6 confidence boosters to change your life

Michelle Bowden

Michelle Bowden shares her tips for being more confident.

Confidence is undoubtedly something we all strive for and want more of.

We know that confidence is something we need to lead a better life. And for a variety of reasons, confidence doesn’t come that easily to many people.

But there are simple changes you can make each day to build your confidence and see it grow over time, at which point you’ll start seeing positive changes.

Try these six confidence boosters which will help you improve your life.

1. Body language

We stand and walk a certain way when we’re confident and another way when we’re nervous.

Most people can tell in seconds if we’re apprehensive or outgoing, relaxed or aggressive simply by observing our body language.

So, avoid your hands in your pockets, don’t cross your arms, stand tall, lift your head up, walk in long strides, breathe from your diaphragm and shake people’s hands firmly. You’ll love the way you feel when you do all this in combination.

2. Good grooming

You want your hair, face and even your smell to work for you, not against you.

Style your hair to flatter your face, dress for your body shape, and use a fragrance that works for your body chemistry.

And remember, there’s nothing worse than a forest of hair in your nose and ears to make you look unkempt and unprofessional.

Being well-groomed says you’ve got a degree of self-respect, are disciplined and pay attention to detail. These are all qualities that are admired by employers and loved ones alike.

3. Smile

Have you ever tried to think negatively or act sad while smiling? You can’t. It’s impossible!

Smiling affects our emotions because of a brain-body connection. It triggers scientifically measurable activity in the left frontal cortex — the area of the brain where happiness is registered. The American comedian Phyllis Diller said: “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

So, smile often. You will feel more confident and you will look better too.

How to persuade: The skills you need to get what you want by Michelle Bowden

How to persuade: The skills you need to get what you want by Michelle Bowden.

4. Direct, connected eye contact

Confident people make eye contact and engage with others.

Your eye contact reflects your level of interest in the person or audience you’re speaking to. When you make eye contact you connect to others deeply.

So, don’t dart your eyes around; hold your gaze just long enough to connect with the other person.

5. Be grateful

Heartfelt gratitude is a deep feeling.

Unlike forced gratitude (where you make yourself think of the positive even though you feel dreadful), heartfelt gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and connection with life and makes you feel fantastic.

Put things into perspective and take some action in your life to contribute in some way to a cause greater than you.

Volunteer for something and you’ll find your outlook begins to change and you’ll recognise the good in your life.

Some people even keep a gratitude journal where you write down what you feel grateful for each day – this may work for you too.

6. Use an icon

Many excellent public speakers use a presenter icon to help them get ‘in the zone’.

I often imagine the warm rays of the sun shining all over me and through me to my audience. A client always wears her bright red lipstick to board meetings. A boss I worked with used to play a certain song to pump himself up before training for the day. And Lou Heckler, the amazing American speaker, imagines he’s talking with his wife when he presents. You should see the love in his eyes when he’s on stage – powerful stuff.

Before you go into a sales meeting, give a presentation, speak to your board or find yourself in a challenging situation, find your icon.


This is an edited extract from the book How to persuade: The skills you need to get what you want by Michelle Bowden. Purchase a copy of the book here.

Michelle Bowden

This article was written by Michelle Bowden.

Michelle is an authority on presentation and persuasion in business. She is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), and the creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile®, a world-first psychological assessment that reports on your persuasiveness at work.

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