Increasing self-confidence to become a more experienced leader
Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking. Self-confidence is a really cliché topic for a blog, but in my opinion it is the most important skill to craft to become a more experienced leader, so how I could I skip it. I hope by the end of this blog you're inspired to improve your confidence and get involved on your journey to being an experienced leader. So come along!
The first thing you have to do is identify your comfort zones. All of us have unique fears that make our palms sweat. These are the triggers that threaten our self-confidence. So start by creating a list of all your biggest fears. Once you have a list, you are ready to start improving. First, recognize that the only way to improve is to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is crucial, but what makes this so difficult is that many people have trouble easing their way into fear. For example, if public speaking scares you, then begin with a very small speaking engagement. As you begin to feel more comfortable in a small speaking engagement then you should quickly move into larger crowds. And with time, your fear of crowds will decrease and you will be able to speak to much larger groups of people. The key is that you must always have a sense of being uncomfortable because this means you’re improving.
The next thing you can do to improve your confidence is to use the "buddy system". I have found that having someone close to you, accompany you while you are attacking a fear is a great way to improve. They seem to make those awkward situations more pleasant. For example, when I first got into high school, I had a huge fear of networking, but I knew in order to become an experienced leader, I had to get over this. So I made sure to drag a friend along for any networking experience. We would tag team conversations and it made the conversations much smoother. This soon led to me being able to have smooth conversations with new people on my own. It's an incredible way to get acclimated to a fear.
Maintaining good posture is a must have for confidence. People instantly formulate opinions on your confidence solely on the way you act. Maintain a professional demeanor in the way you sit, stand, and walk. When engaging in conversation, always begin with a powerful handshake and a clear introduction which will establish your dominance. From that point forward remember to use hands for emphasis only when it's needed to show a focus on subject matter. I believe that the most awkward yet important part is eye contact. Do not break eye contact when you speak and never look down during conversation. It conveys a sense of insecurity.
Always reflect on what makes you different as a leader. Every person has unique talents, good grades, leadership positions, and many other personal accomplishments yet some people fail to celebrate their own successes. When you spend time reminiscing on all you've accomplished and what you plan to accomplish you will naturally see an impact on your self-confidence. Share this with friends, family, and the people you meet.
So I hope that all of you are inspired to tackle your self-confidence and become experienced leaders. Always remember, be comfortable being uncomfortable, stay LIMITLESS Florida DECA!