Your Confidence Level Can Cost You Dearly. Here are 6 Ways to Increase it Quickly
How many of us can relate to this stat— that women tend toward under-confidence at work and with money, whereas men are 30% more likely to be overconfident. Even the negative words and phrases we routinely use highlight our confidence issues (more on that below).
As an example, research showed men will apply for jobs when they meet just 60% of qualifications, while most women apply only if they meet 100%.
It’s easy to see how a lack of confidence can cost us in so many ways, but especially in lost opportunities that can amount to six or seven figures over a 20, 30 or 40-year career span.
Of course, if you’re more confident, you have higher ambitions and are more willing to act on achieving them. Perceiving yourself as successful leads you to take the actions that lead to success. You’re also less likely to get derailed by obstacles. How we see ourselves—our self worth—dictates the actions we take and ultimately our net worth.
That said, how can you level up your confidence quickly and get it to work for you? Here are 6 ways:
- Stop trying to be perfect. One reason we lack confidence is because we are 25% more prone to perfectionism than men are. If we’re afraid we’re not going to be great at something, we don’t put ourselves out there. We don’t want to fail and look bad, so we don’t take the types of risks that propel us forward, says Katty Kay, co-author of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance. This is a hard one for many of us (myself included), and we can’t be reminded enough to let go of perfect and be okay with ‘good enough.’
- Think less. Stop dwelling on what you did wrong (we tend to dwell like that). Underline those self-defeating thoughts in red, says Kay. Stop that business of making assumptions, imagining and exaggerating even the slightest slights, and instead focus on what you do right.
- Become an active agent in your life. The minute you take 100% responsibility for every outcome (seeking to understand your role), you gain a higher sense of self-efficacy. That is, you feel more in control of events. Which means you’re also more emotionally equipped to make sound money decisions and be a good money manager.
- Fail fast and feel good for taking a risk. Meaning see failure as a good thing. It’s the getting out and trying that builds confidence muscles. So do that thing you were afraid of. That doesn’t mean taking a safety risk, just doing something outside your comfort zone that you’ve been wanting to do. Yes, it might be scary, but succeed or fail, you’re building your “I can do anything I put my mind to” muscle. Keep at it, because as you ‘fail,’ you also succeed in (1) gathering data on what not to do/how to better succeed next time; and (2) seeing yourself as a person who is bold and courageous and admirable (which builds confidence).
- Be fearless when it comes to income and saving. When you show a client or employer what value you provide in black and white, you’ll feel better about asking for more money. It helps to show results, testimonials—whatever you can—to convey why you’re worth every penny you ask for. If you don’t feel confident about it, go out and get those results or learn what you need to in order to feel good about what you provide. At the same time, when it comes to saving more money, it helps to view saving as a confidence-builder and act of self-love. This compounds on itself since the more you save, the more in control and successful you’ll feel.
- Strike a power pose and use power words, i.e. ‘fake it ‘til you become it.’ Research by Harvard social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, shows that acting as if you’re confident and successful—for example by standing taller or striking a power pose (even flexing muscles)—helps you feel confident enough to take bolder actions. The same goes for the language we use. We are the worst offenders when it comes to negative, defeatist self-talk. Catch yourself if you hear yourself say ‘I can’t,’ ‘I won’t,’ ‘I’ll never’ when referring to potential achievements. Instead flip it to ‘How can I achieve that?’ Your confidence grows when your words reflect you taking charge.
Incorporating any or all of these steps in a way that works for you can mean more confidence and a rising net worth.
What steps do you take to feel confident quickly? Please share in the comments below.
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