If you act like you’re comfortable in your own skin, others will believe it. You may critique yourself for every bumble you do, but others don’t see all those little mistakes. They don’t have time to pick you apart in such detail. They’re too busy focused on themselves. As Eleanor Roosevelt put it, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do”.
It means you don’t have to convince others you’re confident. You just need to convince yourself. Once you convince yourself, you’ll project confidence, and others will perceive you as confident.
So, how do you convince yourself that you’re confident? It starts with declaring that you’re enough. This means having the courage to be imperfect.
An example is entering a conversation with a group of people who intimidate you. It’s okay to stumble on your words and say the wrong thing. We all do it. And to be honest, no one cares. It’s not what you say, but how you recover the situation that determines what people think of you.
So, if you share something among a group, and feel it’s not being received well, don’t retreat into silence or fall back on insecure statements like “I don’t know”. Be courageous and carry things to the end.
Sure, maybe your story was too long, or you spoke too fast, or you were downright boring. You can pick these things up the next round. But, right there, in the moment, it’s not the time to pick yourself apart. It’s time to finish what you started. And when you’re done, don’t trail off into the next thing, or throw in a generic disclaimer, or make some strange noise. Stop, and think – your move.