Do you consider yourself a confident person?

I was recently invited to be part of a mentorship program launched by iconic Swedish company and one of my anchor clients, Electrolux.

The topic of discussion? 

Confidence and how to be confident.

What does it mean to you? How do you exude it even when you’re scared or unsure? 

Confidence is a trait we cultivate over time based on our life experiences and oftentimes, we confuse cockiness with confidence. The older I’ve become, the more I’ve discovered that confidence is found in the subdued spaces.

For me, true confidence exudes itself quietly. It isn’t threatened by sharing space or shine. It isn’t into one-upmanship and it knows when to use its powerful voice.

How to be confident - Lion in the Serengeti, Tanzania

Confidence is this lion I photographed on an epic safari in Tanzania. While it sat quietly and regally, observing us, it didn’t need to roar to prove to me that it could.

I knew it could.

So, these are the tips I shared with the women I was privileged to mentor based on my own experiences. In essence, how to be confident.

First, fully settle in the fact you are allowed to take up space.

There is a reason why you were hired, invited to that meeting, asked to join that team, and given that project to execute. You are already seen as providing value.

Know your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

You should be able to rattle off your core strengths when asked. Lack of confidence comes when we direct energy into taking our core weaknesses up to mediocre or average at best, instead of focusing on taking our strengths from great to greater.

Your weakness is someone else’s strength

So pair up and find power teammates that can mutually boost your confidence on projects and assignments.

Exercising calm can exude confidence on your behalf

Even if you’re freaking out inside. Silence while processing our thoughts makes us appear more confident.

The words we choose to use can also exude confidence on our behalf.

Remove apologetic language from your vocabulary when you have nothing to technically apologize for. 

Confidence isn’t a virtue or trait we verbally say we have. Confidence has its own voice and speaks for itself.