How To Be Kween Of Confidence In Any Situation... Without Getting Cocky

Hey, you in the corner... want to feel good about speaking up in public, rather than wanting to throw up in the nearest pot plant?

Or do you simply want to be able to talk in a meeting without blushing/ bursting into tears /fainting/ all of the above?

You need confidence, my friend. Yes, you -- the one cowering in the bushes. And while you may feel that it's out of your grasp right now -- can you hear us, under that table? -- take note: it isn't.  All you need are some tips from the experts...

And we're here to help. Or rather, Michelle Sales, author of The Power of Real Confidence is.  You see, she says you can learn confidence. It won't be easy, but it can be done. And the rewards are there.

READ MORE: The Secret To Having Confidence At Work

"There's no single definition or sign of confidence, yet it is so important in our lives," she told 10 daily. "Confident people seem completely comfortable in their own skin, to know who they are, and to believe in themselves and their ability to be successful. Chances are they’re poised, hopeful and positive. They take action and don’t seem to let anything hold them back. And when it does, they have the resilience to push through."

Confidence is not a personality trait or a fixed attribute; it’s the outcome of the thoughts we think and the actions we take.

So, how can you get to feel more confident in all areas of your life?  As the old TV ad says, It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

"Showing up as truly confident over a sustained period of time is something that needs to be built from the inside out," said Michelle, who added that you have to understand your greatest strengths, your values and what’s most important to you in life and work.

Practice speaking up with positive, assertive language in a variety of forums both professionally and personally. Step out of your comfort zone a little bit each week by taking action and framing your thoughts in a positive way.

Of course there is such a thing as too much confidence (Donald Trump we're looking at you) -- get too confident and you can become cocky. So what is the difference, and how can you avoid making the leap?

Spot the turkey. Image: Getty

"There is a big difference between confidence and cockiness," Michelle told 10 daily. "Cocky people lack the capacity to question themselves, have little humility or vulnerability and often engage in too much risk taking. Real confidence is grounded in the ability to be authentic and vulnerable."

READ MORE: An Alarming Number Of Girls Are Dropping Out Of Sport Because Of Self-Doubt

So if you want to climb out from under that table and face the world, here are some simple practices that help you to feel more confident (without getting to cocky level, right?)

Focus on positive self-talk.  Lysn psychologist Noosha Anzab told 10 daily, "Practice self love and practice lots of it! You might engage in a little self talk that can allow you to affirm your strengths, accomplishments and great qualities. Positive affirmations, where you may repeatedly say phrases to yourself such as ‘you are intelligent’, ‘you are generous, ' you are kind’ and the like, are a great place to start."

Ditch the negative thoughts. "Pull yourself up on any negative self talk where you might doubt or question your own abilities," said Noosha. "Be aware when you do this and try to acknowledge that you are having a negative thought by simply saying "I am having a negative thought about my self worth", label it and move on.

Be aware of your body language. "Practice Amy Cuddy’s ‘power poses’ to build strength and courage," suggested Michelle.

Learn ways to stay calm.  Calm is the foundation of presence. To maintain a peaceful centre, learn to use your breath," said Michelle.

Think of building confidence like building a muscle. "Small sustainable steps every day make much more difference than taking a big risky leap. And if all else fails ask yourself 'what’s the worst that can happen?'" said Michelle.

And if none of that works?

"Live by the "fake it till you make it" rule where even though you might not feel confident, act as though you are," Noosha suggested.

Stand tall, put your shoulders back, open up your body posture, make eye contact and walk with your head held high.

 

"When conversing with people, act with intention and actively listen. Be present and try to process the whole person and their presence, engaging as naturally as you can whilst being apologetically yourself."