Sunday, September 13, 2009

7 Habits of Highly Confident People

You already know more confidence means a higher level of performance. (Of course we mean authentic confidence -- not that annoying puffery!)

So, after working with so many clients and students with their confidence in public speaking, I've come up with a list of the habits you consistently see in highly confident people:

1. Avidly care for their bodies. It's not that all highly confident people are model thin, it's something much deeper. Highly confident people realize that to keep up their high levels of performance, they must take extra care of themselves. You'll find many of the highly confident people take their nutrition and exercise very seriously. Exercise, nutrition, and rest are indispensable for mood management...and we all know how ridiculous people can get when they're irritable simply for burning the candle at both ends, for too long. (Not that I have any personal experience with this.) ;-)

2. Appreciate who they are and what they have. The best way to snap out of negativity is to stop and take a look at what you already have. Highly confident people know they aren't perfect, but they are also aware that they are already contributing to a better society.

3. Assign the best possible interpretation of motives to all people and situations. This is a habit, like any other, that has to be deliberately cultivated. It helps you shrug off things people say, or things that happen, that might otherwise throw you off kilter. Because highly-confident people consistently look for a positive framework through which to view events, other people generally return the favor. This training in looking for the positive slows down that knee-jerk reaction of going off on mental fantasies of disaster.

4. Able to confront early and lightly. This is probably the trickiest but most telling habit. They usually give positive feedback, but when a correction is necessary, highly-confident people say what needs to be said without getting all dramatic about it. And because they take care of themselves, they're not harboring resentments that can turn a trickle of annoyance into a fatal tsunami.

5. Ask for help. Highly-confident people don't have their egos tied to being the lone savior of a situation. Likewise, they realize that people enjoy helping and delight in being asked to contribute. This habit helps avoid overwhelm, another kill-joy tendency.

6. Are acutely aware of their preferences. It's not that highly-confident people always insist on getting things their way; but somehow, they usually do. When asked where to have lunch, they suggest a place. When asked what they would like to drink or eat, they respond immediately. This awareness sets the foundation for their goal setting, and helps them make better decisions more quickly.

7. Are attractively light-hearted. Highly confident people take their work seriously, but not themselves. That makes them so attractive to others