Picture this: you have an interview or important presentation coming up and you’re freaking out. You’re nervous that things will go wrong; you won’t get your dream job or you will make a fool out of yourself in front of your boss. You feel like your entire world is collapsing. Does this possibly sound familiar?
First of all, take a second to breathe. Next, keep reading this blog post. We’ve compiled a list of seven innovative ways you can push your worries aside and boost your confidence to take on the next step in your job search or career!
1. Dress for success
Looking and feeling like a million bucks will definitely put you in a self-assured mindset. Find a business professional outfit that brings you confidence and gives you the conviction to show everyone what you’re made of. Studies have shown that nice or formal clothes influence people to feel more powerful and think like senior executives. They also increase productivity and help you see the bigger picture. In the words of legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.
2. Listen to your favorite music
Blast your favorite feel-good song and sing along to get your blood pumping. This is guaranteed to get you in a great mood and make you more focused to tackle your interview or presentation. How does it work? Listening to music triggers stress reducers and improves cognitive performance. It also helps people perform better in high-pressure situations. Also, try listening to music that features more heavy bass levels, as those are proven to be more empowering and will subconsciously make you feel more confident and motivated.
3. Take a break
When getting ready for an upcoming interview or big presentation at work, it’s important to not overtax yourself. It’s critical to remove yourself from the stress every now and then by doing something else for a while. Give your mind a rest before you get overwhelmed. Go out for dinner, do some yoga, or watch your favorite episode of The Office. Taking a moment to recharge will not only renew your energy, but make you more productive for your next stage of preparation.
4. Call your support system
Whenever I need a confidence boost, I always pick up the phone and give my mom a call. She might be a tad biased, but she never fails to hype me up. Find someone in your life, whether it’s a friend, family member, a mentor, or coworker to remind you of your past accomplishments and reassure you. Simply hearing a familiar voice can make you realize you have all the qualities you need to knock this task out of the park.
Smiling is one of life’s most effective medicines. It can do wonders, from changing your mood to making you more attractive and approachable to others. Smiling is also contagious, so you won’t just cheer up your day, but might make someone else’s life a bit brighter as well. Furthermore, there are many health benefits linked to smiling. It relieves stress, boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure, and releases endorphins. If you’re too nervous to smile, try this quirky trick: simply place a pencil horizontally between your teeth and pull your lips back so they aren’t touching the pencil. This may seem weird at first, but this method forces your facial muscles to smile and actually tricks your body into gaining all these perks.
6. Strike a power pose
Positive body language can truly convince your mind to feel more confident. Before an interview or client meeting, go to the bathroom or elevator and assume the “power pose” for two minutes: stand tall, stretch your legs out, put your hands on your hips or raise them in a V position, and lift your chin. You may not believe it, but this actually raises your testosterone levels and lowers your stress levels, making you feel more confident, capable, and influential. Amy Cuddy gave an inspiring Ted talk on the concept, describing a study she conducted in which people engaged in different poses before being asked to complete tasks. Those placed in high power poses were more assertive and comfortable, while those in low power poses cracked under pressure. She suggested a ground-breaking hypothesis: “our bodies change our mind.” In essence, we have the ability to compel our bodies to feel and act confident. Put this to the test and see if you can convince yourself to unlock your potential.
7. Just do it!
By this point, you’ve already done all the hard work. Research and materials? Check. Winning outfit? Check. The only thing left is actually going through with the task at hand. Trust that you are prepared and have belief in your abilities. Use your newly formed confidence to make your next interview, presentation, or client meeting as successful as possible!
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