Are you confident? Do you know someone who is? That's the first thing I notice in another. How they carry themselves. How they interact. How do they do it? Confidence is my Achilles Heel. And I envy those who possess it. After struggling with a lack of self-confidence for half a lifetime I have finally discovered the magic formula. It requires effort but the rewards are plenty. It doesn't require money or study; it does require….. acting. Just a few subtle, internal changes can make you seem self-assured.
Walk with purpose. A confident stride goes a long way towards boosting your self-esteem. And it's best done in heels. Not only will they see you coming; they'll hear you too. YouLookFab's post, "Why High Heels are Fabulous," points out that increased height, shapely calves and the all-around girliness of high heels can make you look and feel fabulous.
This spring I was surprised to discover I had lost enough weight to wear a favorite pair of shorts. I dressed them up with a cute top and high-heeled sandals and headed for the market. I felt so pleased with my spring outfit and sassy heels that I strutted into that store like I owned the place. At the entry a fellow shopper pulled down his sunglasses to take a second look. At checkout, a clerk half my age flirted with me. I could hardly believe the effect of my purposeful stride. I left the store with a wry smile and renewed confidence.
Posture. I'm not going to tell you to stand up straight. Your mother already did. What I will share is a tip I learned from public speaking. In order to stand with an air of confidence you should first rise to a standing position, stop and take a moment to pull yourself up to your full height, take a breath, straighten your shoulders and then walk. This process may feel like it takes an eternity. Time is on your side. It may feel quite uncomfortable at first. As if all eyes are on you. Well, they are, but in a good way. Trust me. You will rise to any public occasion while exuding confidence and composure.
Focus on your positives. We all have good points and bad points. Why draw unnecessary attention to your negatives? Anna Quindlen wrote a hilarious article on this subject that has stuck with me through the years. "Putting Up a Good Front" describes a woman who looks supremely confident and pulled together on the outside yet is hanging by a thread on the inside. She's me. And she's Everywoman. Read it and see yourself. Then the next time you leave the house with the hem of your skirt held in place by staples you'll laugh.
Confidence isn't a mask that hides imperfection's shame. It's knowing you can "act" self assured while realizing you're human. It's having the courage to get out there and strut your stuff.