We all have days when we’re not feeling as confident as we’d like. Sometimes it can be hard to say what we really mean or ask for what we want – whether that be with a client, a colleague, or even a friend or family member.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways we can build up our confidence so that we may show ourselves off as professionals and to our full potential. Here are my top 10 tips for helping you build some self-confidence as a professional website designer or developer:
1. Dress Sharp
It is true that real confidence comes from within, by being comfortable in your own skin. However dressing sharp can do wonders for an instant confidence boost. Taking care of your appearance by dressing smart and being well-groomed can give you that extra little push that you may need, such as meeting that big client for the first time.
And also by dressing for the occasion, you send across the right message to the client – that you are a professional and will provide a top-quality service.
2. Walk Faster
It’s so simple yet so effective. Pick up the pace when you’re walking, walk tall and strong, walk like you have somewhere important to go and people to see. This makes you feel important and gives off a sense of importance to those around. You are someone to take note off!
Plus you’ll get to your next meeting on time and may even get fit in the process!
3. Good Posture
Similar to walking faster, practice good posture. Sit up straight, keep your head up and make eye contact – we all know how important eye contact with a client is when aiming to seal the deal. Good posture conveys enthusiasm and alertness; you want to be there and you care about your client’s needs.
Your energetic movements will leave you feeling empowered! And of course, we should never underestimate the importance of good posture with regards to your health – especially in a profession were we spend a good portion of the day sitting down.
4. Personal Commercial
Just like getting into a ‘bad crowd’ at school and falling under negative influence, we can also find positive influence by following confident people. Today this is perhaps easier than ever thanks to social-networking.
Try listening to confident people and speakers. Create a 30-60 second speech or mantra which highlights your strengths and goals, and go over your speech every time you need a little confidence boost or need to re-focus your attentions. There is nothing wrong with reminding yourself of what you’re trying to get out of a situation and where you want to go in life.
In today’s economical climate, it can be all to easy to focus on the things you want and the things you don’t have. Your mind will create additional reasons as to why you can not have these things – further adding to the negative affect and making it more difficult to get motivated.
Instead, be thankful for what you do have and spend some time reflecting on how far you’ve come – this will help you see the good in your situation and help you stay motivated.
6. Compliment Others
Sometimes as designers and developers, we can be too wrapped up in our own little world; spending all day looking at the computer and not communicating (in person) with anyone. No wonder some days when we finally switch-off we feel so stressed out and miserable!
Unfortunately these negative feelings can easy be projected on to others, such as through insults, sarcasm or just plain bad manners.
Break the cycle and start praising others and their work. Look for the best in other people – you’ll be surprised at how good it makes you feel. And you never know, you may even receive a compliment in return.
7. Sit in the Front Row
A great tip for conferences, large team meetings and even designer/developer get-togethers – sit at the front and get noticed. People who sit at the back have a fear of being noticed or for some reason do not want to be noticed, just think of school.
Sitting at the front helps you get over this irrational fear and gets you noticed by the important people – such as the conference speaker, the company director or manager, or the designer/developer that everyone wants to work with.
8. Speak Up
If you are like me, the bigger the group, the harder it is to share your thoughts and ideas. However this too is an irrational fear – what exactly are you afraid of? Speak up and share your ideas – you never know, your idea may be the winning formula!
By speaking at least once in a group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker. This helps you build up confidence in your own thoughts and ideas, as well as helping you become recognised as a group leader.
9. Work Out
Carrying on from the health benefits of walking faster, working out and physical fitness has a huge affect on your confidence levels. Firstly, exercise releases endorphins which makes you feel great! And by being physically fit, you look and feel better. Exercise regimes also create positive discipline which you can carry through into your work ethic.
And again, in a profession were we spend a good portion of the day sitting still, the benefits of exercise really can not be underestimated.
10. Focus On Contribution
Often we focus too much on ourselves, our misfortunes and our flaws. Instead try focusing on contributing to your community or even the world at large. By switching your focus from internal to external, you’ll not worry so much about your own flaws.
I personally feel that as designers and developers, we are very good at supporting each other through our on-line communities. And there is nothing like the confidence boost you receive when your little pet-project suddenly becomes a global phenomenon!
We all lack confidence in different areas of our lives and the list above aims to cover many of these situations. This is by no means a comprehensive list of confidence building techniques but I do hope that you are able to take away at least one point.
Now over to you. Do you have any tips or techniques which help you build up your confidence? Please share them in the comments below so that others may learn from your experience.