If you regularly hear me speak or read my articles, you’ll know what counts towards a positive personal image – Appearance, Body Language and Communication skills. These are all so important for the first impression we make on others, the perception they form of us and on-going what we communicate about ourselves. However, underlying these is something that often only gets mentioned en passant.
Whilst I am far from saying that personal confidence does or should come from our physical selves, what I am saying is that we all have things we wear and actions we take that make us feel better and emphasise that inner confidence. This article is focused on the more superficial actions we can take to improve our confidence and are certainly not meant to be a replacement for dealing with deeper confidence issues.
If you think about the ‘cycle of success’ depicted below, it’s clear that when you feel good about yourself, this is reflected in your external self which means others are more likely to engage with you positively. Think of the simple examples of wearing a favourite pair of shoes or even just making an effort to have a shower and get dressed when you are ill.

What is it for you?

For some people, it is about wearing a particular item they love, they feel great in, they get complimented in or know it flatters them. Think of the feeling you have when you are wearing something new. I often think that’s why (especially as women) we say we have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. We simply have nothing new and have forgotten about some of the items that do make us feel good but which are now hidden at the back of the wardrobe…This is why I do often suggest the ‘one in, one out’ policy when it comes to wardrobe management!
On the other hand, for some people it may be about healthy they are feeling. This means in terms of lack of illness but may also be about whether or not they are feeling in shape. I know that when I creep outside my usual weight boundary I don’t feel good. My clothes are tight and I feel sluggish.
After losing over 2 stone 6 years ago, I know it also gives me a feeling of dread that I will return to my heavier weight days. I think I have somewhat inherited this from my uncle who also seems to share this mindset. He’s in Australia and we don’t Skype that often but invariably part of our conversation is about how ‘in shape’ we both feel!
The last main area in terms of influencing internal confidence through the external is if we have anything specific about ourselves that saps confidence. For some it may be a lisp, so getting support from a speech and language therapist may help, for others it’s more seemingly simple things such as hair colour and the condition of our skin. My personal one is my nails – they never grow and look a mess so gel nails are a good solution for me.
Most of these areas can be improved with the decision to make even a small change and/or the help of an expert.

What could you do to help your personal confidence?

None of what I’ve mentioned is rocket science but sometimes in the rush of life, we forget the simple things that could help us feel better about ourselves and communicate ourselves more effectively.
I hear from many people, women in particular who have little time for themselves these days, their confidence has therefore taken a bit of a downturn. Joining a gym is out of the question as they’d hardly ever get there, there’s no time for a beauty appointment and investing in a whole new wardrobe is out of the question.
However, it’s worth thinking about what small actions you could take that wouldn’t require a lot of time or money but which would have a positive impact on how you feel about yourself – your personal confidence. Why not take just 5 minutes today to think about what this could be for you?

I’d love you to comment here on what your thing will be, no matter how simple! If you want to talk in more detail, do email me [email protected]