Contrary to common belief, no one person is born with a lack of self-confidence. However, some people have, over time, lost their self-confidence.
A child might fall hundreds of times before he or she learns how to walk properly. In order to gain self-confidence again you must be open to the idea of rebuilding your confidence and the best way to do this is to start one step at a time.
Confidence, admittedly, isn’t always easy to summon; especially when you’re trying to network with strangers. You want to banish those butterflies and remove fear. You must remember that people are only people.
Most of us will stick within our comfort zone even though, in the back of our minds, we know that it is limiting us severely. So, networking with confidence is like taking baby steps. Why not start by going to an event with friends or colleagues and see how you get on. You might be surprised and make sure you pat yourself on the back for having the courage to go in the first place. Build on your newfound confidence by attending yet another event, but this time on your own, without colleagues or friends. Once you’ve managed to walk into a room of strangers, introduce yourself and talk confidently about what it is that you do, you will have made big steps in successfully rebuilding your confidence again.
The key to talking to new people is finding something you have in common. For example, if you were in Jersey and sat on the bus with someone next to you that you didn’t know, you are most likely not to speak with them. But if you were on holiday in Paris and sat next to someone wearing an “I love Jersey” t-shirt, you would most likely strike up a conversation with them because you have a common interest, and will suddenly become your best friends! So, when you are in an environment in which you don’t feel comfortable, look for something you can share with the people around you; find a common ground.
Being confident is also about being you. I am one of those people who would like to please everyone. I want everyone to like me, but I have come to realise that this cannot happen. I can try to please everyone, but I will never succeed because not everyone is the same. Some people simply can’t be pleased no matter what you do. But the important thing is, whatever happens, you stick to who you are and to what your values are and what you believe in. The things that you say and do are a reflection of who you are; authenticity matters. You have to say and do the things in which you actually believe because these are symbols of who you are really. If you do this then you will build your tribe and surround yourself with people who believe in what you believe; these people will also help build your confidence.
If you exude confidence, people will be drawn to you—not the other way around. When you put yourself out there with confidence, each of your efforts will be more effective because your aura says, “Hey, I’m worth something. I mean business here. I have something important to say, I’m worth listening to, come and listen to me”.
Check out Jersey Pages Page 28 September edition for the full article