especially when entering a roomful of people. As an introvert, my preference was for small groups and deeper, more meaningful conversations, so when I would enter a room humming with chit chat, I’d tend to shrink and hide by the food table, hoping someone would notice me.
But since my invisibility cloak was activated by my insecurity, they usually didn’t.
So I created a 4-part formula—The LEAP Your Confidence Formula—to help me, and other people who struggle with confidence to be themselves in every situation.
In truth, confidence is a product of courage and attention. These 4 steps boost both. If you focus on having courage and attention in your interactions with others, you’ll naturally build a foundation of confidence you can take everywhere with you.
1) To LEAP Your Confidence, LISTEN well
- Do you rehearse what you’re going to say while others are talking?
- Do you listen for where you can prove someone wrong, or get your own point of view into the conversation when the other person finally shuts up?
- Is your attention elsewhere, like on your phone?
Most of us haven’t learned how to listen well. The above habits are so common, but they won’t get you where you want to go. They also don’t build confidence because you’re distracted, which impacts your attention.
Practice listening so intently that you can repeat back to the other person what they’ve said. You can use the phrase, “What I’m hearing you say is . . . “ and repeat what you heard.
The other person will appreciate feeling heard, which actually makes you more memorable than if you talked their ear off.
Attention for the win! Invisibility cloak, handled!
2) To LEAP Your Confidence, EXPRESS Yourself Authentically.
This one can be a little tricky. I’m not saying to spew every random thought in your head or look for ways to be quirky and different. Humans being what they are, you naturally are quirky and different if you’re being true to yourself. So you don’t need to try.
Instead of filtering yourself to try to fit in, have the courage to be yourself. And, to not make an ass out of yourself at crucial moments, instead of thinking of it like you have to do or say the right things to fit in (and by extension, not be yourself), think of yourself as a finely tuned instrument that can calibrate to the situation at hand.
Calibration is a virtue. Twisting yourself to try to be who you think others want to me is not.
Also, not every thought is worth sharing. Listen to your thoughts to see which feel true to you and which are the product of what you’ve absorbed from others, and therefore not so original.
Aim for sharing the original (and calibrated) stuff always!
3) To LEAP Your Confidence, ASK for what You Want and ASK for Help.
Confidence isn’t something that happens in a vacuum. It’s built brick-by-brick by taking actions that demonstrate your competence and trustworthiness to yourself.
It takes confidence to be vulnerable. Asking for what you want and for help is vulnerable. By practicing asking, you’re practicing vulnerability. This builds up your confidence.
This step also falls on the courage side of the confidence-building equation. Although attention comes in here, too, since you need to have attention on yourself and the other person when you make your ask.
Maybe you were trained to be selfless or to give more than you receive.
Maybe you were trained to be independent and do it all yourself.
I get it. I was, too!
Time to get over it and start asking. You’ll both demonstrate confidence and build confidence by doing so. It’s a win-win!
4) To LEAP Your Confidence, Give Yourself Permission.
If you want a seat at the table, pull up your own chair.
The first step to creating a life where you have permission to be yourself and to want what you want is to notice where you hold yourself back. What are the stories you tell yourself that get in the way of your confidence?
True permission means that you recognize that all of you has a right to exist, including the messy bits. All of you is worthy of love and acknowledgment.
Then you can choose to put your best foot forward in your interactions with others, but it’s not because you’ve suppressed or rejected any part of you.
By following the 4 steps of the LEAP Your Confidence Formula, you begin to show up as a person who’s able to have what you want. Having what you want flows out of being confident to be the person you want to be. The more you show up with confidence, the more you have what you want in your life, which continues to build your confidence.
How’s your confidence level? Are you confident in some areas of your life and not in others? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you! XO