By Mary M. Mitchell, Reuters
June 12, 2012
Confidence means feeling good about yourself, especially in regard to accomplishing something — a new job, new assignment, or successful networking. Here are a few actions with real payoffs in developing self-confidence.
Move your body: When we feel better, we become more confident. Exercise gives us more energy. And energy is attractive: Energetic people magnetize others. Exercise not only increases strength and endurance, it also defuses anger and frustration, and gets the creative juices flowing.
Dress the part: Everything you put on represents a decision you have made and is a reflection of your good taste and good sense. We're not talking fashion statements but what works in a given environment to be effective. Also: Grooming is everything.
Breathe: Find sanctuary inside yourself. There is honor in standing still. We are so time-crunched, information-bludgeoned, downsized and multitasked that it's spiritually suffocating. Learn "belly breathing": Lie on the floor, be quiet and place your hands on your tummy. Breathe from your belly, letting it rise and fall. I've learned to belly breathe on elevators, in restroom stalls, and in the middle of crowded rooms when I need to calm down and focus.
Be disciplined: Keep your agreements. Be on time. Be mindful and in the present. That is a gift to yourself as well as others. Whatever we think and feel now creates what happens in the future. When we stick to the "now" and don't chase rabbits, we are involved and aware of opportunities. That has a huge impact on the quality of our relationships.
Give and receive: Give whatever you hope to receive in turn. When we circulate our positive energy, we create more to enjoy. Be open to giving to yourself.
Perhaps, as you read these ideas, you're thinking, "Yeah, so tell me something new. I know this already." To paraphrase one of my teachers, "Although we all know what to do, successful people do what they know."
Mary M. Mitchell is author of several etiquette books and founder of executive training consultancy The Mitchell Organization.
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