- Acknowledge your achievements. Make a list. Write down all the things you have accomplished in your life, from the very big to the very small. Focus on moments that make you feel proud, remember any difficulties you have overcome. Congratulate yourself
- Let go of past disappointments. You are never going to win at everything. Learn where you can then move on. Holding onto previous perceived failures will only bring you down and serves no purpose.
- Recognise we are all the same. Everyone is shy and feels vulnerable. Even the most outwardly confident person wrestles moments of doubt or inadequacy.
- Adjust your inner voice. Talk to yourself in a voice you would use when encouraging a close friend or your children. Take note of how you treat yourself.
- Just get it started. Instigating small talk is the most difficult part, once the conversation gets going it all becomes much easier. Practice opening questions such as “How was your journey?” “How was your weekend?” “What holiday plans do you have this year?” depending on the situation. Questions prompt people to talk about themselves, rather than making statements, it is then easier to get the conversation to flow.
- Fake it till you make it. Take a deep breath and smile. Put your confidence on like a suit. Imagine the most confident person you know (and admire) and copy their confident positive mannerisms. People are more likely to respond positively to you if you are positive yourself, in-turn your real confidence grows and you forget your faking it all together.
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Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket